Somesuch Guide

A guide to people and places that make us happy.

Paris

We love Paris. Everything that makes us happiest can be found in abundance in Paris.

To make Paris even better we have a boyfriend there too.

Caviar…nope, not Caviar Kaspia,

although pre-recession we may have had a €400 baked potato at Caviar Kaspia,

at the time that made us headily happy, but now we feel rather sheepish about having spent €400 on a baked potato…shit it was good though, and the memory of eating it with our very special friends on the eve of their marriage still makes us smile, and as great memories are worth every penny (Euro, Yen, Dollar (all of them), Kopek, Dirham…) on reflection we no longer feel sheepish, which is good because this is a blog about what makes us happy…

Caviar Paris make us happy.

Mourad is the boss of Caviar Paris, Mourad is the King, Mourad is the Don, Mourad has spotted some of the finest talent in the world, and because of that and the fact that he makes us giggle…a lot…we are really happy to be Caviar’s girlfriend.

We are the Queen to Mourad’s King.

Juliette is Mourad’s right hand lady at Caviar, she is the yin the Mourad’s yang

Juliette is talented AND beautiful, we’re quite smitten with Juliette.

Food:

Paris and food go together like rillettes and cornichon…

(the cornichons hadn’t arrived yet).

We wouldn’t have enough blog space for other great cities if we included all of our favourite places to eat, but we will list our absolute faves, those that make us happy even to think about…they aren’t expensive haute cuisine, Michelin starred, up-tight restaurants, they are special places, proper hearty French food, food that feeds the soul, especially after a day of racing around Paris…

Les Rubis:

Like Japanese restaurants many Parisian restaurants don’t do websites, Les Rubis is one.

We found out about Les Rubis through Fergus Henderson, sadly we don’t know Fergus Henderson, but somewhere he wrote Les Rubis is one of his favourite restaurants in Paris, so because we trust Fergus implicitly and his St John’s are our favourite restaurants in London (stroke The World), we decided it was a no-brainer…unsurprisingly Fergus was right, Les Rubis is very special indeed.

we recommend you eat anything, it’ll make you very happy and a little bit sleepy.

If you are rushing around the Marais like we often are (esp Rue Vieille du Temple, but we will get in to that in ‘shopping’) a great alternative to Les Rubis, although not quite as special, is Brasserie Le Bougnat,

we went there with our other boyfriend Caviar LA, Brasserie Le Bougnat is 28 Rue Saintonge (something else very special to us is also on Rue Saintonge, which means you can be happy twice over, but this section is about food, so you’ll have to wait until shopping to find out what…)

The beef bourguignon at Bougnat is rather special, especially after over-exerting ourselves down the rue.

The rillettes is very good too, nearly as good as Les Rubis…

Not far from Rue Saintonge is one of our other favourite restaurants. one our beautiful friend Nicky Verber introduced us to several years ago, and one in which we return every time we go to Paris, Chez Omar,

Chez Omar is 47 rue de Bretagne. Chez Omar is Moroccan (Guide to Marrakesh to follow), Morocco makes us very happy indeed, and the food at Chez Omar takes us straight back there…oh those Merguez….ahhhh that lamb….goodness that cous cous…we wish we could transport ourselves to Chez Omar right now…

Our crush Juliette introduced us to Anahi,

like Juliette, Anahi is really cool but in a subtle way, it’s Argentinean and does very good steak,

which is ironic because apparently Anahi is an old butcher shop (boucherie).

If it’s a more traditional steak et frites you are after A La Biche au Bois will make you ecstatic…so will the salads and coq au vin…but those entrecote and frites…’yummyyyyy’ as our friend Hank Pierce once uttered (not after steak et frites, but still)

Not original nor obscure but still special, Laduree is packed with happies,

from the website where you open a special present, to the macaroons…

to the tea room…

Laduree is like a palace of treats and nothing makes us happier than a palace of treats…treeeeeaaats…

We like to sit in Chez Jeannette and imagine Paris in the late 40’s and early 50’s, it hasn’t changed much since then. It would make us really happy to get in a time machine and go back to Paris in the early 50’s and mix with many of the great writers…that is a fantasy of ours…we even have our outfits in mind.

We don’t just frequent restaurants with the word ‘Chez’ in them (although it pleases us that we know what 'Chez' means) but Chez Michel gives many a Chez a run for it's money and who wouldn't want scrambled eggs with truffles…

or a pie (as a third Kiwi pies are a big part of our lives)…

Often we like to get to Gare Du Nord a bit early so we can have a glass of champagne and an oyster before we board the train. Our favourite is Brasserie Terminus Nord, right opposite, the service might not make you happy, but the champagne, oysters and dining room will, and what’s really wonderful is you get on the train still feeling a bit giddy…just in time for the buffet car…

Goodness now we are talking about leaving Paris, it’s way too soon, we haven’t even been shopping yet, or had a falafel…

Rue des Rosiers and it’s surrounds is the place for Falafel…

We like Chez Marianne (DOH! another bloody Chez) the best.

Phew, shopping:

We are really lucky that part of the Somesuch family has a shop / brand / label / touch of genius located in Paris…Surface to Air. Surface to Air is about as cool as you get. We’re pretty smitten with the people that work there too.

Surface to Air is our first stop shop, often we have spent so much money there it’s our last too…

…but that’s ok because we’d be feeling really happy with everything we bought and we’d be looking pretty fine too.

Next door is APC which will make you happy if you like that kind of thing.

We’re still kicking ourselves for not buying a pair of sparkly socks at Vanessa Bruno recently, we know this is a blog about things that make us happy…so if anyone’s passing…sparkly socks please…in every colour…

Back to special Rue Saintonge (we hope you will be eating there) is Isabel Marant, Isabel Marant = YAY.

that’s it, YAY.

If we were really rich (and as you can imagine based on the above, we are not) we would like very much to spend a lot of time in Hermes on Faubourg Saint Honore.

Because this is a blog about happiness whilst we’re on St Honore we’re not going to list Colette or its staff, and we have already said we like Comme in NYC and London better.

BUT our biggest wish of all would be to be Alber Elbaz’s muse and live in Lanvin

Hey, we’re allowed to wish…

(for more Paris fashion tips our good friends Opening Ceremony have just done their own Guide…)

Because it would be rude to attempt Paris in one day we are firm believers in spending at least one night. Our favourite places to rest our weary legs are:

Pavillon De La Reine, Pavillon De La Reine is so pretty to approach it is impossible to resist,

it has lovely staff and the ultimate honesty bar, and we love an honesty bar…

Pavillon De La Reine is on Place Des Vosges

Place Des Vosges is a lovely place to sit and people-watch on a summers afternoon.

Just around the corner is Hotel Bourg Tibourg

it’s owned by Costes, but don’t hold that against it, the candles smell real nice and I can’t remember having to listen to that CD. We have stayed here many times and it’s always lovely.

We’re not sure about the myth about Parisians because the staff at Hotel Bourg Tibourg are delightful too…that’s 99% lovely in Paris so far…

Our beautiful friends once took a suite at The Hotel Raphael, their cats went too. One day we would love a suite at The Hotel Raphael and for a special occasion we would recommend you took one too…

Then there’s a Georges V but that’s up there with Hermes and Lanvin…

(although one third of us may have stayed there as a runner once, but that was the 1990’s you know).

The only way to travel to Paris (from London) is the Eurostar, yes it’s expensive and can sometimes find a ludicrous excuse to break down, but 2 hours 15 from St Pancras to Gare Du Nord? Well, silly not to…

If you live further afield than London (or Europe) we would suggest you fly.

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