Paris and New York are my two favourite cities. And I dare to say, I know them pretty well. New York I lived in and Paris – ah Paris! – just magically draws me back over and over again.
It is a characteristic of cities that they constantly change. A bar you liked last year might exist under a new name, new concept and new owner on your next visit. Your favourite restaurant? Gone. The store where you always got your beloved perfume? Bye-bye. Before each visit, I therefore try to update myself to avoid disappointing surprises and to get myself into the right mood. Because I already am familiar with all the sights of New York and Paris and don’t need all the information that come in the usual travel guides, I’m constantly on the look-out for insiders’ guides with that certain special twist – the “je ne sais quoi”.
Currently, I’m totally obsessed with the two Fashion Insiders’ Guides on Paris and New York (available on Amazon). The author, French Vogue correspondent Carole Sabas, is a Parisian living in New York. The guides are not only really pretty and peppered throughout with beautiful illustrations; they are also packed with an eclectic selection of current hotspots, classic haunts and hidden gems of those two most fascinating cities. The recommended restaurants, bars, shops, etc. all contain hints about when to go, who to ask for, and what to get, as well as location and contact information. And what I personally like the most is that the restaurants and bars are for once not sorted by neighbourhoods, but by titles like “Gossip with Girlfriends”, “Early Breakfast or Lazy Teatime”, “Gourmet Bites” or “From Aperitif to Nightcap”.
My other favourite resources right now are:
P A R I S
Michael Paul, Süsses Paris (also available in English): where to get the best pain au chocolat, the most delicate macaroon, the most delicious tarte au citron. All in there. This book is so coming on my next trip to Paris at the end of April.
Sophie Mas / Audrey Diwan / Caroline de Maigret / Anne Berest, How to be Parisian – wherever you are: Written by four uber-chic Parisian friends. Tips are just a supplement, but the book gets you straight into the Parisian state of mind.
Alain Ducasse, J’aime Paris: Culinary haunts of one of the most famous living chefs. Yum!
Isabelle Thomas / Frédérique Veysset, Paris Street Style: A guide to effortless chic.
My little Paris – La Paris secret des Parisiennes: Secrets from Parisians to Parisians
N E W Y O R K
Siobhan Wall, Quiet New York: A new take on the city that never sleeps: places off the beaten track, enticing small museums and peaceful gardens
Sibella Court, the stylist’s guide to NYC: An interiour stylist’s guide to stores, markets, boutiques, galleries, and eateries in New York City. Pretty, pretty!