Agnès B: a dream day in Paris

After a couple of years working at Elle magazine, Agnès B retrained as a fashion designer, opening her first Paris store in 1975 in an old butcher’s shop in Les Halles. She now has stores all over the world, from Covent Garden to Taipei, all of them selling her restrained, beautifully tailored and unmistakably French clothes. She told us about her perfect day in Paris.

My perfect Paris day would be to take a promenade from Saint-Germain-des-Prés in the 6th arrondissement to Canal Saint-Martin in the 10th arrondissement. 

Saint-Germain-des-Prés is a beautiful area with a stunning church, and I have been going there for a long time, back when it was full of writers and artists. When I was very young I saw Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir there. These days, it’s more about luxury shopping but the streets are still very nice to walk along.  

From there, I would walk to Île de la Cité, the beautiful centuries-old island in the middle of the Seine, which is a place that I love. I’d then cross the river to the Louvre, which I would visit because I love the Louvre. There is a bar just behind the gallery called Le Fumoir (lefumoir.com) that I like very much. I might stop there for a glass of champagne or red Burgundy. 

From there, I’d walk up to Rue du Jour, right in the centre of Paris, where I would go to Le Pain Grillé, the café in my womenswear shop for lunch – perhaps a sandwich or some eggs. 

It’s going to be shut for five years but if I get there in time before it closes, I would then head to a show at the Pompidou (if not, I could head to either the wonderful Palais de Tokyo, or my own art foundation, La Fab, in the 13th). 

I would then walk up to the 10th arrondissement, where I would walk alongside the Canal Saint-Martin, which is a lovely place to walk and is known for its bars and restaurants. I might stop for a drink at Hotel du Nord, which was the setting for a film made in the 1930s. If I was in the mood, I might walk across to Belvédère de Belleville, which is a beautiful open-air spot that isn’t very touristy and has the best view of the city. 

For dinner, I would head back to Canal Saint-Martin where I would go to a restaurant called La Marine (lamarinecanalsaintmartin.com), which is very French and very good. The chef there is a great man and he does excellent Carpaccio de Saint-Jacques Françaises and oeufs cocotte with truffle. 

You can buy Agnès B’s clothes at her London stores at 35-36 Floral Street, WC2E 9DJ and 40-41 Marylebone High Street, W1U 4QH, or via agnesb.co.uk

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