This is a continuation of my recent trip to France and will focus on the lovely city of light, love, fashion and action—Paris! See my previous post on Île de Ré and Bordeaux for a recap on those areas that we hit earlier in our trip.
We spent three days and nights in Paris. I wasn’t expecting too much, to be honest. I had been to Paris before, and while it had been a while, there wasn’t a lot drawing me back. That said, the way we saw it this time was through a completely different lens! I’ll detail out what we loved, below.
We stayed at the Hôtel Relais Christine and I would highly recommend this hotel, as well as would definitely stay there again myself. It’s a hidden gem on the Left Bank, located in St. Germain. It was right by the Seine as well as by so many great boutiques, bistros and galleries.
What We Loved
On the first day we ate at Atlas Brasserie and also took a Boat Cruise on the Seine. The boat was touristy but it was also really an amazing way to orient ourselves to the city. You boat past all the landmarks of the city and it’s a wonderful way to see things close up.
Day two was literal perfection. We started at the Musée de l’Orangerie. Musée de l’Orangerie is an art museum in Paris famous for being chosen by the impressionist painter Claude Monet as the permanent home for his Water Lilies paintings, which are displayed in two large oval rooms. Each takes up an entire wall!
I’d recommend Musee de l’Orangerie solely to see Water Lilies. I have never seen an installation of art quite like this. The presentation in the oval rooms with the crisp white walls and abundant natural light gives the murals an airy feel, making every little detail pop.
The lower levels of the museum are often overshadowed by Water Lilies, but they also house a formidable Impressionist art collection. On display are works by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, Amedeo Modigliani, Pablo Picasso, Henri Rousseau, and others.
After the museum, we set out on foot and walked from there down to the Arc de Triomphe and the Lourve. It was a gorgeous walk and I’d definitely recommend seeing some of the city this way. We had all been to the Lourve before so we only admired from outside and then walked to the nearby Loulou restaurant, which is right by the Musee des Arts Decoratifs. Lou Lou was the most wonderful spot with a beautiful patio you could spend hours on. I’d highly recommend it. And after lunch, you can walk right over to the Champs-Élysées and take that as far as you’d like, shopping along the way.
Our third day also brought a few amazing high points. One of them was the Dior exhibit La Galerie Dior at Dior headquarters at 30 Avenue Montaigne. La Galerie Dior, which opened in March, has thirteen thematic rooms with ultra-modern staging. Each one invokes an ambience in the spirit of Haute Couture while recounting the personal and creative history of Christian Dior and his six successive designers: Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons, and Maria Grazia Chiuri. Each room evokes a different feel —from the gardens, the little black dresses with a Paris backdrop, the videos of runway models, and the shimmering sound and light show.
After that, we were definitely in the mood for shopping around Le Marias 🙂
We capped off our last night with the most spellbinding concert—Concerts at La Sainte Chapelle, Paris. They performed well-known hits, with mostly strings as well as a piano, for about an hour inside the gorgeous church. Superb musicians and an excellent repertoire in a most beautiful setting.
Restaurants / bars we loved
Atlas (bistro) – lunch
Loulou – lunch (sit outside!)
Beefbar – dinner
Le Tout Paris – dinner / drinks
Hotel Costes – drinks
Bar Hemingway – drinks
I am still dreaming of Paris. Perfection!