Above: Le Marais
Having penned multi-platinum tracks for the likes of Dua Lipa, Charli XCX and James Blunt, American songstress Emily Warren at last decided in 2017 that it was time she set out on her own, releasing a trio of extremely well-received singles: “Hurt By You,” “Something to Hold Onto” and “Poking Holes.”
The latter is a paradigm of beguiling, artful pop, with sultry grooves and Warren’s alluringly soulful vocal delivery. It’s also an enlightening meditation of the vagaries and pitfalls of the affairs of the heart.
Or as she explains it, “The song’s beautiful simplicity and smooth vocals shed light on the small issues that can end up destroying a relationship.”
Despite being a born and raised New Yorker, she can often be found holed up in London recording studios, working with her many and sundry Brit collaborators – and the city has become something of a second home. But her romantic heart often takes her across the Channel to Paris, where she goes to immerse herself in “the history, the culture, and the slow pace” and to be inspired.
So, naturally, we asked her to take us through a perfect Emily Warren visit to the City of Light – from communing with Napoleon III’s ghost at The Louvre, to indulging a cocktail or two at the Pompidou’s glamorous rooftop bar and restaurant.
Things to Do
Besides being the home of the Mona Lisa (which you will want to see even though you’ll have to mosh to get close to it), The Louvre is just a spectacular and overwhelmingly beautiful museum. One of my favorite galleries is the Napoleon III Apartments. Another great way to see the Louvre is to get an audio guide, as it can take you through the key highlights – seeing everything in one day is, genuinely, physically impossible – a great way to get to make sure you’ve gotten to all the best works.
After leaving the museum, cut straight across the stunning Tuileries Garden to the Musée de l’Orangerie, which is way less daunting than the Louvre. What you’re going here for is a couple of beautifully sky-lit and tranquil rooms, with a 360 wrap around of Monet’s Water Lilies. This experience is transformative!
The most beautiful spot for sunset is on the top of L’Arc de Triomphe. It’s a bit of a hike, but well worth it. Easily the best view in the entirety of Paris.
I love this place, and whether or not you get excited when you think about porridge, you will love it too! It’s a great stop on the way up to Montmartre/Sacre-Cœur, which you also must see. My favorite is the “oat, salted butter, cinnamon” bowl, sooo good. But they also have weekly porridges that constantly change, as well as vegan and gluten free options, if that’s your thing.
This place is so classic, and has such a rich history. They have a bunch of great breakfast options – including the Jean Paul Sartre petit dejeuner. It’s also good for any meal really, or coffee, or drinks, and even better for sitting outside, people watching and having good conversations. Picasso and Hemingway used to do just that, so you’ll be in good company.
Cafe Marly is a scene, let me tell you. In order to be hired as a waiter here, you might have to be a supermodel. It’s right next to The Louvre, so it’s a great place to stop and get a (pretty overpriced) meal and/or drink after you’ve been to the museum – all with a striking view of the I.M Pei glass pyramid.
Angelina is famous for their hot chocolate (hands down the best I’ve ever had), which is essentially a chocolate bar melted into a cup. But what you’re also coming here for is the croque nonsieur/madame. I swear the bread is made out of the same stuff clouds are made out of. There are a handful of locations all over the city, and some can get quite busy at certain times of day – but the one I love is the one right across from the Tuileries Garden.
I rank this in my top 5 favorite meals of my entire life. It’s a tasting menu (they have a vegetarian option), it changes constantly, and everything they serve is unreal. Make a reservation in advance and prepare for your mind and your tastebuds to explode!
This place is really special. A hole-in-the-wall just on the edge of Le Marais (which is a cool, trendy and super fun neighborhood), serving delicious French food with Asian accents (sweetbreads, smoked eel, veal brains) and great atmosphere. Since it’s small, it can get busy. Try to book in advance.
This spot, also in Le Marais, is amazing because of the views. It’s on the roof of the Pompidou modern and contemporary art museum and has absolutely breathtaking perspectives in all directions – including being able to see all the way to the Eiffel Tower. Amazing at sunset.
This place, on a side street in the 2nd arrondissement, is easy to miss – we walked past it three times before we finally found it. The drinks here are incredible – and yes, experimental – and it’s a small, dark, and sort of hidden space. Pretty much started the new cocktail trend in Paris.