Category Archives: Paris

Unwrap Your Christmas Gift From Me Early This Year


fine art travel photography, fine art paris photography, photography paris fine art, carla coulson, paris travel photography You guys are the best,

You have joined me on a year of health ups and downs and supported me in every way. It’s a been a great year to learn something about myself and good health and thanks for sharing your advice, tips and comments, it is so appreciated.

You have generously participated on a daily basis here, on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram and it means a lot.

paris fine art photography, carla coulson, fine art travel photography, paris black and white photography, paris snow, paris winter, paris dreamy


Place des Vosges Snow Copyright Carla Coulson for Departure Lounge

I want to give back, to say thanks for being there and I know many of you have been following along since Italian Joy was published in 2005, that’s a lot of years!

To celebrate your generosity I am giving away a print of the same size with every purchase from my print shop Departure Lounge. There are over 100 images of Paris, Italy, Australia, black and white and colour and some of my favourites. There are summer and winter, cats and dogs and places we would love to go but may never get to. Prices start at 24,78 Euro.

Here’s How To Do It.

1. Simply pick the two prints you would like here

2. Purchase ONE either regular or fine art paper. Then in the notes section after your purchase, copy and paste the link of the 2nd print you would like as a gift from me (it will automatically come in the same size and same paper) and I will send both of them to you at the same address for the price of just one print..(please note this offer only applies shipping to one address)

3. Offer valid only till 1st December 2014 9pm Paris time and then it will be gone forever.

4. Christmas shopping done in one click!

These are are just some of prints available.. loads more here.



amalfi coast, carla coulson, beach from above, position

Amalfi Coast Copyright Carla Coulson for Departure Lounge

paris seine, paris photography, carla coulson, morning light paris

Peniche along the river Seine Paris Copyright Carla Coulson for Departure Lounge

paris snow, paris photography, black and white, carla coulson, departure lounge

Paris Snow Copyright Carla Coulson for Departure Lounge


Pont Neuf Paris in fog Copyright Carla Coulson for Departure Lounge

sifnos greece, carla coulson, greek islands, greece photography

Sifnos Greece Copyright Carla Coulson for Departure Lounge

polignano a mare, carla coulson, fine art print italy, italy photography, beach, fishing boats italy

 San Vito Polignano A Mare Copyright Carla Coulson for Departure Lounge

cat italy, carla coulson, black and white photography, martina franca

Fabulous Cat Martina Franca Copyright Carla Coulson for Departure Lounge

cattle dog australia, carla coulson, dog jumping, black and white photography, mudgee

Australian cattle dog Copyright Carla Coulson for Departure Lounge

martina franca, italian village, italy, italy photography, carla coulson

Martina Franca Copyright Carla Coulson for Departure Lounge

door martina franca, carla coulson, baroque italy, puglia, carla coulson, departure lounge

All Photos Copyright Carla Coulson for Departure Lounge

I hope this helps to make your Christmas shopping easy!

“Traveling is the ruin of all happiness! There’s no looking at a building after seeing Italy.” Fanny Burney


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Paris Paleo, Gluten Free and Organic

paris paleo, paris gluten free, paris organic, Carla coulson

Organic market Boulevard Raspail Copyright Carla Coulson

Ever since I wrote the post about going the natural route and having wonderful success with my auto-immune conditions I have been meaning to share with you some of my favourite addresses in Paris where you can eat gluten free, Paleo or organic.

I cook most days and even prepare my hubby’s lunch (gawd am I a saint or what!) and I shop organic as much as I can so I don’t spend a lot of times in restaurants but when I do I want to make sure I can eat something on the menu!

organic eggs paris, eating organic paris, carla coulson, auto-immune

Organic market Boulevard Raspail Copyright Carla Coulson

Here are some places I love to shop and eat in Paris:

Organic Market Boulevard Raspail

I love this market! The entire market is organic so you just need to make your way here on Sunday mornings and you no longer need to worry about what’s organic or not, it’s all organic! You will find it all here, raw milk and raw cheese brought in from farmer’s in Normandy.

I eat very little meat and refuse to eat meat from factory farmed animals (please be kind to our animal friends) so I appreciate that two farmers who raise grass feed beef, chicken and rabbit sell their produce here.

You will find specialists here who might just sell herbs they have grown or free range eggs, home cooked soup or baked goods. You can also find gluten free bread here.

There is an entire Italian stall selling everything from organic olives to parmesan. I start salivating on approach. If you can’t make it to the Boulevard Raspail market almost all markets have one stall that sells organic produce in each arrondissement so go check them out.

Marche Raspail

Boulevard Raspail

Metro: Rennes

Every Sunday

9am to 2pm


Noglu Restaurant & Epicerie

16, Passage des Panoramas

75002 Paris

This delightful restaurant also has a take-away across the way. It is located in a beautiful passage in the 2nd in Paris. The chef is gluten and lactose intolerant so this restaurant is heaven for celiac’s and those trying to avoid gluten. The menu is full of delicious fresh soups, fish, pasta and heavenly cakes and you no longer need to feel like you are in Paris and missing out on all those cakes that call to you from every Boulangerie.


57 rue Charlot


Whilst Nanashi isn’t a gluten free restaurant they only use bio-dynamic fruit and vegetables. They serve Japanese/French fusion with Bento boxes of fish, meat or vegetarian and they will prepare you one that is Gluten free.

They also serve a Chirasi of organic salmon and rice. Hard to get a seat here so arrive early for lunch or dinner.

Cafe Pinson

6 rue du Forez,


If you can’t get into Nanashi try the cute Cafe Pinson across the street. A warm relaxed New York style cafe with a delicious organic menu with gluten free options. Their philosophy is to serve nutrient dense delicious food.

Niji Sushi

15 rue des Archives

75004 Paris

This sushi restaurant on rue des archives in the heart of Le marais serves organic salmon and rice and is great for a quick casual lunch.

Pousse Pousse

5 & 7 rue Notre-Dame-de-Lorette,

75009 Paris

Pousse Pousse is a delightful small restaurant in the cool SOPI (south of Pigalle) that is raw, vegetarian, gluten free and organic. They have daily menus that are often lactose or egg free as well so no matter how fragile your system is there is something to eat at Pousse Pousse. Not open for dinner.


14 rue Ternaux


Even though I don’t eat many grains, every now and then I feel like a little bread and so does hubby.  Chambelland is a gluten free bakery in the cool 11th and offers fabulous breads and simple cakes and has a little cafe that serves their products.

Eric Kayser

8 rue Monge

Paris 75005

One of Paris’s best bakers, Eric Kayser is gluten intolerant. That’s a bonus for all of us as he has developed a gluten free bread that is delicious and has a range of gluten free cakes that are wrapped.

Helmut Newcake

36 rue Bichat

Paris 75010

A girlfriend of mine swears by this place. This is what she has to say “wow the desserts are unreal. Not very paleo but as a gluten free girl I’m beyond happy to eat their lemon tarts, eclairs and anything else I can get my hands on…great pastries for a treat with a pot of tea they do beautifully….”

Other food notes:

France is a pretty good place to eat Paleo. Even if you can’t get to these addresses you can walk into any local cafe and order an omelette and salad, or if you like your meat, an Entrecôte. The menu is heavily weighted towards meat and 3 vege but do insist on telling the waiter if you are intolerant to anything. I have found all restaurants very helpful and they always have something they can whip up for you.

France’s most famous dessert at the moment, the macaron is wait for it, GLUTEN-FREE. If you buy your macaroons at the best patisseries such as Pierre Herme you don’t have to come all the way to Paris and miss out.

If you can’t make it to the market Paris has many Organic supermarkets such as Bio C’Bon (I go to the one on rue Vieille du Temple, Naturalia and Bio Coop.

If you know or eat at any other favourites please let me know below so I can spread the word.

“If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him… the people who give you their food give you their heart.” Cesar Chavez




Please share with your friends on their way to Paris.

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Great Coffee In Paris

coffee paris carla coulson

All images of Fondation Cafe and Broken Arm and the adjacent area in the 3rd Arrondissement Paris

For those of you who haven’t been to Paris for a while something really exciting is happening here.

Although the Parisians can boast some of the most beautiful cafes in the world, with every detail looked after from the cane chairs to the marble table tops, mostly there is one important ingredient missing… good coffee.

But thanks to a battalion of Aussie’s and French coffee enthusiasts the face of coffee in Paris is changing for the better. Phew…

Since I have started my Paleo way of eating coffee has been off-limits, it’s the one thing I miss, dream about and so lately after 8 months of living without coffee I have started having one coffee a week.

So you can imagine how special it needs to be…

Here’s where I go:

Fondation Cafe

16 Rue Dupetit Thours

Paris 75003

Fondation cafe is run by a team of cute boys and they do coffee as though we were sitting in a cafe in Bondi – good. Milk’s great too..The cafe is small and modern and you can choose from a range of cakes and cookies or sandwiches. They open early!
19 rue du Pont aux Choux
Paris 75003
I love this place! It is a teensy weensy cafe in the third and it is gorgeous in every way. This cafe was the former home of a boot maker and the owner has kept the sign out the front and added even more atmosphere and beauty inside. Be warned it’s tiny, 2 tables but they do great coffee to take-away and I go for the music. The Australian barista sings along to the great tunes he plays.  This place makes me happy..


Cafe Coutume

47 Rue Babylone

Paris 75007

A French/Aussie combo started this cafe and were at the forefront of Aussie’s doing great coffee in Paris. Not far from Le Bon Marche in the 7th these guys take their coffee very seriously. Bare-bones decor and yummy things for a light lunch. Coffee and milk 5 stars!

Coutume Instituutti

60 rue des Ecoles

Paris 75005

The fabulous boys at Coutume Cafe have opened an ever so cool space right next to the Sorbonne. You feel like you are in Finland or Australia. White trestle tables to share, big open space and lots of light and heavenly coffee. Tell your 20 year old friends…



19 Rue Lucien Sampaix


Ahh Holybelly, this is the ultimate “I’m missing my Aussie cafe breakfast’ place! I love Holybelly, eggs like you were in Sydney, coffee like you were in Melbourne, friendly staff and a cute space to boot….

KB Cafe

53 Ave Trudaine


The French guy that owns KB took a trip to Australia, walked into a Bondi cafe, couldn’t believe the coffee and remained for a couple of years. On his return to Paris he opened KB Cafe in gorgeous SOPI (south Pigalle) and has a stream of devoted customers each day. If you are in the area and hankering for a good coffee or a great green tea drop in and say hi.

Ten Belles

10 Rue de la Grange Aux Belles


Owned by a Frenchie who guess what?.. worked as a barista in Australia… Cute modern space in cool corner of Paris. These guys are serious about their coffee. Thomas worked at the Caféothèque (who roast their own beans and was a forerunner in the Paris coffee scene before the Aussie connection turned up). Light food and to die for coffee.

So my dearest friends, if you are coming to Paris your coffee experience no longer needs to be dull.

“In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.” Khalil Gibran




Please share if you mates are coming Paris and need a good coffee!

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Paris And I – Our 9th Anniversary

Carla Coulson_along the seine winter_ All images from Paris Tango

It was nine years ago this week that I had finished Italian Joy, sent her bundled up off to the publisher and packed up my Florentine life and moved to Paris.

Unlike the modern traveller I poured myself onto the Eurolines bus with my worldly goods (an archive of negatives and photography books) and travelled the old fashioned way kilometre by kilometre from Florence to Paris.

There were a million thoughts going through my head as we drove through the night in a silent bubble with others slumbering around me finally passing the Italian border.  When I arrived in the Marais that first night I remember being filled with wonder and hope.

As the days passed it suddenly dawned on me what had happened.

I had arrived in a city where I knew no-one, I couldn’t speak the language, I had left my ‘happy place’ far behind in Florence, my love was finishing his architecture degree in Lyon and I was freezing my butt off.

Life became really difficult like someone turned the light off.

Carla Coulson place vendome christmas

Christmas Rue Castiglione Copyright Carla Coulson

But I had done this ‘moving country’ thing before. Why was it all of a sudden so difficult?

Naive as I was I didn’t understand there was a great difference between choosing a country  you want to live in and choosing one that someone else wants to live in (in case you have just tuned in hubby wanted to move to France).

I asked myself over and over again ‘had I ruined my life’, it certainly felt like I had. If moving to Italy for me had been a breeze this was a battle. Finding an apartment impossible, opening a bank account an olympic event without a gas bill and just hearing a ‘yes’ every now and then was a modern miracle. And I couldn’t understand a single word they were saying..

Paris has so many lessons to teach you. Paris was not mother Italy that opened her arms and dragged me to her bosom, fed me when things got rough or found a way around everything. At first glance she is a beautiful princess on the outside and a tough old bag on the inside who adores saying ‘non, c’est pas possible’ and entering her bosom is like prising open the door to Pandora’s box.

But when you finally enter there is stardust all around!

Carla Coulson_Dior Haute Couture Gown

Dior by John Galliano Copyright Carla Coulson

Photography, my forever muse saved me! She connected me to people and to Paris. My first job was to shoot the haute couture gowns at Dior, Valentino and Christian Lacroix and off I trotted into the magical world of Paris to become another victim to her enchantment.

The feast continued when I started to work on Paris Tango
and My French Lifeand I really had the chance see Paris in all her layers.

Carla Coulson PERFUME djordje varda at the Ritz Hotel Paris

Florist Djordje Varda at the Ritz Paris Copyright Carla Coulson

But if our reason for being on this planet is to evolve as human beings, to learn and grow there was a reason I needed to live in Paris. I had so much to learn and she has taught me so much.

Carla Coulson dogs metro

On the Paris Metro Copyright Carla Coulson

You see before I turned up here I was a ‘pushover’. Paris gave me a backbone, she taught me to stand up for myself and alllowed me to find my voice. She taught me that many things are worth fighting for even if they are on a daily basis!!!

Carla Coulson_Buying Tea at Mariage Freres

Buying tea Marriage Freres Copyright Carla Coulson

Paris is the keeper of beauty, she understands patina and discretion like no-other country and she will hold off on that reno as long as she can because she knows in her heart that peeling paint is an additional layer of life and part of her story.

Carla Coulson_artist hippolyte romain

Artist Hippolyte Romain Copyright Carla Coulson

Paris showed me how she respects the world of artists and their art. To live in a world where art is valued and treasured makes my heart skip a beat.

Carla Coulson_luc making baguettes

Baker in the 9th Copyright Carla Coulson

And no-one loves tradition like France. There are still people that give up a lifetime of nights to bake bread the way it was always baked!

Carla Coulson -chimney sweep

Chimney sweep going down my stairs Copyright Carla Coulson

Or to come and clean your chimney like something you imagined only existed in a children’s book.  I nearly died with love the first time my local chimney sweep knocked on my door with his ‘pipe cleaners’ swung over his shoulder. Are they serious I asked?

primo maggio 2

Lady selling Muguet at Bastille Markets Copyright Carla Coulson

And traditions like selling Lily of the Valley on May Day are alive and well and dear women like this one fossick in the forest to gather it and sell on the street corner on the 1st of May.

Carla Coulson BLACK AND WHITE OR LES PARISIAN Jules and Yann at La Perle

Yann and Robert La Perle Copyright Carla Coulson

And the Parisians themselves are a wonderful lesson in beauty, discretion and I adore how they speak in ‘whisper quiet’ voices as they chat to each other across a small wooden bistro table.

PARISIANS cafe st Germain La Palette

La Palette Paris Copyright Carla Coulson

Paris showed me that love is all around if you open your eyes and look for it.

Carla Coulson Shay Marais night

Dancer Shay Stafford in the 2nd Copyright Carla Coulson

That beauty is in the details and the form.

Carla Coulson Moulin Rouge

Backstage Moulin Rouge Copyright Carla Coulson

And the fantasy!

Carla Coulson pont des arts

All Images from Paris Tango Copyright Carla Coulson

I now hoon around Paris on my old bike like I have known her forever. There are moments when I come screeching to a halt, mouth hanging open like a labrador dog in wonderment at something I have just seen. Paris is full of surprises, there is one at almost every corner.

Paris taught me to be grateful for daily happiness, friendship and love.

And no matter what happens in the coming years, baby it has been a hell of a ride, you have taught me so much and I will be forever grateful for this opportunity to have floated around your streets, your cafes, your museums and your gardens. To have walked hand in hand across the bridges with the man I love and hugged you close to me.

Looking forward to our 10th year together!

‘Rick (Humphrey Bogart): If that plane leaves the ground and you’re not with him, you’ll regret it. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life.

Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman): But what about us?
Rick (Humphrey Bogart): We’ll always have Paris.’

From the movie Casablanca





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Carla’s Ultimate Guide to Paris

Carla Coulson guide to paris

Paris Lettering Merci Copyright Carla Coulson

I was riding along the river Seine Sunday morning on the most exquisite day a Parisian could dream of and I thought about all the things I love in this town and if you were a visitor with limited time what would I recommend.

Some of the things on this list I have blogged about before because they are just too good not to be included but I have some new favourite ‘experiences’ I think are fun.

Here goes:

Carla Coulson guide to paris

 Coutume Cafe Copyright Carla Coulson

1. Coffee

The first thing I hear when I meet up with most Australians in Paris is ‘aghhhh the coffee’. Now for the uninitiated us Australians have some of the best coffee in the world (move over Italy) so when we arrive in Paris and see those gorgeous cafes we are imaging great coffee. Wrong!

Now anyone that gets off a 24 hour flight deserves a good cup and here are some of my favourites and where UHT milk is banned.

Coutume Cafe

47 Rue de Babylone

75007 Paris

You will be forgiven for thinking you are in Sydney or Melbourne when you sit down at Cafe Coutume.. And that’s why we love it. A pared back decor and heavenly coffee run by Aussie Tom Clark and super side-kick French roaster Antoine.  If you are in the Le Bon Marche area drop in and be saved!

Fondation Cafe

16 Rue Dupetit Thours

Paris 75003

Fondation cafe is run by a team of cute boys and they do coffee as though we were sitting in a cafe in Bondi – good. Milk’s great too..The cafe is small and modern and you can choose from a range of cakes and cookies or sandwiches. They open early!


19 Rue Lucien Sampaix


Ahh Holybelly, this is the ultimate “I’m missing my Aussie cafe breakfast’ place! I love Holybelly, eggs like you were in Sydney, coffee like you were in Melbourne, friendly staff and a cute space to boot….

KB Cafe

53, avenue Trudaine

75009 Paris

The lovely French owner went to Sydney, walked into a cafe in Bondi and cancelled his plans to be a film director. So excited by the coffee he stayed on for 4 years working as a barista and then came back to Paris to save our souls. If you are up on the hill (Montmatre) KB is in a wonderful setting.

Carla coulson guide to paris

Sunday morning along the Seine Copyright Carla Coulson

2. Sunday Morning on the Seine

You can only do this Sunday morning and better in beautiful weather but the kind folks at the Paris Town Hall close the road along the Seine on Sundays and hand it back to the citizens. Well I am biking, skipping, singing my heart out on Sundays riding up and down this beautiful track (maybe one of the prettiest in the world) car free. From 9am to 6pm on Sunday it is all ours and they have opened a restaurant and cafe at the Pont Marie end to dine by the ‘sea’. Lurvvving…

Carla Coulson guide to paris

Merci Copyright Carla Coulson
3. Merci

First shopping stop Merci. Merci has become my second home. I love eveything about this shop, the products, the space, the wonderful restaurants and cafe.. But most of all I love that a percentage of profits are donated to charity. I lunch at the canteen downstairs because it has the best ‘girl food’ in Paris and you look out onto a beautiful herb garden. There are lots of lovely fresh salads, soups and organic juices that are hard to find on the menu in Paris..

111 Boulevard Beaumarchais
Paris 75003


Serge Lutens Palais Royale small interior 2_MG_0483

Serge Lutens Copyright Carla Coulson

4. Perfume

I had the great fortune to photograph many Parisian perfumeries and I LOVE THEM! Serge Lutens in the Palais Royale has atmosphere and perfume ‘a go go’. Frederic Malle makes some of the best perfumes in the world and his Carnal Flower full of tuberose is my favourite.

Serge Lutens – Palais Royale

142 Galerie de Valois

75001 Paris

Frederic Malle

37, rue de Grenelle

75007 Paris

Carla coulson guide to paris

Deyrolle Copyright Carla Coulson

5. Deyrolle.

One of Paris’s most fabulous shops is found in the elegant 7th.. As you mount the old wooden stairs and enter into animal fantasyland you will be forgiven for the ‘oh my god jaw drop’.. Deyrolle is a taxidermist with a difference.. They proudly state that all animals have died of natural causes. Polar bears and lions, baby elephants and advarks.. Out the back you can have your made to order butterfly or bug selection framed. An exquisite present that has a constant line of Parisians queuing..Only in Paris.

46 rue du Bac
Paris 75007

Musee Baccarat Copyright Carla Coulson

6. Small Museums

There are so many wonderful museums in Paris but I love the small ones. The Louvre is incredible but I get an anxiety attack everytime I go, I leave feeling guilty that I haven’t seen it all. Instead I discovered the small ones. Galerie Musee Baccarat is irresistible. Housed in ancient Hotel Particulier, France’s most glamorous glass is awe inspiring. I also adore Musee Bourdelle, Antoine Bourdelle’s incredible sculpture museum with monumental sculpture and original artist’s atelier.

Galerie Musee Baccarat
Place des Etats-Unis
75116 Paris

Musée Bourdelle
18, rue Antoine Bourdelle
75015 Paris

Pastries Copyright Carla Coulson


7. Dessert……Paris has the best desserts in the world. I can’t get excited about the Beef Bourguignon or the Confit di Canard but put a tarte citron or chocolat chaud in front of me and I am purrrringggg.. I love the atmosphere of Angelina’s on rue du Rivoli and they make the best hot chocolate in Paris. Old world Paris, pure rich hot chocolate in silver pots with whipped cream – it could get a girl into a lot of trouble!! ps. go for morning tea and don’t even think about going on Sundays!!

You all know about Laduree and their to-die-for macaroons but there are so many wonderful local places to try in Paris. I live just around the corner from Patisserie Pain-de-Sucre and these guys take cakes very seriously. Lots of original flavour combinations and they have just opened a new shop with a wonderful bench out the front where you can sit and savour them!! And Terres des Cafe is right next door so you can grab a real coffee to wash them down..

226 rue du Rivoli
75001 Paris

Patisserie Pain de Sucre
14 rue Rambuteau
75004 Paris

Pierre Herme

18 rue Saint Croix de la Bretonnerie


Flowers Carla Coulson paris

 Flowers Copyright Carla Coulson

8. Florists

One of the most beautiful things I love about Paris is her flower shops. Those sweet little local shops with their fine selection of peonies and sweet peas, lillies and roses and their devoted staff creating bouquets with love.

L’Artisan Fleuriste is in my hood and I can hear them saying ‘stallkkkkkerrr’ each time I walk by and take another pic..Love them. Also my local market has a wonderful selection of flowers every Saturday morning.

L’Artisan Fleuriste

95 rue Vieille du Temple

75003 Paris


Marche Baudoyer – Florist – Carole

Place baudoyer

75004 Paris


Jardin Du Luxembourg  Copyright Carla Coulson


9. Jardin du Luxembourg.. Why?? Because it is an oasis of gorgeousness in urban Paris. When I have a giant case of jetlag I cross the river and jog in Jardin du Luxembourg. I feel like calling out ‘silence please’ as I enter this garden. For me it is almost a religious experience to walk underneath the chestnut trees in bloom and try and discern one perfume from another. If you want to see the world’s greenest grass, this is the place. French attention for detail in every leaf..

Palais Royale Copyright Carla Coulson
10.  Le Palais Royale.. This is the double whammy.. Whilst all the tourists are circling the Louvre and trying to find space in the Jardin du Tuileries the Palais Royale is left to the locals. Tucked behind the Comedie Francaise it is one of Paris’s most beautiful spaces with a garden to boot and some of Paris’s best shops. If there is one place in Paris you should buy perfume it is in the ultra French space of Serge Lutens in Les Salons du Palais Royale. Oodles of French ambience. This place makes my heart skip!!

Carla Coulson guide to paris

Didier Ludot Copyright Carla Coulson

11. Didier Ludot

When and if I ever win the lottery one of my first stops will be at Didier Ludot. Didier is the proud owner/curator of the most important vintage haute couture gowns in Paris and possibly the world. They are all here, Madame GresVionnet, Chanel, Thierry Mugler, Paco Rabanne and the list goes on and on….

Didier Ludot
24 Galerie Montpensier
Palais Royale
75001 Paris

natural history museum Carla Coulson guide to Paris

Copyright Carla Coulson

12. Museum National D’Histoire Naturelle

I was stumbling around the Jardin des Plantes one Sunday morning when hubby and I decided to enter the above museum. If I have ever had a ‘OMG’ moment in Paris it was here. Holy Dinosaur Batman!! If you are a stylist, a five year old boy, a set designer or a lover of beauty run to this fabulous museum. It’s amazing!!! Feels like it hasn’t been touched since they dragged all those bones in here. No interactive screens, no illuminated gadgets just good old fashioned wood, bones and cabinets.. I LURVE THIS PLACE.

Museum National D’Histoire Naturelle

57 Rue Cuvier

75005 Paris


Le Petit Fer a Cheval Copyright Carla Coulson


13. Le Petit Fer a Cheval.. Possibly Paris’s smallest cafe. I go to enjoy the company of the charming staff and the knockout old world Parisian atmosphere. The tourist books will point you to Cafe de Flore and Les deux Magots but there you will be surrounded by tourists. Drop into my local bar for a quick coffee, freshly squeezed orange juice at the bar and here you will be surrounded by a colourful cast of locals. Otherwise they do a delicious lunch in the restaurant hidden behind the bar..

Le Petit Fer a Cheval
30 rue Vieille du Temple
75004 Paris

louvre carla coulson guide to paris

 Louvre Copyright Carla Coulson

14. Picnic on the lawns of the Louvre. Now who would have thought when you are not allowed to lie on the grass in almost all of Paris’s park (except for handkerchief size squares) that you would  be able to lie and picnic amongst the hedges of the Louvre. Go figure?? I love it here in Summer, smack bang between the Tuileries garden and the Louvre you feel like you are in the centre of Paris and what a backdrop. Take a picnic, spread out and enjoy the long summer nights.


Canal St Martin Copyright Carla Coulson

15. Canal Saint Martin. I love the canal and the life that has sprung up in the streets around this area. It reminds me of what happened in Sydney around Surry Hills years ago. Daggy and funky mix it up. The canal is where the cult film Amelie was shot so fans will recognise the curvy bridges. So many good local bars and eateries around here with a young sassy crowd.

We meet for apero at Chez Prune
We eat real Italian pizza at Maria Luisa
We eat fresh Cambodian at Le Petit Cambodge
We buy art books at artazart
We buy baguettes and warm chausson aux pommes at Du pain et des idees
In winter we eat French at La Marine

Carla Coulson guide to paris

Rue de Bretagne Copyright Carla Coulson

16. Le Haut Marais

You musn’t leave Paris without visiting the top end of the Marais where all sorts of grooviness happens! Between rue rue Francs Bourgeois and Republique flanked by Bld Beaumarchais and in the heart along rue de Bretange there are divine boutiques, bars, cafes and the fabulous market of Les Enfants Rouges for lunch.

Buttes Chaumont Copyright Carla Coulson
17.  Buttes Chaumont
When the sun is shining and the birds are singing I join loads of other Parisians for a picnic in Buttes Chaumont in the 19th.. This is one park in Paris where you can stretch out and lie on the grass, bring all your picnic goodies, your guitar, your kids and their balls and bikes. Buttes Chaumont is the Paris park par excellence for a picnic. When the sun is shining their is a carnival atmosphere here and you feel a million miles away from Paris.
Flea Market Porte de Clignancourt Copyright Carla Coulson
18. Flea Markets
It’s tough to come to Paris without taking something home and if you dream of adding a little French feel to your home you will love the French Brocantes or flea markets.  You could pass an entire day at Les Puces de Saint Ouen or you could get up early with the pro’s and head to Les Marches Aux Puces de Vanves 
Marche Richard Lenoir  Copyright Carla Coulson


19. To Market to Market.. And what is a visit to Paris without a visit to a local market?? I would say it is essential!! As important as standing in front of the Mona Lisa in the Louvre!! Real Parisian life revolves around the market and all you need to do is to join the crowd at Paris’s biggest market on sunday at Marche Richard Lenoir and you will see just how important food is still in a Parisian’s daily life. Keep moving otherwise you might experience caddy rage!!

Carla Coulson guide to paris

20. Enjoy

The greatest thing about visiting Paris is to take your time, wander the streets, sit in the cafes, push open big heavy doors that lead to secret courtyards to see what is revealed and discover Paris one layer at a time.

I hope you enjoyed my little tour. If you have anything special that you love doing in Paris let me know..

Please share..xx

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