Arrive in Paris via the Chunnel and check into the Hotel du Champ de Mars in the Rue Cler neighborhood - I would definitely stay in this charming hotel again!
After a long day of travel, toast our arrival in Paris with a glass of champagne at a street side cafe on Rue Cler
Grab baguette sandwiches to-go, and have a picnic dinner in the Champ de Mars gardens under the shadow of the Eiffel Tower
Grab pain au chocolates to-go from the corner patisserie on Rue Cler - melt in your mouth deliciousness!
End our Marais walk at the Seine and cross the Pont des Arts (the love lock bridge) towards St. Germain
Escape the rain by popping into Ladurée for a coffee and a pastry
Dine at La Petit Cler, a cafe on Rue Cler, for dinner and savor our Pierre Hermé macarons for dessert! You can never have too many macarons when in France
Continue our ritual of grabbing pastries to-go from the corner patisserie - flaky, chocolatey goodness!
Brave the rain and wind to walk from Rue Cler, across the Seine, to the Trocadero to see a panoramic view of the Eiffel Tower, then promptly run to the nearest cafe for a warm coffee to thaw out!
Metro from the Trocadero to the Arc de Triomphe and climb to the top for, in my opinion, the very best views of Paris. Look down the Champs Elysee, see Montmarte in the distance and get another incredible look at the Eiffel Tower
Stop at the iconic Champs Élysées location of Ladurée - As you enter, it feels as if you've stepping into a jewel box! Everything seems to be gilded, the pastries glisten and the macarons look magical
Walk down the glitzy Avenue Montaigne for a little window shopping (Chanel! Dior! Yves Saint Laurent! Chloe! I could go on and on...) and lunch at L'Avenue - one of my absolute favorite meals of the trip!
Stroll along the Seine towards the Île Saint-Louis and once there, enjoy some Amorino Gelato as we explore the peacful neighborhood
Return to our home base of Rue Cler for a cafe dinner, then explore the 7th for an evening walk
Once again, pastries to-go
Arrive at Versailles, but skip the chateau and simply wander through the gardens, exploring all the fountains, pathways and of course, the orangerie
Head back to Paris to explore a new neighborhood - the area around Rue Cambon
Make a pilgrimage to Chanel at 31 Rue Cambon, pick out my birthday gift (pinch me!) and see the iconic mirrored staircase inside
Since there was a Pierre Hermé next door, stop in for some more macarons - they have the most inventive and wonderful flavor combinations!
Return to the Marais for dinner at La Perla, a Mexican restaurant that makes a pretty strong margarita (or two in my case!)
Do a bit more meandering and shopping in the Marais (dessert for him, Diptyque for me) before returning to the hotel
Wednesday (my birthday!)
My husband brought me breakfast in bed - and yep, it was pastries!
Visit the Palais Royal, mostly so I could match the surroundings in my striped dress!
Metro to the St. Germain neighborhood, grab sandwiches from one of the many bakeries and head toward the Jardin du Luxembourg for a picnic in the (very picturesque) park
Drop by Le Bon Marché, the quintessential Parisian department store
Head back to the hotel to get dressed up, then head to Monsieur Bleu for my birthday dinner! I loved that they had vegetarian options (hard to find in France!), a gorgeous dining room, and fabulous drinks. Not only that, but from their location at the Palais de Tokyo, you have a view of the Seine and the Eiffel Tower! It was the most spectacular birthday dinner I could have asked for!
Walk back to Rue Cler, taking in the beauty of the city and the elegance of the Eiffel Tower
Because we decided that we ought to try something other than pastries, we took the metro over to St. Germain and had a wonderful breakfast at La Cuisine de Bar
Wander around the neighborhood, stopping into various shops to escape the rain. End up doing a bit of shopping at Maje and Sandro (two of my absolute favorite brands!)
Have a little espresso break at Au Vieux Colombier, a very modern and cool coffee shop
Decide to hibernate in the hotel room to escape the cold wind and rain!
Return to La Cuisine de Bar for an early dinner. Their open-faced tartine sandwiches made with Poilane bread (literally fetched next door!) were hands down the best meal I had in Paris!
Stop at La Maison du Chocolat for a treat to take back to the states, and head to the hotel before catching a very early morning flight the next day.