Never Any End To PARIS. .
The Mr. and I planned a week's getaway to Croatia with a brief stopover in Paris. Three days in Paris was perfect, we surmised, given that it was our second time there.
The challenge: making the most of our time in this city of world-class sights, great chocolate, scrumptious pastries, fabulous shoes and chic boutiques.
The first night the concierge at our hotel booked us at the plush Cafe L'Homme neighboring the Eiffel tower. The food, a 6; the service, a 5; the wine selection, a 7; the view = PRICELESS! This place has the best view of the Eiffel Tower especially during dinner when you can watch the Eiffel Tower light show. If you have a chance, get seating on the terrace so you can see the 1000-feet Eiffel Tower at sunset and watch the City of Light light up.
The next day we hit all the spots we had missed before; The Pantheon, a powerful place with beautiful vistas highlighting the heart of the city--soaring Notre-Dame, the bustling Latin Quarter, the stained glass wonder of Sainte-Chapelle and the lazy flow of the timeless Siene.
The Louvre: Everyone’s who’s visited the Louvre says the same exact thing, you can spend days in there and never get close to seeing everything. It’s really true! So, of course, we went back to this absolute beast of a museum, not as gawking tourists but as educated intellectuals having marked prior the paintings and sculptures we wanted to revisit.
We wandered the long, expansive (and crowded) corridors of the Renaissance paintings section. My favorite painting in that section is Turkish Bath, 1862 (below). The remarkable, sensual, circular Bath was painted by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres when he was 82!
We didn’t make it to Napoleon’s Room. . . you may or may not know that the Louvre was originally a fortress and later became the place where France’s royalty lived. Most of the rooms have been converted into public museum space, but Napoleon’s large and luxurious apartment has been kept intact and apparently, it’s something to see. Aaaaaaah. . .now that’s on my wish list for next time!
For a tea break, we headed to Laduree. Although there are a few locations now in the U.S., you cannot go to Paris and not go to the flagship store. There’s an emotion like opening a gift from you kids on Mother’s Day that only the Paris store can bring! Are there better options for a macaroon or pastry elsewhere in the city? Sure. Is this a venue usually full of tourists with long lines waiting to be seated? Yes. Do I still recommend it? Of course!!
My recommendation is that instead of going in and waiting in line to order your delicious treats only to walk away with an iconic green bag, do the alternative and sit down to coffee or tea. There are many things in Paris considered to be touristy and/or cliché but even if they are, you can always do them in style. This is France after all!
Next day we hit the Palace of Versailles. What can you say about the Versailles? Its amazing, opulent, ridiculous , over-the-top, beautiful, yadda yadda. It’s also a great day-trip—excellent walking shoes are a must and bring a picnic. I highly recommend the escorted and small tours.
For dinner, I was craving savory crepes and the concierge set us up with a reservation at a perfect location off of Champs Elysees. Creperie Framboise is a hidden gem. Most crepe places in Paris serve the sweet and classic salty crepes, but here, the large selection of creative crepes will satisfy anyone’s taste buds without a doubt. Try the spicy Empanada crepe or the Bjorn, with smoked salmon and goat cheese. More, please. . .oui, oui!
We were done, but now I’m planning my third and fourth visit. . . next year and the year after!