Paris: the city of croissants, wine on the Seine, distinct doors, and giant museums. I spent a week in the scorching June heat taking refuges in cafes, museums, and eating copius amounts of ice cream. Here I'll share with you some of my favorite finds and photos, as well as my recommendation of where to stay when you visit.
Boot Cafe is a bonafide Instagram hotspot: cute facade, great interior, phenomenal coffee. I had to see what the fuss was all about and I thoroughly approve of the hype.
The fresh pink peonies on the few small tables in Boot Cafe add an amazing aroma to the perpetual smell of fresh espresso. The perfect way to slowly wake up in the morning: nose in flowers, sipping strong coffee and people watching through the window.
Laduree may be the most iconic Parisian patisserie, especially given that you can get the most darling pastel boxes to carry your macaron away in. I may or may not have quite a few of these boxes as decoration. Do they have the best macaron in Paris? Probably not. But I can't resist their Saint-Honoreé Rose, a rose and raspberry flavored eclair mountain with generous gobs of whipped cream.
My friend Andre, who lives in Paris, took me and Riham to Eggs&Co. for brunch. They take the egg theme as far as humanly possible: chicken paraphernalia, egg-shaped lighting fixtures, even an attic seating space which makes you feel like a giant hen sitting down to roost.
The meal was just what we needed before hitting the hot streets for a full day of sightseeing and catching up. One major takeaway, other than a full belly, was a fond appreciation of french potatoes. How can simple boiled potatoes be so darn good? I haven't had the inspiration to look further into this curious matter, but when in Paris: eat the potatoes!!
Another morning I stumbled across BigLove. I was admiring the row of Vespas sitting out front when I noticed a plate of pancakes walk by. While they were delicious, the daily breakfast menu is sparse so I'd recommend returning for lunch or dinner, which I'm looking forward to!
Ob-La-Di was another Instagram-recommended cafe. I really loved their interior and the avocado toast (sorry, I went for it.) - and sat happily sipping a cappuccino with my friend Manon.
I was treated to a stay at the Grand Pigalled Hotel and was equally pleased about the gorgeous interior as I was thankful for a few nights in an air conditioned room. Located in the Pigalle neighborhood of Moulin Rouge fame it exemplifies how the area is experiencing a renaissance. Gorgeous rooms open onto terraces overlooking Parisian rooftops and Monmartre.
I brought some of my own snacks - from Laduree, naturally - to enjoy on my balcony.
I especially loved the mix of colors, patterns, and textures in my room. Brass fixtures with blue toned walls, a geometric accent wall, and purple leopard print carpeting. With a giant cozy hotel bed to round it off!
I got to enjoy a late summer sunset over the rooftops, can you spot Monmartre?
The best thing to do in Paris is walk. I love strolling cities and there's so much to see in Paris - from famous sights like Notre Dame below to the ornate doors of the Marais.
My favorite museums in Paris is the Musee d'Orsay, housed in a late-19th century train station. I recommend going early in the morning, to beat the crowds. I didn't heed my own advice and spent half of my visit weaving through the crowds of fellow tourists taking refuge from the midday sun.
Indirect routes lead to charming chocolate shop facades like this one!
Yes, you have to see the Eiffel Tower. But who says you can't roam streets to find perfect views from afar? This was my favorite "peeping Eiffel," I even caught a classic red Citroen speeding by in another shot.
Settling down for a picnic with cold rosé and a view of the Eiffel Tower is also a must. We opted for Esplanade des Invalides, and sat down in the shade to enjoy our feast of macarons, cheese, baguette, berries, and cherries. Well, I sat down on a very unhappy bee which rightfully stung me, all the more reason to drink wine.
Staying at the Grand Pigalle Hotel made it very easy to hike up Montmartre early in the morning. I stopped for a necessary pain au chocolate midway as I made my way up the steep hills. My only company was the odd dogwalker and garbagemen, the latter luckily didn't block any facades.
Parisian gardens have a reputation for a reason. Stroll the perfectly-manicured tree-lined gardens such as Luxembourg Gardens, Tuileries, and Place des Vosges (my favorite).
Angelina sits just outside Luxembourg Gardens, and is a haven for those of us with a sweet tooth. They're especialy known for their hot chotoclate, which I can confirm is just as delicious in it's iced form.
Galerie Vivienne, near the Palais Royale, is full of little old bookshops and a few cafes and restaurants. The tiled floor was really stunning.
I found Daroco, an Italian restaurant, while perusing Galerie Vivienne to avoid the sun (are you sensing a theme?). I stopped in for a cold drink mainly because I needed a closer look at their interior. Another spot I look forward to re-visiting for a proper meal!
Boot Cafe 19 Rue du Pont aux Choux
Eggs&Co. 11 Rue Bernard Palissy
BigLove 30 Rue Debelleyme
Ob-La-Di 54 Rue de Saintonge
Grand Pigalle Hotel 29 Rue Victor Massé
Gardens: Luxembourg, Tuileries, Place des Vosges)
Picnic with a view of the Eiffel Tower