Les Clefs D'Or
Les Clefs D'Or

Your Key To Paris France – 2024 Les Clefs d’Or Award Nominee

These Parisian Boutiques that bear Witness to History

Paris is celebrated for its iconic landmarks and culinary delights, yet hidden within its streets are enchanting boutiques, each brimming with captivating tales. These establishments that are little-known and rarely visited by tourists not only brought joy to Parisians but also eagerly share their stories with new generations.

Embark on our journey with Le Plat D’Etain, a shop that transports you out of time since 1775, nestled in the heart of the Latin Quarter. Specializing in lead soldiers and figurines, the shelves offer a captivating portrayal of French historical battles. Legend has it that a young General De Gaulle frequented this establishment with his family.

Continuing our nostalgic adventure, a short walk away on Rue des Saints-Pères, we encounter the chocolate shop Debauve & Gallais. Who hasn’t struggled with taking medicine? Well, Marie-Antoinette’s pharmacist, found the solution in 1779. He coated the remedy in cocoa butter to help the Queen relieve her headaches. She herself renamed these medallions “pistoles de Marie-Antoinette.” While today’s chocolates no longer contain medicine, you can still enjoy them in this 18th century shop as the famous French writer Marcel Proust did.

After this gastronomic interlude, venture across the Seine, passing through Place du Carrousel to admire for a moment, the Louvre and its iconic pyramids. Continue on rue du Louvre to find at the corner with rue Coquillère « E. Dehillerin », this authentic museum of culinary tools is a haven for aficionados of traditional cuisine, serving renowned chefs for two centuries. Claudia, the saleswoman, reminisces about welcoming Catherine Deneuve, Scarlett Johansson, and Francis Ford Coppola whom came to equip their kitchen. Dating back to 1909, the shop was already a Parisian curiosity, earning it an order from the Titanic’s White Star Line in 1912. This equipment workshop continues to captivate enthusiasts, with staff eager to share countless tales.

Paris unveils secret gems like the covered passages on the Right Bank, with Galerie Vivienne standing out. Established in 1826, this treasure, Librairie Jousseaume, offers books on various topics, from archaeology to foreign literature, philosophy, and science-fiction. Its proximity to the National Library attracted researchers for years, while famous writers like Colette who lived nearby in the Palais Royal gardens, Alfred Jarry, and Jean Cocteau frequented its shelves. Now, it’s your turn to explore these time-traveling havens in search of rare editions.

Let’s conclude our journey at one of Paris’s most iconic squares: Place Vendôme. In 1838, Christofle Charvet, the son of Napoleon I’s wardrobe curator, established the first boutique specialized in tailor-made shirts. Since then, this institution’s tailors have dressed personalities such as John F.Kennedy, Bruce Willis, Sophia Coppola, and designers like Yves Saint-Laurent.

His name, synonymous with ties, has become a term used to denote a specific quality of silk intended for them. The longevity of this brand solidifies its place in fashion history.

This is merely a glimpse of Paris’s treasures, hoping to inspire you to step into these timeless wonders.


Julie Benhaim is a candidate for the 2024 Les Clefs d’Or Award. This article has been published in its original form.

Meet the Author
Julie Benhaïm

From an early age, I nurtured a passion for hotels, envisioning them as portals to diverse cultures and lifestyles. Choosing a path in hospitality, I enrolled in a Hospitality school in Paris 10 years ago. Uncertain the role which would suit me the most during my first internship, I soon found my calling as a concierge. What is best than a dreamer helping others realize theirs? Post-graduation, I further honed my skills in Toulouse at the Concierge school encountering inspiring Clefs d’Or concierges who imparted invaluable knowledge. There, through an internship, my journey started with the iconic Four Seasons Hotel George V Paris, captivating me with its charm. Following diverse experiences in Bordeaux, Deauville, and Paris, I returned to the allure of the George V in 2018. Five years later, supported by the Concierge Team and my mentors, I proudly obtained Les Clefs d’Or in 2023, an affirmation of my commitment to making dreams come true.

Four Seasons George V

Nestled steps away from the Champs-Élysées in the Parisian Triangle d’Or, the George V Hotel, inaugurated in 1928, was renamed Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris in 1999. This Art Deco architectural gem is the embodiment of French art de vivre. The Hotel is renowned on the international stage, regularly winning a host of prestigious awards that recognize its extraordinary talent and outstanding service. Majestic floral arrangements by Jeff Leatham immerse visitors in an enchanting atmosphere as soon as they enter the lobby. The spectacular floral displays form an integral part of the George V’s identity and are a tourist attraction in their own right. The hotel is the only luxury hotel in Europe home to three Michelin-starred restaurants for a total of 5 Michelin-stars, offering a unique culinary journey. It is also home to one of the most extensive wine collections in Paris. The Palace offers a fine collection of prestigious suites enriched with works of art, featuring both classic and contemporary décor. The Penthouse, the Hotel’s most famous Suite, offers magnificent views of the Eiffel Tower and the Paris skyline. Beyond city bustle, guests can unwind at the spa, a haven of peace and serenity.


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