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Hi, nice to meet you.
I'm Hallie, a Midwest native, New York City transplant and the mind behind corals + cognacs. If you're looking for an online destination for stylish inspiration and musings on Manhattan living, you've come to the right place.
I hope you enjoy reading corals + cognacs as much as I enjoy writing it.
FAQ //LOCATION: New York, New York •BY WAY OF: The Midwest (Cleveland/Chicago) •HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE? Attainable, trendy and fun. I’m constantly wearing unexpected pairings – like statement pumps and a graphic tee. •FAVORITE ITEM IN YOUR CLOSET? The vintage Gucci clutch I thrifted for $40. •ANY OBSESSIONS? I like my coffee black, my heels high and my martinis dirty. •GUILTY PLEASURES? Complex carbohydrates and shoe shopping -- both in excess. (And SoulCycle, as a result.)
ARE YOU A FULL-TIME BLOGGER? No, I work as a Development Manager and Contributing Editor at Glam.com. •WHY DID YOU START YOUR BLOG? I've spent nearly seven years on the corporate grind, where sartorial humor and an expertly crafted color-block can get lost in the boardroom. As a result, I decided to create a blog -- a space where I’d hoped my writing, styling and excessive shoe collection would be better comprehended. •WHAT’S IT ABOUT? Living stylish and spontaneously in New York City – and beyond. I aim to inspire others to have fun with fashion and to live lightheartedly •HOW’D YOU THINK OF THE NAME? To be honest, the name just came to me. I’m a big color-blocker and a sucker for alliteration in writing. It just fit. •WHAT’S THE CORRECT WAY TO WRITE IT? corals + cognacs.
HOW DO YOU PRONOUNCE IT? corals and cone-yaks. •WHAT KIND OF CAMERA DO YOU USE? A Canon T3i with a 50mm f/1.4 lens. •DON’T YOU FEEL WEIRD TAKING PHOTOS OF YOURSELF? Absolutely. Everyone looks at me like I’m insane – especially when it’s cold. Wouldn’t you? •DO YOU WORK WITH ADVERTISERS/SPONSORS? Yep! Shoot me an e-mail and let’s talk. •HOW ELSE CAN WE KEEP IN TOUCH? On Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
While we’d intended to get up earlier in the morning (don’t we all?), jet-lag was lingering — so we didn’t make it out of bed until close to noon. One of the best ways to see Paris (in my opinion) is to go there without a specific agenda, but one of the only things we’d planned in advance was taking an indoor cycling class that afternoon at Dynamo. Dynamo is an indoor cycling studio in Paris that brands itself very similar to SoulCycle, so of course I couldn’t miss it.
But first, of course… Coffee.
Thankfully, the Hotel du Louvre — our home-away-from-home — (briefly reviewed here) was super-central, so we were able to walk to the studio. On the way, we stopped into a cozy-looking cafe called Baguett’s for “take-a-way,” which means coffee to-go.
I wish we’d have had longer to linger in this place — the artful walls gave it a really home’y feel, and the all-you-can-eat breakfast menu looked fan-fucking-tastic. This is also the first place that I noticed that some Parisian restaurants have croissants available for free — kinda like a bread basket or how you’d see a jar of nuts on the counter at a bar. Weird, right? (Weird, but amazing.)
Finally, we arrive to the spin studio… Into class we go!
Dynamo was an experience. It’s very similar to SoulCycle (where I teach in Chicago) in the set-up and structure of the class — dark room, candles, loud music — but the bikes are a bit different. (If you didn’t know, SoulCycle bikes are unique because there’s a piece that connects the handlebars to the rest of the bike. This challenges you to ride back over your seat with your entire core engaged, so it’s ultimately a better full-body workout.)
The music was awesome; it’s the same things we listen to (you can even find their favorites on Spotify), but the entire class was in French. Jess and I found it very easy to follow, though, since we’ve been indoor cycling-obsessed for so long. Our Instructor, Clotilde, was super cool. One of those chicks you just want to be, you know?
(… Also worth mentioning, your first class at Dynamo is free!)
Now, on to more important matters: FOOD.
The area we were in (Paris’s Opera district) was quite cute, so we wandered for a bit before settling into a small cafe called Bagelstein. Bagels sounded good, for whatever reason — we were craving bread-heavy sandwiches. We sat outside despite the fact that it was a bit chilly, because, well — Paris.
By the time we finished eating, it was nearly 4 p.m. That evening, we’d decided to see our favorite DJ duo — The Chainsmokers — in concert that night.
We made our way back to the hotel (slowly, with a few photo ops and coffee stops along the way — natch) to shower and get ready for the evening’s events. Among the places we stopped into were Matamata Coffee Bar and a handful of stores along rue Étienne Marcel.
(And before we move on, a quick FYI to those who like to plan: The area where we spent Day Two is really close to the places we’d wandered on Day One, Rue Montorgueil. You could easily knock out seeing/exploring both in one day.)
… Into the night!
Our first stop of the evening was Cafe Ruc, a chic little restaurant located at the foot of our hotel. We sat outside and had some rosé, because again, Paris. (Oui!)
After a bottle beverage or two, we decided to hit up Hôtel Costes for one last pre-concert cocktail and a bit of a scenery change. It was Paris Fashion Week, after all, so we knew there would be some great people-watching (and potentially celeb spotting). Jess and I both had a total fan-girl moment with Nicole of Gary Pepper Girl.
We made our way to the concert venue, YOYO at Palais de Tokyo, and arrived a few minutes before the show started. Perfection! Uber is seriously a god-send in Paris, you guys. You can’t hail taxis in Paris (as you can in Chicago, New York or other big cities) — you have to find a taxi rank, which is located at most main intersections.
I shall spare you the nightlife details as my mother reads this blog (if you were following on Snapchat, you saw first-hand), but truly, this was one of the best nights of my life. It was so much fucking fun!
We danced and drank our way through the concert with a few hundred attendees, which seemed to be a mix of Parisian 20-something’s and American exchange students. (The number of people who asked me, “What are you studying?” Lol! Thanks, boo. Buh bye.)
As lovers of the nightlife scene, we obviously weren’t ready to call it a night post-show, so we headed to Le Ballroom du Beefclub, a basement cocktail club located underneath its sister restaurant (the Beefclub). The bar was dimly lit with a speak-easy vibe — and it was only accessible by a dark, unmarked door.
We ended up meeting a few French men who showed us a few of the city’s best nightlife spots, and we ended up at Concrete — a venue resembling a boat located right along the Seine river.
I’ll leave it at that for today — but listen, if you’re looking for a recommendation of the best late-night bars in Paris, we’ve got you. (Check out Beefclub, Experimental Cocktail Club, Prescription, Curio Parlor and Concrete.)