“Paris is always a good idea.”
Only a short train ride away from London, the French capital springs to life as the trees blossom and sidewalk terrasses turn the city into a buzzing street party. So whether you’re craving a weekend of roaming the world’s best museums or just want to sit in the sun and read a book, glass of wine in hand, we’ve created a quick itinerary of suggestions for a short-but-sweet break in the city of lights…
No trip to Paris is complete without spending one morning at the cafe, enjoying your coffee and croissant in the sun, “en terrasse”, as the locals do. While there’s practically a cafe on every corner, if you’re after the quintessential experience (as well as fantastic people-watching) head to Cafe De Fleur
or Les Deux Magots
. Known for their famous patrons including Hemingway, Simone de Beauvoir and Picasso, these Left Bank cafes offer a slice of Parisian life, unchanged for over a century.
Known as the neighbourhood of artists and philosophers, the Latin Quarter has also become a favourite destination for boutique shopping. From vintage fashion to unique homewares and ceramics, get lost for hours exploring the winding streets. Discover the unique vintage apothecary inspired perfume oils and natural beauty supplies at Officine Universelle Buly 1803
, peruse the racks of designer vintage gems at GoodJo or pay a visit to the oldest English-language bookstore in Paris, Shakespeare & Company
Wonder through the charming Saint Germain neighbourhood towards the Musee Rodin
and get lost in the museum’s sprawling gardens of gorgeous sculptures including Rodin’s masterpiece The Thinker (1840-1917).
Designed to serve as a tranquil hideaway in the middle of the city, these shaded gardens are also the perfect place to take a midday break and enjoy a quiet moment of contemplation.
In France, the afternoon snack is called “ le goûter” and usually consists of a sweet treat such as a biscuit or pastry. Although the term is used more frequently for school-aged children, the French are known to enjoy their “goûter” at every age, usually combining it with an afternoon coffee or tea. Our favourite afternoon treats are the famous macarons at Pierre Herme,
a classic Baba au rhum from Stohrer
or the secret garden and fleur d’oranger flavoured delights at Bontemps
. Gluten-free? Head to Chambelland
for their award-winning gluten-free cakes, breads and confections and bring a tote – you’ll likely want to bring some of their popular bread back on the train with you!
After indulging you sweet tooth you may want to take a stroll along the city most famous main artery – the Seine. In springtime the pedestrian pathway along the river becomes a favourite meeting point for young and old Parisians alike, offering the perfect stage to the city’s renowned sunsets. Bring a blanket or grab a seat at one of the many cafes that pop-up during the warmer months and watch the world go by.
Dinner in Paris is a celebration. Whether it’s a five-course meal at a Michelin-star restaurant or a simple crepe from a street-vendor, food in France is a point of national pride, and even identity. There are far too many incredible restaurants to name but if you’re looking for the classic French experience look no further than Le Grand Colbert
. The dining room of this classic French brasserie was originally built in 1828 and includes high ceilings supported sculpted pillars and the original mosaic floors. Known for their menu of traditional dishes (including escargots) Le Grand Colbert if a favourite of locals and tourists alike.
After dinner, of course, is when the city truly lights up and so no trip to Paris should end without a romantic stroll (or taxi ride!) through its famous landmarks. Get an unparalleled view of both the Arc de Triomphe and Eiffel Tower from the obelisk at Place de la Concorde, then wander to Place de La Vendome and if the mood strikes, perhaps pop into the legendary Bar Hemingway
at The Ritz for a nightcap. As the famous writer himself once said, “Paris is a moveable feast.”