Kerry Diamond, divisional vice president of public relations at Coach and co-owner of hot Brooklyn restaurant Seersucker and adorable Smith Canteen cafe, is a former beauty editor who spent six years as VP of PR for Lancome. Needless to say, she knows her way around Paris. We asked for her favorite trend-proof, always awesome places to hang out, eat, and shop.
WHERE TO EAT
151 boulevard Saint-Germain; +33-1-45-48-53-91
Some of my French friends turn up their noses, but I adore this place. I order the same thing every time. Leeks vinaigrette, green salad with walnuts, steak tartare, frites, and lots of red wine.
109 rue Vieille du Temple; +33-1-42-72-13-77
Traditional and untraditional takes on the Breton crepe. Make sure to try the cider.
Café de Flore
172 boulevard Saint-Germain; +33-1-45-48-55-26
The best people watching in Paris, maybe in the world! I love the food here and the cranky waiters. Don't sit upstairs. Sit outside or as close to the windows as possible.
Chez L'Ami Jean
27 rue Malar; +33-1-47-05-86-89
A tiny restaurant near the Eiffel Tower. I've loved every dish I've ever had here. The riz au lait was so spectacular it was the inspiration for the rice pudding at Seersucker. Don't confuse L'Ami Jean with L'Ami Louis, as I once did. Read A.A. Gill's article in Vanity Fair to understand why the two are not interchangeable. His review from the April 2011 issue is definitely worth a read.
37 rue Berger; +33-1-42-21-12-71
Fabulous lunch. Be prepared to stand in line. Try the house pâté and the ice cream. The last time I was there, the three flavors on offer were spicy chocolate, caramel, and yogurt. Some of the best ice cream ever.
Crepe Stand across from Les Deux Magots
Next to the metro station at Place St. Germain des Prés
My favorite in Paris. I love the crepe complete. I've been going there since my first visit to Paris when I was 19.
Hotel Amour's Restaurant
8 rue de Navarin; +33-1- 48-78-31-80
Fun spot, good food, and the best looking people in Paris.
Le Jules Verne
Tour Eiffel 5 avenue Gustave Eiffel; +33-1-45-55-61-44
I thought it would be cheesy/touristy to dine at the top of the Eiffel Tower, but Alain Ducasse and his team have made it the magical experience it should be. First-class food and service, and then there's that view. You'd have to have a very cold heart not to enjoy a visit.
3 rue Martel; +33-1-47-70-67-56
This spot in the 10th is worth visiting for the best couscous and tagines in Paris. The proprietor, Mehdi, is a great guy and a wonderful host. Make sure to say hello for me.
All the food shops along rue des Martyrs.
94 rue des Martyrs; +33-1-46-06-50-73
Lovely small restaurant on rue des Martyrs with great wine, food, and atmosphere.
Best macarons in Paris. Even Laduree fans will be converted. Don't leave without the caramel-and-sea-salt macaron. And if it's summertime, try one of the ice cream sandwiches. You'll be ruined for life. M. Herme, if you're reading this, please come to New York.
WHERE TO STAY
Hotel Bel Ami
7/11 rue St. Benoît; +33-1-42-61-53-53
The rooms aren't the best in Paris, but the location on rue St. Benoit in St. Germain is perfect, and the concierges are as resourceful as they are nice.
WHERE TO SHOP
30 rue du Bourg-Tibourg; +33-1-42-72-28-11
The Marais location has a little restaurant in the back, but I love stopping in to stock up on their seasonal teas, which come in the most beautiful tins. They also have a great matcha powder that you can use for green tea lattes and baked goods.
111 boulevard Beaumarchais; +33-1-42-77-78-92
This is a fascinating three-floor department store at the edge of the Marais. Definitely worth a visit, especially for the housing goods section in the basement. There's also a cafe down there.
16, rue la Vieuville; +33-1-42-23-41-40
Fab boutique in Montmatre with a well-edited selection of clothing, shoes, and accessories. If you've ever been to a show at CBGB's, make sure to tell owner Bruno Hadjadj. He spent a lot of time in New York documenting the late rock venue and its denizens.
Photos: Courtesy of C Minor / Flickr; courtesy of Hotel Bel Ami