Paris. Where do I even start? It is one of the most magical cities in the world; not only for it´s obvious beauty with it´s architectural character and history – but because it just has that effortless feel to it (which probably has something to do with the ever chic Parisians), charming cafeés and bistros on every corner, the best designer shopping (as well as some seriously cute boutiques and local markets), food to die for… The list goes on.
As my husband is half Parisian, we´ve made it into a bit of a tradition to go once every year to do all our favourite things (I´d like to say that I was practising my French too, but that would be lying – the hubby does all the talking). This time around I whisked Sam there for his 30th Birthday celebrations, and we stayed at the gorgeous Le Bristol, which is to date, the most beautiful hotel I have ever stayed at in Europe.
After checking into the hotel Friday evening, we were ravenous (having avoided getting our usual cheese and wine fest on the Eurostar), and headed straight to dine at 114 Faubourg, Le Bristol´s Michelin starred restaurant. I have to admit, I am always a bit wary of eating at hotel restaurant, always opting to get out from the hotel and explore. But when it´s 114 Faubourg – it´s a totally different matter (and this was a special celebration.)
The dinner did not surprisingly disappoint – we had three courses, which didn´t include the wine tasting menu, appetiser and countless amount of fresh bread. Good job I had my roomy boyfriend jeans on, considering we were welcomed with a chocolate rich birthday cake in our room (which was all eaten!).
Waking up the next day at Le Bristol felt nothing short of a dream. I loved the traditional decor, which sometimes can look dated – but this just felt lavish, with everything in pristine condition and much attention to detail. I mean…the pictures says it all really.
The private balcony from the room wasn’t too shabby either…
After a lazy morning, still pretty full from last night´s feast, we trotted down to breakfast. We were quite late so we didn´t dine in the main breakfast room, but had breakfast in their more relaxed Le Jardin Francais room (and suddenly we felt quite hungry again!).
Fresh fruits, eggs, pastries… What more do you want?
Two of the most elegant residents of the hotel are the renowned Burmese cats Fa-Raon and Kléopatre – who we saw lurking around throughout our stay… Apparently people come from all around the world just to see them!
After feasting, we headed back up to the room, getting ready for a full day of exploring and basking in the sun – it was so warm! Here were some of my weekend essentials…
The hotel is located on the eponymous Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré – which is not only stunning, but also filled to the brim with all the high end designers, with personal favourites such as Goyard, Chanel, Saint Laurent and department store Colette, as well as more purse friendly options such as Sandro and Maje.
After some light shopping at Colette, we headed to Palais-Royal to my new favourite Parisian cafés, Café Kitsuné – where they serve the best coffee and most importantly, Iced Matcha! After fuelling up we chilled in the gardens and popped into Acne Studios located within Palais Royal (where I picked up this dream of a scarf).
Getting our shopping (and Christmas) fix at Printemps – another beautiful department store in Paris.
We stopped for lunch at one our favourite restaurants in the city, L´Avenue – which is an absolute must when in Paris – and with the glorious sunshine, we sat outside watching the world go by (along some serious people watching in this super chic area of town). I always order the same, which is their Spicy Tuna Tartare with Avocado Cream, and a side of frites. Nom!
Keeping our energy levels high with a couple of Millefeuille´s, which is the most delicious classic French pastry, consisting of layers of razor-thin puff pastry and cream filling… When in Paris!
In the afternoon we headed towards Rue du Commerce, which is a hidden shopping treasure in Paris, only 5-10 minutes from the Eiffel Tower, just across the Champ de Mars gardens on the border of the 7th and 15th arrondissement. This local, charming neighbourhood is full of boutiques for a truly Parisian shopping experience – sans the traffic and tourists (win win!). We both picked up a couple of pairs of Adidas and Nike trainers (so much cheaper than in London!).
All shopped out, we walked over to Le Bon Marché, yet another department store (Paris do do the best!) – but this one we love for probably Europe´s best food hall. From the most delicious cheese, seafood and fresh produce counters – to a great selection of everything you can imagine… (without it being too overwhelming).
After a slow start in the morning, we spent the good part of 7 hours just walking across Paris. Come evening we could easily have stayed in and ordered room service, but after a quick rest, we hit the night and ventured across the town to area of République, to a little hidden restaurant located down an alleyway, called Au Passage. A super casual and local eatery with the menu on a chalkboard, filled with reasonable small plates, which all were mouthwatering delicious. After drinks at the iconic hotel bar, Le Bar du Bristol, we we ready to hit the sack! The perfect end to a perfect day in Paris.
Tune in on Sunday for Part Two of our weekend getaway to Paris!