Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Top Tourist Tips

The question I get asked more than any other is "Kate, can you recommend some bars/restaurants/things to do in Paris? I'm visiting with friends!" To this I try to give a fairly comprehensive answer but sometimes it is difficult to be the world's best tour guide at a moments notice. So I have decided to pen my ideal day for any tourist in Paris. Imagine you only have 24 hours to get the most in. This plan won't fail you. 

Let us assume that if you are visiting Paris you will be trying to stay as close to me as possible. The effortlessly cool, hipster persona I exude will help you to blend it... I jest but seriously staying either with me or near me is your best bet for a great time. My area has lots of restaurants, bars and is excellently placed for you to get nearly everywhere in the city! 
9am: You knock on my door suggesting breakfast, which of course I accept so I take you to Maison Privat around the corner from me. We order an oranais (pastry with apricot halves, crème pat and sugar crystals) and a coffee which we then proceed to eat outside in the sunshine watching the people walking by. 
9:30am: Now that some caffeine has entered my system I can now be the best tour guide possible. I take you to the market on Avenue de Saxe where I used to live so that you can sample some everyday French life and maybe some more food. From here we make our way to the Eiffel Tower because why not? Everyone needs it on their Instagram to prove they've been to Paris. 
10:30am: We have a wander around Musée Rodin. Simply because it is magical. Also if we are lucky enough we get to see Dior setting up for a show there. 
12:15pm: By this time, I'm probably hungry again. I take you to Da Rocco where we have the best Italian meal you can get this side of the Alps, with some very good red wine. We can also reminisce about my university days because I used to grab a panini from here nearly every day as a little pick me up in between lessons. 
2pm: Having let our lunch settle we wander along the Boulevard Saint Germain and peer in the pretty shops, maybe even stopping for a coffee and cake in Cafe de Flore or Les Deux Magots. We arrived leisurely at Saint Michel where we pick up some books from Shakespeare and Co or Gibert Jeune. We take them to the Ile Saint Louis after pausing to marvel at Notre Dame and for me to show you my old apartment. 
4pm: After a read and a nap I suggest we make our way to BHV for some light shopping which is a hop, skip and a jump over the river. It has everything from DIY stuff to high-end clothes and everything in between. The art section is particularly good, if you were ever in need! 
6pm: The alcohol from lunch is starting to wear off so we nip into Hotel de JoBo in the Marais for a cocktail. It is a hotel themed around Josephine Bonaparte so expect crazy décor and sumptuous drinks!
8pm: We decide that it is about time for some more food. This means I take you up to Aux Refuges des Fondues which is so French it hurts. While drinking wine in baby bottles you sample the meat or cheese fondue after clambering over the table to get to your seat. This leads us perfectly into a post-dinner jaunt to Sacré Coeur to look out over the Parisian skyline. 

If at the end of all of this you still want to do more then we can head back across the river a bit closer to chez moi and dance the night away in Place Monge, but personally I'll be ready for bed! 

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