It’s one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world. The problem one can face though is wading through the bullshit to uncover those gems, so I’ve done a bit of the hard work for you.
There’s a map of all the hotspots down below and all things Paris here.
My San Fran based friend Margaret and I have started doing an annual trip where we catch up in a European city. Last year, we hit up Amsterdam and this year we settled on Paris because why the hell not.
I did A LOT of research of places to stay and in the end decided I wanted to explore the bustling 10th arrondissement where lots of cool bars and restaurants are popping up. So, Marg and I opted to stay at Hotel Providence, which you can read about here.
We may as well dive into the food because that’s why we’re here right? My goodness, we ate so well on this trip.
As soon as we landed, straight off to 1 Michelin Starred Septime we went, whose look and feel I really dug but I must admit, I wasn’t wowed by the food. However, Faubourg 52 which was in the neighbourhood we were staying, about an 8 mins walk from our hotel was ace – cool vibe and really good food – had rabbit for the first time there and it was marvellous.
Friday lunch was spent at Papillon – which opened earlier this year I believe – lovely interior and food to match. For dinner, we went to Canard et Champagne, my two favourite things – duck and champagne and the dudes here delivered the goods.
Sat, we made a pit stop at ace little patisserie, Mori Yoshida which I experienced for the first time a few years ago.
The pièce de résistance of the trip was Spring on Saturday night. What an amazing evening. We had the set menu and drinks pairing which were delicious and the experience was enhanced because we vibed so well with the hosts. They were intent on getting us smashed and who were we to complain?
Chartreuse in full flow – blurry eyes
Sunday we went to the 8th arrondissement, where there’s a dearth of good restaurants and were recommended an awful place (Matignon) to eat in the area. Everything about this place was mad and laughable, from the gaudy setting, botoxed yummy mummies to the terrible food – had the worst burger and crepe of my life there.
We had to have a duff food day right, considering how epic the rest of our culinary trip was?
DRINK + DANCE
Friday night, post dinner, we headed to the sleek gorgeous bar of the recently refurbished Les Bains, a Parisian nightlife institution. Cocktails were pricey but sublime and potent, so worth your dollar. We managed to get through the face control gestapo to hit the club in the basement – it still has the legendary pool where celebrities like Bowie and Naomi Campbell partied back in the day. Would recommend.
On Sat, pre dinner, we checked out Gravity Bar which was in the neighbourhood we were staying – it’s a cool intimate little space with a bit of outdoor seating – they serve small plates of food which we didn’t try as we were heading out for dinner but would be keen to when I revisit. Cocktails were gooood – try ’em.
Cocktails gettin’ did
After an amazing dinner at Spring on Sat, the guys kept on serving us shots of alcohol as we waited at the entrance of the restaurant for our Uber. We eventually clambered in the cab and headed on over to Experimental Cocktail Club for more drinks, one of the city’s first speakeasy style bars. Having been on the block for a while, I thought it may be a bit passé. On the contrary, it’s actually not full of tourists and still feels hip and current. The mixologists also know what’s up and will whip you up a very good cocktail – trust them.
We visited the Rodin Museum and explored the Gardens which was dope – such incredible sculptures. If you go on a sunny day, definitely worth packing a picnic and make an afternoon of it. FYI the cafe is whack, so don’t depend on this to pick up some picnic goods.
We found a charming little shop, Atelier Couronnes, in Château d’Eau near our hotel and bought a few bits and bobs.
Also, managed to catch the Barbie exhibition at the Museum of Decorative Arts which basically took you through the history of Barbie and why she should be seen as a symbol of female empowerment – yadi yadi yada. Propaganda aside, it was a well curated exhibition and I’d be keen to check out more exhibits in this space in the future.
Right, that’s it from moi. Check out my Paris map below, showing all the hotspots, most of which I personally visited, some of which I earmarked but didn’t get a chance to.