TRAVEL

PARIS WEEKEND GUIDE

April 16, 2017
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Paris, one of my all-time favourite cities in the world, was the start of our week long holiday in France. So when I say ´Paris weekend guide`, it is technically that; as we arrived on Sunday, before heading down to Bordeaux for 4 days (more on that very soon), then returned back for Friday and Saturday in the city. So a reversed weekend escape, but nevertheless – the perfect amount to breathe the air, eat the food, see the sights (and with that, I don´t mean the Eiffel Tower – but the ultra chic people), and then maybe a little cheeky spot of shopping. I mean, when in Paris…

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I go to Paris a lot (previous Paris blog posts here) – I mean, I was only there just over two weeks back with work. But however many times I go, or however many areas I cover; I am always still discovering new hidden gems, streets and experiences – all the more reason for why I keep falling in love with the city every time I visit again. This time my visit was for pure pleasure, together with my half-Parisian husband – AKA my very handsome and handy translator (although my French aint´ that shabby either).

Below I´ve rounded up my personal musts if you only have a weekend in the city – enjoy!


STAY

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I´ve stayed at a lot different hotels in Paris – from small boutique to more grand spots. The last two times I´ve been to Paris, I´ve had the pleasure of staying at the relatively new Parisian hot spot, Le Roch Hotel & Spa. Not only is this ultra-chic boutique hotel right in the heart of Paris, mere footsteps away from the Louvre and Place Vendôme, but it´s probably the most stylish hotel I have ever stayed at; exclusively created by renowned Parisian Interior Designer, Sarah Lavoine. Fused with food by Michelin-star-awarded chef Arnaud Faye, a gorgeous spa by French beauty house Codage (with an indoor pool and hidden hammam), a cozy library with an all-day roaring fire – this classic 19th-century building is the prime base for exploring the heights of the city over a weekend, smack-bang in the the heart of Paris…

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As I was saying, we stayed here for one night on the Sunday – and then came back for Friday and Saturday. The fun in this was being able to experience two different rooms; in other words – more interior inspiration in the memory bank! So all in all – I have stayed in three different rooms and categories (I stayed in their Cosy Room when I came here with work a few weeks back). This time around, I visited Le Roch with Mr & Mrs. Smith – the ultimate hand-picked luxury hotel guide – and I had the pleasure of staying in their Indulgence Suite and their prestigious Saint Roch Suite.

But first, let me show you the Indulgence Suite… 

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Our very own hammam (steam room)…

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The Indulgence Suite was super luxurious in a gorgeous colour palette of navy, dusty pink and brass.

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Breakfast was a pretty dreamy affair. I mean, a good hotel breakfast is an absolute must, and the one at Le Roch did not disappoint.

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Then, it was the Saint Roch suite – which granted, is a pretty pricy room rate – but oh my, the luxury, the terrace, the bathroom, the walk in wardrobe, the lounge, the room-service ready terrace – looking out over the rooftops of the 1st arrondissement…

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I loved the entire colour palette and decor in the Saint Roch suite. With the hard black, fused with crisp white, marble grey and a gorgeously muted minty green, mixed with brass and mahogany wood. So much interior inspiration at this hotel.

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No wonder we swiftly decided on having a candle lit dinner feast out on the patio, instead of heading out for dinner. Such a perfect and secluded setting.

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The bathroom was so spacious and stunning, with separate his & her sink areas, a steam room and large bathtub. Not to mention, the floor to ceiling walk-in-wardrobe area, as seen below. Think I need one of these at home…

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As well as the divine bedrooms, the restaurant and reception entrance to the hotel, is pretty spectacular as well. I love the overall darker colour palette of teal, navy and black, fused with the eclectic lighting and greenery. They also have a gorgeous outside patio, which lightens up into the dining area.

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Then, if you need to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, head down to the basement for some real down-time in their gorgeous spa and pool – lined with candles, sculpted from black-lava rock, and serene teal water – not to mentioned, the waterfall, the secret entrance to the hammam…

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EAT

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Naturally, there are so many amazing places to eat in Paris. As with any big city, there are several new hot spots in town every time we come, so we´re always spoilt for choice. When that said, we have many trusted classics and favourites that we never try to miss during any visit, or at least, they’re always in our recommendation list to friends and family who visit. Sam and I are massive foodies, so we pretty much plan our days around our breakfast, lunch and dinner bookings, and have an itinerary just for our eating plans (!). To me, there is nothing worse than arriving somewhere without any bookings or plans of areas/restaurants to visit – or god forbid; getting stuck in the typical tourist area and eating average, overpriced food. I am not saying that my below recommendations are all cheap (Paris is an expensive city), but they´re all tried and tested, and personal favourites of ours… Bon Appétit!

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Ferdi (a celebrity and fashion hot spot, with with cozy atmosphere, scrumptious food and fun atmosphere) / Rose Bakery (perfect spot for a hearty brunch and pastry/cake spot – worth the weekend queues!) / Hotel Costes (a long standing hot spot which still is still one of the most magical places in the city – sit out on the terrace and enjoy the Lobster Spaghetti and people watching) / L’Avenue (Hotel Costes´s little sister, and one of our all-time favourites for celebrity spotting and glamours atmosphere, with delicious food and drinks) / Café de Floré (a local and popular café hot spot in the heart of Saint Germain – go for eggs, croissant and coffee, watching the world go by) / Fromagerie Nicole Barthélémy (if you fancy some afternoon cheese or snacks for the hotel room – this is your go-to cheese spot) / Chez Paul (if you want to experience a truly authentic Parisian lunch, look no further than Chez Paul – serving up delicious examples of classic Parisian cuisine).

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Season (another super hot and healthy breakfast/brunch/lunch spot – serving Acai Bowls, green juice and Avo & Egg) / Caviar Kaspa (an iconic gourmet hot spot and experience, serving the freshest caviar and seafood in town – at a price) / PNY Paris New York (for the best burgers and sweet potato fries in town) / Café Philippe (go here on Sunday´s for their set lunch menu) / Café Kitsuné (head into Palais Royal to this charming spot for expensive but delicious coffee, Matcha and Chai latte´s to go) / Grom (for the best ice cream EVER) / Aki Boulanger (for Japanese treats and mouthwatering Motchi´s) / Daroco (for wood-fired pizza and cozy atmosphere) / Buvette (for super fresh French tapas, beautiful decor and service with a smile) / Frenchie (a trendy little bistro with a renowned wine selection) / Derriére (imagine having dinner in someone´s bedroom or lounge – this is the setting, alongside moroccan inspired food and a popular brunch) / Septime (if you´re a real foodie and want to dine at one of the “World´s 50 Best Restaurants”) / Angélina (go here for their famous hot chocolates and meringues)

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EXPLORE

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There is just so much to see, discover and explore in Paris. As I mentioned in the very beginning of this post; every time we come back to this city, there are always new places, streets and hidden gems that we come across. You think you know the city, but I swear this place is like a magic box of treats, and its beauty, character and endless charm, never ceases to amaze me. Naturally, there is so much you can do and see in the city; from the more obvious spots such as the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre (definite musts if it´s your first time in the city) – to local haunts and areas which I personally enjoy the most…

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AREAS

I have a lot of favourite areas, some of which include Marais, Saint Germain and the 1st arrondissement around Place Vendôme – not to mention Bastille, Pigalle and Montmarte… Each area has it´s own unique characteristics and charm, and the best way to get a feeling of Paris, is get your good walking shoes on, and spend your weekend seeing as much as you can by foot…

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SHOPPING

One thing I never miss when in Paris, is spending endless hours browsing their ultra chic department stores. Favourites include, Collette (smaller and more unique, littered with high-end designer fashion), Le Bon Marche Rive Gauche (my all time favourite – from their fashion section, interior, to the best food & deli department in town), Printemps (commercial to high end), Galleries Lafayette (the most architectural stunning and luxurious), to Monoprix (more commercial on the high street).

Other shopping must´s in Paris is Merci – the most gorgeous concept store, with a great selection of vintage, designers fashion, antique books, dreamy interior and contemporary kitchen ware. Some other favourite shopping areas and streets include: Marais (head to Rue Vieille Du Temple and Rue des Francs Bourgeois for Chanel, Sandro, Maje and more independent stores), stick central in the 1st arrondissement and stay on Rue Saint-Honoré for an elegant concentration of chic boutiques and designers, sneak into the Palais-Royal gardens for an arcade of shopping with boutiques such as Stella McCartney, ACNE to jewellers and chocolatiers. For more affordable and varied shopping, you obviously have the famous and very touristic Rue de Rivoli, but I personally try to avoid this; rather heading below to the smaller streets in Les Halles for a more quiet experience. Saint-Germain is also littered with great art, fashion and food spots – you will find the main bits on Boulevard Saint-Germain – but make sure you explore the streets off it, for more unique and smaller shopping finds. If you want high end designer in pleasurable and sophisticated experience – you have to head to Avenue Montaigne – where you will find everything from Chanel, Gucci, Dior, Balenciaga, and more…

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From high end, to local markets; I personally love Marché des Enfants Rouges on Rue de Bretagne, serving up all kinds of food, flowers and some antiques. Other notably markets include: Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen (go empty handed and prepared for a flea market filled to brim of crammed bric-a-brac, antiques, vintage fashion, and tiny trinkets), Les Puces de Montreuil (smaller and more manageable versus the latter), and for food and drink – Marché Bastille and Saxe-Breteuil markets are both weekend musts.

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MUSEUMS AND SIGHTSEEING 

Paris has some of the finest art and museums in the world. Notable must-see´s is the Louvre (the worlds largest museum, and for that iconic smile), Musée d’Orsay (a converted train station, housing a huge collection spanning the period between 1848 and 1914), the Musée de l´Orangerie (for impressionist paintings), Jeu de Paume (for postmodern photography), Musée Rodin (stunning sculptures arranged around its rooms and beautiful garden), Hôtel des Invalides (a complex set of buildings containing museums and monuments, all relating to the military history of France) and Sainte-Chapelle (considered one of the great feats of Gothic architecture). Other obligatory first time visits should include the Grand Palais, Eiffel Tower and Notre-Dame Cathedral.

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Now that you´ve eaten, shopped and explored, enjoy the rest of your afternoon in the Tuileries Gardens, and watch the sunset from one of the bridges on the Seine

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We stayed at Le Roch Hotel & Spa via Mr & Mrs. Smith on a complimentary basis. 

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7 Comments

  • Reply Isabella April 17, 2017 at 21:21

    Hi Anneli! Love your straw hat – could I ask where it’s from?

    • Reply Anneli Bush April 23, 2017 at 12:37

      Hi Isabella – I actually picked it up from a local store as it was so hot, can´t remember the brand I am afraid!

  • Reply Jemma April 18, 2017 at 03:10

    What camera do you use to take your photos? So beautiful! Congratulations too :)

    • Reply Anneli Bush April 23, 2017 at 12:36

      Hi Jemma! This post was a mix of the Olympus PEN and my iPhone 7 Plus :)

    • Reply Anneli Bush April 23, 2017 at 12:36

      …and thank you :)

  • Reply Maria April 24, 2017 at 11:06

    Hi Jemma,

    Lovely photos! May I ask where are your jeans from? Thank you! x

    • Reply Anneli Bush April 26, 2017 at 15:35

      Thanks! They´re from ASOS x

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