I feel like a bit of a fraud writing this post, mostly because I’ve never actually stayed in Paris city itself for more than 24 hours. I am the queen of fleeting visits to the French capital. Quick jaunts for hot chocolate, some Insta porn of the Eiffel Tower and enough wine to get me feeling tiddly and slightly emosh over how poetically charming the city is. And then cya bye peace out live a good life, I’m off.
But I guess it’s that exact reason why I love Paris so much – it’s close enough and easy enough to get to (just two hours, 31 minutes by Eurostar) that it feels like you could still be in the UK, and yet, it’s so, so much more.
(Every corner is the perfect outfit shot background, so there’s that, if nothing else).
So I thought I’d share my favourite parts of Paris – the places I’d recommend to friends, the places that don’t take much time to visit and the places that taste absolutely freakin’ insane.
GRAND HOTEL DU PALAIS ROYAL
The joy about staying only one night in grand ol’ Paree, is that you can treat yo’ self to something a little bit fancier. The Grand Hotel Du Palais Royal is a v divine choice for many reasons – firstly the location, which puts you within a ten-minute walking distance of the Louvre, Angelina’s (more on this babe later) and Le Palais Royal itself.
With only 68 rooms (it’s part of the Small Luxury Hotels group), it feels intimate and cosy, plus there’s a spa, which let’s face it, is always v much appreciated after a long day of exploring.
It’s my top pick because the staff are incredibly kind and helpful, plus the breakfast in bed really gets your day off to a top notch sassy start (because what’s not to love about coffee and croissants in your dressing gown whilst looking out over the city?).
THE EIFFEL TOWER
It’s an obvious one, but a good one. Both times I’ve visited Paris we’ve jumped in an Uber out to the Eiffel Tower first thing in the morning and then walked back towards the city centre along the river, taking in all the pretty dreamy bridges and architecture. Rather than go up the tower itself, it’s worth heading to the viewing platform across the river at the Trocadero gardens to get some v dreamy photos of the landmark <3
You can stop at Angelina’s for cake and macarons but the real star of the show is the hot chocolate. HUBBA MOTHER FLIPPIN’ HUBBA. Chris hated it because it’s so rich and thick, but I love that it’s basically just a takeout cup of melted chocolate to keep your hands warm whilst you mosey about. Starbucks who?
JARDIN DES TUILERIES
Whilst I’ve admittedly never entered the Louvre, the gardens next door are pretty dreamy for a walk. In the spring it’s filled with beautiful blossom trees, and there’s a big fountain, and it’s just the perfect little spot to take 10 minutes away from the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy that hot chocolate you just snapped up (Angelina’s faces onto the Jardin Des Tuileries).
There’s a handful of Laduree shops across the city and if you don’t visit at least one of them to Instagram the macarons did you even visit Paris?
Whilst the macrons make a v sensible snack for the Eurostar home, the Laduree tea salon on Rue Royale makes a good pit stop for French toast with raspberries (in case you were worried you hadn’t quite got your yearly quota of sugar in), and, well, tea.
Ignore the Sephora on Champs Elysees because it makes even the most seasoned shopaholic want to lie on the floor and weep (plus you get searched on entry now because of security) and head to the branch on Rue de Rivoli which is much calmer (and still has the same dreamy Anastasia Beverly Hills stock). There’s also a Forever 21, Benefit Brow Bar, Bershka, and Zara super close by.
This places looks pretty hideous from the outside – it’s essentially an office block skyscraper based in the south of the city and you can get there by Uber or public transport. You have to pay to go to the top, but the views over the city are some of the best (and the highest) you’ll get. The real reason I love the Montparnasse Tower so much is that there’s also a restaurant up there (called Ciel de Paris) that’s kind of hidden by the lifts and not very well sign-posted.
Me and my pal Tilly split a bottle of champagne next to the window last year and watched the sun set on the Eiffel Tower and it was the most majestic thing I’ve seen in my entire life. I even mentioned it in my best moments of 2016 post.
BRASSERIE DU LOUVRE
I’ve never eaten a bad meal at any of the restaurants and cafes that spill out onto the streets of Paris. My favourite lunch pit stop is to work out which restaurant has the most people eating outside and to order a big glass of red wine and a cheese and charcuterie board. V dreamy. Anyway Chris and I stumbled on the Brasserie Du Louvre by accident and it’s easily one of the most expensive meals we’ve ever had (probably because it’s so close to the Louvre).
But that steak. That creamy mashed potato. Those chips. Oh baby. If you’re looking for something that’ll let you kid yourself you’re a v rich Parisian woman for an evening, this is your fella.
Where are your fave places in Paris?
I was a guest of Grand Hotel Du Palais Royal but as always, all views my own.