Monday, May 16, 2016

An Insider's Views on Paris and Where To Stay... (French Style)

Not long ago, Sarah (of Apartments Actually) emailed me with a question about some furniture she saw on my blog. When she explained that she was renovating an apartment in Paris, my inner French girl could not let the opportunity pass!

Sarah graciously agreed to answer some questions and provide us with her insider's tips of Paris. I loved learning about what brought her to Paris and why she loves this city. 

Sarah is passionate about ensuring her clients' stay in Paris is nothing short of magical. From beautifully decorated apartments to providing the best in service and recommendations, she's got you covered.

So whether you're planning a trip to Paris, or just wanting a mini visual escape today, 
I hope you'll sit back and enjoy today's tour...

Please tell us about your connection with Paris (France) and why you love it?

I am from Sydney, Australia and moved to Paris in 2006. My family has always had an affinity with France. I lived in Provence with my family in 1996 (when I was 13), where I attended a local French school. I then completed one year of my five year degree at a university in Strasbourg, France in 2004. 

For me, Paris is the perfect place to live (most of the time)! Parisians live for the moment and life in Paris is about making the most of every day. My local neighborhood, the Marais, is really a little village. Of course there are many challenges, but that is part of the charm. I love the quote, "That Paris exists and anyone could choose to live anywhere else in the world will always be a mystery to me." That to me, is just it.

What is Apartments Actually and how did it come about?

I have a small portfolio of apartments (in the very best streets and locations in Paris), which we manage for holiday rentals to foreigners visiting Paris. We are very selective in the apartments we represent and plan to remain very small and personal. I live in the Marais (3rd arrondissement) and all the apartments I manage are within metres of where I live.  

The apartments are owned by a mix of predominantly international owners, including some Australians. It is true that word of mouth is a strong marketing tool, particularly in Australia (and my little neighbourhood in Paris, a tight-knit little community). In regards to how we manage our apartments, we offer a high level of service. My Australian parents bought an apartment in Paris years ago- I began managing it for them and following its success, Apartments Actually was born.

Do you provide recommendations to your clients? 

Absolutely - this is what we're here for. We have started a new blog to reflect some of our local suggestions but this is only a small taste of what is available to our guests. We are here to assist you with recommendations for a special eventprivate airport transfers, an excellent hairdresserprivate walking tours, a beautiful cake delivered to your apartment and any questions you may have. For young children, we provide cots, baby high chairs & even freshly made baby food. Our apartments are equipped with complimentary WIFI but we can also organise a smartphone if you would like to stay connected while out and about. 

If there's anything at all we can help you with, chances are we will be able to. I am passionate about good food and assisting our guests with restaurant recommendations according to their preferred style, budget and occasion. 

The food and coffee scene has changed dramatically in the last year or so in Paris. There are many new (and fabulous) places opening all the time, such as Les Enfants Rouges between Rue des Archives and Rue de Beauce – a place we all love but it’s a particular favorite of my Australian husband. 

Places like Septime are notoriously difficult to secure a table (we can assist you here) and obviously quite touristy. We can assist with more local alternatives such as nearby Les Deserters. The food is amazing and the restaurant is local and charming - fabulous, but without the hype and tourists of Septime.

We love Clown Bar and Au Passage. I could go on and on, but you are welcome to visit our blog on our website to outline local recommendations and new openings in Paris. 

Having lived in the 6th (St-Germain-de-pres) and the 18th (Montmartre), I now live in the 3rd (Marais) and there is no where else I would be.  The streets around rue de Bretagne, rue Debelleyme, rue Saintonge, rue des Archives, rue Charlot, rue de Poitou, rue de Turenne and Filles du Calvaire are fabulous and it’s easy to forget you’re in one of the world’s major cities. There’s a real village atmosphere and I feel very at home here.

The area is buzzy and quaint at the same time. Full of restaurants, cafes, boutiques, galleries and markets. I do spend time in other arrondissements – there are so many interesting and diverse parts of Paris. The areas surrounding the 3rd such as the 10th, 11th and 12th are up-and-coming arrondissements, with a vibrant food scene – but I always breathe a sigh of relief when I return back to my little pocket of Paris at the end of each day.  

The Rodin Museum is one of my favourite tourist activities- I also love the Picasso Museum, Carnavalet Museum and Galerie Perrotin in the Marais.

What can people expect when they make a reservation at one of your properties? 

We are experienced professionals and offer a high standard of apartments and of service. We are in contact with our guests prior to their arrival. We meet them at the apartment on their arrival and we are available to contact throughout their stay. 

The apartments themselves are presented in such a way that each of our guests can feel like they’re living in their own space, rather than someone else’s. The storage and cupboards, etc. are available for our guests’ personal items so they can really unpack and feel at home in Paris. The cleaning is to the highest of standards (all linens are pressed, etc.) and additional maid and concierge services are available during their stay. 

Beyond the apartments, we work closely with each of our guests to ensure they are armed with everything to get the most out of their trip. 

 We are about ensuring our guests feel at home in their space for their precious time away and they have everything they could possibly need.

How can people get in touch with you and/or make a reservation?

If people want to contact Apartments Actually, send me a quick email at: or have a look at our website,

Thank you so much Sarah! It was a delight to see the pictures of your beautiful apartments and charming views of the city.

Now who wants to board the next plane for Paris?! 



  1. I really enjoyed reading this interview and seeing all of the pretty pictures! I've never been to Paris before so it's always fun to learn more about it.

    1. Thanks Kelly... glad you enjoyed it (I did too! :) I hope you can get to Paris soon... it is every bit as dreamy as you could imagine! These pictures really capture the feeling.

  2. These are beautiful photos! Makes me want to book a trip.

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