When I think of Paris, I am instantly reminded of the tall iconic Eiffel Tower, the shopping in Sephora whilst walking along the Champs-Elysee and spotting the Arc De Triomphe. That could be because that’s what I did on my last trip to Paris. However, there is definitely more to Paris than meets the eye.
I recently went on a press trip to Paris to discover exactly that. What is hidden behind the main tourist attractions? What does Paris hold as the capital of France? Especially coming from living in the English capital it would a real treat to see what the Parisians do.
One of my favourite stops was Chez Bouboule, one of the two cafes in Paris that offers you to play bowls over a glass of wine and a board of french charcuterie, cheeses and pickles.
I know the French are known for their wines, but how about stepping off the mainstream path and visiting a Parisian brewery? It seems the local residents are warming up to a beer in the sun, like the Brits. With this demand there are breweries opening up in Paris but so far there are only 5. Goutte D’or is one of the breweries that is trying to mix things up and taking it to new levels, by producing honey beer and even coffee beer – definitely one of the Londoners.
If luxury bars are more your thing, then I would definitely check out this stunning bar at Les Bains hotel, a beautiful 5 star hotel in the heart of Paris.
If booze is not really your thing, but modern art and dance is then Cent Quatre is for you. Paris being the city of art, they are supporting young and upcoming artists to present and show off their skills. It has become one of the leading art venues to showcase talent, where anyone is welcome to present their work or even practise. There is a coffee shop, a book shop and also a restaurant that resides within Cent Quatre, making it the perfect place to read a book over a coffee or watch some contemporary dance.
Paris is also known for its good food and delicious pastries. Walking around the food markets, little boutiques and pastry stores of Le Marais would be the perfect way to spend a Saturday morning.
Popelini is definitely a place to stop by if you’re looking for a well made and utterly delicious choux pastry. I indulged into a vanilla flavoured pastry, as soon as you bit into it the sweetest and creamiest vanilla custard came flowing out – very delicious and a must try. Thanks to Robert Pink for showing us this little gem.
Parisian food markets are a perfect place to grab a hearty bite to eat when touring around the city, like this large wholemeal crepe filled with salad, cheese and various meats.
This little food market was called Marché Des Enfants Rouges, which translates to the Market of Red Children. It is one of the oldest food markets in Paris but before it became a market it was a children’s orphanage. Various charities donated clothes to the children, which was signified by the colour red. Hence the market got its name to commemorate the previous orphanage that resided there.
There are some luxury places to have a great lunch full of unique flavours and excellent presentation too. We had lunch at Dessance which was phenomenal.
The green tomato gaspacho was delicious. Very creamy and well seasoned, garnished with grilled tomatoes and basil.
The main was seared tuna with pea puree, asparagus along with a light drizzling of a white cream sauce and a bit of pastry crumble on top. A light and delicate dish which was a perfect before the trio of desserts.
First dessert, honey marinated strawberries, coriander sorbet, cream cheese, meringue and creme brûleé. The coriander sorbet was an interesting touch, never had anything quite like it before.
The second dessert, caramel ice-cream with chocolate pretzels and lemon sorbet. Deliciously tangy and sweet at the same time.
The final dessert was a more smaller, quick taster sort with mini brownies and a mango and cremé delight.
As the day passes the night falls in Paris, the youngsters like to flourish to various clubs like Zigzag or Wanderlust, even techno musical festivals. Paris had The Weather Festival and We Love Green festival going on, for those die heart ravers. Neon face paints, jugs of beer and vest tops and shorts, out to have a good time.
The Weather Festival changes location every year but this year it was based on Paris’ international airport, which was a quirky touch, raving to music next to huge aeroplanes. This year there was onsite camping offered for those attendees that wanted to rave through the night and into the next morning, especially as the airport is at least a 40 minute drive from the main city and can be an inconvenience coming back and forth for each day.
The morning after a long of dancing, a few cocktails and a late night, nothing beats a walk along the Champ-Elysee to rub off that hangover and get some fresh air into your lungs. The first Sunday of every month, Paris has decided to make it car-free and allow tourists and Paris residents to enjoy the 1.2 mile walk up to the Arch De Triomphe. It also makes for the perfect photo opportunity, as it is so rare to get a front facing picture without standing in a road of moving traffic. Bravo Paris!
I’m sure many of you are thinking that Paris is an expensive place to stay? Think again. The Generator is a great place to stay if you want to bunk with other travellers or even have a bit of luxury on a budget with an overseeing terrace.
However, if true luxury hotels are more your thing then the beautiful rooms and suites at Les Bains, 5 star hotel are a perfect place to stay whilst in Paris.
That pretty much sums up a long weekend in Paris and what to do if you’re a youngster travelling to or residing in Paris. I had an absolute blast whilst I was there, so I hope these little tips of what you can do in Paris will allow you to have a great time too.
Until next time…