Nathalie Genty: Founder, Melijoe
Paris...A Family Friendly Insiders Guide by Kiddie Couture E-Tailer, Nathalie Genty
Elaine Says: Is there anyone who isn't already starting to plan or at least daydream about their summer travels? I for one count myself in that group...of daydreamers, I mean. And the back drop of much of that wanderlusting is Paris. My first time there, my friend, Alexa and I barely touched the ground. Two young girls with a total vocabulary consisting of, "metro" and "fromage," simply floated through that city...until we ate so many pastries that it became harder to lift off. Nonetheless, we both still describe our first taste of Paris as magical. Because of that adventure, I look forward to returning with my family and to introducing my kids to that beautiful city. If this is your summer to either plan or fantasize, than Nathalie Genty is your daydream come true. CEO and Founder of the kiddie couture e-tailer, MELIJOE, Nathalie is an undeniably stunning, French mom of 4 who set out to build a global, luxury shopping experience for kids...and did. Only recently launching in the US, Melijoe has amassed an impressive, top drawer designer collection for stylish shorties and a shopping interface that allows you to browse by trend. Pardon? Your pocket book can't support this layette-a-porter? You're in luck...Melijoe's Mid-Season Sale runs from April 17-24 offering up to 50% off sandbox chic labels like, Little Marc Jacobs and Junior Gaultier. And if you still have a travel budget after that, get ready to bookmark this list. Today, Nathalie gives us a personal tour of Paris through her tres chic lens. PS: Going to LONDON? CLICK HERE!
Posted on April 16th, 2013
A Note From Nathalie
I am a born and bread Parisian woman and now, Parisian mother as well...and this city is truly my home. As with any metropolitan city, each neighborhood has a different feeling, with it’s own unique soul and style. My business and home are in the 10th
district of Paris, and I like to mix my local favorites, both personal and family-oriented, with classic Parisian luxury for special occasions. I often draw inspiration directly from the streets of Paris, and am able to resource my energy just from walking around. Hemingway was completely on target: Paris is a Moveable Feast. -Nathalie Genty
- Hotel Amour + Le Meurice
To be honest with you, when I know that someone who is a friend of a friend is coming to Paris, especially with their children, I invite them to stay at my house. It’s easier and more convivial. Otherwise, I would recommend the HOTEL AMOUR in the 9th district of Paris, or for those looking for a touch of Parisian luxe, LE MEURICE is divine.
- Dining Out
As a mother of four, it is rare that I go out to eat, and I would imagine that other parents with a lot of children favor a home cooked meal over going to a restaurant. However, when we do go out as a family, we enjoy NANASHI [31 rue de Paradis, 75010] for its organic and very creative, tasty dishes. It’s one of my local favorite hotspots. I’m also a big fan of Thai food, and love LE THIOU [49 Quai Orsay, 75007]. Another fun place to visit with children for a mid-day snack and a wonderful day activity is the PALAIS TOKYO [13 Avenue du Président Wilson, 75116]. For parents looking for a romantic evening with their significant other, my husband and I go to L’OFFICE, another local hotspot [3 rue Richier, 75009]. Their food is French, but modern, creative and eclectic, and you can enjoy a class of wine in a Parisian-chic atmosphere.
It is not easy shopping with four children, which is why I am a huge fan of online shopping. If you are looking for a wonderful e-commerce site for your children, I happen to know the best in France: Melijoe.com.
VISIT: 111 Boulevard Beaumarchais Dan Le 3ème
Merci is one of my favorite Parisian shop spots, and not just because the majority of designers showcased donate a majority of earned revenues to charity projects, which isn’t a surprise since the store often features pieces by ethical designers like Stella McCartney. The store is comprehensive, from the latest collections to vintage pieces, all the way to interior design and kitchen appliances. I buy there from time to time, but luckily I don’t redecorate my apartment every weekend. The store is next to my children’s swimming pool, so every Thursday while my sons are at swim practice, you can catch me in the tearoom in front of my computer with a scone and a green tea. [images-apartment therapy]
VISIT: 81 Rue du Cherche-Midi dans le 6èmeSirendipity is where I shop when I want to decorate one of my children’s rooms. It is expensive, but their selection is always on trend and up to date with the latest styles, which has always been important to me. Sirendipity is the master of mixing vintage design with modernity, which always gives way to eclectic, well styled collections. I can’t help but fall in love with their products, especially since they are for my own little loves.
VISIT: 213 de la rue Saint Honoré dans le 1erI will say this much: if you are a fashion lover, you absolutely cannot come to Paris without stopping by the city’s number one concept store, Colette. It really is that simple. Nestled onto a corner on the city’s famous rue Saint Honoré and only a stone’s throw away from some of the city’s most prestigious boutiques, Colette changes their collections all the time, and brings in the most avant-garde, fashion savvy lines from all around the world. You will recognize the store immediately from the little blue dots in their window, which is their signature symbol. A hand’s down must-see. [images-ariana interiors/heart home magazine]
- L'atelier de Pablo
VISIT: Rue d’Hauteville dans le 10èmeI am a fan of hunting rare objects, and since the fashion industry wasn’t built in a day, you never know what gem you could find in a dusty corner, especially in Paris. My favorite antique/vintage shop, L'atelier de Pablo, is right between my office and my home, and from time to time, my boys and I stop in after I pick them up from school. They can buy a 20 pack of already used Pokémon cards for one euro, and as a mother, I am a big fan of recycling toys. The shop’s owner, Bénédicte, has become a friend of mine, and no matter what, I always manage to find some little knickknack that I can’t leave the store without.
I can sum this up in one phrase: Paris is a museum. If you are looking for the best family activity in Paris, start at the bottom of the Champs Elysée and head straight until you hit the Tuileries garden. Then take a stroll down the Boulevard Saint Germain before heading over to the Ile Saint Louis. Don’t forget to stop by Le Marais disctrict, as well as Les Halles, and one of my favorite Parisian streets, the Rue Montorgueil. I suggest visiting the city’s most iconic places and monuments, which are not
always the first on visitor’s lists.
- A Majestic Moment
I would start in the Tuileries Garden, remembering that above all, the Tuileries once acted as the official gardens of the royal palace, which is now the Louvre. Stop for a coffee, tea or aperitif at Le Fumoir when exiting la place carré at the Louvre
- An Artistic Afternoon
Next stop, the Boulevard Saint Germain for some of the city’s best shopping and best art galleries, specifically on the Rue des Beaux Arts and the Rue Bonaparte. One could easily spend an afternoon window shopping. [image: Boulevard Saint-Germain/Place Henri’ by Wim van der Linden – 1961]
- Mini And The City
Another must-see is the Ile Saint Louis in the center of Paris for the historically rich buildings, iconic small, winding Parisian streets and cobblestones. In the summer, this area is wonderful for little ones, and is often filed with live animations and theater adapted just for kids. [image nytimes]
- Where Sunday Is Fun-day
The Marais district should also be on your list, especially since all of the boutiques are open on Sunday. The streets are always packed, and it’s another wonderful spot to window shop and just walk around. I always stop at the Breizh Café located at 109 Rue Vielle du Temple and have a traditional crêpe. [images courtney traub, about.com]
- Farm Fresh From Fruit To Fromage
Last but certainly not least is the Montorgueil neighborhood, which spans out over the entire Rue Montorgueil. I don’t live far from this neighborhood and buy my food from all of the local shopkeepers, from the meat and fish markets, to the bread store, cheese store and fruit and vegetable stands. [images-lost in cheeseland]
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