After spending only a few hours in Paris, it’s easy to see why it is one of the most romanticized cities in the world. As you walk down the streets you pass by well-dressed people nonchalantly watching the day go by in tranquil cafes, architecture that reads like a poem, and shop windows filled with worlds of treasures waiting to explore. The ambiance here is intoxicating as you are wisped into a culture that is artistic and refined.
Over the holidays, my husband and I decided to treat ourselves on a nice trip to Paris in lieu of gifts. This trip solidified the fact that, so far, Paris is absolutely my favorite city in the world. From our stunning hotel, mouthwatering bites, awe-inspiring art museums, and world-class shopping, this trip encompassed everything I dream about in daily life. While I could probably ramble on for pages about all of the great places and food we experienced, I have included the highlights that stick out the most in my whirlwind of memorable moments.
Hotel Le Circle
For many years, I have dreamed of staying at a chic hotel with 24/7 views of the Eiffel Tower. How wonderful would it be to wake up and see one of the most iconic landscapes in the world over a cup of coffee and end the day with a glass of champagne that dazzles just as wonderfully as the Eiffel Tower itself? Amazingly, this dream became a reality after some research online where I discovered Hotel Le Circle. This modest hotel is located a short walk to the Eiffel Tower and a room with a view was surprisingly affordable when compared to some of the other options that I found online.
Upon arrival to the hotel, I was greeted with a bottle of Moët and the lushest bouquet of roses I have ever received as a surprise from my sweet husband. Because we were so exhausted from our day of travel, we took it easy that first night over the bottle of champagne while basking in the view of the Eiffel Tower from our balcony. It was hard not to tear up at one point because I couldn’t believe that I was finally living out a scene of my life that I had dreamt about for so long. To say our first night in Paris was magical would be an understatement.
This was my second visit to this wonderful cafe located right next to the Louvre and this visit was just as romantic as I had remembered. Ja and I decided to stop here for a drink and a small snack after walking all over the city for hours. We were lucky enough to get a table with a view of the glass pyramid that the Louvre is known for and enjoyed a sweet helping of a cream dessert topped with an array of fresh berries. This treat paired well with the champagne and tasted just as rich and wonderful as it looked.
I think my favorite dining experience was at a restaurant called Bofinger known for its seafood and aesthetically pleasing interior. The main dining room has a beautiful stained-glass dome on the ceiling but we sat in another room that was decorated with tasteful, warm hues that gave the space a cozy and comforting effect. I thoroughly enjoyed the oyster sampler that we ordered and the scallops were cooked to perfection. We left this restaurant feeling absolutely satisfied and a little buzzed from the bottle of fine champagne we split.
While I was doing some handbag shopping, Ja set out on his own and discovered the delicious world of Pierre Marcolini. I was planning on getting macaroons at the famous Laudrée, but Ja ended up buying a generous selection from this vendor along with several types of gourmet chocolates. That night, we tasted his delicious finds and I have to say, I was thoroughly impressed. The macaroons had a perfectly creamy interior and the chocolates were rich and came in fun shapes and colors. I will most certainly be buying from this brand again in the future.
Lunch Cruise on the Seine
For Christmas, Ja and I enjoyed a lunch cruise on the Seine through a company called Bateaux Parisians. This 2-hours cruise came with a 5-course meal that included two starter dishes, a main course, a plate of cheese, and a dessert. Also included in the tour was more alcohol than we could even think about drinking. Getting to cruise along the Seine while admiring the charming architecture of Paris and enjoying a delicious meal is hard to beat.
This museum has been on my bucket list for a while solely for their water lily collection by Claude Monet. Upstairs of the museum are two large oval-shaped rooms where the walls are doused in dreamy compositions by the famous impressionist painter. These sanctuaries provide a serene place to revel in the angelic brushstrokes of Monet in hues of blue, purple, and green that takes the viewer to a utopian world where, you too, are breathing in crisp air and listening to the sounds of nature near a secluded pond.
This museum was much larger than the Musee Orangerie and houses hundreds of stunning compositions in many styles and from many different time periods. While we only got to spend a couple of hours here, I believe it would be possible to spend an entire afternoon sauntering about these majestic collections. While I was undoubtedly impressed by the impressionist collections that included works by Monet, Manet, and van Gogh, I was also proven awe-struck by the hundreds of classical oil paintings and pearly-white, powerful statues.
Can you think of anything more suave than spending Christmas evening at the ballet in Paris’ most romantic opera house? When you first step foot into the Palais Garnier, you are immediately pulled into a deeply elegant and classical world filled with scenes of shadowy banquet, glinting chandeliers, marble staircases, columns and walls with ornate carvings, heavenly ceiling paintings, and upholstering’s made of seductive red velvet. I was able to score tickets in one of the observation boxes on Christmas night for Ja and I and, despite the show being quite strange, we thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere of being in such a glamorous place.
Simply reveling in the Renaissance-inspired architecture of Paris is enough to remind me that, in this life, anything is possible. I find being in Paris energetic in a sense that, although I don’t live there and don’t plan to, I can be whoever I want to be and take the aesthetics of this beautiful city wherever I go. This trip was so special to me and I had such a magical time getting to live out my dreams with someone who I love and care about. I hope this post was helpful in inspiring your next trip!