Fashion, food and photography… three months after her inaugural trip to France, Chanel and I returned, this time for a short, winter getaway to Paris with four girlfriends (and one husband who was our door opener, bag carrier and taxi hailer).

Linda, Chanel and I shared a very Parisian apartment on Rue du Bourg Tibourg in the heart of the Marais (a historical area spread over the 3rd et 4th arrondissements on the Right Bank). Every morning, Bruce and Lillian arrived with fresh croissants from the local boulangerie and, over a seriously strong cup of French roast, we would plan our day. It generally consisted of a walk together to a local sight, perhaps Notre Dame for a Gregorian Mass, Ile St. Louis on the Seine or a museum (and a photo or two…).

After lunch at a creperie or fromagerie (a highlight of our dining pleasure ~ la Fromagerie 31), Chanel and I would wander along the Seine, through Place des Vosges and along Rue des Rosiers, the neighbourhood of Contrescarpe and down Rue Mouffetard, stopping at patisseries and paperies as we went. We spent hours in purse shops (my favourite ~ Maroquinerie Saint Honore ~ original designs and fabulous prices), gorgeous Galerie Lafayette (department store) and darling children’s boutiques picking out demure little outfits for which the French are famous.

Many bags later, we would meet up again for a late afternoon Kir Royale (sparkling French cocktail), cup of Mariage Frere tea, or coffee at a Parisian landmark (and haunts of past literary giants and artists such as Hemingway and Picasso) Once back at our apartment, we gave Chanel a much needed rest (in truth, my feet…) and a fashion show featuring the day’s purchases (boots, coats, purses, boots, coats, purses…and, yes, photos of).

Dinner consisted of gloriously savoury meals at legendary and historical institutions such as Chartier or le Polidor We dined on Boeuf Bourguignon, Coquilles St. Jacques, Foie Gras and said “bonne nuit” over chocolate soufflés and crème caramel.

Yes, it was January and, yes, it was only a week, but this is a trip we still talk about six years later…Five women, countless pairs of new boots, 1300 photos…!