It’s been over three months since we’ve returned from our honeymoon, and here I am, dutifully plugging away at these ‘travel guides’. I hope you don’t mind.
Paris. I love Paris. I love Paris for all of the reasons every artist loves Paris. It is exquisite. No matter where you point your camera or your brush, you can capture something objectively beautiful without even the faintest of struggles. It’s nearly impossible to not feel inspired walking around Paris. Your artist soul feels lucky to be alive. It’s an aesthetic wonderland.
I also love Paris for all of the reasons Julia Child and anyone else who loves to eat loves Paris. You can eat absolutely wonderful food without trying. There is a bakery on every corner with window displays that will make your heart flutter. Baguettes and croissants for one euro that are so good they deserve a line down the block. There is so much care put into the food, regardless of price point. It’s thrilling. A delicious and inevitable feast.
Like anyone who appreciates a good thing, I’d go back to Paris in a minute. Six days in Paris simply isn’t enough. And I’d bring a few extra rolls of black and white film. Is there anything more romantic than Paris in black and white? Hardly.
There’s truth at the root of every cliché.
Louis Vuitton Foundation. A newly-opened modern and contemporary art museum housed in an incredible building designed by Frank Gehry. The collection is tightly curated and super interesting, and the architecture is unexpected and a pleasure to explore. If you only go to one museum in Paris, make it this one. Their approach is quite different from most other Parisian museums, it’s a refreshing experience.
Le Marche d’Aligre Beauvau Market Tour. We got a tour of this outdoor/indoor market from a local woman, which we booked through AirBnB experiences. She was wonderful, and we learned a lot more about the history of the neighborhood than we would have otherwise, but it would be fun to visit even without a guide. The produce is beautiful and so affordable; the indoor market has a great selection of cheese, meat, and charcuterie.
E. Dehillerin Cooking Store. Another Julia Child moment. My time in France was full of Julia Child moments, which couldn’t make me happier. E. Dehillerin is perfect if you want to pick up a duck press, fancy copper cookware or a whisk the size of a toddler.
Cooking Classes at Le Foodist. We took a croissant class. I got to hold pounds of french butter in my hands. It was delightful! I hope to put the skills I learned to use one of these days. They offer lots of other classes as well, from macron cookies to French wine pairings.
Pompidou and d’Orsay. So much art! For modern art, go to the Pompidou. There are rooms for each major movement, and it’s chock full of the greatest hits. Art nerd paradise. For romanticism, art nouveau and classical sculpture, hit up the d’Orsay. They also have pretty stunning spread of Monet and Renoir. It’s almost ridiculous how much incredible artwork is crammed into these two buildings. Book your tickets in advance if you can, the lines are quite long.
Notre Dame and Sacre Cour. Despite the fact that the Sagrada Familia has ruined me for all other churches, Notre Dame and the Sacre Cour are both beautiful and absolutely worth a peak inside.
First, I highly recommend you download the Paris Pastry app by cookbook author and blogger David Lebovitz. It details all of his favorite bakeries, pasty shops, chocolate shops and ice cream spots in Paris. We’d navigate to a neighborhood to visit something else, then open the app and find ourselves the perfect breakfast, lunch or snack.
Eric Kayser Boulangerie. A small chain that has stores scattered throughout the city, Eric Kayser was our go-to for breakfast and picnic lunches. Their croissants are delicious, and their baguettes might be even better. Don’t neglect the tarts either—the passionfruit one was my favorite, but you knew that already.
La Patisserie Cyril Lignac. Each pastry is a work of art. I chose a lemon tart, which was up there in terms of the cutest things I’ve ever eaten. And delicious too! It’s heaven to wait in line in these places admiring the artistry of their pastry.
Blé Sucre. Home of the best croissant in Paris, at least by Jordan’s assessment. How they were able to make a single pastry with that many layers is beyond my comprehension.
Berthillon Ice Cream. Famous for a reason. Small scoops of perfect ice cream. I got the wild strawberry, which had tiny wild strawberries studded throughout. I was tickled.
Lenotre. Insanely good chocolate and another beautiful store. Every food display is stunning, I loved this about France. Their dark chocolate truffle assortment is great for bringing back as souvenirs—earl grey, caramel, orange, passionfruit, and all so subtlety flavored.
Le Mary Celeste. Started by Californians in Paris, Le Mary Celeste is undeniably an ex-pat hang, but that doesn’t make their cocktails and food any less delicious. Fresh, fun and relaxed, Le Mary Celeste is a good time, and a nice foil to the boeuf bourguignon and steak au poivre we had the night before. Thanks to our friends Josh and Erin for the recommendation.
Bistro du Henri. More traditional french cuisine, and the perfect stop after a stroll in Luxembourg gardens. We ate lunch here, which almost put us out of commission for the rest of the day. The braised lamb is heaven, the sea bass with sorrel is beautiful, and of course, there’s the chicken liver pate appetizer which could easily be a meal on its own. Add a pot of wine and you’ll wonder why you’d ever leave Paris. Thanks to Matt and Alexa for the recommendation.
L’Ebauchoir. The perfect mix of modern and traditional french cuisine. The quality of the produce and the meat was exquisite. We had a choux pastry with whipped goat cheese and herbs to start, then pork with rhubarb, potatoes and snap peas, and duck breast with strawberries, mashed potatoes, turnips and zucchini. I have no idea what they did to those turnips, but my mind was blown. We asked for two glasses of rosé, but they brought the bottle saying, “drink as much as you want, and we’ll charge you for whatever you drink”. Oh, Paris.
Picnic below the Eiffel Tower or on the Seine. We had two dinner picnics, one on the bank of the Seine and one below the Eiffel Tower. I loved them both. A bottle of wine, good cheese and charcuterie, a baguette, some peaches and strawberries from the market, just snacking and taking it all in. Paris is known for it’s Michelin-starred restaurants, but I must say, picnics in Paris is my idea of heaven.
Sherry Butt. Weird and fun cocktails. The perfect break after walking around in the heat all day. It was nearly empty when we were there around 7 pm.
Brewberry. A craft beer bar with 20 or so taps, plus a bottle selection. Sit outside and watch the city go by while sipping on your Cantillon.
Beers on Jardin des Tuileries. If you happen to find yourself on an epic walk from the Arc du Triumph to the Louvre, you might want to grab a to-go beer from one of the snack kiosks and kick back in the garden.
Le Baron Rouge. An old school wine bar near Marche d’Aligre. They have barrels of wine stacked along one wall of the bar, which they sell by the liter to-go. A mixture of old neighborhood folks and tourists from the market.