District Guide: Le Marais, Paris
seen by Caitlin Hennessy, writer
Leaving behind her beach side hometown in Australia for the city of light and love, Caitlin had anticipated she would return home in less than twelve months. Two and a half years, one French husband and a beautiful apartment later and she’s still in Paris. Spending her days writing for various publications while still managing to include a healthy amount of retail exercise into her daily routine, Caitlin finds the French way of life to be a unique balance of work and pleasure.
The best place to people watch is Le Progrès! Sitting on the corner of Rue de Bretagne and Rue Vieille du Temple in the heart of Le Marais is guaranteed excellent people watching. The peak time for this is during fashion week, where you can sip a wine or espresso and watch the models, influencers and designers saunter past you, or perhaps even sit beside you.
1. Le Progrès | 1 Rue de Bretagne, 75003 Paris
Do you have one beautiful memory in particular that will forever be associated with Le Marais? My favorite memory is of my husband proposing to me while we sat at a café drinking espressos while the winter sun warmed us.
“Located between the third and fourth arrondissement, Le Marais has become a hub of vegan delicacies, concept stores and art galleries. This area is vibrant and filled with a youthful energy.”
How do you spend a Sunday in Le Marais? I love spending my weekends in Le Marais strolling through the streets with no real purpose. I tend to sleep in a lot later in Paris then I would in other cities, as the streets don’t come to life until around 10am. After getting dressed for the day I walk down to the Marché des Enfants Rouges and buy my fruits and vegetables for the week. Right beside this is the best fromagerie in Paris, so if I have time I’ll stop by to purchase some truffle brie and colorful flowers next door. The afternoons are for sipping white wine in the park with friends (in the summer) or red wine on a heated café terrace with a brilliant book.
2. Marché des Enfants Rouges | 39 Rue de Bretagne, 75003 Paris
When you have to work on your laptop, it‘s best to go to Wild and the Moon. This hidden oasis of hanging plants and vegan treats is an excellent spot to park your laptop and get inspired. The food is all gluten free (a rare treat in France) and the waiters speak perfect English and are happy to help. My favorite thing to order here is the sweet matcha latte and mouth watering banana bread!
3. Wild and the Moon | 55 Rue Charlot, 75003 Paris, @wildandthemoon
Why does your job perfectly match your city? Being freelance can become quite alienating as you have a lot of free time when most of your friends are at work. However, in France they allow their workers a two-hour lunch break that gives me quality time to catch up with a friend before returning to the comfort of my laptop and settling into an afternoon of writing.
Where do you get inspired? The streets of Paris are filled with dozens of chic men, women and even the dogs are better dressed than me on most days. Sitting down for a coffee across from some of the bustling fashion-infused streets of Paris gives me a lot of inspiration. Even looking around at the other customers in the café and overhearing snippets of conversation can spark an exciting idea for an article.
The most photogenic place of the city is Place des Vosges. Built in 1612, the oldest planned square in Paris used to house some of the most notorious people in the city between the 17th and 18th Century, including Victor Hugo. Now the Place is a beautiful spot to lie and read a book while you marvel at the picturesque architecture.
4. Place des Vosges | Place des Vosges, 75004 Paris
My urban oasis is Square du Temple. I spend a lot of time here in the summer, as it is right in the middle of the city. Bring a rug, some cheese, grapes and baguette and you have the picture perfect little picnic with friends.
5. Square du Temple | 64 Rue de Bretagne, 75003 Paris
The nicest vintage clothes you can find at Come on Eileen. Besides having an amazing musical reference in its name, Come on Eileen is hands down the best vintage shop in Paris. Walking into this shop is like looking at the contents of a chic grandma’s lifetime of outfits. The insane amount of items can be quite overwhelming but you’re guaranteed to walk out with a one-of-a-kind vintage designer item.
6. Come on Eileen | 16/18 Rue des Taillandiers, 75011 Paris