We’ll Always Have Paris

In Do, July 2022/August 2022 by Lauren KruchtenLeave a Comment

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Catch flights not feelings (though it’s probably inevitable) as RDU restores its nonstop service to Paris in August (!).

They call Paris the City of Love because it’s one of the most romantic places in the world to go with a SO (I mean, what’s more romantic than sharing a bottle of vino on the Seine?). But while that’s certainly true, I found Paris to be the City of Love simply because you’re bound to fall in love with it. The sights (looking at you, Eiffel Tower). The sounds (I do love the French language, even if I can’t understand it). The food (Bread! Cheese!). The wine (also a huge s/o to Aperol spritz, the Parisian drink of summer—and always, if you ask me). 

Beyond other bucket-list tourist attractions like the Louvre (which you absolutely must visit—because when in Paris…), the dreamy City of Lights is a primo global destination for art, fashion and culture. Sprinkle your sightseeing and shopping with stops at the city’s myriad bakeries, bistros, bars and cafes—where, with a croissant in one hand and a cappuccino in the other, you’ll feel like a true Parisian. Mais oui.

And while the French are notorious for being rude to Americans, I found no truth to the stereotype. Everywhere I went, I was met with politeness, patience for my subpar French (aka “je ne parle pas français”) and pleasantries. … So, just one more thing to love when you’re trying to get directions to the closest boulangerie—or when you get lost in the airport (its poor design being the one Paris faux pas). C’est la vie


EAT

Bistrot Victoires
Escargot is a must-eat a la France. And where better to dine on the delicacy than in an authentic Parisian atmosphere (including its perhaps too-close-for-comfort tables) with reasonable prices to boot. Pro tip: Order the duck confit and onion soup—and save room for the profiteroles for dessert, plus some wine to wash everything down, natch. paris-bistro.com/choisir/paris1/bistrot-des-victoires

Street Bangkok
While it might seem weird that Paris is where I fell for Thai food, I truly didn’t like it until I went to this edgy “highway to noodles” in the 2nd arrondissement along the Canal Saint-Martin. The chicken noodles—a straightforward bowl bursting with flavor via thick saucy noodles, chicken and veggies—won my heart and left me craving seconds. streetbangkok.fr

Moi, Beau & Gourmand
A dessert a day keeps the dread of departing Paris away—making every day a good day for this boulangerie near the 19th arrondissement. Choose from myriad desserts that look (almost) too good to eat—my fave was the mille feuille (translation; “thousand sheets”), aka layers of puff pastry and pastry cream topped with vanilla icing. And be sure to grab a fresh loaf of bread for the road.
facebook.com/moibeauetgourmand


Auteuil Brasserie

DRINK

Le Perchoir Marais
There’s perhaps no better “perch” from which to see the City of Lights than this charming uberpopular “le perchoir” atop the BHV MARAIS department store serving up primo pints, vino, cocktails and small plates against panoramic views of the Eiffel Tower and the Seine. Do it for the ’Gram. leperchoir.fr

Chez Plumeau
After climbing the Calvaire Stairs in Montmartre, wine and dine yourself on the terrace of this hidden gem within the hilly district in the 18th arrondissement—serving up exquisite views and must-nosh selects of traditional seasonal fare that promise to fulfill you. restaurant-chez-plumeau.fr

Auteuil Brasserie
The best cure-all for tired feet is always a cocktail. End your long day of parading around Paris by grabbing a seat at this belle brasserie in the heart of the 16th arrondissement on the sunny rooftop or out on the twinkly light- and greenery-filled terrace while sipping on your choice of five spritzes (or all five, no judgment). Famished? The Italian-influenced cuisine is to die for. Ciao bella! auteuil-brasserie.com


DO
Jardin du Palais Royal
Emily in Paris fans are gonna recognize this tranquil park just a short walk from the Louvre (hint: it’s where Emily met Mindy). Grab a coffee and crepe from Bonjour Palais Royal on the park’s edge to enjoy post-stroll among the floral surrounds—or settle in on a bench with your book of the moment. domaine-palais-royal.fr 

Shopping in Châtelet-Les Halles
La vie est belle. You can’t go to the fashion capital of the world without shopping. Mosey to these must-stop small shops sprinkled throughout the streets smack in the middle of the city. Bonus: Many are open on Sundays when the rest of Paris is all but shut down. 

Palace of Versailles
“This, Madame, is Versailles.” Located about 12 miles west of Paris, a trip to Versailles is a great excuse to experience a less-crowded area of France. Stop at one of the local cafes on the way to grab a sandwich (and a bottle of wine, obv) for a picnic lunch on the grass by the canal; then book a tour of the palace. en.chateauversailles.fr


Hôtel Monte Cristo

STAY
Hôtel Crayon Rouge
If you like color, you’re gonna love this flamboyant hotel located in the historic center of Paris—right next to Palais Royal and within walking distance of the Louvre, Notre Dame and the Seine. Owned by French wine lovers, the vibrant stay spot—which feels like your hip aunt’s guesthouse—also features a wine bar. … So it’s always wine o’clock here. hotelcrayonrouge.com

Hôtel Monte Cristo
Among the Middle Eastern vibe and ornately adorned boudoirs, rooms and suites, you won’t feel like you’re in Paris at all in this hotel inspired by French writer Alexandre Dumas. And though it’s situated close to the Latin Quarter’s great bars, restaurants and nightlife, there’s enough to do within its walls (see: a swimming pool, bar, restaurant and sauna) that you’ll find it hard to leave. hotelmontecristoparis.com

Hôtel Eiffel Blomet 
If it’s luxe lounging you’re after, both the rooms—think plush bedding, pillows and blankets—and the lobby beg you to lounge awhile in this recently reno’d chic art deco-meets-contemporary hotel a la 1930s (named for its close proximity to the Eiffel Tower). Bonne nuit, indeed. hoteleiffelblomet.com

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