My first morning in Paris was spent crying in my café au lait. I just didn’t know where to start. Paris was so big and there was so much to see. As my croissant got soggy, I got back in bed and pulled the covers over my head. Then, all of a sudden, I remembered the very sage advice of a fellow traveller about exploring any new town.
Close your eyes and let your guidebook open to any page.
I pulled my hand from under the blanket, grabbed my rough guide or lonely planet or whichever it was, and closed my eyes and pointed.
Seconds later, my book was inviting me to explore the Musée Rodin. Flinging off the duvet, I grabbed my beret and ran to the 7th arrondissement.
We all think it’s a bit easier now that we have the interweb. Well, google “things to do in paris” and you get literally 446,000,000 results. Thus, Bite–Sized Bits is here to help.
No staying under the covers in Paris, unless you’re with someone.
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Bed…Left Bank: Duc de Saint Simon, good enough for Bogie & Bacall to spend their wedding night, need I say more; Right Bank: Intercontinental Paris Opera, exactly where you want to be to shop ’til you drop, make sure they show you the ballroom.
Bite…Soupe a l’Oignon at Le Grand Colbert, Steak Frites at Chez Paul, Open-faced Sandwiches at Au Sauvignon; Napoleon & Josephine’s hangout at Le Grand Vefour; Lunch like a true Parisien at Chez Georges; Ice Cream like no other at Pierre Hermé, anywhere David Lebovitz tells me.
Brew…there is nowhere you can’t get a good glass of wine in Paris, but classic and modern cocktails you have to seek out: Hotel Des Bains, Experimental Cocktail Club, The Hemingway Bar at the Ritz Hotel.
Binge…Shopping is a sport in Paris. Visit the spots that you only find ici: Hermes on the left bank, Iunx Perfume at Hotel Costes, Gab & Jo – a concept store where everything is made in France, Atelier du Bracelet Parisien – get a new watchband made for you and you alone.
Bathe…yourself in art. More museums than you can visit in a lifetime and all of them fabulous. Head straight to the Mona Lisa in the Louvre and get that over with, then wander around getting lost; Musée Carnavalet – Paris’s warehouse of stuff belonging to celebs like Marie Antoinette and Émile Zola; Musée Jacquemart-André – one of the prettiest houses in town; Centre Pompidou to shake off the cobwebs of history, and Musée Rodin, of course.
Breathe…Walk up to Montmartre to Sacré-Coeur, sashay down Rue du Faubourg Saint–Honoré in style, hunt down hard-to-find antiques at the Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen flea market, come upon La Fondation Louis Vuitton in the Bois de Bologne, ice skate on the Eiffel Tower, and leave time to stroll the Palais Royal, one of the prettiest spots in the world according to Best Bits.
Bolt…Eurostar is the only way to go if you are in central London. Très civilized!
au revoir et à bientôt