People love to say that Paris is beautiful in the rain. And while I think Paris is always beautiful, it's a little less so in February when it doesn't stop raining and just barely 40 degrees. I didn't fully think that part through when deciding what time of year to study abroad. But I payed my dues and learned to appreciate the times when I'm in Paris and the weather is perfect.
Paris is a lot like New York City; you can't see it all in one trip. I lived there for nearly six months and have visited half a dozen times, but I always find a new little cafe, boutique or perfumery. It's the perfect balance of feeling a sense of familiarity and belonging without ever becoming bored. I recently returned to Paris, but because it was a very short trip I was anxious to see, visit and eat my favorite things while I was there. Nevertheless, I once again found new places to add to my "favorites" list.
I’m a huge fan of Sandro and Maje, and now ba&sh has found a spot on my list of favorite boutiques. Ultra feminine, classic and of course French, I wanted to leave with everything in the store. The pink dress I’m wearing in these photos? Just a taste of what they have to offer.
Hotel Louvre Montana
For those of us who don't get invited to stay at Hôtel Plaza Athénée, finding the perfect place to stay is no easy decision. But at the end of the day, there is no "right" decision. It's entirely personal. Hotel Louvre Montana has become one of my favorite hotels. The rooms are unbelievably spacious and up-to-date, especially for Paris. Another big plus is location, location, location. This hotel is a hop, skip and a jump from the Tuileries Garden. I can spend hours sitting in those ridiculously comfortable green chairs while I people watch and read by the fountains, or take long walks through this beautiful oasis in the busy city. And for those who love to shop, Rue de Rivoli is right around the corner. The hotel is small, so make your reservations in advance.
Like many other museums and government buildings in Paris, the museum is actually an incredibly beautiful old mansion, hidden behind large doors in the 8th arrondissement. Regardless of what exhibit is showing when you visit, it's worth it just to see the architecture of both the exterior and interior of this incredible old house.
Due to it's proximity to tourist hotspots, I'd walked by this picturesque cafe at least a dozen times. A series of random events led my mother, sister and myself to its doors and it will definitely be one of my first stops the next time I go back. Everything we ordered was plated to perfection and tasted as wonderful as it looked. The atmosphere is tres Paris.
L'artisan Parfumeur, Daphné Bugey
Located right next to the oldest tea shop in Paris, this little perfumery immediately caught my mother's and my attention as soon as we walked by the front door. It is the only perfumery I've ever been to where I can say I love just about every scent they offer.....and they offer a lot of them. It was painful to pick just one to take home when surrounded by over a hundred wonderful options. Just tell the sales person what you do and don't like, and she'll pick out the perfect perfume for you over and over again.
Want to know more of my favorites and recommendations? Check out my Paris blog from last spring or Paris museums blog.