The Paris Journal | Philippine Scali

When we're planning a trip, there are a few people we turn to for their recommendations.  One is our friend Philippine Scali.  

Born and raised in Paris, Philippine now splits her time between San Francisco and France.  She works as an art director, photo editor, stylist, and product consultant. 

She mixes her Parisian finely tuned eye for detail and taste with an appreciation for the casual beauty of the West.  

Read on for Philippine's Paris list.  

Do you have a favorite arrondissement?

I love the 7th arrondissement, because this is where I grew up and I have many memories there.

You have 24 hours in Paris, how do you spend it?

Being Parisian, a lot of my time gets spent catching up with family and good friends. 

But every first day of a stay in Paris involves a walk and a lunch at the Bar de la Croix Rouge, I enjoy sitting at their terrasse and people watch, while enjoying their Assiette St Germain. I usually go to an art exhibition, and pick up my goddaughter from school and take her to the Luxembourg gardens. 

Dinner with my family at the Le Relais de l'Entrecôte is a first night ritual. 

 If you have 90 minutes to take a walk through Paris, what is your route?

I often stay at Palais Royal with family, I love to walk under the arcades along the Palais Royal Gardens, past the Colonnes de Buren. I like meeting a friend at Café Marly for a drink, with its incredible views on the pyramide du Louvre, before making my way through the Tuileries Gardens. I take the pedestrian bridge that leads to the Musée D'Orsay. The Musée D'Orsay was our local train station when I was I growing up, and I remember all the years it was in construction to become the museum it is today. 

I then walk along Rue de Verneuil, the street I was born and grew up on. I like to see Serge Gainsbourg's house and be reminded of the times my brothers and I would knock on his door to get his autograph and listen to his stories. 

I then make my way to the Luxembourg Gardens to meet my childhood friend and her daughter for tea. 

If you had to choose only one exhibit or museum to visit while in Paris, which would it be?

I love the Musée du Jeu de Paume for their photography exhibitions, in the Tuileries Gardens. But never miss going to the Fondation Cartier, where they have great contemporary art shows.

I always try to pop in the Musée Rodin, to see the many sculptures he did of my beautiful great grandmother, Madame Fenaille.

We think there are some things that you just must see and do on your first visit to Paris, but share the least touristy recommendation for someone visiting Paris for the first time.

One must see Paris by night, especially around the holidays, when all the streets are lit up. My recommendation for a first time visitor would be to take a cruise along the Seine on a Bateau Mouche by night.

Share your favorite vintage shops in Paris.

I love shopping at the Puces de Vanves, but St. Ouen is where I grew up spending my Sundays with my father, strolling through the aisles, and meeting family friends for late lunches. As a teenager I wouldn't miss an opportunity to shop for vintage Levi's 501 jeans at the Marché Malik. But the most unique experience and best finds usually happen at "vide greniers". Once a year families come to the street to sell their personal belongings.  this gets organized in each arrondissement.

What products are you leaving Citypharma with?

Cicalfate by Avène, Elgydium toothbrushes, Homéodent anis toothpaste, Citrate de Bétaïne, natural digestive tablets, a must when enjoying french meals.

What’s your best kept secret for traveling in Paris? A bakery, cultural event or site, and pastry shop that only you know about?

Le Relais de l'Entrecôte is my all time favorite restaurant and meal. For meat lovers only. The meat and its secret sauce has had people waiting in line for years.

My secret, go to their Boulevard Montparnasse location as early as you can (super early, by french standards is 7pm), and don't eat their delicious baguette as you will need to leave space to enjoy Profiteroles for dessert. 

Philippine's favorite Paris travel books

Laurie Furber