Much like my lady Ella, I love Paris in the springtime.
Well, let’s be honest, I love Paris anytime. My two main interests outside of my family and acting are cuisine and couture - and a couple of weeks ago, I got my fill of both in the fashion foodie capitol of the world! The trip, which my husband and I took to celebrate my birthday à deux (that means just the two of us…I can speak un peu de French!), was absolutely perfect.
Here are some lessons I learned on my trip for how to live like a Parisian (or, at least, how to survive all that cheese!)…
TAKE A GOOD PAIR OF FLATS:
Paris is a walking city, but it’s also a city of glamour. Want to step out in stilettos? Take a pair of flats in your purse - this way, you can rock your heels without fear of ruining your day.
WALK UNTIL YOU CAN’T ANYMORE, THEN EAT UNTIL YOU CAN’T ANYMORE, THEN WALK UNTIL YOU CAN’T ANYMORE, THEN EAT UNTIL YOU CAN’T ANYMORE, THEN…:
Seriously, eat everything. You deserve it! You just did all that walking!
Hayes and I enjoyed a full range of culinary delights, starting with selecting fine cheeses and meats from a delicious fromagerie
and picnic-ing in the Luxembourg Gardens.
We also spoiled ourselves nearly rotten with tea and pastries at world famous LaDurée. Try the macarons!
We couldn’t help but splurge a bit for the prix-fix menus at two of Paris’s most notable dining destinations du jour. The first, Septime, was one of the best meals I have had in quite some time. Chef Bertrand Grébaut is a Frenchman through and through - a genius in the kitchen, and a gentleman everywhere else.
Dinner at Frenchie was equally incroyable. This salmon dish alone has me dreaming of my next visit to France…
And, of course, I sampled my way through many other less famous but equally scrumptious local delights. Candy calories don’t count if they’re purchased in another language, right?
DO THINGS YOUR WAY, WHILE ALSO DOING THEM THEIR WAY
When you’re traveling, it’s good to dig in to the local ways of living, but it’s equally good to know what you must do to keep yourself happy. When traveling, I still make sure to exercise, but I avoid the hotel gym as much as possible - workout time can be a time for exploring, as well! Running by the seine is something I already miss…
FIRST STOP, THEN THINK.
How often do we do this in our days? How often, when home, do we have the time to just stop and think?
When traveling, give yourself the time to meander, and to full-stop, and to allow your mind to wander - after all, a trip for your body that has your mind back at home is no trip at all.
After our lunch at Septime, Hayes and I walked through Père Lachaise cemetary, visiting some old icons - Jim Morrison, Marcel Proust, and others - who are buried there. The cherry blossoms were in full bloom, and passing time at the gravestones that mark some of our world’s greatest creative minds provided much appreciated support (literal, in the case of Hayes’ back) to the voyage of our thoughts. Sometimes, we must look to the past to be inspired, and Paris is forever a land replete with inspirational pasts.
BE IN LOVE WITH SOMETHING
The bridge at the Pont des Beaux-Arts has become a site dedicated to love - what you see in this photo is hundreds of thousands of locks, big and small, people have affixed to the bridge to represent the commitment in their hearts to another.
Whether you come to Paris in love with a person, or a dream, or simply with the idea of being in love, bring a lock and find your place on this bridge. It is cheesy, oui, but also moving, and a positive emblem for the world at large. Plus, it’s romantic. And what is more Parisian, may I ask you, and more essential to life itself, than un peu de romance?…
I hope these tips have inspired you to go steal a bite and a kiss from Paris. And if you’re still saving up for that dream trip? Grab yourself a bottle of Rosé, a baguette, and some good french literature - I recommend the divine “Henry and June” by Anaïs Nin for some gorgeously romantic reading - and take a flight of fancy! The French variety is the fanciest of all…
Gros bises, tout le monde!