I think any day you find yourself in Paris is a perfect one but there are definitely ways to make it even more special depending on where you go and what you eat (Am I right??). A few weeks ago, I shared one of our favorite days on a recent trip to the “city of light” but this barely skimmed the surface of all there is to see and do. Here is another day in Paris…
8:00am – Breakfast in Bed
The Hotel Relais Christine is the place you will ALWAYS want to return to if you ever find yourself in Paris. It is tucked away on Rue Christine in the heart of Saint Germain just a few blocks from the left bank of the Seine. With only 48 rooms and suites (Recently renovated beautifully by the famed interior designer Laura Gonzalez), each guest is treated like family. Not only will you fall in love with this hotel, you will never want to leave. Order croissant and an espresso to enjoy in bed.
10:30am – “Highlights of the Louvre” Tour
The Louvre is more than 652,000 sq ft with more than 35,000 works of art. It can be overwhelming to try to see it all! I recommend Walks “Highlights of the Louvre” tour to skip the line with an expert art historian. In just two hours, you will not only see the great Mona Lisa but the Venus de Milo, Winged Victory of Samothrace (My favorite) and the Sleeping Hermaphroditus. It was also an amazing way to learn about the history of the building itself which was one of our favorite parts. You can learn more about this tour or others from Walks on their website.
1:00pm – L’As du Fallafel
Yes, you are in Paris and all of the adorable little cafes are calling your name for lunch BUT walk from the Louvre to the Marais to find L’As du Fallafel on Rue des Rosiers. There will likely be a massive line but don’t let that deter you. There is a reason it is this long and I promise it will go fast. You can either choose to wait for a table inside but if the weather is nice, I would recommend waiting to order a sandwich at the window. You have to order from and pay the cashier on the right before offering your receipt to the guys on the left who are making sandwiches faster than anyone you have ever seen before. It is all a part of the fun! You can check out a video from PBS’s “I’ll Have What Phil’s Having” Paris episode. Enjoy!
2:00pm – Time to Walk
After what will be a REALLY satisfying lunch, you are going to need to walk a bit. 🙂 Take a leisurely stroll back towards Saint Germain feeling free to stop into shops and meander a bit.
3:30pm – Officine Universelle Buly 1803
On Rue Bonaparte in the 6th Arrondissement is Buly 1803. Founded in 1803 (hence the name), this old-school apothecary is a unique experience from the moment you walk in the door. The artisanal products are created using only the very best all-natural ingredients. Water-based perfumes, soaps, ointments, creams, and treatment salves all beautifully packaged and wrapped. Whether you are picking up something for yourself or a loved one, it is worth a trip to see it for yourself. They have a calligrapher on site to personalize your purchase.
4:30pm – Les Deux Magot
By this time, you likely have spent more money than you were planning at Buly and it’s time to brush it off with a little wine at the famous Les Deux Magot. I normally would tell you to avoid tourist spots that tend to be over-priced BUT this famous cafe used to be the hangout of Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso, and James Joyce to name just a few. It is a Paris institution and one you should experience. Hopefully you are able to snag a table outside to watch the world go by.
7:30pm – Pre-Dinner Cocktails at the “Honor Bar”
At the Hotel Relais Christine, the living room of the hotel has a “Honor Bar.” Open all day/night, you can make your own cocktails or pour a glass of bubbly and note to the staff what you enjoyed. Let’s just say we left our trip with the saying, “Give me an honest pour!” 🙂 A votre sante!
8:30pm – Le Coupe Chou
Located on one of the oldest streets in the Latin Quarter, Le Coupe Chou is in an ivy covered house dating back to the 17th century. Stone walls and floors, wood beams, and fireplaces, it evokes a feeling of being back in time. Not only is the atmosphere cozy and warm but they also serve up hearty french classics like duck foie gras, escargot, veal fillet, and for vegetarians, an amazing ratatouille.
11:00pm – Almost “Midnight in Paris”
Just a few minutes walk from Le Coupe Chou is the Saint-Étienne-du-Mont Church. Around the corner from the main entrance on the Rue Sainte-Genevieve are the steps that Owen Wilson’s character, Gil, at midnight, sees a 1920s Peugeot in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris.” Take a seat and see if it was just a movie or if it could happen to you…
11:30pm – Monk La Taverne de Cluny
We stumbled upon La Taverne de Cluny one night because we could hear the live music from the street. Sure enough, we walked in and found ourselves mesmerized by a trio with a violin, guitar and a cello. They were fantastic. Located in the heart of the Latin Quarter, this is an ideal spot to have a night cap and end another perfect day in Paris.