Saturday, October 26, 2013

Our Little Cherche-Midi Apartment

Old leather armchair, mid-century brass clad coffee table, 
zebra skin, vintage globe light, books galore!

B joined a Philippine business mission that spent 2 nights in Paris, and 1 night in Bordeaux. Of course I was going to tag along but it was going to be too short a trip for too long a flight, so I made a deal:  If you want a roommate, can we stay 3 more nights in Paris on the way home? (Although I wanted to say one-week more, I was being realistic and mindful of his business schedule).

Still, this was not going to be a quick fly-in, fly-out workaholic trip. That is being too disrespectful to Paris!

Black and white photographs on the walls

We decided on the trip rather late so I didn't know if I could still find a suitable apartment online for our 3 extra nights. And then I lucked out! An apartment right on Rue du Cherche-Midi, in the 6th, was available on the exact 3 nights we needed! Our host was squeezing us in between two other week-long bookings she had.

 Our host said almost all the furniture and tabletop decor came from fleamarkets and brocantes

It was a third floor walk-up, but I didn't think twice since we could use the exercise. It was also tiny at 36 m2, but compared to a hotel room in the same area, which is about 18m2, this was going to be luxurious.

Best of all, the price was right.

 Kartell Bourgie lamp and Philip Starck ghost chair

Rue du Cherche-Midi is an exciting street for me. There are the numerous home design stores,  brocante stores, the restaurant Chez Dumonet, the bakery Poilane, Le Bon Marche and Le Grand Epicerie down the get the visual. (My heart is racing just typing this).

Bon Marche department store

Upon entering the tiny apartment, I was happy as  it was tastefully decorated with old flea market finds--wonderfully creative, homey, comfortable--just my type of place.  The one-bedroom apartment was expertly laid out and seemed much bigger than its actual 36m2.

It's always amazing to stay in 5-star luxurious hotels but I save that experience for places in Asia where one gets the most bang for the buck.  In Europe, luxurious hotels are so expensive that it hurts not only the pocketbook but also the conscience.

 iconic mid-century Nagel modular chrome candelabra 
(Ahem, notice the correct order of my adjectives--print these writing tips for you and your kids)

The cost of our three nights here was  going to be equivalent to one night at the  Sofitel Faubourg, where we were booked with the group (and I overheard that we were already given an extra special deal for those Sofitel nights!) I was pleased.

Then it just happened that it is decorated in a way that speaks directly to my soul?!  What a stroke of luck! I went from pleased to ecstatic.

It turns out that our host's boyfriend is a brocanteur and interior designer. No wonder the interior design is a deliberate mix of iconic finds. It is done up very confidently too--low key, practical and tasteful.  There were tons of French interior design magazines on the bookshelves of the apartment.

I was conflicted--should stay in and devour all the design magazines (it didn't stop raining all weekend)?  Or go out and rummage through the weekend brocantes? This is Paris... we have to go out--rain or rain!  In the end we did both.

This particular trip was filled with so many highlights for me; the people in the group were all wonderfully warm and gracious, and the events we attended were exceptionally special.

 I didn't take a photo of the opposite wall--she had lovely cookbooks and the pantry was stocked with high quality olive oil and balsamic, artisan sea salt.

Simple as it was, this well-located, tasteful little Cherche-Midi apartment was also a highlight for me and the perfect epilogue to a very memorable trip.

don't I look thrilled?

1 comment:

Teresa Maria said...

Your recent posts have made me hungry for Paris, especially this one as I would have loved this apartment. We had such bad luck on the last lay of our latest visit in 2005 - we even missed the plane - that I haven't been able to persuade him for a repeat.


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