Although it might seem like it at first glance, Carin is definitely not your ordinary “Parisian dream come true” girl. Initially planning to stay for just four months, studying French and escaping life as she knew it, she fell in love – and the rest is history.
An extremely talented photographer and writer, Carin has worked with clients such as Christian Dior, Gucci, Elie Saab and Carolina Herrera and has also photographed for magazines like Condé Nast Traveler and Bon Appetit Magazine, among others. Oh, and she has over half a million followers on Instagram too.
Read on to learn more about our favourite blogger and the best places to eat, drink, and live when in Paris.
TELL US ONE THING THAT EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT CARIN OLSSON?
Ha! Well, my diet does not only consist of colourful macarons and pretty pastries (despite what people might think due to the amount of mouth-watering photos that I post on Instagram).
HOW DID YOU END UP IN PARIS?
In 2012 I decided that I needed a change in my life, and a new challenge to take on, so I decided to move to Paris for four months to study French. I was never one of those people who dreamt about moving to Paris for years and years, but rather thought that it would mix things up a bit and give me a pause from my everyday life in Sweden. After my four months in Paris were up and I returned to Stockholm, I simply couldn’t shake off my Parisian itch and decided to move back the following year.
It’s been a little less than two and a half years since I officially moved to France and not a single day goes by without me feeling happy about this exciting adventure.
DID IT LIVE UP TO YOUR EXPECTATIONS?
It’s funny, I don’t think I had many expectations when I moved to Paris the first time. I was just so eager to get away from where I was that I was probably willing to end up pretty much anywhere… I do think that many people dream about this picture perfect city where everything is red roses, warm croissants and romantic strolls under the moonlight (and I do admit that I tend to add to this dreamy image with both my website and Instagram account) when in reality, Paris can be quite rough and challenging at times. Fortunately I never let myself believe that it was going to be an easy ride, but in saying that I have to admit that this city has managed to exceed all my expectations – making it incredibly hard to imagine ever leaving it.
WHAT IS YOUR MOST (OR BEST) PARISIAN EXPERIENCE SO FAR?
One of the best experiences so far was getting invited by the Parisian Opera and Instagram to visit the beautiful Palais Garnier, which was completely empty one morning. Getting to climb the rooftop of the Opera was pretty spectacular and the view was just magnificent – something I’ll definitely remember in the future.
Another highlight was being invited by local football team PSG to visit their arena here in Paris (also completely empty) and watch the players warm up and to stay for the game. We had such a blast that we now follow every single game that they play. Third but certainly not least, every fashion week here in Paris is a highlight for me since there are so many exciting things and jobs popping up in the city during this time.
AN OLD FRIEND VISITS FOR THE FIRST TIME, WHERE DO YOU TAKE HIM OR HER FOR DINNER?
The slightly boring answer is that it really depends on the person and what he or she likes. There are so many good restaurants in this city, which makes it really hard to choose just one.
For someone in the mood for Japanese I would take them to Kunitoraya on Rue Villedo. If my friend would be somewhat of a foodie I would suggest we’d go to Septime in the 11th arrondissement, 52 Faubourg Saint Denis, Verjus or Semilla. For anyone with a pizza craving our first stop would definitely be Pizza Chic, Ober Mamma for Italian and if my friend was in the mood for a wine bar kind of atmosphere we would most likely stop by Frenchie Wine Bar. For a steak lover there’s no other place than Le Relais de l’Entrecote in the 6th or 8th (their secret sauce is worth queuing up for).
If you’re looking for classical French my favourite is still, after more than two years in the city, Café Constant but if you rather enjoy tequila drinks and Mexican food you should probably hit up Death by Burrito or Distrito Frances. For anyone with a tapas craving A Noste has a great atmosphere and if my friend is a seafood fan we would probably be found at Clamato on Rue de Charonne.
… as you can tell, I’m horrible at picking just one favourite
LET’S NOT FORGET YOU’VE SPENT MOST OF YOUR LIFE IN STOCKHOLM! WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT YOUR HOMETOWN – AND WHAT DO YOU GET UP TO WHEN YOU’RE BACK FOR A LONG WEEKEND?
It’s funny, you tend to miss the things you’d never think twice about before leaving. Right now I miss the water and the nature the most I think. Even though Stockholm is a big city we’re still lucky enough to have the water and the nature so close by. Yes, we do have the Seine here in Paris but it’s certainly not the same.
When I come back to Stockholm my days usually look quite busy since I want to catch up with as many people as possible but I do try to stop by a few Swedish favourites like Acne, Filippa K and Pärlans Kola before I leave. Other than that I love to try out new places, which have opened up since I last visited. My list is still quite long and it seems as there’s never enough time back home to tick them all off!
WE’RE NOTORIOUS BURGER LOVERS AND RECENTLY WROTE A POST ABOUT THE BEST BURGERS IN THE WORLD. WHO SERVES YOUR FAVOURITE BURGER – AND WHY?
This seems to be a question dividing a lot of Parisians… Everyone has their own favourite. A few of the places on top of most people’s lists are: Le Camion Qui Fume, Mamie Burger, Big Fernand, PNY, Blend, Comptoir de Brice, Starving Joe, B&M, Burgers & Fries and Cantine California.
LASTLY, WHAT MADE YOU WEAR YOUR CORNICHE WATCH TODAY?
I’ve said this many times to both friends and strangers asking me about the watch that I’m wearing but I’ve honestly never seen someone do so much for such a great price. The attention to detail, the design, the branding. It all truly blows my mind. I’ve known one of the founders of Corniche, for a long time now and I’ve always admired his skill, talent and eye for detail tremendously and I’ve known that whatever he would decide to take on would be widely successful (and unbelievably beautiful).