Shakespeare & Company, Paris
The lovely abode that I called home whilst in Paris sat in the heart of the sixth arrondissement, which has been the playground for many a literary great. Often when I walked down the narrow streets, I found it almost surreal that James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, Victor Hugo and other iconic residents of Paris had walked the very same footsteps as me while going about their daily lives. They drank at the same cafes, ate at the same restaurants and wandered through the same pebbled pathways of the Luxembourg Gardens. It was almost difficult not to feel their presence everywhere.
One of the most revered haunts of the literati who frequented or resided in Paris was Shakespeare and Company, in its original iterations on rue Dupuytren and rue de l’Odéon in the Sixth, a mere stroll from where I lived on rue Racine. Its third and present incarnation sits on Rue de la Bûcherie overlooking Notre-Dame, and to this day is a refuge for aspiring young writers, who sit in the ageing armchairs in the bookstore’s upstairs and scribble away furiously at their latest work. I was very fortunate to be given free run of the bookstore, which is usually packed with people, for a photo shoot for The Weekend Edition. Creaking floorboards, the heady aroma of old books, and myriad nooks to squirrel yourself away and get lost in the pages of a novel – this is a definitely a visit to include on your next trip to Paris!