Paris Je T'Aime: Goldierocks in Paris

Good7

"It’s deliciously slutty but not seedy."

A mere hop, skip and a jump, fuelled by croque-monsieurs on the Eurostar, and we’re in Paris, the city of love, Justice (the band) and Chanel. But there’s so much more to the city than croissants and posh handbags. 



Tipped off by my friend DJ Riton we head immediately to Canal St Martin to explore the bohemian district of independent boutiques, record shops and vintage clothes stores. The city is covered in a thick blanket of snow, which makes it all the more romantic, but leaves us a little soggy. Omaya vintage is a marvelous retro clothes shop selling a wide range of leather jackets, Bardot-style blouses and wide brimmed hats. GoldyMama has a wide range of 1920s frocks and empire dresses. From there we trot over to Fargo – one of Mr Oizo’s favourite record stores – to spin some vinyl. I pick up an old St Germain print.

But there’s one record store in particular I’m keen to enter. I can’t go to Paris and not visit La Source, the brainchild of Xavier Ehrestmann (of My Electro Kitchen fame). It’s one of a select few Parisian record shops entirely dedicated to electronic music and has a wonderful range of Chicago house through to Ed Banger B-sides. 


A weekend in Paris wouldn’t be complete without a lot of feasting. But haute cuisine in the city often has a similarly eye-watering price tag. Pramil, however, is one of the exceptions: a Michelin star restaurant with excellent service, where you can tuck into Foie Gras and Chateauneuf Du Pape and still have change for a cab home. It’s my new favourite European date spot. 

We head over to Pigalle, Paris’ infamous red-light district. But it’s deliciously slutty not seedy, more a wink and a shimmy than a den of depravity. It’s very fun and very French. We stroll through the garishly lit streets giggling till we find the iconic windmill: The Moulin Rouge. Yes, it’s a tourist trap but oh what a jolly one: half-naked dancers in tanks of pythons, can-can dancers and go-go girls. It’s garish, camp, champagne-fuelled fun. 



Feeling a little worse for wear, Marche des Enfants Rouge is sure to soothe the soul; a partly covered artisan food market serving French, Italian, Japanese, Spanish and Lebanese cuisine. We fill up on delicious Moroccan tajine and stuffed breads – the best I’ve had outside of Marrakesh – and stop to admire the fresh flowers and arts and crafts stalls selling vintage photographs and handmade jewelry. 

The streets of Paris are a joy to walk, with the endless cobbled streets and stunning tree-lined avenues. In need of some air, we stroll through the ornate Père Lachaise Cemetery, which, in the heart of such a bustling city, is perfect for seizing a moment of stillness. Famed for housing the tombs of Oscar Wilde and Edith Piaf, it’s also home to rock ‘n’ roll legend Jim Morrison, whose grave becomes so covered with trinkets and icons that it has to be cleared daily. 



Saturday night and we’re ready to launch Generator here in Paris. The party space itself in the hostel is beautifully designed; I particularly fell in love with the life-size porcelain cow. The event was full of young pretty things flirting over beers and doing the Tecktonik sipping on gin cocktails and munching macaroons. We head for an impromptu after party at Silencio, a rather glamorous Parisian spot, founded by David Lynch (obviously), known for its dark and secretive corners. It’s sleek and sophisticated and so Parisian it hurts. And then onto the after-after party at Le Baron. You can tell by the red velvet décor this used to a brothel and everyone in here is sexy, in the know & ready for a good time. As the dawn approaches we finally wind up at 24-hour food joint Au Pied Du Cochon for pork belly sandwiches, big cups of coffee and a debrief of the debauched hours prior. 



Sunday is a bit of a daze, so we wander around the brilliant Pompidou centre, admiring the abstract art fountains outside. The huge square comes alive in the summer with students picnicking and busking. A trip to Paris wouldn’t be complete without a salute to the Eiffel Tower and Café du Trocadero serves the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had whilst providing a relaxing view of the Eiffel tower without being swarmed by tourists. Finally we head to La Pagode, arguably one of the most picturesque arthouse cinemas in the world with gilded walls, and a candlelit garden, to watch a film and make out in the back row. How very French.