Ethical fashion has never been cooler in Paris and this season is all about adding a dose of heart to your shopping experience. Where better to start your fashion week homage than at Merci, the original ethical fashion concept store? Located in a majestic, sunlit loft, it’s full of unusual, covetable creations from the likes of Yves Saint Laurent, Stella McCartney and Chloé, plus carefully sourced one-off finds and the most fashion-forward flower store in town. Even better, all profits the store makes are donated to charity. The low-key, cool café serves a great breakfast, too; take our tip and order ‘dipping eggs’ – strips of delicious bread, salted butter and soft-boiled eggs.
Merci, 111 boulevard Beaumarchais, 75003 Paris, +33 (0)1 4277 0033
Match your macaroons to your dress at the famous Ladurée café. If the sight of all-too-slender models has left you in need of a sweet treat, make like Dita Von Teese and indulge yourself in these utterly charming and thoroughly Parisian tea rooms. We recommend the mille-feuille and the creamiest hot chocolate in town.
Laduree, 21 rue Bonaparte, 75006 Paris, +33 (0)1 4407 6487
This season’s obsession with floral prints has made us all want to come up smelling of roses. The first stop is the famous Annick Goutal boutique in the first arrondissement. A delectable selection of scents in oh-so-pretty bottles will add a touch of the boudoir to your bedroom.
Annick Goutal, 14 rue de Castiglione, 75001 Paris, +33 (0)1 4260 5282
Escape the wannabes and the clichéd French brasseries and head to Le Bal Café in the 18th arrondissement. Tucked away in an alley behind the bustling place de Clichy, it’s an exhibition space and café all in one. This sleek, modern venue offers fusion cuisine as well as a perfect brunch menu that includes French pancakes and fried eggs and bacon.
Le Bal Café, 6 impasse de la Defense, 75018 Paris, +33 (0)1 4470 7551
Visit the Colette Carnival. The lovely Jardin des Tuileries is being transformed into a fashion extravaganza on 10 and 11 March to celebrate Colette’s 15th anniversary. Expect cinema screenings, carnival rides and beauty giveaways, plus plenty of Fashion Week goodies from Paris’s favourite fashion haunt. Admission is free and the carnival, which can be found in front of 206 rue de Rivoli, is open from 12pm to 6pm.
La Pharmacie in the 11th arrondissement has become the go-to bistro for snacking between shows and people-watching; Jessica Alba was spotted here last season. The menu is classic and the bright blue exterior is very spring/summer.
La Pharmacie, 22 rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, 75011 Paris, +33 (0)1 5528 7598
If you’re suffering from Fashion Week fatigue follow in the Louboutin-shod footsteps of the French Vogue girls and take some time out for a proper pamper session at the gorgeous Mandarin Oriental spa. The East-meets-West spa has a discreet yet chic vibe and a comprehensive selection of treatments designed to get your body, mind and spirit back in A-list condition. All treatments begin with Tian Quan therapy, a Chinese bathing ritual; we love the relaxing aromatherapy body treatments and the Guerlain facials will lend a model-style glow.
The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, 251 rue Saint-Honoré, 75001 Paris,+33 (0)1 7098 7335
Fashion would not be fashion without some controversy. So hang out and sip a retro pre-dinner aperitif (crème de menthe matches spring/summer’s mint shades) at La Perle, the hub for Fashion Week gossip. After 9pm you may have to queue so arrive early.
La Perle, 78 rue Vieille-du-Temple, 75003 Paris, +33 (0)1 4272 6993
Super-cool fashion favourite restaurant La Fidélité, elegant and modern, is the perfect place to indulge after a long day of shows. Try the foie gras to start, followed by the famous entrecôte steak and the best crème brûlée in town. Rumour has it that Emmanuelle Alt is a devoted regular.
La Fidélité, 12 rue Fidélité, 75010 Paris, +33 (0)1 4770 1934
Make like film director Sofia Coppola and take time out after a stressful day at the shows by sipping on a perfectly mixed cocktail at the Ritz’s Hemingway bar. It’s due to close soon for refurbishment so now is the time to enjoy the bar’s legendary vibes while posing with the best martini in town.
Bar Hemingway at Ritz Paris, 15 place Vendôme, 75001 Paris, +33 (0)1 4316 3030
The Costes brothers are the men to have on speed dial this Fashion Week. Hôtel Costes is packed with fashion folk and all the top supermodels, from Naomi Campbell to Claudia Schiffer, plus Paris Hilton, Beyoncé and Nicole Kidman, have been spotted taking time out from the shows. Try to secure a table on the terrace for the ultimate celeb-spotting experience.
Hôtel Costes, 239 rue Saint-Honore, 75001 Paris, +33 (0)1 4244 5000
David Lynch’s new club Silencio is the current talk of the front row and we can see why. Based on the mythical club in his film Mulholland Drive, the gold interior and excellent, bespoke cocktails from bartender Rob McHardy make for a fun-packed night that’s high on style credentials. There’s also an in-house cinema with special screening events and rumour has it that Carine Roitfeld has already been spotted on the dancefloor.
Club Silencio, 142 rue Montmartre, 75002 Paris
Fall into bed at the chic and cosy Hôtel de la Trémoille, off rue Montaigne in Paris’s Golden Triangle. Super-stylish and perfectly located, it has spring discount offers from 8 March and is ideal for a romantic break or a shopping weekend. It’s also just a short hop from the Musée des Arts Decoratifs, which is showcasing Marc Jacobs this month.
Hôtel de la Trémoille, 14 rue de la Trémoille, 75008 Paris, +33 (0)1 5652 1400