Janelle McCulloch is a Melbourne-based design journalist and author of 17 books. Her latest offering is an insider’s guide to The City of Light, entitled Paris: A Guide To The City’s Creative Heart.
How did you end up living in Paris?
After university I moved to London to work as a journalist. A few weeks after I arrived I fell in love with a handsome gentleman who turned out to be the Queen Mother’s equerry [horse caretaker]. He had a very glamorous life but sadly, he was a cad. So I packed up my broken heart and moved to Paris.
What were your first thoughts when you arrived 20 years ago?
My first memory of Paris is walking through the Tuileries, one of the most achingly elegant gardens in the world. Its mathematically precise rows of perfectly pleached trees create a mesmerising line of sight up to the Louvre.
It was an impressive introduction to Paris – as its designer André Le Nôtre intended.
What’s something that everyone needs to experience when they go to Paris?
A perfect Parisian day would start with a stroll along the Seine in the early morning light, then a wander across the pedestrian-only Pont des Arts bridge, and a meander through the village streets of the Ile de la Cité.
Then I’d suggest taking in the symmetrical splendour of the Place des Vosges gardens, before heading for the Marais and a coffee at Le Petit Fer à Cheval – the quintessential Parisian cafe.
In the afternoon, I’d duck across to the Left Bank to do some shopping (shoes/cakes/books), then perhaps stop for an afternoon tea within the exquisite interior of Ladurée.
After that I’d head up to the top of the towers at Notre Dame in time to see the sun set over the city.
In the evening, I’d have dinner at one of the gorgeously authentic Belle Époque bistros dotted around the city – either Le Bistrot du Peintre or Bouillon Chartier – before finishing the day with a kiss from my partner atop the Eiffel Tower!