Birthday Weekend in Paris
Get ready for a long post, because I think Paris happens to be one of the most photogenic cities in the wold, so of course I got snapping! Last month I had a really special and memorable birthday weekend in Paris spent with my husband. A few days filled with incredible food, stunning sights, new discoveries and old favorites…and a little shopping too! Here’s what we got up to during our long weekend in Paris:
Rather than wake up before dawn, we decide to catch a mid-morning train from London St. Pancras and arrive in Paris Gare Du Nord mid-afternoon.
From the station we walk towards and check-in to Hôtel des Grands Boulevards. We marvel at the room—it’s beautifully decorated in pastel shades and has a surprising amount of room and storage for a Parisian hotel!
As we emerge, there’s a bit of a downpour, so we duck into an alcove and wait for it to pass. We then set off and explore the city without any particular destination in mind.
We’ve got a dinner reservation, but first we get drinks at hotel bar (we booked via Mr and Mrs Smith and this was a perk!). My kombucha hibiscus concoction was light and yummy, so much so that I order a second!
Dinner is at Clover Restaurant in Saint Germain, so we take the metro there and back.
My husband said his main was one of the best-cooked chicken dishes he’s ever had. My vegetarian main came with asparagus ice cream foam…I didn’t like it. And while I wasn’t a fan of the food, the atmosphere was lovely, candlelit and quaint.
For breakfast, it has to be pastries—when in Paris! I get some choux and a mini croissant and we take them to go as we stroll south...past Rue Croissant!
Coffee is another must and my favorite place to get it is at Café Kitsuné. My mocha is decadent as usual and we enjoy our beverages while sitting in the adjacent Palais-Royale gardens. It’s a beautiful time as everything is green and in bloom!
Next we head further south and walk along the Seine. Today we didn’t have anything in particular on the itinerary, so we take our time to meander through and enjoy the city streets.
Like a moth to a flame, I end up at Chanel and fall in love with so many beautiful things. Getting a close look at the details and the craftsmanship that goes into the clothes, shoes and bags is a treat. As much as I’d love to, I decide that I ought not to buy anything this time around!
We continue walking and it takes us past the Louvre and Place de la Concorde.
We have a not-so-memorable lunch at a café (one of those times when you’re completely tired, it’s raining and you at eat at the first place that looks okay!).
After we’re no longer hangry, we make our way to the Marais neighborhood because it’s charming and full of shops we can duck into and out of during the intermittent rain showers!
I end up buying a few really pretty pieces from Claudie Pierlot, including this pleated skirt. It’s a sister brand to Maje and Sandro, a couple of my very favorite labels!
We recuperate in the room, freshen up and then think about dinner! We didn’t make reservations for tonight (risky, I know!), but we were given a couple of great recommendations courtesy of A Girl, A Style.
Frenchie Wine Bar, located near our hotel had no room, which is perfect as our alternative, Les Deux Magots, ended up being our favorite meal of the trip!
Crudités, champagne (it’s my birthday weekend, after all!), amazing mains and the best apple tart on the enclosed patio make for the most perfect evening out!
We take the metro home and have a well-earned rest!
My birthday gets off to an indulgent start at Angelina Paris, just across from the Tuileries garden. I completely understand why people wait in line for the hot chocolate—it’s heavenly! It’s so rich that I can’t finish the glass, but my husband is more than willing to help out!
Since it’s so close, we head to The Tuileries garden next, soak up the sun and make friends with a bee who just really wanted to take a selfie with us.
The sun’s out, so it’s time to ditch our winter coats in the room, then visit our next destination—Île Saint-Louis. I love how quiet this spot is compared to the surrounding city and nothing compares to the beautiful doors here! Oh, and there’s a Berthillon ice cream on seemingly every corner, so we just have to indulge.
From the tip of the island, we see the back of the Notre Dame and it’s a bit haunting, but seeing how much of the external structure survived is incredible. Its resilience is really inspiring.
We head towards the Luxembourg gardens (via Diptyque), but first stop for a filling lunch at Treize Bakery Paris. It’s really hearty, fresh and exactly what we needed after a day of walking. My savory artichoke tarte arrived with a side salad of fresh greens.
After we eat, it’s the gardens! It’s filled to the brim with people sunning themselves on the iconic green chairs and enjoying the unusually warm April weather.
We hit up The Hoxton’s ground floor café, Rivié, en route to our hotel (in fact, it’s just a block or two over) for a little bit of coffee to keep us going. We even are lucky enough to be seated in those mustard chairs you’ve probably all over Instagram.
At the hotel we rest, change and then seek out the sights at magic hour. I want to see the Eiffel Tower, if only for a little bit, before we go!
We choose to then walk along the seine en route to my birthday dinner (okay, power walk—we were running late!).
As we speedily walk, I admire how truly magical the buildings look at golden hour. I can’t stop looking up because it seems as though they just glow. This city steals my heart every time!
I chose LouLou for my birthday dinner and it didn’t disappoint. It’s located inside the Musée des Arts Décoratifs and the interiors, as you’d expect, are lovely, a cool mix of old and new.
I start with a Kir Royale, an old favorite, and the shaved purple asparagus and parmesan salad. It was so interesting and easily one of my favorite dishes of the trip. A light but indulgent risotto is my main and I finish with champagne and dessert—it is my birthday, after all!
As with the previous evening, we found the service to be really friendly, not at all fussy and it really put us at ease.
Rather than walk, we cab home because after doing 20,000+ steps for the past few days, we deserve it!
On our final day, I wake up with a very bad cold, so my husband meets up with a friend for breakfast while I try to sleep a little more rather than heading out.
But lucky for me, he brings me a few pastry options. The nicest treat before we pack up and catch the train home.
Until next time Paris!