On one of my favorite streets in Paris, rue du Mont Thabor, is a new favorite spot — the Maisie Cafe. The minute you walk in you notice the luxe white marble countertops, light mint green bar stools, blond wood and elegant floral wall art. Chic, welcoming, and cozy. On offer is everything a cold-pressed juice/green smoothie/veggie/gluten-free-loving devotee could ever want! My favorite juice of the moment? Shine. Made from carrot, green apple, celery, ginger, turmeric, lemon and aloe vera. Heaven. The seasonal menu is always fresh with soups, salads, granola (made daily and a cult favorite for breakfast), and bread from the Paris GF mecca, Chambelland. So much goodness. Enjoy!
A zen oasis hiding in plain sight is what I would call the Six Senses Spa at the Westin Paris, Vendôme hotel. I was searching for a massage in Paris when I remembered the discreet entrance on the corner of rue de Castiglione, which stretches between the Tuileries Gardens and the Place Vendôme, and rue du Mont Thabor, home of my favorite Japanese restaurant in Paris and so many other good things! Upon entering the spa, the landscaped “vertical garden” wall sets the tone. Organic, hushed, warm, and welcoming. Great staff! From reception to the very capable therapists. Zero attitude. Each guest is tended to in an authentically kind way — such good energy. As you know, I love design and I can only describe the treatment rooms at minimalist, wooden pods that feel like cocoons. All the hustle from city outside is sealed off. True relaxation. A special experience is reserved for the post-treatment lounge area. While sipping some of the BEST ginger tea, there is a beautiful movie of Place de la Concorde and its iconic “La Grande Roue” (ferris wheel) projected onto the wall. No sound. Just images. It might sound like an odd juxtaposition, but it works! Oh, and the massage? Heaven.
Six Senses Spa – Westin Paris, Vendôme
It took me a while to find a place to practice yoga in Paris. Mind you, not because of a lack of studios! This city has amazing yoga studios offering every kind of yoga in every part of the city. Seriously. When I lived here nine years ago, I had a great spot in the 5th arr. neighborhood, which was easy to get to as I was also on the left bank. Now that I’m across the river, I had to find a place with just as good a vibe — and convenient to get to. Le Tigre (the name!) is my new spot. Love it. Yoga, pilates, snacks, tea, books, lounging… it’s a community. Beautiful space with a “minimalism meets Bali” type aesthetic. I’m a Kundalini Yoga devotee. Typically, not so easy to find, but it’s offered at Le Tigre, and the teacher is excellent. Isn’t it always about the teacher? Caroline Bénézet will take you through familiar poses, but she also infuses her class with thoughts on inner strength and self-acceptance. All with honesty, a little irreverence, and a good sense of humor. Oh, there’s singing, chanting, and perhaps one of the best Savasanas — she bangs a gong, first softly then the volume progresses. Hypnotic.
Le Tigre Yoga
Spa My Blend by Clarins
Although I don’t get them often, I love a good facial. When I lived in New York City, I was a devotée of Christine Chin. She is a formidable, tell-it-like-it-is (“Oh, does it sting? Good! Beauty is torture!”), skin genius. Period. It’s taken me awhile to find a new place, but I think I just struck gold with the Spa My Blend by Clarins at the Royal Monceau hotel. The design is a sea of white lacquer and mirrored furniture. With so much stimulus hitting us from every direction these days, the minimalism felt clean, crisp and oddly soothing. Plus, I loved the beautiful fresh juices and treats to sample pre-appointment. My therapist, Marine, was a true delight and the real deal. Professional skin diagnosis, an incredible custom protocol for my skin (hence the name, “Spa My Blend“), and (when has this EVER happened) on top of a fantastic facial, the treatment included a hot stone massage for my neck and shoulders. Oh, a hand and and foot massage as well. When the treatment was over… a salted caramel macaron was waiting for me. Hello? God, I felt great.
There are moments as an expat when you love where you live, like where you live, feel like a fish out of water or just want to go home. By the way, these moods can all happen in one day. What helps tip the scale more to love is when you start to have your “network” going. Your friend tribe, your butcher, the fabulous lady you buy your flowers from, your fish monger, your “bio coop,” and on and on. Spa My Blend is officially part of the network. Expats in Paris: what gems are in your network?
Spa My Blend by Clarins, Royal Monceau Paris