Paris The Right Bank - Faubourg Saint-Honoré
Taken together, the rue Saint-Honoré and the rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré measure 3.8 kilometres and so form the longest street on the Right Bank and the second longest street in Paris after the Left Bank’s 4-kilometre rue de Vaugirard (although some argue there are other contenders for this title, like the Avenue Daumesnil at over 6 kilometres and the main ring-road Boulevard Péripherique at 35 kilometres; however the city classification for this particular record insists the street must be officially called a rue). The combined Saint-Honoré thoroughfare is a medieval trail (surprisingly straight for its time) that developed over the centuries as a delivery route from the city’s central markets at Les Halles out to villages west of Paris. The word Faubourg denotes the area previously outside the city walls, derived from the old French fors borc, derived in turn from the vulgar Latin forïs burgum, and faubourg today is more commonly translated as suburb. Saint Honoré was the 6th century Bishop of Amiens and patron saint of bakers whose Picardian followers established a church and clerical school in his name during the 11th century around the rue des Bons Enfants. Sweet-toothed fans of the Saint-Honoré dessert of choux-pastry and cream will be familiar with his name already, and to savour that particular treat on his home turf maybe visit the nerve centre of the ever-expanding bakery and tea specialist Dalloyau who have one of their flagship stores with a bright tea room upstairs at #101 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. Another option for an intimate caffeine-laced tête-à-tête is the delightful Verlet which was originally established in 1880 as a tea and coffee merchants at #256 rue Saint-Honoré. As you imbibe, it is highly likely talk will turn to fashion and what new look caught your eye, as the Saint-Honoré quartier in general is considered the primary hub of high-end French fashion, particularly on the stretch from the Église Saint-Roch (patron saint of sore knees amongst other ailments and so potentially meriting a quick visit and candle offering from flaneurs en douleur) all the way up to the Elysée Palace, residence of the French President. Notable addresses on this section include the headquarters of Chanel, at the corner of the rue Cambon, as well as the home of Hermès (which uses its famous address at #24 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré as an integral part of its communications strategy) along with most of the other haute couture houses still in operation as well as the usual contingent of global apparel brands. If you are serious about taking on the Saint-Honoré trail in full, the more curious walkers will be rewarded for venturing off the main drag and exploring the smaller perpendicular streets where busy needle-workers as well as old-school clerks and shop assistants gather for lunch to enjoy a quiet salade auvergnate et une ampoule de rouge. Like all time-worn itineraries in Paris, the combined rue Saint-Honoré trail will divulge its own secrets to you the more you invest in it. Those tenacious enough to walk the guts of the almost 4 kilometres from the start of the rue Saint-Honoré at the rue du Pont Neuf all the way to the end of the rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré where it meets the Place des Ternes will undoubtedly feel they have earned the right to partake in the comforting old-world confines of La Lorraine, a brasserie at #2 Place des Ternes that celebrated 100 years in business back in 2019. Seafood platters mixed with good manners are the order of the day here, and with its panoramic view of the Place des Ternes you will have plenty of food for thought and time to reflect on your walk back.