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French Girl Summer: Paris

The last stop on the summer tour de France was the incomparable Paris.

Every girl needs Paris and it was exciting to be back after a few years especially to celebrate my birthday!








From Provence I took a direct train from Avignon TGV with SNCF to Paris Gare de Lyon.

I love how in less than 3 hours the landscape changes so drastically.

There is something so special about Paris, I know it is not everyone’s favourite city but I find something so alluring about it, the energy is intoxicating!

I had a few nights alone planned before my sisters joined me on the last leg of the trip.

Being I had always wanted to stay in arr.6, St Germain-des-Pres I selected the centrally located charming

Tucked away on a quiet street the courtyard was so welcoming upon arrival.

The hotel is enrobed in Pierre Frey fabrics, rich tones of colour with a Morrocan inspired breakfast room on the lower level. Being I arrived in the late afternoon, I spent the rest of the day wandering around St Germain-des-Pres, popping in and out of boutiques I had on my list.


One highlight was shopping at Maria Del Orden, I had purchased pieces by the Spanish designer in the past but was delighted to try on so much of the collection at her only boutique.

I enjoyed an easy dinner at L’avant Comptoir du Marche, a fun lively standing tapas style bar. Think small plates of pork belly caramelized with honey, ham and cheese croquettes and a slab of beurre worth slathering on the crusty bread.

I grabbed a gelato, and carried on to Jardin du Luxembourg where I sat at golden hour admiring the glow over the Medici fountain.

It was a perfect first day in a city that has finally started to feel more familiar.


I spent the only full day I had alone catching up with an old friend who moved to Paris a few years back.

We enjoyed time together in her neighbourhood, Montmartre, a wonderful part of the city, arr.18 with beautiful views and lovely winding streets. She told me years ago Montmartre was never a part of Paris, and spending more time there it did in fact feel as if it was its own city.

We had cafe’s in the gardens of Montmartre Museum, quiet and quaint followed by a decadent brunch at Hardware Société. After parting ways I ventured to Place des Vosges. One of my favourite spots in Paris. So many people were out picnicking on the lawns in the square and enjoying a hot Sunday afternoon.

After a few hours of walking around, I picked up a pastry at one of my favourite patisserie’s, Yann Couvreur, the tarte au citron was perfection!



Once my sisters arrived it was all good fun and the days were filled with amazing food and sites to share!

My birthday is Bastille Day, the national holiday of France, as the French call it, Le Quatorze Julliet.

We admired the fireworks over the Eiffel Tower and caught glimpses earlier in the day of the parade and airshow.

Paris sure does know how to through a fête!





Sharing below a round up of what to see, my favourite museums and galleries, other hotels I’ve stayed at, along with where to eat and shop!


To See


Place des Vosges

One of my favourite squares in Marais.

Place de la Concorde

Houses the famous Fontaine de Mers


Grand Palais

Large historical exhibition space. Currently closed due to renovations.

Place Vendôme

One of the most famous and neoclassical squares, and currently houses the most famous luxury designers



Notre Dame

Still under construction after the large fire


Jardin du Luxembourg

Beautifully manicured housing a Medici fountain


Jardin des Tuileries

Wonderful to wander in the summer or fall, don’t miss the carousel and ferris wheel!

La Marais

Located in the 3rd and 4th, rich in history and culture. I love how alive and local this arrondissement feels.

Saint Germain-des-Prés

Located in the 6th, filled with wonderful home decor shops and cafes.


Montmartre

Known for the Basilica of the Sacre Coeur, sitting on a large hill in the 18th arrondissement.

Filled with tiny cobble stone streets, views of the city and people watching.


Boat ride along the Seine

Vedettes de Paris - Great for a late night ride under the stars with a glass of champagne

Paris boat prestige -Wonderful company that offers private rides in beautiful vintage boats




Museums & Galleries


No introduction needed here. I very much enjoyed exploring Napoleons apartments!


Located on the Left Bank. Home to the largest collection of impressionist and post impressionist pieces.

If you love 17th century art, this iconic monument on Place de la Concorde offers beautiful hallways of art and architecture.


Tucked in the Jardin des Tuileries, home to a 360 degree painting of Monet’s lilies, Les Nymphéas.


A wonderful exhibition celebrating 70 years of Dior

Completely worth the train ride out of Paris to Giverny. The house is charming and the gardens so well kept and in bloom. The water lily pond’s reflections were so serene, I have new appreciation for Monet’s lily paintings.


Take an Uber or train ride to Versailles to indulge in the opulence of Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette.

I like booking the full passport to explore the full property. You will need a full day to see it all! Pack a picnic or enjoy lunch at one of the spots on location.





Hotels









To Eat


Cafés


Amazing coffee bar with small viennoiserie and seating


I am always hesitant to go to the “it” places, but decided to give it a go for a coffee and brioche. If you can sit outside it is a great place for people watching.


Known for the hot chocolate

Bustling all day, decent pastries and fare


Patisseries/ Pastry Chefs to Admire




Everything he touches is gold ! I love his Paris Brest.


I am sure your instagram account has been flooded by Grolet’s opulent videos of entremets, truly art.


The only macaron I care to indulge in, also I am a big fan of his hazelnut mille feuille.


One of the oldest confectionery shops in Paris.


Total eye candy, the eclairs are incredible.

Get the St Honore.

Beautiful chocolates, delicious gelato!


Restaurants/ Bistros




The most opulent room to enjoy a decadent breakfast. The omelet and pain perdu were perfection!

A wonderful bar as well, with jazz music nightly.


A hotel worth exploring. Enjoyed breakfast here one morning, some of the best viennoiserie's I've had.


Food Hall at Galeries Lafayette

La Maison de la Truffe had decadant truffle dishes.

Decadent bistro with the classics, duck with olives, boeuf au poivre, escargots-yum!

Two bistros by Lignac, we love the mussels, cheeseburger, lobster roll and ooo rum baba!


This felt like one of Paris’ best kept secrets. The property is not only quintessential Paris but lunch in the garden was delicious.

Ralph can do no wrong! A wonderful location for a ladies afternoon.


One of my favourite small plates dinners, no reservations so give yourself time.

One of the best tasting menu experiences.

Saint James Paris

Dinner in the garden gave all the right summer feels, this hotel was newly renovated and is worth visiting.


Classic bistro by Chef Daniel Rose.

Fun and lively tapas style.

I have experienced this restaurant in so many cities, I love the croque monsieur and madame.


Classic bistro favourites.

One word, crêpes!



Grab & Go


Classic quality burger joint.


Always a line up, worth the hype.


So many goods to buy, perfect if you have an air bnb or looking to pack a picnic.

We enjoyed truffle ham and cheese baguettes.




To Shop



St.Ouen Market/ Marché aux Puces de St Ouen


Really heaven on earth! I love searching for one-of-a-kind pieces.

So many 17th-18th century treasures, vintage clothing shops and tabletop finds.

Here is a great source with information regarding hours and the areas. The market is quite expansive and you could spend days here. I personally love Marché Paul Bert section.


Here are a few shops within:

Located in the Marché Paul Bert

I scored a bucket list piece on this visit-a vintage Chanel blazer!


A gallery of vintage, they give you white gloves to wear to browse in.

SJP's looks are often sourced here!





Additional Shops Around Paris


A thoughtful antique shop along the Seine with amazing Faïence pieces.


The oldest department store in the world, displaying a unique selection of exclusive brands and products.


One of the most luxurious largest department stores that displays Art Nouveau architecture.

Another upscale department store.


Spanish designer with a boutique only in Paris.


Delicate and relaxed silhouettes.


A French brand so many of us know and love, although shopping online is fun, it is nice to experience their boutiques now in person.

A French brand with beautiful fabrics and silhouettes, not available yet in North America.


The most magical apothecary shop with impeccable packaging and personalization. So romantic.


Hand made ceramics, everything from pedestals, to bowls and little sculptures.


Antique Print Shop.


Largest cheese shop in the 6th with a beautiful interior.



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