Paris is a city that you need to visit twice, or at the very least stay longer than a weekend, to truly fall in love.
Paris wasn’t a city that Steffen and I fell in love with the first time around, for a mixture of reasons which probably had very little to do with Paris itself; hopelessly high expectations, falling into all of the tourist traps, constant rain, and if I’m honest - not really embracing the Parisian way of life. It all led to a perfectly lovely weekend away, but sadly the city didn’t leave any long lasting impression on us.
But, this time around we decided to do it differently. We visited on our birthdays (we’re only a day apart), and instead of researching a thousand things to do, see and eat - we mostly wandered from place to place, with no real plan other than to explore.
We woke up late to leisurely breakfasts and coffee over looking the cobbled streets, and walked for hours through the alleyways and along the Seine. We ate fresh pastries from shabby bakeries, tried the worlds best éclairs, and picked out our dream Parisian apartments, all whilst taking in the sights and sounds of the city, stopping only to fuel up on more coffee. All of our meals were eaten elbow to elbow with locals, and almost always involved a substantial amount of cheese, bread, salted butter, perfectly cooked steak and french red wine.
And then before I knew it, I realised that I didn’t want us to leave. I’d fallen in love with this magical city. And all the more because we both worked for it; Paris and I.
A few favourites
Les Deux Plateaux, Palais Royal - an art installation by Daniel Buren (apparently it was quite controversial when it was completed in 1986)
The Sacré-Cœur basilica - for an incredible panoramic view of Paris
Musée de l’Orangerie - go to see Claude Monet’s Les Nymphéas
Jardin des Tuileries - it’s beautiful being there just as the sun starts to set
Jardin des serres d’Auteuil - explore the botanical gardens
Neighbourhoods - Le Marais, Montmartre, Saint Germain des Pres
Merci - everything you could ever want under one roof
La Tresorerie - I was heartbroken to walk past here, and see that it was closed. But a peak though the window, was enough to make me want to book a return trip just to visit this store
Buly 1803 - again, I disappointingly got here 20 minutes after it closed and it looked to be well worth a visit
Maison Kitsuné - pricey, but fun to have a look around
L'éclair de génie - try the salted caramel éclair
Merci - go for breakfast, and have the boiled eggs with soldiers
Anahi - we had an incredible dinner here and the restaurant is so beautiful
Season - if you feel like taking a break from all the bread and cheese
Robert et Louise - I love everything about this restaurant, make sure that you book in advance
Café Kitsuné - sit and enjoy in the garden of Palais Royal
Ob-La-Di - this was closed over Christmas but I’ve heard very good things
Honor - again this was closed, I was very sad to have missed this one