Paris! La Ville Lumière. The City of Love.
It’s hard not to fall in love with the French capital, and all my favourite movies have it just about right. Paris holds the key to my heart. We’ll always have Paris. Actually, Paris is most beautiful in the rain. I love Paris in the springtime.
I just love Paris. There’s this magical vibe about the city that is purely illuminating (ha!) which always makes it a wonderful city to read about. And Paris Lights is no exception. Claire Shorten, like me, has always loved Paris. It’s been a dream of hers to go for years, and finally, finally she’s managed to convince her boyfriend to whisk her away for a weekend sojourn. Until he breaks up with her. Under the Eiffel Tower. Heartbroken and at a loss as to what to do next, Claire sequesters herself at the Hotel Trocadero, who sneakily allow her to stay in one of the penthouse suites (lush!). When grumpy chef turned TV tycoon Louis Delarue comes to decide whether Hotel Trocadero is good enough (or is it bad enough?) to be on his reality renovate or detonate TV show, Claire finds her true calling, and throws herself into helping make the hotel the best it can be. Of course, along the way she butts heads with the enigmatic Louis, but underneath all that initial loathing is lovely simmering sexual tension that makes you do that thing where you want to squee.
It’s easy to see why Paris is called the City of Love, but in my eyes? It’s the City of Food. Just take one step outside and there’s more restaurants and cafes than you can throw a breadstick at. And despite what Louis may think, Paris isn’t all Michelin starred fancy places. Here are some stops you need to make your stay vraiment délicieux!
You’ve heard everyone say it, and even tasted it for yourself at a pop-up store back home – Ladurée is the place to go for your macaron fix. Well, let me let you in on a little secret: Carette has the best macarons you’ll taste. Don’t just take my word for it – the French agree too!
When it comes to markets, Louis only sources food from Vogue-mentioned places like Marché de l’Alma but the one place you’ll find me is Rue Mouffetard, one of Paris’s oldest and liveliest neighbourhoods in the Latin Quarter. The street is jam-packed with merchants of every kind, and there’s nothing better than picking up some fresh local produce and strolling over to the Jardin du Luxembourg for a picnic!
Boulangeries (bakeries) and pâtisseries (pastries) are dime a dozen in Paris. If it’s one thing Parisians know, it’s their pain, and my favourite comes from Maison Landemaine – specifically their Boulevard Beaumarchais boulangerie near Place des Vosges, a gorgeous square that is the perfect relaxing spot for some delicious goodies – like a mille-feuille!
Tucked on the corner of a quintessentially Parisian street is Odette, a charming cafe not too far away from the Ile de la Cité. Still hungry? Odette do the best choux à la crèm (cream puffs) you’ll ever taste! If you sit upstairs, you’ll get a beautiful view of the Notre Dame as well.
SHAKESPEARE & COMPANY
My next stop is actually just around the corner from Odette, so not far to walk! If you haven’t heard of Shakespeare and Company, I don’t know what else to tell you. Bookstore, café, bohemian hostel for writers and artists. This maqnifique bookshop has it all, and no trip to Paris is complete without a browse through the shelves and some of the best hot chocolate around. Oh, and look out for the cat!
Louis insists that no trip to Paris is complete without a cooking class, so I am forced to include La Cuisine as our last destination on his bequest – not that the word ‘forced’ could actually be used! Just across from the River Seine, La Cuisine is a food lover’s delight. With cooking classes, pastry classes, food tours – you name it – this is the perfect way to enjoy all the delicious delights Paris has to offer! And if it comes recommended by Louis….I guess that means it’s good?