The singular best thing about London is its proximity to Paris. It’s like going to Philly for the weekend from New York. Laura and I have now been 4 times, 2 with our dear friend Lauren who shares our love for picnicking in parks with rosé and unreasonable amounts of cheese. This is a long one.
Months: October, March, June, and July.
Favorite Things: CHEESE! Wine, parks, walking, art, architecture, croissants, baguettes, the light, la vie!
Accommodations: We always stay in an Airbnb, as hotels are pretty pricey. Book early if you can. We’ve stayed in La Marais (first 3 pics), Monmartre, and our favorite was near Canal St. Martin (last pic). La Marais is probably the most convenient area to be in, but a bit pricier.
Frenchie Wine Bar – Nom nom nom nom nom nom nom. They don’t take reservations so go early or expect a wait. They have a more expensive sister restaurant across the street, which I’m sure is equally delicious, but this was for sure our best meal in Paris. North of Les Halles. There’s a beautiful plant wall on a street near by as well, and some cute shops.
Breizh Cafe – Sweet, savory, whatever your crepe preference, you won’t be disappointed. La Marais.
Buvette – Yes there is one in NY, but it’s good enough to eat on either side of the Atlantic. Get dessert. Seriously. Monmartre.
Les Duex Magots – An old Paris classic. Not worth a full meal, but have some escargot an enjoy the man who will inevitably be playing La Vie En Rose on the corner. In Saint-Germain-des-Prés.
L’Entrée des Artistes Pigalle – Trés chic interior, super dark. Yummy dishes all around, great steak! Monmatre.
Poulette – Gorgeous interior. Great for a simple lunch. Save room for a cookie. La Marais/Les Halles.
Pierre Hermé – So many colors, so many flavors, I felt like a kid in a candy store. Well, an adult in a macaron store. Multiple locations.
Poilane – The smell of freshly baked bread will make you melt like a hot stick of butter. Get all the croissants. Multiple locations.
L’Eclair de Génie – If you eat as much as we do, sometimes you need the mini version. Multiple locations.
Le Philosophes – Solid lunch spot in the center of touristy La Marais. Yummy french onion soup!
Hollybelly – Very American, I don’t think I heard anyone speaking French, but cute and yummy breakfast food regardless. Near Canal St. Martin.
Le Comtoir General – Kinda hipstery, but beautiful. Jungle vibes? We liked it.
Chez Prune – Packed with locals, right on Canal St. Martin, yummy cheap rosé.
Le Mary Celeste – V cute bar with good wine and cocktails, also yummy bites. La Marais.
Candelaria – Same folks as Mary Celeste, tacos in the front half, cocktails in the back. La Marais.
Little Red Door – More yummy cocktails in La Marais.
Le Syndicat – This inside kind of looks like it should be a pop up, but in like an intimidatingly cool way…? Anyways, yummy cocktails with only French spirits!
Lulu White – Probably our favorite atmosphere out of all the cocktail bars. Kind of a New Orleans vibe. Super friendly bartenders. In Monmartre, with several other cool bars on the same street.
See/Do: This list could never end, so I’ll try to be descerning.
Marché Bastille – This is a cool weekend market with all kinds of food. You can try oyesters, get crepes, fresh fruit, or buy more cheese and stock up for a picnic!!! Very lively and fun.
The Eiffel Tower – Duh. Sit out in the grass with the picnic delights of your choice. Then take a ride up for incredible views of the city. You’ll see why so many painters loved the light in Paris.
You can also see the Eiffel at night from Trocadéro. It glitters on the hour, every hour starting around 10pm I believe. You can also bring wine…
Jardin du Luxembourg – Stunning gardens south of the Seine. Definitely an ideal picnic spot. Stop at Laurent Dubois Fromagerie and get some cheese. There’s a meat shop on one side if you want to grab some charcuterie or paté, and a bakery on the other side for all your baguette needs. Find some paper cups and a bottle of wine (don’t forget to ask the shop to open it for you unless it’s a screw top), and you’re good to go!
Tuileries Garden – Also lovely to walk through or picnic in. Leads you directly to the entrance to The Louvre.
Canal St. Martin – If you don’t want to sit at one of the many restaurants lining the canal, you can always sit along the canal and picnic (or not). It catches some beautiful light, and it’s fun to watch the boats go through the locks.
Place des Vosges – A beautiful small park in La Marais surrounded by mansions from the 17th centruey. We’ve stumbled upon it in every season and it’s always beautiful.
Arc de Triomphe – It’s enormous. Lots of tourists, as it’s at the end of Champs-Élysées. Apparently the view from the top is pretty sweet, but we didn’t go.
Fountaine des Innocents – Beautiful old (1500s) fountain in Les Halles. If it’s warm kids are usually playing in it. Trés sweet. (You’ve figured out by now I trés don’t speak French).
Notre Dame – I mean, if you’re not a history fan, you’re probably at least a Disney fan, so it’s worth seeing. Don’t forget to look at it from both sides. If you cross the bridge that’s on the back side and walk up you’ll have a lovely walk into La Marais. Also when we went in it was raining, and when we came out there was sun…God works in mysterious ways.
Sacré Coeur – A relatively magnificent church that overlooks the whole city. The area leading up to it is beautiful as well, but get ready for a bit of a hike. (You can tak a cab if you wanna be a wimp).
The Louvre – Honestly, I found the building itself more intersting than the art. The exterior is clearly famous, but the interior is stunning as well. Tho Mona Lisa drowns in a sea of tourists trying to take a selfie with her.
Musée d’Orsay – This was the museum for me. Full of impressionists and an absolutely stunning building.
Centre Pompidou – If you like modern art, this is the museum for you. Very cool modern building with glass walls so you can see the city as you ride the escelator up.
Still want to check out the Musée Rodin.
Walk Around – La Marais to Republique to Canal St. Martin – All beautiful areas to get lost in, each with a different vibe. Montmartre is cool too.
Till next time Paris, au revoir! And just remember…