I am many things: impulsive, an escapist, and above all, a card carrying romantic with dreams of Paris in the fall. A month ago I was feeling undone, overwhelmed and generally over it. In a triumphant effort not to wallow in those feelings I booked a flight to Paris hoping to find some Joie-De-Freaking-Vivre. Five perfect nights left me feeling like the cat eyed ingenue in a Jean-Luc-Godard film. Special thanks to my romantic partner, Joe, for being a true adventurer and the subject of a million photos.
Below is a collection of my favorite moments, spots, strolls and meals. Enjoy.
We arrived at our flat in Montmartre. Fresh from our flight I’m looking very American - still wearing yoga pants smh. I shower and adorn myself in my Parisian uniform: jeans, boots, sweater & blazer. I decide my look & beauty routine here will be minimal & natural. I let my hair air dry, moisturize my skin & swipe on some nude lipstick. Et Voilà! I am feeling very Parisian.
Around the corner we find a fresh plate of oysters at Bulot Bulot. Followed by a very French dinner (radishes and butter, tajine, tartar & fries) at the classic bistro Bouillon Pigalle. There’s always a long line here but it’s beyond worth it and moves fast.
*If you learn anything about Joe from this guide it will undoubtedly be that his taste in food and drink is far more refined than mine. Also note that I am a teetotaler so when I mention drinking at bars imagine Joe’s glass full of spirit and me sipping a Perrier or my go to virgin cocktail (lime, soda & bitters on ice).
This day, like every day in Paris, began with pain au chocolat & a flat white. We wandered the streets of Montmartre then climbed to the tip top of Sacre Coeur. It’s breathtaking magic. Followed by a proper French lunch at Buvette. Order the Tajine. You will melt.
A sunset walk down The River Seine past La Tour Eiffel. Once the sun set we spent a few hours at the bar in the Shangri-La. It is lavish and romantic and I want to live in their bathroom. The night ended with a quick bite at a cafe I can’t remember the name of followed by another round of drinks at the local gem Le Petite Cafe Montmartre.
First things first, I’m a local now and procure my pain au chocolate & flat white from the usual suspects on what I’m now brazenly and incorrectly calling the market street. Our morning is spent soaking in nudes and sunlight at the Louvre. For lunch we eat one giant plate of cheese and one giant plate of sausage at Café de Flore. It is divine. We hold hands as we wind through the flower market (I’m usually not a hand holder but Paris is pushing all of my romance buttons). On the River Seine I find a collection of pink bound Anaïs Nin books. I buy them and spend the next hour detailing her affair with Henry Miller to Joe.
Cocktails & a Perrier, lime & bitters to write home about at Danico ( a Nico De Soto joint for you cocktail aficionados). Tucked away behind the fancy pizza joint Daroco in the 2nd arrondissement. Dinner at another dreamy sidewalk cafe that shall remain nameless (because I forgot to document). I am reading Devotion by Patti Smith. I read it aloud to Joe before we fall asleep.
Greens & oatmeal for breakfast at Cafe Oberkampf, a welcomed break from our croissants & cheese fueled days. We spend a spellbinding afternoon winding our way through the Jean-Michel Basquiat exhibit at the Louis Vuitton Foundation. I spend our post show espresso reading the New York Times article published just after Basquiat’s death and lament to Joe about how problematic the archetype of the tortured artist is & the curse of addiction. We’ve mastered the Metro now and ride it to Notre Dame to soak up the rest of the day.
The pièce de résistance of our entire journey was an ill planned trip to Citypharma to stock up on French skincare. On my walk there I realized I’d totally dropped the ball on my research and messaged my chic friend with dewey skin, Alex for some help. She has an entire blog post dedicated to shopping for beauty in Paris. So please, I beg you, if you do anything before you go to Paris read this post and buy everything she tells you to. It’s worth it.
Joe and I celebrated a beautiful trip with drinks and bites at Combat, our absolute favorite cocktail spot in Paris. Balanced & beautiful drinks fixed by an all female bar team. It’s rare that I (a non drinker) rave about a bar, but here I am raving. DO NOT MISS IT.
Et Voilà. Five nights in Paris. I am French now.