PARIS Paris Focus: Town vs. Country

In this series, we follow 3 Parisiennes, short on time but keen on adventure, as they navigate living in Paris, local property prices and planning the perfect weekend escape.

PARIS

Paris Focus: Town vs. Country

In this series, we follow 3 Parisiennes, short on time but keen on adventure, as they navigate living in Paris, local property prices and planning the perfect weekend escape.

Bridgitte Dempsey - Owner of Corbin Paris - Athena Journal

Bridgitte Dempsey: Expat and Fashion Designer 

While Canadian born Bridgitte Dempsey may not be a native Parisienne, she’s as elegant as the best of them. She credits the city’s style credentials as the inspiration behind launching Corbin Paris four years ago, a luxury fur brand of ethically sourced fur, hand-stitched by artisan seamstresses. We sit down with her over an American style latte (her guilty pleasure) to lift the lid on conquering life as an expat and where she goes to escape.

Fresh off the plane, Brigitte’s first address in Paris was in the 7th Arrondissement, famous for being the home of the Eiffel Tower. “The first time you see France’s most famous icon rising high above the rooftops of Paris is an unforgettable experience, it draws you in” explains Bridgitte. Considered one of the top residential neighborhoods in Paris, the area is home to some of the city's most affluent, well-heeled residents. “However, what the area had in grand monuments and wide boulevards, it lacked in “joie de vivre” after dark”.

In the market for something with a more authentic edge, 3 years ago Bridgitte decided to buy an apartment in the neighborhood of Pigalle, set between the 9th and 18th Arrondissement. “Pigalle is the New York City of Paris” explains Bridgitte, “an intoxicating mix of people, vibrant energy, nonconforming creatives and plenty to do - it’s spicy.” Home to the Moulin Rouge, the city’s former seedy playground has recently been reborn as SoPi, with a myriad of artisanal grocers, organic bistros and upscale cocktail bars. With the arrival of a new “hipster” crowd came a spike in popularity and property prices, with the best apartments now valued at around 13,500 EUR per sqm.

For a weekend break to restore creativity, she heads to Beaune, the wine capital of Burgundy. “For the ultimate pre-departure experience, I always have lunch at Le Train Bleu ahead of my 15h00 departure from Paris’ Gare de Lyon” says Bridgitte, ‘it’s a restaurant set in the train station, as decadent and ornate as the Palace of Versailles’.  From there, it’s a quick 3 hour journey on the TGV to Beaune. "The town is so small, I walk to the Cep Hotel, a charming, ‘shabby-chic’ boutique hotel in the centre of town. The best way to explore is on foot or by bicycle, walking along the medieval walls or bicycling through vineyards. For food, she recommends Caves Madeleine ‘a cozy, unpretentious wine bistro with a friendly patron and excellent wine selection” or Le Bistrot Bourguignon, ‘its just as passionate about burgundy wine as it is live jazz.”

 


 

Bridgitte Dempsey - Paris v Countryside - Athena Journal

When in town, Bridgitte loves to spend time in Pigalle...

Breakfast

KBCafeshop in South Pigalle is the best latte in Paris - that’s something really rare to find in the city! Then i grab an oven-fresh croissant from the boulangerie next door.

53 Avenue Trudaine, 75009 Paris, France

 

Lunch:

Buvette Gastrothèque is a restaurant that originated in New York, owned by an American women who came to Paris to learn how to cook. It’s based on the concept of a Parisian wine bar, which has now been brought back to Paris.

28 Rue Henry Monnier, 75009 Paris, France

Dinner:

Le Pantruche - is the type of neighborhood bistro everybody wants in their neighborhood - it serves incredible contemporary, seasonal dishes.

3 Rue Victor Masse, 75009 Paris, France

Drinks:

Grand Pigalle Hotel - a boutique hotel with one of the best bars in Paris. If you sit at the polished bar,  the expert bartenders will shake and stir off-the-menu specialities.

29 Rue Victor Masse, 75009 Paris, France

Experience:

Rue des Abbesses - This street is one of my favorite places to hang out on the weekends. Not only is it packed with lots of great cafes, it has the highest concentration of award winning boulangeries in the city. It is also where the film Amelié was shot.

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