Paris is a magical city, full of monuments and elaborate buildings that allude to a bygone era. One of the most stunning icons of the French capital is its historic opera, the Palais Garnier, built in the late 19th century by architect Charles Garnier at the order of Napoleon III and Baron Haussmann. From the outside, the opera is strikingly beautiful with opulent gold ornamentation and detailed engravings. This beauty is matched on the inside, with its famous 7-ton bronze and crystal chandelier, grand staircase and Baroque style Grand Foyer. Follow LUXOS as we explore the luxury shops and world-class dining in the neighbourhood around the iconic opera house.
La Place de l'Opéra
Like a starburst, there are seven streets extending from the opera, each of which boasts an impressive range of luxury shopping and dining. Around the opera, visit the Lancel flagship boutique, where you can pick up one of their Le Brigitte Bardot handbags, or have a coffee at the Café de la Paix in the Intercontinental Paris Le Grand Hotel. South from the opera is Avenue de l’Opéra, where you’ll find Pierre Hermé macarons, a beautiful Hugo Boss flagship and other great boutiques. After a show at the Palais Garnier, stop by its newly opened restaurant and bar, L’Opéra, inside the east wing of the building (in the photo below).
Rue de la Paix
Between the opera and Place Vendôme is Rue de la Paix, built by Napoleon I 100 years before his grandson built the Palais Garnier. Paris’ very first couture house was established here by by Charles Frederick Worth in 1885. Today, known for its luxury jewellery stores, including Cartier and Tiffany & Co., this street is also home to the French ballet shoe maker Repetto, and luxury hotels such as the Park Hyatt Paris - Vendôme. In the photos below, Rue de la Paix, and the Repetto store.
Also located on Rue de la Paix is Montblanc’s flagship location. Their 2-storey, 500-square-metre store is the largest boutique in Europe offering exclusive collections, bespoke pieces, limited editions, precious and rare one-of-a-kind pieces. The boutique also includes Salons Privés for selected customers to discover Montblanc’s savoir-faire in privacy.
Making a triangle with Rue de la Paix are Rue des Capucines and Boulevard des Capucines, one of Paris’ four grand boulevards. Here, enjoy dinner before the opera at gastronomic restaurant Les Jalles, or enjoy their bar, L’Etage, for an after-opera drink. Just above the boulevard is Rue Scribe, where you’ll find fine pastry and chocolate shops, and the French brand Maje’s boutique.
Spending a day exploring the beautiful shops and historic streets in the second arrondissement and an evening at the Palais Garnier is one of the best ways to enjoy Paris.
Off the beaten track
A few steps away from the grand boulevards around the Palais Garnier are a few gems worth discovering.
Bistro Volnay is a sophisticated gastronomic bistro decorated in Art Deco style and serving traditional French fare.
Bistro Volnay: 8 Rue Volney, 75002 Paris ¨Tel. +33 (0)1 4261 0665, www.bistrovolnay.fr
Rue Sainte-Anne is a bustling little street, known as ‘Little Tokyo,’ located just east of the Opera, and is full of authentic Asian restaurants. LUXOS recommends Bizan for a refined, elegant Japanese meal.
Bizan: 56 Rue Sainte-Anne, 75002 Paris, Tel. +33 (0)1 4296 6776
Heading directly east from the Palais Garnier, down Rue du Quatre-Septembre, you will come upon several small streets. Here you will find a truly incredible gastronomic gem. At Saturne, the innovative Nouveau French cuisine is served by the knowledgable staff amidst modern décor.
Saturne: 17 Rue Notre-Dame des Victoires, 75002 Paris, Tel. +33 (0)1 4260 3190, www.saturne-paris.fr