“Shiny” in the City of Lights: A Social Media Club House tour with Briller en Ville

December 9, 2009 in Traveling Geeks | Comments (0)

 

Paris is known as the City of Lights, and that is perhaps never more true than during the holiday season. Every street, every storefront, even every tree along the Champs de Elysees is glittery and alight with sparkle and shine. For Parisians who are truly in the know, however, as well as visitors who like the inside track, there is a shiny option year round. The site is called Briller en Ville, or “Shiny in the City”.
At this point, unless you speak French (or have a really good translator) unfortunately you’re out of luck as this year-old site and newsletter still only shares its secrets in French. If you can, however, it’s worth dipping into the site’s content because you’ll discover the hottest boutiques, restaurants and places to go.
What’s that you say? This sounds like Daily Candy? It may well be, but where Daily Candy always has felt to me targeted towards a distinctly younger crowd, Briller en Ville feels like it’s for grown-ups.
While at LeWeb 2008 I had the pleasure of meeting Briller en Ville’s founder, Juliette Dumas. She had only just started the site (focused mostly on the email newsletter), and had great aspirations for its growth. As the Social Media Club House posse began ruminating on plans for our days in Paris before LeWeb 2009, I immediately thought of Juliette and reached out to see if she’d be willing to give us a little carbon-based world experience of her digital domain.
She graciously agreed. The details of our walking tour come after the video … but first take a listen to Juliette’s overview of her business and how social media helps make places like Paris more accessible.

Meeting us at the Social Media Club House, Juliette had arranged a walking tour of our neighborhood, which was the 6th arrondissement.
Our first stop was Frederic Malle, a high end parfumerie where the top “noses” create custom scents for French society. Floor-to-ceiling glass cylinders stood in each corner of the room. These “smelling chambers” gave patrons an opportunity to experience various scents. We tried to take photos, but apparently the diffusing mechanism in the column is proprietary so they asked that we refrain. A pity because the sight of curious geeks peering into these tubes was quite amusing.
Next it was off to an aromatic experience of an entirely different ilk … or perhaps I should say milk. Barthelemy ranks consistently among the top cheese shops in all of Paris … and it was merely 3 blocks from our apartment. If sweet is your taste rather than savory, our next stop would appeal. La Patisserie des Reves takes the idea of a Parisian patisserie to an art form; and it’s no wonder. The pastry chef behind these truly beautiful creations is Philippe Conticini.
From there we wandered along rue de Bac, passing myriad design stores and an array of children’s stores. The one Juliette pointed out in particular, Bonton, is among the places to go for the well-dressed tykes in Paris. (If you’ve not already clicked the link for the store’s site, you’ll be glad to know that you can shop there online … and in English!)
We drooled on many a store window and proffered a cascading chorus of oohs & ahhs at amazing architecture and stunningly fashionable Parisians.
Then we got hungry.
So off to Cuisine de Bar - a tasty eatery attached to the famed Poilane Bakery.
Of course the first thing you want to see after eating lunch is clothing, especially bathing suits, and so we wandered by Eres Swimwear and Lingerie.
Very sexy stuff … if not a bit depressing … and what’s better for that, than chocolate. Thankfully we were around the corner from Maison du Chocolat where we saw this remarkable confection in the window:
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At that point I had to scoot back to the Club House to get ready for Social Media Hour, and left my compatriots in Juliette’s capable hands for a quick wander through La Bon Marche.
My only complaint of the day … not enough time.

 
 

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