Exploring Le Marais Featured

Delve into one of Paris' most celebrated neighbourhoods, featuring art, fashion, and food

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08 May 2013

The oldest neighbourhood in Paris, Le Marais is brimming with culture at every turn. From the trendy, young crowd in the Northern Marais, or NoMa, to the quaint Southern Marais, history abounds.

Begin a day touring Le Marais at the Église St. Paul, the recently-restored church built in the 17th century. Heading north into the neighbourhood, cafés and boutiques abound. To be sure you won’t miss any of the best spots for eating, shopping or gallery-hopping, LUXOS and Louis Quatorze, the Marais-based luxury accessories brand, have hand-picked all of the essentials.

Any time of the day, the Marais is full of restaurants that will please even the most discerning of palates. To enjoy Paris as the Parisians do, enjoy an afternoon tea or coffee while overlooking the charming Place des Vosges. Built by King Henri IV in the 17th century, this square was once home to Victor Hugo. Today, it is lined with fine art galleries and quaint cafés.

Some of the Marais’ most talked-about dining options are found in the northern part of the neighbourhood. Enjoy lunch or dinner at Grazie, known both for its authentic pizzas and the killer cocktails created by tattooed mixologist Oscar Quagliarini. If you’re looking for a truly local experience, explore Le Marché des Enfants Rouges for its eclectic array of global cuisine and quaint market-style stands. Another neighbourhood favourite is Nanashi for its trendy Parisian-style bento boxes.

Making waves in the Parisian culinary circle is the Marais’ newest concept restaurant, La Table Ronde, a Parisian supper club. Inspired by American supper clubs, La Table Ronde celebrates contemporary French cuisine in an intimate setting for only 16 diners. Here, some of Paris’ most respected chefs set up for just one night, offering their culinary skills for an exclusive dinner. Some talents who have already graced La Table Ronde include Chef Christopher Hache from the Hôtel de Crillon, Olivier Nasti, and Jérôme Banctel of Senderens. The restaurant is also available for private events upon request.

To enjoy the eclectic essence of the Marais, visit the speciality shops and concept stores that are found throughout the quarter. One of the best-known concept stores in the neighbourhood is Merci, where you can find everything from clothing by Carven to one-of-a-kind gifts, perfumes and housewares. Plus, a portion of the sales from the boutique is given to a sustainable endowment fund for underprivileged children in Madagascar.

Another concept store to visit is The Broken Arm, one of the newest additions to the neighbourhood. Here, the shelves are stocked with art books and magazines, high-end designer clothing, and the in-store café serves speciality coffees by Norwegian coffee masters Solberg & Hansen.

The mecca of designer fashion, L’Eclaireur is one of Paris’ most unique boutiques. Here, at one of their six locations, you’ll find designers like Balmain, Damir Doma, Thom Browne, and Comme des Garçons on the racks.

While shopping in the Marais, be sure to stop in at the airy Louis Quatorze boutique on rue Vieille du Temple. Named after the Sun King, this luxury leather goods maker was founded by the former leather master of the Versailles Palace. After becoming a huge success in Asia, the brand moved back to its roots and is conquering the Parisian luxury scene. Their chic handbags, just like their service, are of impeccable quality.

Designer boutiques such as the cult favourites Surface to Air, French Trotters and Acne also call the Marais home, with stunning boutiques in NoMa. Further south, wander along rue des Francs Bourgeois for candles by Diptyque, perfumes by Acqua di Parma and the Parisian staples, Barbara Bui, The Kooples and Maje. Feel like Grace Kelly while perusing the well-edited racks of designer vintage at Yukiko, one of Paris’ most acclaimed vintage shops with an incredible selection of Chanel bags.

The Marais is also known for its plethora of art galleries, and of course, Paris’ modern art museum, the Centre Georges Pompidou. For a nice mix of emerging and established artists, head to Galerie Perrotin. This contemporary art gallery is located in a majestic old courtyard, and represents art giants Maurizio Cattelan and Takashi Murakami. Another gallery to visit is Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, known for its extensive group and solo exhibitions often curated by the likes of Hedi Slimane, Robert Wilson and Sofia Coppola. Thanks to these revered galleries specializing in international contemporary artists, the Marais is the nouveau artistic hub of Paris.

 

Whether in the neighbourhood to explore the winding streets full of history, shop the designer boutiques, add to your growing art collection, or eat like a local, the Marais is the perfect place to discover the new eclectic luxury defining Paris’ up-and-coming identity.