Luxury Literary Adventures in Paris

It may be hailed as the city of love, but the world’s favorite luxury gem is also home to an incredible literary history. The milky green Seine winding through the fabulous facades, iron wrought balconies, beautiful brasseries and trendy districts whisper plenty of secrets. This was the home of Oscar Wilde, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, Joyce and Simone de Beauvoir.

The love of dusty books and the written word seems to haunt your footsteps with every turn in Paris, rickety stalls lining the river banks are stuffed with antique yellow pages, independent stores overflow with free coffee and mile high shelves and you can always find a young vagrant scribbling away in the corner of a café.

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Literature lovers with a penchant for the finer things in life will fall head over heels with Paris, especially when following in the footsteps of their heroes with a lavish literary tour.

Oscar Wilde’s Boudoir

L’Hotel may not be imaginatively named but the final home of Oscar Wilde has marked this classical French haunt high in the literary charts. The gilded gold’s, beating heart reds and bohemian soul seems to blossom in this iconic left bank building that boasts a sumptuous stay full of charm.

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Everything is decadent in the Mignon rooms either lavished in Japanese bamboo and leopard print or inspired by regal prints and plump cushions. The Michelin-starred restaurant is just downstairs ensuring that when it comes to fine dining, you can order a vintage bottle or two and escape to gourmand heaven in truly flamboyant style.

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Ernest Hemingway’s Cool Café

Many bars may boast tepid literary links in the heart of Paris but Les Deux Magots doesn’t need to weave fables. This traditional brasserie with its dark wood and tables spilling out onto the sidewalk served many a shot of absinthe to some of the greatest names in the literary world.

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Ernest Hemingway pressed against the bar, Picasso would sketch in the corner and Camus and Sarte could be found arguing over a demijohn of dark ruby nectar into the small hours. Of course the food isn’t la crème de la crème being a tad overpriced for the tourist hordes.

Other literary lovers may wish to check in next door at the Café de Flore where Sarte and Simone de Beauvoir hid away in the upstairs room.

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Image Courtesy: wikimediacommons/Alexemanuel

 

Shakespeare and Co

The iconic bookstore sitting prettily close to the imposing towers of Notre Dame and the sweet flow of the Seine has become an institution. Back in their heyday the shelves were constantly rifled by the likes of Hemingway, Fitzgerald, James Joyce and the enigmatic Gertrude Stein.

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Even though the store has switched location and can often be found teeming with American tourists, there is still charm to be had in the musty shelves, the banging typewriters and the off kilter poetry nights that happen in the snug upstairs.

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Lipstick Kisses in Pere Lachaise

Many of the great literary ghosts may haunt the tombs of Montparnasse but Pere Lachaise holds the final resting place of Oscar Wilde. Whilst hanging around cemetery may not be on your top 10 list, the grounds of Pere Lachaise are truly beautiful.

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Image Courtesy: flickr.com/ChrisFriese

Thick old trees gnarl their knuckles to filter in the hazy city sun, leaves blush in every color imaginable and the grandiose old tombs and pavilions cast shadows across the stone paths. Find your way to the snow white marble tomb adorned in lipstick kisses of one of the world’s most revered writers.

Jodie Oakes

Jodie Oakes

Jodie Oakes is a seasoned writer and an avid surfer with continuously itchy feet and a love of the finer things in life. After traveling through the continent with a touring band, living in Paris, Amsterdam and under the Auroras Borealis, she is now in Bulgaria where she attempts to piece together her first poetry collection.
Jodie Oakes