As an unfaltering Francophile/Parisian wannabe, I am often asked for my recommendations on my favourite things to do in Paris. I’ll leave it to your guidebooks to tell you all the obvious places to go, but here are a few of my favourite Parisian places and whimsies.
1. Get a sugar rush: I can still vividly remember the glee of my first visit to Laduree back in 2003 (I was travelling to Paris for the first time, all by myself, and it remains one of my fondest memories). Whether you go for breakfast, a pot of afternoon rose tea, a magnificent raspberry and lychee ispahan or a plate of jewel-like macarons, make sure you pay a visit to either Laduree or Pierre Herme for the best sugar rush you’ll ever have.
2. Stroll the Seine. I firmly believe that a long, aimless walk along the River Seine is good for the soul. Last time I went, I passed young lovers kissing, old couples dancing, tiny dogs trotting and the sounds of a French accordion floating on the air as the sky turned fairy floss pink at sundown. Magic!
3. Get a literary fix. For generations, the Left Bank has been the spiritual home for generations of French philosophers, bohemians and intellectuals. Take home your own piece of this history from the English-language Shakespeare & Co. bookshop, where there is always shelf upon shelf of new and second-hand books (they have a superb edit) and a steady stream of modern-day poets and academics.
4. Wander Montmartre. And to that other home of arty bohemians, beatniks and romantics; Montmartre. Pass the iconic red windmill of the Moulin Rouge, climb the hill to the foot of the Sacre Coeur (enter to pay your respects if you so wish) and just take a moment to enjoy the spectacular panoramic views over the rooftops of Paris. Find the big pretty pink wedge-shaped building, then walk down the gorgeous cobbled steps and stop at the bottom to take in the golden dappled light over a peppermint tea.
5. Leave a little bit more lovely. When in Paris, it seems only fitting to treat yourself to a few loveliness-enhancing luxuries. Stop by any number of boutiques or grand department stores that dot the city to buy yourself a gorgeous new French perfume, some silk lingerie, a new Chanel lipstick or some decadent truffles.
Part deux up next!
Love, Miss B xx