Oh, springtime in Paris – can life get any better? Paris is always the city that makes me feel the most inspired, the most romantique, the most worldly, and certainly the most happy. Each visit has been unique, but still allowed me to experience the essence of the city. If you didn’t catch my initial excitement for this post, I’ll reiterate that Paris is my absolute favorite city. I love it so much, it was already my fourth time visiting and certainly not the last!
Because I have been to Paris multiple times already, I didn’t feel like I had to do all the typical tourist and museum activities (besides spending a day at Versaille) that I’ve done in the past. I got to focus on walking around the old aristocratic alleyways, eating at extraordinary restaurants, and soaking up the culture at a more relaxed pace. Plus, I stayed in the most chic boutique hotel in Le Marais, Les Bains Paris, which made it hard to even leave the lobby at times!
Les Bains is jam packed full of history. It began in 1885 as a luxury bathhouse, whose patrons included French novelist Marcel Proust. It then reemerged as Paris’ most notorious nightclub in the 80s and 90s, and finally reopened in 2015 as a boutique hotel and nightclub. On top of the history, the rooms are boldly decorated and the bathrooms are stocked with my favorite Le Labo products.
The first day we wandered around Le Marais in the morning, had cheese toast at Cafe Charlot, explored the Île Saint-Louis, and then at night we ate at derrière. The restaurant had such a cool vibe as if you were dining in someone’s well-decorated living room and the food was amazing. It was definitely a hidden gem. Also upstairs, there is a not to be missed secret smoking room that you literally climb through a vintage wardrobe to get to. Speak easy!
The next day was filled with more strolling through gardens and eating. I had the best coma-inducing meal of my life at l’Ami Jean. I am still dreaming about their parmesan soup. My idol, Mimi Thorisson, has graciously shared the recipe on her blog, and I made it the day after getting back home.
That night we ate pizza at La Bricola and drank exquisite old fashioneds in our hotel bar. The next day, I had the best crêpes of my life at Breizh Café. The French really know what they’re doing in the kitchen, as evidenced by their use of unique flavor combinations and high quality ingredients. That afternoon after brunch, I visited my favorite museum, Centre Pompidou, before flying back to California.
It never feels like you have enough time to do everything you want, but my favorite part of this Paris trip were the impromptu strolls; window shopping in Galeries Lafayette; eating sweet treats at Fauchon; and dropping in brasseries for moules-frites, vino, and great conversation.