Align's Top 10 Excuses to Escape to Paris in January (or Anytime for that Matter)

1. The absolute No. 1 excuse to escape to Paris in the dark and cold of winter is "Les Soldes". Heard of it? As our travel companion Phillip rejoiced, "The whole city is on sale"!  We were sure to pack an empty suitcase to fill for the return trip. Sales are state regulated in France and only happen twice a year: once in summer and once in winter. Boutiques, Design Stores, Pop up Shops, and Hardware Stores are moving inventory and everything is 30%-70% off. We purchased some items for clients and also managed to each come away with a pair of shoes and sunglasses. There were treasures left and right. “Les Soldes” was alone worth the trip!

2. Apologies to all of our vegetarian friends and followers, but the foie gras was EVERYTHING! We loved it at Le Comptoir, but ate it anywhere and any chance we got.  Our friend and traveling companion Charles was assigned to prep foie gras during his culinary years so he helped us critique each bite we took.  It’s always a bonus to travel with an expert.

3. Part of the journey was composed of trip to Maison & OBJECT. This show took place in Paris Jan 20-24, 2017. The show is centered around consumer trends, inspiring experiences, and product launches. Maison focuses on interior decoration and OBJECT is concept and retail. Philip told us that yellow is the on trend color for 2017!  Who knew Big Bird was on trend all along…


4. Any art, fashion, and design expedition in Paris requires a pit stop (or two) for a cocktail. In the heart of the Saint-Germain Arts District, we stumbled upon  Prescription Cocktail Club. Every creation was a different craft combination and each cocktail came in perfectly coordinating glassware. Don't forget to head upstairs and check out the draping Top Hat Light fixture installation in the upper stairwell. 


5. Customize your bootsAlteliers Heschung  custom ginkgo boots are perfect for the man in you or the man in your life. We customized a pair for a client because it was too fun to pass up! Much like interior design textiles, you match your leathers with your canvas and create the perfect pair. Your initials will appear in the tongue of the shoe and the shoemaker signs the shoe. French Shoemaker since 1934 and it shows. There are three convenient shops throughout the city.  Women’s shoes and boots also available!

6. More sightseeing s'il vous plaît. Pack a sandwich and a bottle of wine and take the trip to Chateau De Versailles. Located less than an hour from the city, The Palace of Versailles is the central part of a complex that housed the French government, most notably its royalty, during the reigns of Louis XIV (France's famed “Sun King”), Louis XV and Louis XVI. After the French Revolution in 1789, it ceased to be a permanent royal residence. With over 2300 rooms, we enjoyed studying each ceiling mural, special textile, and intricate piece of architecture. Don't forget to stop by the simple dive bar Pub O' Paris for a pint to cure your achy feet after a full day of walking thru this magical place.

7. We add our next suggestion to this list because we put it on the top of ours and we never got to it. The Picasso Museum  came highly recommended from our favorite US creative, Alexis, and our Danish friend Camilla that works for Trip Advisor. There's got to be a reason to get back to Paris soon, so please visit and tell us that we should return immediately.

8. You cannot leave Paris without stopping by Ladurée to try their infamous macaroons. Plan to stop again the day prior to your departure to bring home beautifully wrapped boxes for friends and family. Their interior aesthetic is an amazing reflection of their high quality tastes, both figuratively and literally. In fact, we travelled with a book, Paris by Lauderee that did not steer us wrong and outlined the details of The Paris Flea Market.

9. Our dear friend Neyla insisted we go to Merci and she did not steer us wrong. In the front, a cafe and used bookstore and behind is a large, beautifully curated concept shoppe. Anything hip and beautiful is found here. Shop while you wait for your name to be called for a seat. Cast your own chairs, scout for art and fashion, and check out the bag collection (including Topo Bags) on the lower level. Another concept shoppe series that occupies the streets of Paris is FLEUX . Here we found the perfect espresso set for our favorite Frenchman, Henri, and his husband Chris.


10. Last but certainly not least, Grand Coeur. Grand Coeur translates to Big Heart, but also bring your big thirst and your big appetite. Located on Rue du Temple in Le Marais, moments from our flat (where Jorie, Mary and friends danced the night away), this local gem is tucked away in a centre. Known for their gin and tonics, we ordered the drink special which was Gin + Tonic + Carrot Puree. The menu is French Farm to Table and the food was very thoughtful and appealed to the senses. The service was excellent and atmosphere extremely inviting. We got lucky with a walk in, but reservations are encouraged. The Michelin Chef is Argentinian and his food is based on nature and the garden. 


So much to see, so little time, don’t worry Paris we will be back for more soon!

Until we meet again,

Au Revoir

xo Nicole & Lauren