17 places you'll be glad to know about as a Brit in Paris

In the eyes of many, the British and the French are arch-enemies who differ in everything: food, history, climate, lifestyle aspirations… yet, crowds of British tourists flock to the French capital all year round and just as many French people have made London their second home! Here is a short list of useful addresses of interesting places, some off the beaten track, for the British tourist to visit in Paris.

Firstly, in the event of a problem, theft or some other unforeseen hitch, make a note of the address of the British Consulate in Paris – 16 Rue d’Anjou in the 8th arrondissement, just off the Champs Elysées. The Embassy in Paris is also in the 8th arrondissement at 35 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré.

british embassy

Moving on to less serious matters and you could say stereotypes… for all Brits seeking a “lovely cup of tea with scones”, I recommend the famous Tea Caddy, established by Miss Kinklin at the end of the roaring twenties in 1928. You’ll find traditional English tea and silverware in this tea shop opposite the lovely Saint Julien le Pauvre church, as well as some wonderful maps of Albion on the walls. If you’re just interested in the scones, I suggest the Bread & Roses bakery on Rue de Fleurus.

Tea Caddy

For all those who are missing British cooking, and will do anything to find it, there are a number of not-to-be-missed places like Rose Bakery and the English shop. The first has an outstanding range of organic produce, in particular the Tea Together jams, Clipper Fairtrade herbal teas and teas and Chegworth Valley organic apple juice. Don’t miss out on their carrot cake. The second is a small grocer’s store at 10 Rue Mesnil in the 16th arrondissement where ex-pats from across the channel have always felt at home.

As far as culture goes, I couldn’t not mention the amazing Shakespeare and Co bookshop in the 5th arrondissement with its impressive collection of books, authentic decor (make sure you go up to the first floor to see the piano and the old armchairs and, if you fancy it, join in the language exchange groups to practice your French). There’s also a WH Smith bookshop that has been selling the best of English literature at 248 Rue de Rivoli since 1903.

Shakespeare Bookstore

If you prefer to visit an art gallery, check out David Hicks’ boutique at 12 Rue Tournon. Opened by David Hicks in 1973, it has been run by Christophe d’Aboville since 2005 and sells amazing furnishings and beautiful artwork. Watch out you’re not dazzled! Paul McCartney’s celebrity daughter, Stella, has her own fashion boutique in the Galerie de Valois that’s also worth a visit. Quick mention too for the very popular Conran shop, the global London-based brand of interior decoration and furnishings.

Here are just two of the thousand other places to shop: the very chic Burberry boutique (that has seen many exciting changes in recent years) on Boulevard Saint Germain, and the one that will never really go away, Marks & Spencer, which reopened in 2011 with its flagship products on the most beautiful avenue in the world. We do recommend that you try out French products too, of course.

Marks and Spencer

For spiritual activities, Anglicans can gather at Saint George’s Anglican Church just next to Place Charles de Gaulle where there is a service every Sunday at 10.30am and several services during the week.

Do you want to be more French than the French and more Parisian than the Parisians? The excellent show by Olivier Giraud “How to become Parisian in one hour”, will be showing from 1st July at the Théâtre des Nouveautés! All in English, if you don’t mind.

Become Parisian

And finally, don’t forget to go and drink a pint to my health in one of the many British pubs in the capital. Just to pick out some at random: Roy’s 73 Rue Blanche (not one of the best known ones), The Bowler at 13 Rue d’Artois, or The Lions at 153 Rue de Chevaleret.

Roy Pub

Didier Moinel Delalande is a Director at Hotel Mathurin.

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Comments (2)

  1. It is fun to realize how many tourists look for what reminds them from home while abroad… American travellers in search for fast foods and Starbucks coffees, Belgians expecting French fries with beer, Chinese visitors only eating oriental food … It is especially true with children, who would be perfectly happy with a pizza, chicken nuggets or Häagen Dazs ice creams anywhere in the world!

  2. Rebecca says:

    As fabulous as travel is, it is also stressful to immerse yourself in a completely different culture for any length of time, particularly one with an unfamiliar language. Paris is my happy place, and although I am not anywhere near fluent, I grew up hearing French every day in Louisiana. Yet still, even though plenty of Parisians speak English that is better than my French, it’s so nice to relax with a little something familiar after you’ve been there several days.

    And I’ll add this. Although I managed to travel for months without hitting an American fast food place, I discovered once the kids joined me that the food in European branches is far superior to that in the States. Not that I plan to make a habit of them, I rarely eat in them at home, but it was a pleasant surprise.

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