File under: great ideas I’ve had = spending my birthday in Paris. At the onset of 2019 I sat down to write my goals for the year and I thought carefully about what I wanted out of 2019. One of those things was to spend my birthday in my favorite place and I am so glad this dream was realized.
After my time in the South of France I took a quick flight from Nice to Paris to spend four nights doing all my favorite things in the city of lights. It was truly lovely and I had the biggest grin on my face the entire long weekend. So, what did I get after? Here’s everything I did for the 3.5 days.
After seeing it all over my Instagram for months, I was so happy to see this delightful umbrella installation at the Village Royal. Doesn’t it just make you delighted looking at it? Paris’ tucked away passages are one of its hidden treasures and this one near Place de la Madeleine did not disappoint. Right around the corner do not miss the famed Maille mustard shop. The brand dates back to the 18th century and has the cutest mustard tasting set up in the shop. I only recently started liking mustard so it was fun for me to taste and see which one I liked. I bought a jar and loved using some of it in a potato salad on the 4th of July. (Side note: their packaging is beautiful and they have mini jars that I think make great gifts to bring to friends or family back home!)
Rue Cler is my favorite place to pick up picnic supplies to feast on at the Eiffel Tower / Champs de Mars. The bustling street has great fruit stands, a wonderful frommagerie, a boulangerie and is around the corner from a supermarket for any other essentials you may need for your picnic.
Snapped a quick pic on Rue de l’Université which boasts this amazing view of the Eiffel Tower.
The morning of my birthday I woke up early and headed to the Palais Royal which has some of the most magic Parisian light early in the morning. No matter how many times I visit this beautiful place, it never gets old and I have to say it may be the place in the world where I am most reflective and at peace in life.
While walking through the gardens, I picked up a coffee at Cafe Kitsune and then sat near the garden’s fountain and soaked up the morning sun.
A short walk away from the Palais Royale down Rue Saint Honore is my beloved L’institut Darphin. This place is true heaven and I was treated by their lovely team to a 90 minute birthday facial. It was so zen and the loveliest way to start my new year of life. Their product line is always in my skincare regimen and their estheticians are so knowledgeable about proper skin care. Afterwards, I popped over to Balagan for a quick lunch. It features delicious Israeli food in the most stunning setting.
A favorite museum of mine to squeeze in a quick visit to is the Rodin Museum. The interiors of this former home are gorgeous and bursting with Rodin’s work. Don’t miss the gardens that feature sculptural work as well.
Boot Cafe in the Marais is always a must for me. This spot is housed in a former cobbler shop and has just two tiny tables so it is more ideal for takeaway but if I can nab a corner chair to enjoy my noisette I always do.
Place des Vosges in the morning is one of the most tranquil spots in the city. It feels like such a local hangout in the afternoon and is a favorite spot to take in a pastry or afternoon snack.
Behold: my favorite salad in the world. This warm goat cheese salad from Cafe Charlot is divine and made better by eating outside with a chilled glass of rose. Nearby I also went to a favorite coffee shop, Ob La Di and grabbed a croissant at my favorite Poilâne.
While in the Marais, I always pop into the concept store Merci which just seems to get better and more beautiful every single year. I am always buying beautiful souvenirs here like my beloved wine glasses, little towels or jewelry dishes.
I have always wanted to go to Hotel Raphael’s rooftop bar but it is definitely a special ocassion sort of place (most drinks are 30 Euros). My birthday felt like the right celebratory moment and we were blessed with the most beautiful weather, a table with a stunning view of the Eiffel Tower and the lovely gentlemen working there even surprised myself and my friend Briony with complimentary champagne when they found out it was my birthday. It’s safe to say I left there floating. It was an experience I’ll never forget.
Despite having opened a few years ago at this rate, I still hadn’t popped by The Hoxton to see its gorgeous interiors so that was top of my priorities for this trip. The hotel is indeed, gorgeous and the restaurant has a beautiful open-air terrace that’s perfect for an aperitif. Just around the corner you can visit one of my favorite stores, Sezane. (More on it here.)
Hands down one of my favorite meals that I have ever had was at Verjus. I finally was able to get a booking there for this trip after many years of trying and it did not dissapoint. I will 100% rebook there for my next trip. The prix fixe is always changing and celebrates flavor in an amazing way. Everything I ate was inventive and delicious and so memorable. If you can’t get a booking they have a wine bar down on the lower level that does have some limited food offerings, too! It’s small though so I’d show up early.
I can’t go to Paris without a visit to the Jardin du Luxembourg. It never disappoints! For your stroll through the park, might I suggest a treat from one of the following nearby spots? A cinnamon bun from Circus Bakery or an Ispahan croissant from Pierre Herme or a pain au chocolat from Maison D’Isabelle?
I popped in to see the beautiful Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève for the first time and marveled at its beautiful ceilings. Anyone can pop in with an accompanying tour guide but the visit lasts no more than five minutes as you’re not able to walk around given students are there working and studying.
The happiest on my way to birthday drinks and dinner!
This trip I had the pleasure of staying at the Hotel Flanelles which only just opened in the Fall of 2018. It is in a neighborhood I had never stayed in before (the 17th arrondissement) and I was looking forward to checking it out as I always love exploring new places to stay so I can recommend options to you guys. I absolutely loved this hotel. The room is spacious and cozy (the bed was so comfortable!) and the bathroom was one of the largest I’ve ever had in a European hotel. Isn’t it beautiful, too? Above and beyond the room, the hotel is extremely focused on wellness. You can book massages and facials at the hotel and they even have heat baths, a steam room and a salt wall which can promote better breathing and healing. Truly the lower level of this hotel is like a sanctuary! I’d love to go back and take advantage of all of the treatments they offer! It is meant to be modern yet elegant. Another thing I loved? It is literally right around the corner from the Arc de Triomphe! The photo above of myself in front of the Arc was taken two blocks from the hotel! There’s also a big Metro station right there with loads of train options so I was able to zip over to any neighborhood seamlessly. The hotel was kind enough to host for me for a night and provide a press rate for the remainder of my stay. If interested in booking there, you can use code FLANONS for 10% off your stay.
A few other things I did while in town was to have another delicious dinner at Frenchie Bar a Vins (I went in in October and loved it). I also visited the Atelier des Lumières for the first time (with a stop for my favorite banana bread at Cafe Oberkampf first, of course!). The Atelier is amazing! It’s a digital art center that brings art to life with lights. We saw Van Gogh’s famous paintings come to life in a way that I can’t even put into words. If you’ve been to Paris a lot before and want something new to discover, do not miss this! Before or after you can stroll Paris’ version of the High Line, Coulée verte René-Dumont or pop by the colorful Rue Cremieux.
. . .
I hope you enjoyed this recap of my Paris birthday weekend! And stay tuned as I am launching something exciting and Paris-related next week that I can’t wait to share with you guys!
Heading to Paris? Book Paris, Perfected with me and get customized recommendations based on your travel preferences to make your next trip to Paris the best one yet.