After a wonderful weekend spent wedding planning in Anglesey, Im flying through the fields on my way back to the big smoke! I have been wondering what to write about this week, and it occurred to me when I got on the train that I was wearing my treasured red beret bought from a little market stall in Paris many moons ago and I thought why not share some of my wisdom about my favourite city in the world. I have been pining after it recently, Paris in the Autumn is so beautiful, I know, its so cliche, but I really do obsess over it, the boulangeries, the art, the effortless style, but mainly its the feeling when I get there. I honestly feel like I have arrived at home. It feels like my city, and that's what makes Paris amazing, everyone has their own special love affair with it.
Whenever I stay in Paris, I opt for an Airbnb. This is for a few reasons; it is of course a lot cheaper, like a LOT cheaper, but its mainly because I like to imagine I'm a budding Parisienne, leaning over my balcony looking up at the Sacre Coeur. I always stay in either Montmartre, for its winding cobbly quiet streets and breathtaking views, or Saint Germaine-des-pres for its gorgeous little boutique shops and its central location.
I usually opt for a studio or an apartment, and always check that there is a view. Both Montmartre and Saint Germaine-des-pres have an amazing selection of old apartments with big windows and lots of quirks. The apartment we stayed in last time was like a treasure trove and was filled with so much personality that you just wouldn't experience in a hotel. You also get the insider knowledge from your host which is priceless when in Paris. We discovered so many things we would have never found alone.
WHERE TO EAT
THE FOOOOOOOOD. Dear lord, its just too good. I have to say though, its definitely a misconception to think that you cant go wrong in Paris with food, you definitely can. Like any city, there are tourist traps everywhere, I always try and eat in neighbourhood restaurants, they tend to be more experimental and have a buzzier atmosphere. One of my absolute favourite restaurants in Paris is Moulin de la galette .
Its on a wonderfully quiet, unassuming, steep and winding street in Montmartre, as the name suggests it is a windmill, but when you step inside it feels like you have gone back to the roaring 20s, with plush carpets, a huge gin selection and beautiful food. The menu changes seasonally, we went in the spring so went for some delicious lamb, A LOT of wine, and we finished off our meal with the meringue tart above, I mean, look at it, a work of art and the most insane dessert I have ever eaten.
Another recommendation in the patisserie department is L'Eclair de Genie there are a few around the city, we visited the Montmartre branch. If like me you can shove 3 eclairs in your mouth in one sitting then this is the place for you, although you really shouldn't be shoving these in, they are little works of art and Christophe, the genius behind the concept, comes up with some really interesting flavour combinations and the decoration is picture perfect.
If you want to feel like you are really in Paris, Restaurant Polidor its just the ticket; the steak, the cassoulet, the wine. its all there, and the atmosphere is magical.
WHERE TO SHOP
Paris is of course full of recognised stores, but I love to root around the thrift shops and boutiques to find unique and unusual things, there are SO many great shops to mention but I love Sissi's Corner for exquisite vintage pieces and designer finds, Celine for their beautiful leather bags and Equipment for their beautiful silk shirts.
WHAT TO SEE
If, like me, you have been to Paris a few times, the real sights are just the things you see as you wonder around, the bakers, the coffee shops the buildings, Paris is so easy to walk around, you really don't need to get on transport, if you are feeling brave you could get on a bike, but I prefer to soak it all in. I feel like a trip to Paris without seeing some art is tragic.
My go to spot is the Pompidou you can browse the permanent collection with works from Yves Klein, Matisse and Duchamp but they also have incredible visiting exhibitions and the centre alone is worth a visit. I also love the Yvon Lambert gallery to discover new and experimental artists.
I love walking around Parc Des Buttes-Chaumont, it is less formal than Luxembourg and is a little off the beaten track, it feels like you are discovering a new spot and you could spend the entire day there eating and reading.
Let me know your recommendations for Paris