T R A V E L   /   l o c a l   e x p e r t s



Carina Soto Velásquez is the award-winning mixologist and co-owner of some of the best cocktail bars in Paris. We find out where she loves to hang out in the city she calls home.


Which hotel would you like to wake up in?

CSV:  L'Hôtel, a beautiful and romantic hotel on rue des Beaux Arts, close to Saint Germain.

Where do you like to go for coffee?

CSV:  I love to go to Boot Café, which is located in the Marais. It's a tiny but very cute coffee shop in Paris where the coffee is delicious – if you can find a seat (there's only two tables!), you will love to stay there all day long... I also really like La Fontaine de Belleville - finally there's a Parisian café with a lovely terrace, where you can eat great food lovingly made with high-quality produce, and also drink great coffee from the creators of Belleville brûlerie. This place is delicious, unpretentious and is the perfect spot for an apero!

What are your favourite areas in Paris to wander around?

CSV:  It's not easy to choose ... I love the 18th district of Paris around Abbesses and Lamarck – Caulaincourt. I also love going to Île Saint-Louis around sunset and enjoying a delicious Bertillon ice cream! Le Marais is great for shopping—such as Merci concept store—and it also has great art galleries. Luxembourg Gardens is also a lovely place to stroll around in the afternoon.

Where do you love to go for lunch in Paris?

CSV:  I love going for lunch with friends at Miznon, which is located in this tiny street in the heart of the Jewish area in Le Marais district. Enjoy Israeli food in a vibrant setting, sharing roasted vegetables and the best pita ever! It's fun and the food is really good! I also love going to Clown Bar which is centrally located with a fantastic team of chefs and the front of house team is fantastic. It's discrete enough for a business meeting and you won't be disappointed by the lunch menu. Le Baratin is also another favourite French bistro of mine, where I often go for business lunches.

What are your favourite things to do in Paris?

CSV:  I love shopping for wine and spirits at Caves Augé. For amazing fragrances, Nose is a fantastic perfume boutique where you can find lots of unique fragrances - they'll even do a special diagnostic for you to help you find the perfect fragrance! For culture, I love going to the Palais de Tokyo contemporary art museum. Their exhibitions are really cutting-edge and inspiring, and the space is unique. When you leave, you'll find yourself right next to the Seine with a magical view of the Eiffel Tower.

Where do you love to go for dinner?

CSV:  To enjoy dinner with a group of friends, I recommend Le Coq Rico as they have a big communal table and the food is delicious. Their speciality is amazing roasted chicken! For a romantic date, I love to go to Tondo restaurant. Here, you can discover Italian bistronomy by the talented young chef, Simone Tondo. His new restaurant is elegant and brings back more traditional service, and the sommelier and floor staff are fantastic. When you feel like getting dressed up and going out with your loved one to a special place, this one will not disappoint!

Where do you like to go for drinks?

CSV:  I love going to Medusa bar for some rock and roll and delicious, easy drinks. For late-night partying, Pigalle is still the area for late-night fun!

Photography (Portrait):  Danielle Rubi-Dentzel / thetrailofcrumbs.com


1. Favourite Hotel:
13 rue des Beaux Arts, 75006 Paris
+33 1 44 41 99 00

2. Favourite Coffee Shop:
Boot Cafe
19 rue du Pont aux Choux, 75003 Paris
+33 1 73 70 14 57

La Fontaine de Belleville
31-33 rue Juliette Dodu, 75010 Paris
+33 9 81 75 54 54

3. Favourite Areas:
Île Saint-Louis
Le Marais
Luxembourg Gardens

4. Favourite For Lunch:
22 rue des Ecouffes, 75004 Paris
+33 1
42 74 83 58

Clown Bar
114 rue Amelot, 75011 Paris
+33 1
43 55 87 35

Le Baratin
3 rue Jouye-Rouve, 75020 Paris
+33 1
43 49 39 70

5. Favourite Shopping:
Caves Augé
116 Blvd Haussmann, 75008 Paris
+33 1
45 22 16 97

20 rue Bachaumont, 75002 Paris
+33 1
40 26 46 03

6. Favourite Museums:
Palais de Tokyo
13 Ave. du Président Wilson, 75116
+33 1
81 97 35 88

7. Favourite For Dinner:
Le Coq Rico
98 rue Lepic, 75018 Paris
+33 1
42 59 82 89

29 rue de Cotte, 75012 Paris
+33 1
40 21 19 21

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