Milsters Mac of Little Pieces of Light is a big force to be reckoned with. Here, she’s having cocktails at Le Mary Celeste; there, she’s on the trail of her favorite musicians and must-see art exhibitions, sometimes she’s even off to Buenes Aires! Always, she sees the beauty of life in Paris and shares it with her friends and readers.
By turns practical and romantic, savvy and cheeky, classic and creative, meet Mademoiselle Milsters!
I moved around quite a bit across different countries and continents as a child, so I feel that I do not really have a hometown in the traditional sense. But my immediate family eventually settled in Vancouver, Canada, where I spent my high school years, so I consider that my hometown.
How long have you been in Paris?
3 years this coming summer, although I have spent some time in Canada and Argentina during this time.
What brought you there?
A dream of living in Paris since I was a child, cultivated by a love for French literature, Parisian museums, wine, cheese, and the art of taking your time.
What do you do for a living?
I consult companies on cross-border projects.
Your favorite thing about living in Paris:
Accessibility of good food, amazing art, and a comprehensive music scene.
The coolest thing about being an expat:
You have the privilege of living like a local with the insight of other experiences from abroad. Often (though not always), you can choose to take the best aspects of life in your adopted country and add to it other elements from life abroad. You can have the best of both worlds (or sometimes even several worlds!).
Your “secret” about Paris:
Charm gets you further than you expect. For example, if a French waiter is being mean to you, more often than not, he is asking (in all seriousness) to be seduced. Give him his 15 seconds in the spotlight and you’ll easily find that you’ll never have problems getting a reservation ever again. Works for boulangeries, épiceries, and other quintessentially French social spaces as well.
Your favorite thing to blog about:
My Ideal Social Calendar, my monthly post where I write about key events that I’m planning to attend during the following month in Paris – from art exhibitions and concerts to foodie events and new store openings. It gets me really excited for the coming month in this city!
Right Bank or Left Bank:
I’m a Right Bank baby! Here you have the great boutiques of the Marais (3e / 4e), the hip new restaurants around Oberkampf and Parmentier (11e), the cool concert halls of Montmartre (18e), and the immigrant scene around Belleville (20e).
Café Flore or Deux Magots:
Les Deux Magots, for its terrace that directly faces the Eglise St-Germain-des-Prés, the oldest church in Paris. It was also said to be Hemingway’s and Picasso’s preference between the two, and I like to think I am carrying on their tradition!
Tuileries or Luxembourg:
For this one, I’ll have to go Left Bank. The Luco is my favorite park in Paris and I try to hold a big picnic there every year with my friends. I also think that its gardens are more beautiful than those of the Tuileries.
Ladurée or Pierre Herme:
Pierre Hermé without a doubt! There is no competition here at all: I hold an annual Macaron Smackdown and PH comes out leaps and bounds ahead of Ladurée.
WH Smith or Gaglinani:
WH Smith, mainly because I stay loyal to it from my time in London, where I spent 5 years before moving to Paris.
Costes or Crillon:
Neither. I prefer the exquisite Hemingway Bar at the Ritz, though I think it’s still closed for a 2-year renovation (much to my dismay). This is my favorite place in Paris to have a cocktail when I’m in the mood for subdued decadence.
Colette or Merci:
Merci, for its wonderful canteen and its cozy Book Café. I think they sell some of the most beautiful furniture and home décor in Paris. I wish I could decorate my entire apartment with their stuff, especially their kitchenware and lightbulbs! They also get points for donating profits to development projects in Madagascar.
Café terrace or Seine-side picnic:
I had my first picnic by the Seine only this year, and I think it is one of the most romantic, inspirational experiences you can have in Paris. Now I’m just waiting for better weather to be able to do it more often!
Camembert or Comté:
Comté – it’s one of my all-time favorite cheeses, especially the nuttier variety. Although I must say, at the top of my fromage love list is the St-Marcellin; it’s just so incredibly delicious!