Cycling through Paris. Back in the days that would have been like throwing yourself in front of the train. You wouldn’t do that. It wouldn’t even cross your mind. During my college years I lived in Paris for a while and once I accidently suggested to my French co-workers to come by bicycle. They “du moment” declared me insane. “One hundred percent Dutch” they decided whilst shaking their heads compassionately. Back then, there was practically no bicycle to be found in this cyclist unfriendly city.
Who would have thought that would ever change? For us Dutchies it turned out to be not so crazy after all! The city of love made a complete turnaround. Nowadays if you want to move from point A to B in Paris, you can rent a bicycle on every corner of the street. Just look at the map of velib.paris.fr! The rental system is well thought out, you do need a credit card though and you need to focus on the menu provided at a post, but after all of that your French bicycle is freed from its Dutch bicycle rack also known as a “Staple”. And then: GO! You can start your crazy ride through the city.
Twice a year Paris is all about design and interior, and large events and international fairs are held. Zuiver has been present for a few years now. We meet customers from different countries whom have embraced our Zuivers by now. It has become a tradition for us to present our new Zuiver products at these events. We ask everyone to “Like” their new Zuiver on a large chalk board. We are always very interested to know which product stands out in Paris.
We just got back from this international furniture fair and we added up all our “Likes”… The Dek Lights were clearly a favourite in Paris. It makes sense, because aside from our bicycles the French do love true Dutch Design.
"We are always very curious to know which product stands out in Paris."
After the fair has ended I always take a few days to visit those shops in Paris that sell our Zuiver collection. Of course this is a very pleasant shop outing… It is always a good shopping experience, I rummage in trendy shops, try restaurants and do some trendspotting. Beforehand I check out the newest hotspots, I plan my routes, my visits to the shops and this time also looked for the nearest bicycle!
Right now the place to be in Paris is Le Marais quarters, located in the 4th district. An area immersed by Jewish history and with a vibrant heart in Rue des Rossier, a place where you can find the best Fallafel and also a good place to shop. Caravane, a large furniture store, is located in Rue Pavée. A very serene place of business that managed to turn four other buildings in the city into a true Valhalla for interior design lovers. You can find everything categorized by theme. Cooking, dinners and textiles, living and bedrooms. True eye candy. Park your bicycle using one of the Dutch bike racks, you won’t be leaving any time soon.
Oh and If you decide to buy anything, even if it’s very small, do let them wrap it for you. It takes a while, but Madame Caravane turns it into something wonderful!
This district also offers the shopping street Rue St. Croix de la Brettoniere with ‘Fleux’ one of the most popular interior design shops of this moment. Many French, once in Paris, will end up in ‘Fleux’. To make it even more fun, they sell Zuiver there. A bit further down this street you will find a nice bistro, “Au rendez-vous des Amis”, a place where you can rest from your bicycle trip and overwhelming abundance of fresh inspiration, while enjoying a beautiful glass of wine and a nice cheese platter. Don’t consume too much alcohol though, because it is still a ride of about 2 kilometres before I reach my hotel. A ride through the bicycle unfriendly Paris, I might add ;-).
Also read: Day two – cycling through Paris. Visiting a special interior design and food concept!