Paris is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and it’s charms are spellbinding. So much so that we have visited here several times and still love returning.
On a recent visit, we stayed at the Westin Hotel, which is located adjacent to the Tuileries Gardens in the 1st Arrondissement. We enjoyed being close to this peaceful oasis in the middle of a bustling city and spent much of our down time here. If your budget allows for complete indulgence, book one of the Penthouse suites with a view of the garden and the Eifel Tower. The standard rooms are beautiful as well, but do not expect a view.
Our goal for this stay was to have a somewhat indulgent visit in the city of lights. Indulgent for us means luxurious accommodations, delicious food and an unhurried pace.
Day 1 – Coffee and a croissant in the hotel cafe. Stroll through the Tuileries toward the River Seine to visit Notre Dame Cathedral and the Louvre. It takes several hours to see the Louvre thoroughly, but do not stress, see the artists that interest you the most and leave some exhibits for your next visit. Purchase your tickets in advance and save time standing on line.
Take an Uber over to L’As du Fallafel at 34, rue des Rosiers for the best “tourist trap” fallafel experience in town. You will stand on line, but that is part of the experience.
On your way back to the hotel, pick up Macaron’s at Laudree and a bottle of champagne from the wine store around the corner. Afternoon delight.
After a good rest in your very indulgent Westin bed, get dressed and taxi over to LeChemise for a wonderful gourmet dining experience. You will need a reservation, so plan in advance.
Stroll over to Boulevard Saint-Germain for breakfast at Cafe de flore. Choose an outside table, of course. Pink champagne and people watching are at it’s best here.
After a leisurely breakfast, do a bit of window shopping at some of the swank shops along the boulevard, (don’t forget to say BonJour when entering every shop), then take a taxi to the Eifel Tower for a quick photo opp. If it is a clear day, purchase a ticket and take the elevator to the top for a breathtaking view of the city. If you go back at night, we suggest viewing at dusk from Jardins du Trocadero. The twinkling light display with the garden fountain in the foreground should not be missed.
From here you can walk (about 30 minutes) to the Musee d’Orsay and spend the afternoon with your favorite Monet, Manet or C’ezanne – take your time.
Assuming you have a reservation, you can have dinner at LeSouffle, where you will be delighted by the charming atmosphere. We tried several savory souffles and a couple of sweet ones. It’s all good- indulge!
Day Three: If you have been to Paris before and have crossed most of the major sights off your list, you might want to get out of the city. Devote a full day, to Versaille where you can tour the Palace and see the famous hall of mirrors, or spend a half day visiting Reimes, where you can tour several famous champagne houses. We visited Versaille on our last trip to Paris, so this time we chose Reimes.
Reimes is a beautiful town and easy to see on foot. Just pick up a map at the train station’s visitor center. You cannot miss Notre Dame Cathedral which stands in the city centre and is open to the public with no admission.
There are several champagne houses to choose from in Reimes, including the very popular Mums and Tattinger, but we chose Pommery after reading several Trip Advisor reviews of all the houses. Pommery stood out because of the quirky art display that is included within the tour. We were happy with this choice. Devote at least two hours here for the tour and tasting and another hour to explore the city before heading back to Paris in time for dinner.
Back in Paris with time to spare before dinner, walk over to the Ritz and find a cozy seat in Hemingway’s. You will pay dearly for your drinks, but if you are a Hemingway fan it’ll be worth it. Drinks served to ladies include a rose – now that’s indulgent.
No reservations? Take a chance and walk into Taokan. If you like Dim sum served in an elegant and sophisticated atmosphere, this is your place. Savor a pot of tea at the end of this very indulgent meal. Everything is as good as it looks.
Indulge in one last cup of cappuccino at your favorite French cafe before heading back to the real world.