A local’s luxury guide to: Paris

Jardin des Tuileries. ©Paris Tourist Office, Photograph © Sarah Sergent
Jardin des Tuileries. ©Paris Tourist Office, Photograph © Sarah Sergent

Paris local Maissa Zard, the founder of sustainable jewellery brand Loyal.e Paris, shares her tips on where to eat, shop, drink and sleep in the City of Light.

What is your favourite season in Paris?

Autumn. Paris is so beautiful at this time of the year, it’s the perfect moment to enjoy walks around the city with the warm colours of trees and crunches of the leaves falling. I love colours, and admiring the different shades of red, orange, and yellow on the sidewalks is something I truly enjoy.

Paris isn’t too crowded at this time of the year; the city feels nostalgic and romantic, but always cheerful.

Paris in Autumn
Autumn is a magical time to visit Paris. Credit: Anthony Delanoix

Do you have a favourite neighbourhood?

The 2nd arrondissement. It’s where we decided to open Loyal.e’s first showroom.

This area is full of energy and culture—theatres, exhibitions, bars, there is always something going on. It’s lively, without being too touristic and hectic.

What is your current favourite restaurant and what do you order from the menu?

Where to start! I couldn’t choose just one.

À la Main for the best wine and amazing plates to share; Le Mermoz for good traditional French cuisine; Le Bar des Près (pictured, below) for the perfect mix of Japanese and French cuisine; Le Richer, a French modern Bistrot; and last, but not least, Le Clarence, for a Michelin-starred experience.

The secret to a good restaurant experience in Paris is to always choose restaurants with a menu that changes often, which indicates food made with fresh, local and high-quality products.

Where do you go to feel inspired?

I love walking around Paris—you can feel calm but also the energy of the city that is so soothing. Paris is so rich and diverse, whether it’s the architecture or simply the diversity of its people.

Going to museums and exhibitions allows me to take a step back, clear my mind and only admire today’s creativity!

Any preferred shopping spots?

Oh yes, starting with my favourite spot, the one where I spend most of my time, Loyal.e Paris’ showroom in the heart of the city.

I love the area around Marché Saint-Honoré. The flea market in Saint-Ouen, which is the biggest in Paris and quite high-end, is really cool to check out.

Marché aux Puces de Saint Ouen, Paris
Marché aux Puces de Saint Ouen flea market is where you can find antiques, vintage furnishings, and designer treasures. © Paris Tourist Office, Photographer Marc Bertrand

Where can one find a good cocktail or wine list?

The cocktails at Hôtel des Grands Boulevards are amazing!

My go-to wine bars are Augustin Marchant d’Vin or La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels, both around St Germain.

Where do you go to enjoy nature in the city?

We’re lucky to have a beautiful park with a lake in Paris called Buttes-Chaumont. It’s such a peaceful and relaxing place.

Where do you go or what do you do to unwind?

I simply walk around the city. I find it so relaxing yet dynamic and enriching.

On Île St Louis, I would stop for an ice cream at Berthillon or for a glass of wine in a quiet area.

I also love going to the market on the weekends! One of my favourite places is Rue du Nil, with little shops that only work with local, independent producers.

Where can one find Paris’ best pastries?

My all-time favourite is Sebastien Gaudard. I always order the Tarte au Citron or Montblanc. I recommend going to his tea shop in the 1st arrondissement next to the Louvre to also enjoy a beautiful view of Paris.

Day trips from Paris you’d recommend?

For nature (and Champagne), Reims is a beautiful place.

A very charming town, and ideal for wine tasting, is Auxerre in Bourgogne. I would highly recommend stopping for a nice, traditional lunch at Le Soufflot Irancy.

For nature lovers, a day at Fontainebleau (pictured below) would be best!

Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Reims
The Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Reims, in the Champagne region, is famous as the traditional location for the coronation of French kings. Credit: Reno Laithienne

Do you have a favourite hotel?

L’Hôtel National des Arts et Métiers is a really cool place; I love their cocktail bar and music selection. Soho House Paris is also lovely, with a perfect mix of international culture, diversity, and an elegant, Parisian vibe.

L’Hôtel National des Arts et Métiers
The rooftop terrace at L’Hôtel National des Arts et Métiers, Paris

Maissa Zard

Maissa Zard is the founder of Loyal.e Paris, a sustainable, design-driven jewellery brand centred on authenticity and self-expression. Each piece is handcrafted in Loyal.e’s Parisian atelier using certified responsibly sourced 18-karat gold and climate-neutral, lab-grown diamonds.

Maissa Zard, founder, Loyal.e Paris
Maissa Zard, founder, Loyal.e Paris.

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