Ça va bien? Two weeks ago I got to break out my french during a whirlwind four-day trip to Paris. I actually won this trip in a contest if you can believe it! I had the best vacation filled with food, art and culture, and even though I only had a short time in the city I covered a lot of ground — so much ground that I actually have to split this travel diary into two posts to fit it all. So without further ado, here is my Paris travel diary!
I landed in Paris around 11am, after an exhausting AirFrance flight from JFK (note: red-eye + screaming baby = struggle), and headed straight to my hotel to drop off my things and freshen up. As you know, I have a thing for hotels, and Hotel Square Louvois did not disappoint. The boutique hotel featured a comfy bed, huge Parisian windows and, my favorite, a luxe bathroom with robes and slippers.
After putting my luggage down and changing into one of the 15 outfits I packed for my four-day trip, I headed out to explore the neighborhood while I patiently awaited the arrival of min skat (or in this case I guess I should say mon chéri).
Alex touched down in Paris a few hours later, and after dropping his stuff off at the hotel we ventured out in search of a good spot to eat. The first two restaurants we tried to get into were packed, but the third time was the charm, as we stumbled upon the cutest Italian trattoria called Enza & Famiglia that happened to have one table available for us.
This restaurant was amazing in all aspects! The hospitality of the staff was over the top (they literally took a menu down off the wall for us to look at), the vibe of the restaurant was cozy and homey, and most importantly the food was delicious. Alex and I indulged in pasta, red wine, and a tiramisu so amazing that we ordered seconds! Yes, you read that right, we ordered seconds on dessert. #YOLO
After dinner we checked out the Parisian nightlife scene at a nearby bar called Else, and then finally headed back to the hotel in the wee wee hours of the night (or very early in the morning, depending on which way you look at it). On the way back we took a quick detour to try and see the Louvre pyramid glowing in the night sky. Of course when we got there, the lights were about to go off for the night, but it was romantic for a few seconds!
Let me start out by saying this: There is probably nothing more exciting than waking up in Paris, and Sunday morning I woke up ecstatic to start the day. After a delicious breakfast at our hotel, we were on our way!
The first stop for me in Paris is always the Eiffel Tower. It’s super cliche, but I love it anyways. There’s just something about the grandeur and magnificence of the landmark that almost hypnotizes me. No matter how many times I go to Paris, the Eiffel Tower will never get old. Alex and I took photos from every angle possible, and then headed off to explore some of the less touristy parts of Paris.
Next up we wandered around the beautiful Montmartre neighborhood. In contrast to the Eiffel Tower, which I’ve been to numerous times, I’d never been to Montmartre and was excited to explore a new part of the city! First we stopped at the vibrant Pigalle basketball court, then I dragged Alex to see the “Wall of Love” in the Jehan Rictus garden square, where you can find the phrase “I Love You” written in almost every language imaginable. Finally we made our way up to the Sacré-Coeur, a basilica located at the very top of the hilly neighborhood. The view was spectacular from the top, and you know how I love my #views, so naturally I had a great time at the Sacré-Coeur.
After hanging out at the Sacré-Coeur for a bit, Alex and I got lunch at La REcyclerie, an eco-friendly restaurant, bar and cafe that is devoted to reducing, reusing and -of course – recycling waste. Located inside of a converted train station, La REcyclerie has a much chiller vibe than other eateries in Paris, and was the perfect place for Alex and I to re-energize ourselves after a long day of walking.
After resting up over a cup of coffee (okay, Alex had coffee and I had a glass of rosé), we headed off to our last big activity of the day, visiting the Centre Pompidou!
Centre Pompidou is a hub for modern art and culture in Paris, and it was amazing to walk around and see the artwork and installations up close. Some of the art was questionable to say the least, but a lot of it was also really interesting! It was awesome walking through the galleries, and I’m glad that we squeezed it in even though we’d already had a packed day and were pretty exhausted.
After a long day of exploring, we headed back to the hotel to take a much needed nap and relax before dinner. We ended our night at a trendy restaurant called Daroco, which was luckily just a quick five-minute walk from our hotel. We won’t talk about how I misread the reservation time and got us there an entire hour early; instead we will fast forward through that #fail and talk about how bomb this restaurant is!
The food was spectacular! The wine was delicious, the pizza was divine, and the dessert had Alex and I basically in a food coma. If you’re ever in Paris I HIGHLY recommend eating at Daroco!
After dinner Alex and I headed back to the hotel for the night. It was an incredible day (albeit a long one), and we needed to make sure we were rested enough to do it all over again the next day.
And there you have it; Part one of my Paris diaries. Part two to come soon! A bientôt!