Arrival: 00:30. No time for sleep. Our adventure begins here.
It is such a special treat to spend a winter’s weekend in Paris. There is so much to do; from walking around charming neighborhoods, visiting some of the world’s best museums and art galleries to savoring all the culinary delights that the city has to offer, not forgetting my favorite; the ‘chocalat chaud’. You haven’t visited Paris until you have visited with the one you love. So, this was our first trip together and we discovered new favorite places that deserve a picture frame!
Very unlike me, we had almost no concrete itinerary on this trip, save a trip to Versailles. So, with caution to the wind, a beret on my head and spring in our step, off we went to explore the city of lights. We are also only sharing places and things that we did on our trip, so if you know of any amazing places or things to do, we’ll be coming back soon and looking for recommendations!
Here is our list of our top picks in Paris!
Where to stay:
Our favorite area is Madeleine. To us, accommodation needs to be central, in a good neighborhood with a great selection of quirky and decadent foodie options, is strollable with beautiful streets and finally, has at least one attraction to visit. We love Madeleine because it is only 30 minutes or less, walking distance from many main attractions: Le Louvre, Eiffel Tour, Champs-Élysées etc. It also surprised us with all the high-street-brands and retail stores, restaurants, coffee shops and a selection of Hotels / Apartments (3 to 5 star).
On our first day, we hit the museums and explored the streets between Le Louvre & Notre Dame. When I say ‘explore’, I mean getting lost. Nothing a glass of Champagne could not fix at Café Palais Royal.
After our champagne ‘pick me up’ we stumbled across Paris-London Brasserie on our way to our Hotel. We were only going to have a cheese platter but the smell of the French onion soup was too enticing. So, you know when in Rome… well….you get the picture. The diners at Paris-London on Place de la Madeleine all seemed to be local and French speaking which added to the authentic French Brasserie experience for us.
By the way…I highly recommend the French Onion Soup.
Day 2: We got a good breakfast recommendation from a colleague and made our way to Coquelicot in Montmartre – just in time for the festive atmosphere at the local food and wine market. The area was filled with food stands, bustling shoppers and more champagne!
We made our way back to Madeleine in the afternoon to sample the hot chocolate, people rave about at Angelina’s. On our way, we walked through the streets of Madeleine and believe me it’s hard not to pop into one of the high-street brand stores. I really, really tried… aaaaand two sweaters later Kate Spade won (I had to leave the bag behind. I don’t think my furry friend at home would have appreciated the deceit). After a long wait, I can honestly say that Angelina’s certainly lived up to their reputation, but we will probably not queue up again, especially not after discovering Café Pouchkine the next day.
In the evening, we got all dressed up and had cocktails at Buddha Bar before retiring at midnight.
Favorite neighborhoods to visit:
Madeleine: Very central, great for shopping and dining
1 Arr: the Eiffel Tour is beautiful at night, a must see up close and your photos will be beautiful, no matter what angle you take. Tip: Walk across Rue de l’universite for fab angles.
Montmarte: visit this charming area on a Saturday and you’ll step into the local market for French food and champagne – just because its weekend. Then climb the street, Rue de Steinkerque to the Sacré Coeur for the best view of Paris.
Le Marais Area: We love the area very much because of the diversity in food
Saint Louis Island: The oldest, most authentic Parisian area – definite for couples in love, like in the movies!
Day 3: We rose up early this morning for the most chic champagne breakfast imaginable. We cannot praise Café Pouchkin enough for their staff, service and the best croissants we have ever had! I cannot imagine walking out of this restaurant, not feeling special.
The interior is opulent with 19th century décor and luxurious details such as the grand spiral staircase and silk taffeta chairs. The result is extravagant with four lounges to host beautiful events. Not only do they serve lavishly decorated French and Russian pastries on fine china, they also have a full savory breakfast, lunch and dinner menu of French and Russian specialties.
Day 4: We wandered through the beautiful streets around the Eiffel Tower for some photographic memories before our tour to the Palace of Versailles. We definitely recommend the trip out to Versailles to experience the exquisite Hall of Mirrors, King’s Grand Apartments and explore the Château de Versailles, its gardens and Marie-Antoinette’s palatial spread. We finished the day off, indulging in hot chocolate while travelling back to Paris to watch people taking pictures of the Eiffel Tower at night.
Before our trip home, the next day, we made sure to stop by Café Pouchkine for a box of the best croissants and macaroons in Paris, to take with us to the airport. And off we goooo!! Happy out!
Where to eat – restaurants and cafes:
Café Pushkin: A superb spot for a celebratory occasion, macaroons & all pastries!
Coquelicot, 24 Rue des Abbesses: Super cozy spot, amazing breakfast selection for all palettes and traditionally French. This little café stole our hearts.