Bonjour, madam! Secret places of Paris: where to go and what to see

Paris with an unenviable regularity is included into the rating of "the most disappointing tourist destination ". "Dirty", "too expensive", "waiters don't speak English", "huge queues" – the list of complaints can be continued infinitely. Actually, Paris is the city where it is necessary to know the right places therefore we made the guide on the best restaurants, shops, hotels and sights for you. Marina Sonina – the founder of Viki&Marina and the experienced traveler tells about secret places for friends only.

Paris for me is love, fashion, friendship, style, and the most delicious risotto with truffles ever. I want to share my impressions, to tell where it is better to stay, where to eat well and where to go. Well and, of course, what is Paris without shopping? Together with the stylist Elina Halimi we visited the trendiest shops.


Where to stay

My choice – Pershing hotel. It is in the center of Paris near the avenue Montaigne and the Champs Elysée. There are amazing interiors and a very beautiful hall with a beautiful alive flowers all over the wall in the hotel. It is possible to enjoy both, excellent family breakfasts and romantic dinners at the restaurant.

The great hotel  Marignan – in the majority of rooms there are balconies with the view coming out to the Eiffel Tower. If the well-known Plaza Athenee is too expensive for you, then Marignan – an excellent alternative in the same area.


Paradise for gourmets

I met for dinner with friends from Russia in a pleasant bistro in Saint-Jermain-de-Pre. 

It’s a very cozy place, and white-blue colors of the interior reminds of a lovely fishing village. The marvellous place for fans of seafood! There is a separate menu on oysters and deluxe snails Boulou. And when you, sitting on a summer terrace, eat a fresh  snails and wash them down with a glass of gentle pink wine, then you will precisely understand that Paris is always a good idea!

You will certainly want to take a walk in Louvre. When your legs are tired, go to have lunch to the charming bar restaurant LouLou

I advise to try the tastiest octopus with the vegetables made in a furnace. The small restaurant is in the Tuileries garden, with the excellent view of the Eiffel Tower opens from the inside. It will be suitable not only for some rest after the running over Louvre, but also for romantic dinner.

One more ideal place for a lunch or an easy dinner – the fashionable and well-known restaurant L’Avenue, located on the avenue Montaigne. It’s like a duty for dandies and celebrities from all around the world to check in and take a selfie here. Li Radzivill herself, Jackie Kennedy’s younger sister, called it "the most elegant restaurant of Paris".

Paradise for aesthetes

The Parisian museums aren't loved for huge queues and crowds of tourists. But although there's nothing to be done with crowds, you can still avoid queues if you go to an excursion with a private guide. Here you can reserve the Russian-speaking guide who will acquaint you with sights of Paris and masterpieces of Louvre and the museum D'Orsay. When you are in Louvre, try to squeeze through a line of the Chinese tourists and to admire a mysterious smile of Mona Lisa. This Italian woman fascinates millions people  around the world, and you can admire this great Leonardo's picture for a long time. For me in her wise eyes and a sly smile reflects  magic of  real woman, power of beauty.  She seems to know the meaning of this life, its harmony and chaos, and Leonardo, the great master and the genius, managed to pass universe magic through Mona Lisa's beauty.

You can walk across romantic Montmartre or Marais district with his wooden beams and luxury mansions. Take an excursion in the museum D'Orsay with its scandalous pictures, go to Versailles, to Napoleon’s and Josephine Malmezon's castle, the Fontainebleau castle, and the residence of the French kings of the 12th century.

Parisian chic

I managed to be in time on a visit in the heart of Paris on the French birthday where the spouse cooked a dinner in honor of his beautiful and elegant wife. Now I perfectly understand the meaning of expression "like in the best houses of Paris". The table was decorated with a graceful bouquet of white colors in a low vase and looked simply, but incredibly stylishly, carelessly showing both character of the house, and style of the couple. The husband of the birthday girl personally cooked light French dishes for his beloved and her guests: marinated sea bream with spinach and black caviar, burrata with the tastiest tomatoes, broccoli and truffles cream soup.

And the main hit of evening – the most delicate brioche with butter and grated black truffle made by the host. Forgive me all of those who are on a diet, but, my God, what pleasure it was! Looking at the happy and thin birthday woman, I got rid of all the thoughts about a diet and ate everything to the last crumb. It was divinely tasty!

Style and elegance. Shopping with Elina Halimi

When I studied at the institute of fashion in Marangoni, I dreamed of living in the world capitals of fashion: Paris, Milan, London. This dream came true – during my studies I did practical training where the heart of fashion industries beats. Paris is paradise for the real fashionista. It is possible just to wander over small streets, to buy up brands, it is possible to consider fashionable magazines and to create looks yourself, selecting clothes on the Internet on, или

This time I asked beautiful and sophisticated Elina Halimi, the stylist with a world name, to spend with me a couple of days and to tell about fashionable Paris and must have things of this season. We began with the avenue Montaigne. The boutique of the Loewe brand turned out to be the first stop. 

There was a big line of Chinese. According to Elina, it is an indicator that the brand is at the peak of fashion.

With a soft touch of Elina we set our sights on:

Classical white silk trousers with a high waist Josef, a black top, Converse sneakers, blue, white, red – choose the color.

Black silk Barbara Bui trousers and to combine them with red Gianvito Rossi shoes.

And, of course, cult shop Colette,

where I took a pair of shabby boyfriend jeans. There they incredibly correct both on length, and on color.

The fine French IRO brand with different stretched sweatshirts and 

The Belgian  Maison Ullens – is beautiful knitted floor-length dresses and white shirts.

For me, cherry on cake in a portrait of Paris are chocolate boutiques La Maison du Chocolat, здесь продаются самые вкусные в мире шоколадные трюфели, божественно тающие во рту. А еще это ресторан Le Jules Verne the tastiest chocolate truffles in the world divinely melting in the mouth are on sale here. And also it is Le Jules Verne restaurant on the top floor of the Eiffel Tower, and breakfasts in room with the drawn curtains in a rainy day, and slow walks across the Parisian streets when it is possible to enjoy aromas, tastes, feelings, emotions of one of the most beautiful cities of the world. 


The guide on cafe and restaurants


As a bonus for our readers I chose 10 best restaurants of Paris where it is possible to estimate all the charm of French cuisine. You don’t have to thank, just enjoy excellent food. Bon appétit!


For a brunch I recommend Ralph Lauren's Restaurant. There is a nice garden, kitchen the French-American


Cafe with excellent coffee: Le Bonaparte on Rue Bonaparte

It is in my opinion better, than Deux Magots and Cafe de Flore (they very popular, but are designed rather for tourists).


Alan Ducass's restaurant in Plaza Athene


Asian fusion in the 16th area, Philippe Starck's design at Bon restaurant


George restaurant on a Centre Georges Pompidou roof, an excellent view of all Paris, and in the evening from windows fires of the city


Le Rooftop bar on a terrace of Peninsula


 In the same hotel a good restaurant of French cuisine Kleber on a terrace of


Laperouse – restaurant for tourists, but still good. It is in a beautiful mansion, and earlier the brothel was located here. And still there were Turgenev, Zola, Hugo (at restaurant, not in a brothel)


New sushi bar from a very good chief Kirill Linyak in Saint-Jermain-de-Pre on Dragon Street (one of fashionable streets of the 6th area) of


Well and, of course, the best risotto with truffles

Text Марина
Tags travel journey Paris inspiration

Read also