The Many Reasons Why I Miss Paris: As I watch the Christmas lights illuminate on the Champs Elysées from Arc De Triumph to Place de la Concorde this year from my computer screen (you can see the lights live stream here online), I am keenly aware that it has been very long 17 months since I have been to Paris.
It is usually at the 12 month mark that I start getting that itch to get back to visit my favorite city. It’s just been way too long. But I will have to continue my love affair from afar for now with trips to the newly opened Angelina in Bryant Park and episodes of Emily in Paris on Netflix for just a little while longer.
The famous saying ‘Paris is always a good idea‘ (which incidentally originated in the remake of Sabrina and was never actually uttered by Audrey Hepburn in the original movie) rings now more true than ever. One thing for sure, I will never take my days in Paris for granted again.
Et Voilà. I gathered a list (a very subjective one) of the 30 things I miss most about Paris right now, in no particular order. But honestly it doesn’t take much more than the three words ‘pain au chocolat‘ to get me to hop on a flight on La Compagnie. In fact, the airline’s site is saved on the very top of my favorite bookmarks so I can check in every so often for special fares this Summer.
We hope you enjoy the list. Please add some of your personal favorites in the comments section!
30 Things I Miss Most About Paris(and can’t wait to do when I return!):
- Always having my ritual first café crème and croissant the minute I step on Parisian soil at Café de Flore on Boulevard St. Germain. The waiters can be a bit intimidating but I still love coming here since my days as a student.
2. Dressing up for afternoon tea (or champagne) with my daughter at the glamorous Hotel Ritz Paris or Plaza Athenée (you can read more about that here in my post ‘Paris With A Tween’).
3. Being a total tourist and taking in the sights by electric Tuk Tuk along with Serge Gainsbourg tunes.
4. Negotiating for vintage goodies in my best French at the Porte de Vanves weekend flea market (I’ve picked up great items here such as a vintage brass train suitcase rack, Hermès scarves and photographic art).
5. Hitting every divine patisserie and chocolaterie with my girlfriend-in-crime on the Left Bank ‘carb’ triangle (Maison Mulot, Pierre Hermes, Pierre Marcolini to name a few).
6. Waking up in our luxurious suite at ultra-luxe and chic La Reserve and never wanting to leave.
7. Taking silly tourist pics at the Louvre’s pyramid every single trip.
8. Enjoying insane steak frites and chocolate pots de crèmes at my favorite classic bistro, Le Voltaire, with a window view of the Seine.
9. Perfectly timing an evening vedette from the Pont Neuf to be right in front of La Tour Eiffel when it first sparkles at sundown. Watching the expression my girls faces was priceless. (Note: the Eiffel Tower’s sparkling lights appear for five minutes every hour on the hour until 1 am. If you are in Paris in late June, sundown is close to 10 p.m.!)
10. People watching at the ever stylish LouLou restaurant at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs and then walking off the lunch from the Palais Royale arcades to the Tuileries.
11. Treasuring the absolutely perfect view from the balcony of my room at the newly renovated Left Bank palace, the Hotel Lutetia.
12. Savoring both the salty and sweet soufflés at Le Cigale Recamier. This lunch spot never disappoints.
13. Wandering the cobblestone streets of the Marais, enjoying the varied cafes and boutiques, until I hit my favorite square, Place des Vosges.
14. And of course grabbing a mandatory falafel (Miznon or L’as du Falafel, either will do) while there in the old Jewish quarter.
15. Catching the latest exhibits at Musee de l’Orangerie, Musee Yves Saint Laurent and Musee d’Orsay (open late on Thursday evenings!), my favorite Paris museums.
16. Pretending to be Parisian while sunning on the banks of the Seine (but really people watching).
17. Waiting in line with tout le monde for the best bread in Paris at boulangerie Poilâne in St. Germain.
18. Getting lost on the streets of the Left Bank and falling upon boutique gems like Buly 1803 and Adelline. But always doing a stop by at the très chic and Parisian boutique Ines de la Fressange.
19. Running to get my sushi fix at the fun and hip sushi restaurant, Aux Pres (sister restaurant, Bar des Pres, next door is just fine too).
20. Waiting in line (again) at L’Appartement Sezane with my teen daughter for inexpensive French threads (hit Frenchies for breakfast nearby pre or post shop).
21. Grabbing baguettes and brie from the must-visit magnificent food halls of Le Bon Marché department store and having a picnic in my favorite park nearby, Le Jardin du Luxembourg.
22. Stopping always once at the amazing 3-floor fashion and home goods concept store Merci in upper Marais to find something unique. A requisite stop I have been making each trip to Paris since the store opened in 2009.
23. Riding the Paris metro – my second favorite mode of transport in Paris after walking – and taking extreme pride that I know it as well as I did when I was a student in Paris a long time ago.
24. Going out of my way for the crazy good cinnamon buns at Circus Bakery in the 5th arrondissement.
25. Taking a dip in the oh so exquisite pool at Hotel Le Royal Monceau.
26. Sitting on the floor of the newish L’Atelier Des Lumieres museum, being completely blown away by the ultra-sensory experience.
27. Never failing to be mesmerized by stunning beauty of the Palais Garnier opera house (although I have yet to see an opera there). Tip: get a backstage tour to see the private costume rooms. We can get you one.
28. Always finding something to splurge on at Hermès (I like the newer store on Rue de Sèvres), always an experience.
29. Doing a crepe ‘grab and go’ at La Droguerie in the Marais. I am no certified crepe expert, but I swear these are the best.crepes.ever! (the long line will confirm this).
30. Standing on the Pont des Arts at sunset while gazing at the stunning Notre Dame cathedral (and being eternally grateful that is still there) and taking in the beauty of all that is Paris…just before I depart each visit.
Tu me manques, Paris!