Hidden away behind a charming exterior dating back to the 1870’s, ‘My Home For You’ is located down Boulevard Poissonnière, in the 9th district, facing the iconic Le Grand Rex cinema. After touching down in Charles De Gaulle airport, we rode the Roissybus for roughly 60 minutes to the Opera metro station. From here, we took the no. 8 line to Bonne Nouvelle. This station accommodates for lines 8 and 9, and is positioned at the foot of the guest-house. We spontaneously planned this route on the day, proving just how simple the B&B is to access! We covered a vast expanse of Paris in 4 days using the metro system alone; the public transport network served the area well.
Another element that struck me about the area was it’s tranquil nightlife. Our trip, in late March, coincided with a brief spell of lovely sunshine, sandwiched between two bouts of ‘British’ weather. This encouraged tourists and locals to venture outside for some late-evening, Al fresco dining. The restaurants burst at the seams and poured out onto the pavements, full of diners embracing the lighter evenings. The area was littered with hidden gems, including the G-IV wine bar, which was the perfect place to soak up the atmosphere, accompanied by a cheese board tailor-made to compliment your favourite glass of wine.
Jean Etienne, the proprietor of My Home For You, guarantees you a glimpse of the Parisian lifestyle by combining the B&B and his own living quarters. This means your stay overlaps with his day to day life. For example, one evening he hosted a dinner party for friends. This meant we could hear music, the buzz of conversation and smell the aromatic food he’d made. Some people may find this arrangement a tad unprofessional or too intimate, however I loved the insight into his intriguing life. Jean’s interests seemed to epitomise everything I hoped Parisian culture could be: food, wine, music and art! He was incredibly helpful and seemed to know the city inside out. This meant he gave great recommendations on underrated, yet brilliant, places to eat that were off the beaten track. He considered the finer details that made our stay an iota more special (for example, he left macaroons in the room for us each evening)!
Out of the four available at My Home For You, we booked the south-facing ‘Guimet’ bedroom. This room is named after Emile Guimet, founder of the Museum of Asiatic Arts, and is embellished with Cambodian souvenirs brought to Paris by the owner. The Asian theme perhaps wouldn’t sit well with all guests; it could seem arbitrary and inconsistent next to the other 3 bedrooms (Palais Royal, Trocadero and Grands Boulevards) which are French-themed. I have a soft spot for Asian culture so the room felt like a treasure trove to me; the antique-looking Chinese furniture, Asian motifs and Cambodian artefacts were brimming with character and charm. This room is an apt tribute to Guimet and his museum.
From a practical perspective, the room was also fitting: it was spotless, the curtains had black-out liners; the bed was incredibly comfortable; the room was spacious at 29 metres squared and was equipped with a work space, a TV and (albeit sometimes unreliable) WiFi.
Out of the four rooms, this one definitely draws me in the most. However, the colour scheme in the bathroom (bright red and black) was slightly obtrusive and after seeing images of the other 3 bathrooms, I’d say it’s my least favourite. I loved the sleek, black slate sink but, for me, the red textured tiles ruined it slightly. Red just doesn’t feel appropriate for a bathroom.
The breakfast room had one glass table, so the guests that happened to eat breakfast at the same time would be sat around it together. Again, this may not be everyone’s cup of tea if they want privacy but I liked the homely feel. Breakfast is served between 8:30 am and 10:30 am and consists of tea or coffee, orange juice, croissants, traditional French cheese, bread, homemade cakes, yogurt and fruit.
The aesthetic of the room can’t be faulted, the shabby chic bookcase (even complete with a stepladder!) was a personal highlight. The room is delicate, light and tastefully decorated. The guest-house is a wonderful addition to architect Romain Dard’s repertoire.