Faubourg Saint Honoré in Paris, just behind the Champs Élysées, is well known for its couture fashion houses, antique dealers, art galleries and smart restaurants. Follow our guide to the perfect destination for fashion and art lovers.
We are at the crossroads of Rue Royale. The first shop you’ll come to is the Gucci boutique, which immediately sets the colour and tone of the famous Rue Faubourg St Honoré. Renovated in December 2010, the shop offers its clientele a bespoke service dedicated to one of its most iconic bags: the New Bamboo. A bit further down the road sit the two jewels which have played a huge part in establishing this area as one of Europe’s most prestigious shopping destinations. Jeanne Lanvin set up her couture house at number 22 towards the end of the 19th century. This boutique is not to be missed, if only for its stunning window displays which change every month and are designed by Creative Director Alber Elbaz himself. And at number 15 is the Lanvin menswear boutique.
The other important address is number 24 where, since 1879, this newly renovated 18th century building has been home to Hermès, a proverbial kingdom spanning over 1700 m2 where luxury is preceded only by excellence.
These two brands are the heart of Faubourg St Honoré and have long given the street its unique character. Indeed, their creativity and loyalty have become the creed for all the fashion maisons opening stores here. And how they have prospered! Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Givenchy, Valentino are just a few of the fashion houses to have made themselves at home here. The street also offers a wide range of designer goods: from the reliable Façonnable at number 9 which has an excellent tailoring service, to La Bagagerie’s precious leather goods at number 11. The treasure trove at number 3 that is Paul Smith has long charmed fans of the English designer whereas aficionados of sexy, rock n’roll leather swear by Jitrois, a boudoir-style apartment at number 38. Ermenegildo Zegna has just set up shop at number 50: in the 500 m2 showroom, luxury meets masculinity. Finally, shoe addicts, after a visit to Christian Louboutin at number 68, should finish their journey at Walter Steiger, number 83: the Swiss shoemaker is the byword for state-of-the-art and made-to-measure creations.
Faubourg is also a great place for food lovers to come and exercise their delicate palates. Hurry to number 101 to sample the gourmet delights of Dalloyau which has been making exceptional patisseries since the sumptuous banquets of Louis XIV. We’re huge fans of its Comptoir restaurant which opens for lunch and offers an excellent valet parking service. Not to be missed: Patrick Roger, a chocolate wizard who will wow you with his unique creations in his boutique situated at number 199. For gastronomic treats, the real foodies throng to Quarante whilst celebrity brigades prefer the Italian restaurant Ante Prima, number 137, with its bistro ambiance and deco-cinema style. Fashionistas love Café Chic at number 126, where dancing on the bar is encouraged, and the Cantine du Faubourg at number 105 continues to be the only fashionable place to be seen in west Paris. Finally if you don’t go anywhere else, make sure you check out 114 Faubourg, the gastronomic restaurant run by young chef Eric Desbordes.
Carita is a great destination which opens up into a glass-roofed inner courtyard bathed in natural light. This really is so much more than a hair and beauty salon. Make sure you try the divine autumn/winter makeup collection by beauty house Lancôme at number 29 and down the road on Place Beauvau the perfumer Caron, looking over the Élysée, is a legend in French scent-making with its 12 legendary fragrances, beautifully packaged in fountain-style bottles. More adventurous shoppers should head further west to number 254 to discover Les anges ont la peau douce, the charming beauty institute where the express treatments are real treats. Here you’re merely a stone’s throw away from the Salle Pleyel, the exceptional concert hall, which boasts unrivalled acoustics and will take you on a completely different – musical – journey.
LUXOS City Guide to Paris