Sure, we’ve got a little crush on the French, so when we found out that founder and designer of By Johnny, Johnny Schembri, was headed on a trip to Paris to shoot his summer 17 collection, we thought a designer's take on the City of Love would be the ultimate tourist's guide. Alongside his A-list team of stylist (Jolyon Mason), photographer (Paul Scala), and hair artist (Chung-Yang Su), Schembri explored the sites in style and has shared with us all the best Paris has to offer.
So, if you're looking for an end-of-year getaway (and truth be told, who isn't?) or planning ahead for next summer, see below for the Parisian-worthy places to stay, eat and shop. Warning: You will want to pack your bags and hop on a plane, stat.
EAT & DRINK
Le Relais De L'Entrecôte: "This is a traditional French steakhouse that looked incredible—the queue went down the street! People start lining up an hour before the restaurant opens, so you'll have to be patient. There are several locations around Paris, we tried to get a table at the Marbeuf location, however, we were unsuccessful as there was a four-hour wait. If you find you can't wait that long (like us), there are some really cute French Bistros on the same street. We ended up at Maître Pierre Cuisinier, a beautiful traditional French family-owned restaurant."
Kong: "This is a spectacular, contemporary venue featuring a glass rooftop and bar underneath the restaurant. It is an Asian/French fusion restaurant with an amazing view and a buzzing atmosphere. It's also located directly opposite the Louis Vuitton head office, which was very interesting to have a peek into."
Hôtel Costes: "Located in Vendôme, Hôtel Costes has an amazing selection of cocktails, wine and delicious food. It has a great vibe! The restaurant has an outdoor shaded area on the ground level and a basement bar with great music."
Montmartre: "This is a beautiful and historic part of Paris, located high upon a hill overlooking the city. We loved wandering around the steep and cobbled streets of the interesting neighbourhood, it was a great place to explore and burn off any extra calories. I would recommend making the most of your morning, get up early and start at Place Vendôme, take the stairs up to the Sacré Cœur at the top of the hill, make sure you don't look down until you are at the top so you can properly take in the amazing view down on Paris."
Palace of Versailles: "If you're in Paris for a few days, I'd recommend taking a day trip to visit the Palace of Versailles. It's a great day out but quite popular, I would suggest leaving early to avoid the crowds. If you do get caught in the 1.5-hour line for the Palace, be patient as it is well worth the wait. The Palace is in immaculate condition and filled with so many stories throughout its history. It is full of amazing furniture, paintings and gardens."
Galeries Lafayette: "This is a department store with a remarkable dome and panoramic view of Paris. If you time it well (like we did) you will find amazing sales across high-end designer brands. It was incredible to see how international brands presented their collections."
Colette: "This is Paris' cult concept store, hosting an incredible selection of high fashion, streetwear, and accessories. The store contains an exhibition space, bookshop and a 'water bar' serving more than 100 brands of bottled water. It's located on Rue Saint-Honoré, which has a great strip of stores to explore as well, since Colette it is set to close in December."
The Westin Paris: "I stayed in the area of Champs-Élysées and, to be honest, this was not very convenient and extremely touristy. When travelling, I love to stay in quieter, less tourist filled places. Vendôme is a beautiful part of Paris, it's a nice walk away from great shopping areas and main tourist sites. The Westin is a good option for accommodation here—it has a great outdoor bar and is only a short walk to Place de la Concorde, the Louvre Museum, and the Place Vendôme."