A Love Letter (and Guide) to Paris

As self-confessed left bank girls—sisters Val and Vanda Heng-Vong share their expertise and exquisite tastes to uncover what a perfect weekend in the city of lights might look like.

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There are always the obvious spots that can be visited again and again (Pompidou, Musée d'Orsay) but this guide pays tribute to their local know-how and penchant for a good brasserie.

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Day 1 — Rive Gauche

A good day starts in the Luxembourg Garden, (the double swings are so typical when you are with children), come out and get a treat from Mulot, walk around St Sulpice. Stock up on French pharmacy at Citypharma. Take a little detour to visit Boissier rue du Bac and don't leave without these. Have lunch at La Palette and browse the galleries Rue de Seine.

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Shop at Officine Universelle Buly À Paris (Val uses the Eau Triple Conversation Dans Un Parc) then cross the Seine via the Pont Neuf. Walk along the river towards the Tuileries and catch an exhibition at the Musée du Jeu de Paume. Admire the vintage jewellery at Dary's Rue St Honoré. Dine at Balagan or at the Café Marly.

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Day 2 — Le Marais to Palais Royal

We always stay at Pavillon de La Reine — a countryside French mansion in the centre of Le Marais that is the perfect location for our favourite places to visit and all of our buying appointments. For lunch, especially in spring, we stroll to hidden food market Le Marché des Enfants Rouges and browse the bookshop Comme un roman on Rue de Bretagne.

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Coffee Break

If it's autumn or winter we'll stop for a hot chocolate at Carette Place des Vosges. Walking through Paris is just the best way to see it, and pointing yourself in the direction of Les Halles will take you down Rue Montorgueil — the best place to stock up on gourmet gifts from Stohrer. For a caffeine fix, sip a coffee on the terrace of Au Rocher de Cancale.

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Many a beauty editor has written about award-winning, hard to find French pharmacy products. For the ultimate experience, grab a basket and brave the crowds of Citypharma. Our mother always used to shop there, well before it became this huge shop! There is no edit in this pharmacy, they literally sell everything —they always have new brands and the assistants give really good advice. We like to stock up on Sanoflore floral waters. For a calmer experience, go to Oh my cream! in Rue Montmartre. We both swear by Huile Demaquillante from their new in-house range, or book in for a Tata Harper facial.

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Old Paris, New Architecture

The new Bourse de Commerce is well worth exploring, it used to house the offices of the Paris Chamber of Commerce. Today, its restoration by Tadao Ando is a thing of splendour. It was the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo who championed the space in central Paris becoming a living, public place for people to experience.

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Dinner & Drinks

After exploring the finest collection of vintage Chanel and Hermès at Gabrielle Geppert, you might need a post-purchase aperitif at Le Nemours on place Colette. Cross back and have a browse at the Bon Marché then dinner at Aux Prés Cyril Lignac, le Relais de l'Entrecote or Le Petit Lutetia. Finish the night with a drink at Le Select — an iconic spot that opened in 1925 and still retains its charm today — once frequented by Picasso, Hemingway and a scene of culturally important intellectuals, artists and writers.