I’ll never tire of Paris.
I don’t think it’s possible. Over summer, I visited the city three times in the space of six weeks for various reasons, and I loved it every single time. Some people don’t get it. They don’t find Paris appealing whatsoever, but I can’t comprehend that. There’s always something new to see, new streets to wander and always plenty to catch your eye. London, you’re still my favourite but Paris, you're definitely top three.
Here’s my handy weekend guide to Paris, following my last jaunt to the city. I’ll probably add to this as I go as I have no doubt I’ll be back before we know it.
WHERE TO STAY
Hôtel du Petit Moulin is a privately owned hotel set within the heart of the Marais - the oldest quartier in Paris - in a beautiful 17th century building. On first inspection, you could be fooled into thinking you've arrived at a bakery, thanks to its original 1900 boulangerie shop frontage, but step inside and you'll soon discover you're in the right place. It’s also part of Small Luxury Hotels who have all the best boutique hotels around the world at their fingertips (and often where I go to get my hotel inspiration from!).
Disclosure: My complimentary one-night stay at Hôtel du Petit Moulin was kindly arranged by Small Luxury Hotels.
The hotel has 17 individually styled rooms, designed by Christian Lacroix who has transformed the building into the most charming and quirky hotel. Bold and daring with a couture flair, no room is the same but all are flamboyantly theatrical with the undeniable signature style of Lacroix.
There's something so wonderful about staying in a truly independent hotel in one of Paris' most loved districts. I can't recommend Hôtel du Petit Moulin enough. What's more, you also have access to the Spa at sister hotel, Pavillon de la Reine, and complimentary bicycle access which I didn't make use of this time round, but would definitely do again - the perfect way to explore Paris.
WHAT TO DO
Musée d’Orsay - ideal for a rainy day but equally somewhere I’d beeline for on a sunny day. You can easily spend a few hours here wandering around - there’s plenty to see. Don’t forget to head up to the top to see the famous view from the clock face - one of my favourites in London.
Wander the Marais - filled with cool boutiques and independent shops, it’s a charming neighbourhood to stroll around and occasionally part with your cash.
Musée de l'Orangerie - home to Monet’s Water Lilies. Will likely be filled with annoying tourists, but thankfully the French supervisors are happy to tell them when to shush.
Watch the sunset from Galeries Lafayette - the department store has a cracking rooftop which is free to go on and offers beautiful views over Paris. Time it just right for sunset and see the Eiffel Tower light up.
WHERE TO EAT & DRINK
My knowledge isn’t the most up to date places to eat, because I always seem to go back to the same ones every time because I love them. So unless you’re a real foodie that needs to try the latest hottest opening, read on…
Chez Janou - a French classic with chocolate mousse to die for.
Le gaspard de la nuit - a traditional French restaurant in the Marais that feels truly authentic with friendly waiters.
Septime - interior decor on point. I haven’t been lucky enough to go yet but heard good things from friends. Must book ahead!
Clamato - sister restaurant to Septime, focusing on all things seafood.
Chez Julien - One of Paris’s prettiest restaurant. Steak is beyond delicious.
Le Mary Celeste - Cool little bar in the Marais.
Candaleria - speakeasy behind a Mexican taco joint. Really fun to take someone that’s never been before.
Balagan - Middle Eastern sharing plates. Really tasty food in a very popular spot. Chocolate mousse, again, is so good.
Café Hugo - a croque monsieur and some frites are always a winner.
WHERE TO SHOP
Head to Buly 1803 in St Germain - the apothecary-style store is so beautiful and the products make for exceptional treats for friends, family… and you.
Mademoiselle Chapeaux - the most beautiful and charming shop dedicated to hats! You will want to spend all your money in here. Head to the back to see where they make the hats in store. Find them at 15 Rue des Tournelles.