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Dreaming of crepes and couture??

February 25th, 2011 3 Comments

Get your head out of the clouds and start planning!  Booking now will get you into the places you want to be and save you a small fortune on airfare.  That applies to all vacations obviously.

Unfortunately I can’t give you a personal guide to Paris.  Although I’ve been several times, I’ve never fallen in LOVE with the city, which puts me in the minority of world citizens.  (I’m more a provincial or coastal girl.)

Most people adore Paris and can’t wait to return.  If you haven’t been, it’s a cultural mecca you must experience in your lifetime.  So I’m going to offer up what I know.

If you can swing it, absolutely stay at The Park Hyatt.  I’m not sure if it was the modern decor, inspired sculptures, the vaulted lobby, or the fact I spent a breakfast exchanging glances with Andy Roddick, but I found the hotel to be amazing. Plus, it’s located next to the Place Vendome – the centerpiece of a neighborhood beautiful for strolling and window shopping.

My other tips: seek out Michelin starred restaurants for a once-in-a-lifetime dining experience; buy a crepe with only butter and sugar from a street vendor; eat brioche whenever it’s offered to you; do not miss the Musee d’Orsay.

Fore EVERYTHING else – I’m leading you to A Girls’ Guide to Paris.   You’ll find this site to be the best resource for hotels, restaurants, shopping, and events.

Of course, if there’s anything you want to add, please do! We always appreciate your recommendations in the comments.

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  • Zuzanna

    Some of my favorites: La Regalade- 3 course prix fixe menu.
    Order the souffle for dessert! Bistrot Paul Bert- delicious bistro
    fare! The Paris-Brest is a must for dessert. The 16 euro 3 course
    lunch is an incredible value- come hungry. L’Ami Jean is a
    fantastic small Basque restaurant with the best Riz au lait (rice
    pudding) in the city. Book ahead, they’re always packed. La
    Creperie Bretonne- The best crepes in Paris. After eating their
    crepes and galletes (buckwheat crepes from Brittany) you’ll never
    eat a street crepe again. Laduree- stop at the lavish green and
    gold Champs Elysees shop for tea and sample their cloud like
    macarons. Cafe de Flore- This is probably the most famous of the
    literary cafes in Paris, once graced by the likes of Simone de
    Beauvoir and Sartre, amongst other intelligentsia. Order a chocolat
    a l’ancienne (a thick, creamy, European style hot chocolate) and
    grab a seat on the terasse. This is a great spot to people watch.
    In summer, head to the Grande Epicerie de Paris and fill your
    basket with essentials: cheese, cured meats, wine, some fruit. Buy
    a quarter loaf of the Miche Poilane, don’t forget the butter- and
    you have yourself a picnic. On sunny weekend afternoons all of
    Paris can be found in one of its parks- Buttes Chaumont, Parc
    Montsouris, or if a picnic on pavement doesn’t bother you, the
    Canal St. Martin.

  • Bonjour from Paris – I greatly enjoy your blog. As a
    journalist and now (specialist) private guide here I too have
    always been a coastal / provincial girl but can tell you I had to
    learn to love this city. I was living in Barcelona and a tiny
    coastal Mediterranean village and would come up here to be with
    friends, enjoy the restaurants, galleries and many tiny art house
    cinemas in the Latin Quarter (with films in V.O. – not as easily
    available in Spain) and can tell you this: that Paris is like a new
    lover. You have to slowly uncover its secrets, or let it reveal its
    secrets to you, and then you’re hooked. I have clients who told me
    that on an earlier trip they’d turned left instead of right coming
    out of their hotel and got an entirely different impression of the
    city, vowing never to return. But happily, return they did, and I
    was able to have them experience things and find places I know they
    never would have on their own. So come back to Paris and look me
    up. Let’s linger over coffee (or tea) at a café together.

    • Ugh. Now I wish I was going soon! Thanks for the insider tips Barbara and Zuzanna.