Paris is one of the top foodie destinations in the world, and also an excellent option for a minibreak, as it’s so quick and easy to get there, particularly from London. The day after my 21st birthday, I went to live in Paris, which was such a fun adventure. I shared a tiny apartment in the 14th arrondissement with my friend Ellie and we had a ball. Paris is a great city to live in and I was fortunate enough to meet some of my dearest friends who were also living over there at that time.
Sadly, my 21st birthday was some time ago now, and I have just returned from a recent trip to discover some new places to visit. Paris is a city that’s slowly changing, with more and more new places opening up, and a slight change in feel to a more relaxed, modern city. Here are my top recommendations for a visit.
Where to stay
Hotel La Tremoille is a really lovely choice. It’s a small but deeply luxurious 5* hotel sat just a few minutes walk from the Seine and the Champs Elysées. It’s a deeply discreet hotel – you’d hardly know it was there, and a well-kept secret by its loyal regular visitors who find it a home from home. The rooms are large, for Paris, and luxuriously decorated. Be sure to ask for a room with a view of the Eiffel Tower for you to enjoy.
The Louis restaurant is excellent and a must-try for any visitor. Traditional dishes, such as terrine de fois gras are served with a delicious glass of sweet Vouvray wine, alongside more contemporary dishes, such as a roasted pumpkin with courgettes and toasted hazelnut oil and are both excellent. There is a small but very well chosen wine list to match and food allergies are very well catered for.
Breakfast is really delicious – the salmon and eggs are exceptionally good – and is an essential start to the day. Stoke up for a busy day exploring Paris.
Things to do
The newly opened Picasso Museum is a must for anyone interested in contemporary art.
A walk along the Seine is an essential part of a trip to Paris, but it is particularly interesting to do so of late as there are lots of interesting things popping up along the river such as sporting activities, art exhibitions and installations. This is quite an interesting change for Paris.
An essential place to shop for foodies like me is the Grand Epicerie. I’ve been going there since I was a teenager with my family, as we always stayed just around the corner, and it is a true Aladdin’s cave for anyone who loves good food and drink. From an enormous selection of fresh and store cupboard ingredients, a superb traiteur counter, boulangerie and boucherie, and a wonderful choice of French professional quality bakeware, there is so much to see and buy.
Where else to eat
For traditional but very well executed Parisian brasserie fare, Aux Tonneaux des Halles is a favourite of mine. There are plenty of choices for people with food allergies there, too. Everything I’ve tried there has been really delicious – really well cooked, well sourced, unfussy food and a great choice of natural wines.
For afternoon tea, La Pâtisserie des Rêves is lovely, and there are a small number of gluten free sweet treats always available.
La Durée Salon du Thé is a personal favourite having visited for years with friends.
How to get there
The Eurostar is my favourite way of travelling to Paris. It’s a very relaxing, easy way to travel, with two services an hour running from London. The novelty of travelling abroad by train endures. Plus, you’re not limited on your luggage or subjected to the same security limitations and procedures as is the case when flying.
Rates for a double standard room at the Hotel La Tremoille start from €360 per room per night including a continental breakfast and wi-fi.
Eurostar standard class return tickets to London from Paris start at £69 per adult.