India Mahdavi’s personal guide to Paris

The architect and designer’s stylish highlights in her home city

India Mahdavi at home in Paris
India Mahdavi at home in Paris | Image: Stephanie Jayet

Le Petit Varenne, a little restaurant near my office that’s owned by Jean Baptiste Varenne, is so impressive. Although the place is quite simple, the food is fabulous. I had the suprême de volaille with mushrooms, but all the food is very tasty, cooked with things like basil and lemon and served with unusual vegetables like chard, or with truffles and girolles. Le Petit Varenne, 57 Rue de Bellechasse, 75007 (+331-4273 6072).

Mahdavi goes to Maisie Café for vegan and organic lunches
Mahdavi goes to Maisie Café for vegan and organic lunches

There’s a place I go to for lunch called Maisie Café; although it’s in Paris, it feels like LA, without the jet-lag. The food is super-healthy – vegan and organic, just what I feel like eating at the moment. Maisie Café, 32 Rue du Mont Thabor, 75001 (+331-4039 9916; maisiecafe.com).

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I regularly visit the flea market at Porte de Clignancourt. I particularly like Marché Paul Bert and Marché Serpette, and I always buy a bunch of stuff – anything from a Gio Ponti armchair to some lights that look like two eyes on a tripod – very surrealist – to a white ceramic vase. Marché Paul Bert et Marché Serpette, Puces de St Ouen-Porte de Clignancourt, 96-110 Rue des Rosiers, 75004 (+331-4011 5414; marchesauxpuces.fr).

She is also a fan of the furniture selection at Galerie Patrick Seguin
She is also a fan of the furniture selection at Galerie Patrick Seguin | Image: Courtesy Galerie Patrick Seguin

I’m also a fan of Galerie Patrick Seguin in the Bastille area, which specialises in 20th-century furniture and architecture, and Galerie Xippas in the Marais. Galerie Patrick Seguin, 5 Rue des Taillandiers, 75011 (+331-4700 3235; patrickseguin.com). Galerie Xippas, 108 Rue Vieille du Temple, 75003 (+331-4027 0555; xippas.com).

Etoile Saint-Germain is Paris’ best arthouse cinema, according to Mahdavi
Etoile Saint-Germain is Paris’ best arthouse cinema, according to Mahdavi | Image: Marion

My favourite cinemas are Etoile Saint-Germain, the city’s best arthouse cinema, and Cinéma Le Balzac. Cinéma Le Balzac, 1 Rue Balzac (+331-4561 1060; cinemabalzac.com). Etoile Saint-Germain, 22 Rue Guillaume-Apollinaire, 75006 (+331-4222 8723; etoile-cinemas.com).

Stouls in the first arrondissement, where Mahdavi has bought leather trousers
Stouls in the first arrondissement, where Mahdavi has bought leather trousers | Image: Michel Fiquet

I have some amazing leather trousers by Stouls, in the first arrondissement. They feel like a second skin and come in a great selection of colours and cuts. I have several pairs from there, actually, including some flares in a deep prune. 36 Rue du Mont Thabor, 75001 (+331-4260 2997; stouls.paris).

Bar Hemingway is small, intimate and always full of interesting characters, Mahdavi says
Bar Hemingway is small, intimate and always full of interesting characters, Mahdavi says | Image: Vincent Leroux

The Bar Hemingway at the Ritz is unforgettable. It’s small and intimate and always full of interesting characters that you end up talking to. The head bartender, Colin Peter Field, is such an artist; his drinks take you all over the world with their flavours and aromas. I remember one that tasted so fresh, I suddenly felt like I was in Bora Bora. 15 Place Vendôme, 75001 (+331-4316 3030; ritzparis.com).

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I’ll often drop in L’Ecume des Pages, a brilliant bookstore, to pick up a few new titles or catch up with classics that I haven’t read. L’Ecume des Pages, 174 Boulevard Saint-Germain, 75006 (+331-4548 5448; ecumedespages.com).

The best chemist in the city is La Pharmacie de l’Epoque, where the pharmacists always offer natural, alternative healing options. La Pharmacie de l’Epoque, 47-49 Rue du Four, 75006 (+331-4548 5358; pharmaciedelepoque.fr).

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