Bonjour my pretties!
If you don’t already know, over the past couple of weeks we packed up our home in London, got married in France and now we are home bound via some sort of ‘wedmoon’! Over the next month I’ll hopefully time to finally get around to posting my neglected pictures from our travels while I sit on trains, boats and planes! So to kick it off, here is my weekend guide to Paris! 🇫🇷
Weekend Guide to Paris
I have to say that each time we visit I like it a little more for a few reasons.
Needless to say the first time we did all the super touristy things – a trip to the Louvre, picnic under the Eiffel Tower, a night out at the Moulin Rouge. It was all very lovely but it was the height of summer and all the Parisians had fled the city for their summer holidays and all that was left was tourists and a bucket load of pick pockets.
Since our first visit in 2012, there seems to be a lot more ‘tourist’ friendly signs and directions. The pick pockets and scammers still seem to be running rife and the police just seem to ignore them but c’est la vie!
In the morning we rose early and set off to the trendy Le Marais district in search of a good coffee. Our first stop was a trendy little cafe called Ob-La-Di. It’s not your typical ‘French’ cafe, rather it channels more of a L.A. / Melbourne vibe with it’s blue and white tiles and copper pipes.
Not your typical french breakfast, the menu is small but full of healthier delights. We had the avo toast with pomegranates and the berry granola with yoghurt but there are all sorts of chia seed, matcha, gluten free concoctions on the menu. Most importantly, the coffee is brilliant – the best I’ve had in Paris by a country mile!
~ Ob-La-Di, 54 Rue de Saintonge, 75003, Paris
Just around the corner, I persuaded Mr TUQ to make a “quick” stop off at Merci. You probably recognise Merci from the instagram pics of ‘that red mini’ out the front of their building.
If you can divert your attention from the mini, you should actually make a trip inside. It’s like a mini homewares stores with a little fashion and gifts. Many of the ceramics are french-made but there are also loads of Scandinavian vases, glasses and stationery nicknacks. It’s like a giant Hay store which is basically my idea of heaven!
Don’t forgot to visit the downstairs area as well. If you need a dish brush, a funky bell for your bike or a serious garlic peeler then this if your place. There are is also a lovely bookshop cafe on the ground floor and a cafeteria downstairs as well. Now i just need to figure out who I need to speak to to bring this store to Australia!
~ Merci, 111 Boulevard Beaumarchais, 75003, Paris
After our little shopping trip I persuaded Mr TUQ that we needed to is it Rue Cremieux. Surprisingly I’ve never actually visited the famous street of Rue Cremieux before. The neighbourhood is quite residential and it’s not really a place you go to unless you want to get a snap of the candy coloured buildings.
Luckily it wasn’t overly busy when we went, although we did notice the bride brigade seem to come here after their trip to the Eiffel Tower.
My favourite house on the street had to be this one, pink of course! The @glitterguide also reposted my pic which is kind of a big deal! 🙂
~Rue Crémieux, 75012 Paris
Jardin Du Luxembourg
The local gardens are always top of my list when I visit France. In the bustle of the city, their perfectly manicured gardens offer tranquility and a space for people to mingle and relax.I love the big pond at the Jardin du Luxembourg. If you have a kid (big or small), you can hire a small sail boat to sail around the pond. It reminds me like a little scene from Madeline (might be lost on people not born in the 80s)?
If you think your boule skills are up for it then you can go join the local for a game. But be warned, these guys take their boule seriously.
Spring is obviously one of the nicest time to visit when the gardens are in bloom but I can imagine it would like equally as magical with a light dusting of snow.
~Jardin Du Luxembourg, Rue de Médicis – Rue de Vaugirard, 75006 Paris, France
Ralph’s Cafe, Ralph Lauren Store
By that stage our stomaches were grumbling so we set off in search of food. I’ve seen people visit Ralph’s Restaurant near Saint Germain on Instagram so I thought I’d see what all the fuss was about. While the setting is beautiful, the food is beautiful, the people are beautiful…. the service was borderline horrific. Which is proof in the pudding that pictures don’t necessarily tell the whole story!
People were actually storming out and abusing the waitstaff because they had been waiting so long to get any form of attention (French and non-Frenchies). Call me crazy but we’re kind of used to this inattentive service in France. We also weren’t in a rush so it didn’t really both us. With a rose champagne and plenty of frites in hand, you can’t be that upset with life can you?
~Ralph’s, 173 Boulevard Saint-Germain, 75006 Paris, Francia
For the rest of the afternoon we wandered around the St Germain shops. Two of my favourites stores in St Germain are City Pharma and also Kinza shoe store. City Pharma is like a giant pharmacy meets skincare store. Leave your bags, children, partner outside because it’s not for the faint hearted. Every inch of the wall is packed with amazing french brands like Laroche Posay, Bioderma, Embryolisse and the rest of the space is filled with people. You can get some amazing deals if you’re willing to wiggle around like a sardine in a tin.
My other favourite store is actually a shoe store called, Kinza. I brought two pairs of ballet flats from this store in 2012 and I’ve only just thrown them away this year. The shoes are all Italian leather, French + Italian made. Great quality, great price and ballet flats and espadrilles in every colour you could ever want!
~Saint-Germain-des-Prés, 75006 París, Francia
Weighed down with shopping bags, we stopped back off at our hotel. This time we stayed at Hotel Bassano.
We’ve stayed in St Germain before in shoe boxes and this time we decided we wanted a bit more space. It was really easy to get to and lovely inside. The area was much quieter and also very close to the Eiffel Tower which came in handy for our early morning trips!
~ Hotel Bassano, 15 Rue de Bassano, 75116 Paris, Francia
For dinner, we went over to a wine bar at Chez Nous. What was mean to be a wine before dinner turned many wines and an antipasti dinner of cheese and cold meats. The guys behind the bar were so passionate about their wine and Mr TUQ is a bit of a wine buff so it was a match made in heaven.
We had a bottle of the Beaujolais which was absolutely delicious!
Feeling a bit tipsy, we followed the Eiffel Tower lights home. The lights go off every hour on the hour after sunset. Although I’ve been to Paris three times before, I’ve never actually seen this spectacular show. It was just as romantic as I imagined!
~ Chez Nous, 10 Rue Dauphine, 75006 Paris, Francia
The next morning we rose at the crack of dawn, to get down to the Eiffel Tower before the crowds set in.
Even at 730 in the morning there were people everywhere.. and I mean everywhere! Brides walking around in their gowns, families getting their pictures taken and bloggers with their bundle of balloons. It’s one of the rare places where there are almost as many photographers as tourists!
It’s always fun watching local photographers as they always know all the good spots. These two perched themselves up on a grate for a romantic picture. The photographer’s assistant then lured in birds with bread and then claps on a plastic water bottle which sends them into a flurry in the air.
(A word of wisdom: standing on a grate in high heels is not a sensible idea…)
After some petit dejeuner at a little local cafe (bread and butter with une cafe!), we went exploring around St Germain.
We always forgot that Europeans have a day of rest on Sundays so none of the shops were open. Instead we wandered through the streets and did some window shopping instead (better for the bank account anyway!).
~Eiffel Tower, Champ de Mars, 5 Avenue Anatole France, 75007 Paris, France
Brasserie Lipp, St Germain
Afterwards we went to visit to Brasserie Lipp for lunch. Mr TUQ went for the confit duck (his standard French meal of choice) and I had the Choucroute de la Mer which is the most magnificent fish dish. It has three types of fish over a bed of pickled cabbage and topped with a beurre blanc sauce. If you like fish and you see this on the menu then I highly recommend giving it a go! Mr TUQ also had a very light and fluffy mille-feuille which they recommend as one of their specialities.
Unfortunately I’d come down with some stomach bug so I really didn’t enjoy it as much as I should have. I also was more interested in tucking myself into bed than eating so unfortunately I don’t have any pics. If you want to see more pics of the restaurant then @rosielondoner did a great post on it here.
~ Brasserie Lipp, 151 Boulevard Saint Germain.
Other places I love to visit in Paris:
Palace of Versailles – If you want to be wowed the visit these magnificent gardens. You can ride bikes through the grounds and then explore the rooms of the opulent palace.
Museum D’Orsay – Some of my favourite Van Gough and Degas pieces are housed in this lovely museum. It’s a beautiful space and the building itself is quite magnificent.
Moulin Rouge – If you are over 18 then you should definitely go see the Moulin Rouge. Yes there is a little nudity, but the dancing and the show and the ambience is quite spectacular.
I hope you enjoy your Parisian travels mon cheri!