Paris is one of the most gorgeous, romantic cities I have ever traveled to, and I would do anything to return whenever I can. With a few extra days around Thanksgiving off of work, I figure why not jet off to my favorite city in the world, Paris! I found the perfect substitute to the Thanksgiving meal, a Bateaux Parisienne dinner cruise down the Seine River for a night tour of the city and serenade. While feasting on fois gras, duck, creme brulee, and champagne, it was hard to even ponder missing the traditional turkey meal in the states. This was an incredible introduction to the city, with monuments such as the Louvre and Notre Dame illuminated on both banks of the river.
After viewing all the typical yet amazing monuments, my favorite days comprise of leisurely strolling down the windy cobblestone streets of Le Marais, the sweet area where our boutique hotel Les Jardins Du Marais was located. There, you can find the best fashion boutiques, tiny patisseries, vintage shopping, and stumble into galleries with free wine upon entry. Needless to say, this is a magical area of Paris without the commercial appeal or tourists in your face.
cafe in Les Places Des Vosges the first morning
Each morning, it was my mission to seek the best croissant and after sampling endlessly from chocolate to almond, I finally found my absolute favorite croissant in Le Marais, a delicious pistachio and chocolate croissant. While it's not hard to find amazing food in Paris, it can be a task to wander past endless restaurants and discover the perfect place to have dinner. Luckily, we found a restaurant named Au Beaujolais in Le Marais that was so amazing we had to return for a second dinner. That says a lot because I'm normally more adventurous and curious to try new things. But the creamy mussel appetizer had me hooked at the first bite, and as the main course of fish over ratatouille and molten chocolate dessert rolled out, this restaurant proved to be more and more fantastic.
streets of Le Marais
The next day was spent leisurely perusing shops in the slightly more commercial area of St Germain, my next favorite arrondisement to Le Marais. And by leisurely perusing, I mean shop until you drop! I ended up basically buying out one tiny store by snagging a gorgeous fur vest, black winter coat, crocheed scarf, and purple leather purse. After window shopping and exploring the winding little streets, we stumbled upon a sweet little cafe to recharge in the afternoon with a glass of champagne.
shopping damage in St Germain
beautiful muted color palette in this tile showroom
The next day was packed with a trip to the Musee D'Orsay, which had a fabulous special exhibit on Art Nouveau that I would have been sorry to miss. It highlighted crazy furniture, psychedelic album covers, Hallmark paper dresses, and tons of bright and inspiring textile prints from the sixties, which I was obviously obsessed with as a textile designer!
Next, we wondered over to Champs-Elysees, where we had the pleasant surprise of endless Christmas markets set up almost all the way down the street to L'Arc de Triumph! These markets are so fun and festive, and remind me of the good old days when I was living in Florence. Enjoying some hot mulled wine from a vendor while looking at the trinkets at every booth was a good distraction from the torrential rain that day. All in all, this was an amazing trip to Paris, and possibly the best time to travel there with the city all decked out for the holidays with decorative lights and Christmas trees all around. I look forward to the next time I can return to Paris, but until then, Au Revoir!