Finding creativi-tea in Paris (the book … and the city!)
Not long ago, I was in a cute gift shop out of town when I saw a 2012 book that appealed to me, "Paris: An Inspiring Tour of the City's Creative Heart" by Janelle McCulloch. The author writes that Paris is a great source of inspiration, and "because of this, the place has become something of a modern mecca for the world's aesthetes and creative innovators, who make the pilgrimage here each year to witness its splendid displays and quirky collections." While I've seen many guidebooks about Paris, I do believe this one is the first I've seen devoted entirely to the city's creative life.
It wasn't until I started reading the book that I noticed it was organized not only by arrondisement, or administrative district, but also by Design (bookstores, stationery stores, antique stores and flea markets, homewares, florists), Style (fabrics, ribbons and trims; vintage and affordable French style; fashion and accessories); and Flavor (tea salons, bistros and cafes, patisseries and chocolateries, gourmet stores and food markets.) Naturally, by the time I flipped to the section on "Tea Salons," I was already quite smitten!
And of course I was not surprised to see macarons from Ladurée within the book, the macaron being one of the iconic sweets in Paris. Only five tea salons are on the list, but all are still in business. I realize guidebooks listing specific stores often become dated the second the ink hits the paper, but this one's emphasis on creative and stylistic Paris strikes me as a guidebook out of the norm. My husband and I pretty much just breezed through Paris during our trip to Europe last year in our haste to get to Normandy. We'd like to go back and get to know Paris, and I think I've found the perfect armchair travel guide to help with my plans!