Planning a romantic weekend escape to the city of love? Look no further for what to see, eat and do – plus your chance to win a Parisian minibreak.
Even in a whirlwind 36-hour trip, we managed to pack in plenty of cultural timeout in the storied city of Paris, where we shot our romantic Spring clothing collection. Read on for our comprehensive guide on what to see, eat and do while you’re there.
Eat and drink
In Paris, you are well and truly spoilt for choice when it comes to delicious places to dine, from quaint cafés to beautiful bistros. Whether it’s the perfect café au lait or a healthy alternative to croissants and crêpes you seek, add these to your list of must-visits.
Pour le petit déjeuner…
For something informal, head to this casual café for a scrumptious breakfast. Cleverly fusing traditional French cuisine with real Southern-comfort dishes, grab a stool at the rustic communal table and enjoy some hearty food. If you try only one thing, make it their famous hash browns.
If you have over-indulged on buttery croissants, Wild & The Moon is an excellent choice to nourish yourself with something a little more wholesome. A breakfast full of goodness, washed down with a smoothie is the perfect combination for a reboot, ready for a day of exploring. Take away a bag of their crunchy granola for home.
Pour le café…
If you’re looking for a mid-morning pick-me-up after perusing the streets of Paris, you are never too far from a coffee shop. With its famous clientele (Pablo Picasso was once a regular) you may have seen the iconic Café De Flore on the silver screen. Celebrated as one of the oldest cafes in Paris, order a coffee, take a seat outside and pause for a minute (or a leisurely hour) to people watch.
Situated in the beautiful Jardin du Palais Royal, grab cafe-au-lait to go from this bijou stand-up coffee bar, before taking a scenic wander. Make the most of the peaceful surroundings by finding a bench to watch the world pass by while you enjoy the superior coffee.
Great for a refuel after visiting The Wall of Love (see below), look out for the bold blue facade of Cuillier, on the corner of Yvonne le Tac (and other locations across the city). If you’re a fan of latte art, you can’t fail to be impressed by the creative skill of the friendly baristas here. Sit by the window and soak up the lively district of Montmarte.
Pour le déjeuner…
Fully immerse yourself in Parisian life and visit Poulette, a classic, chic French bistro. We recommend keeping it traditional here, ordering steak frites while you admire the unique interiors. Booking ahead is a must for this popular restaurant.
In need of a delectable sandwich? We loved this extension of Gregory Marchand’s popular restaurant and wine bar, Frenchie (see below). With a more casual feel (and much easier to get in to), we recommend tucking into a delicious sandwich, and ordering a slice of the exquisite cheesecake to share afterwards.
Pour le gâteaux…
In a city where the patisserie reigns supreme, indulging in afternoon refreshment is compulsory, and you simply wouldn’t be getting the most out of Paris without sampling its devilishly good cakes and patisseries. Make a B-line for one (or all) of these locations.
A visit to the elegant La Parisserie Cyril Lignac was on the top of our Paris ‘must eat’ list. With its chic marble interiors and delicious bakes to take away, what’s not to love? Take a piece of Paris away with you and purchase a box of macaroons to nibble while you wander to your next location.
After exploring the lively Montmartre district, be sure to pop into Pain Pain. We loved the moreish caramel éclairs at this bakery, and the team also won the accolade of best baguette in Paris in 2012.
This 1903 stunning tea room is as famous for its past clientele (including Coco Chanel and Proust) as its exquisite cakes. Head into the Belle-Epoque-style tearoom before or after a visit to the Louvre museum for the most delicious, thick hot chocolate you’ll ever taste. Take a seat in the ornate dining hall and order their signature patisserie La Mont Blanc to accompany your steaming chocolat chaud.
Dinner and drinks
Make your evening in Paris extra-special with a delicious dinner and end your evening with beautiful cocktails.
Dans le soir…
Head to Frenchie for a truly sophisticated and delightful dinner. Book well in advance for a highly sought-after table for two and indulge in Gregory Marchand’s menu (Jamie Oliver’s one-time protégée). Too late to book? Head across the road to Frenchie Au Vins for 7pm when it opens. Select a glass of vin rouge from their extensive wine list and indulge in the most delicious small plates.
Every romantic getaway should involve cocktails, and there’s no better place to partake than the iconic Ritz Hotel. End your evening here, with spectacular cocktails in the sleek Ritz or cosy Hemingway bar – here once sat novelists Ernest Hemingway himself and F.Scott Fitzgerald, so you’ll be in good company. A must order is the ‘So British’ cocktail – both sweet and refreshing and a little taste of home.
Paris hosts many cultural must-sees and dos, but with only the weekend in Paris, it’s a challenge to pick which landmarks to visit. Here are the ones worth fitting into your itinerary.
Pour une promenade…
Take a stroll through the Tuileries Garden, allowing plenty of time to capture the perfectly picturesque fountain and surroundings, before visiting the legendary Louvre Museum. Our must-see galleries: Drawings, Prints and Engravings and, of course, the Mona Lisa (follow the Long Gallery to find her).
You can’t visit Paris without heading to the most iconic sight of all: the Eiffel Tower. Make sure to visit both in the day and at night, when she is lit up. Catch the glimmering light show (running for five minutes on the hour), where the famous landmark sparkles and beams light across the city. Alternatively, head to the Place de Trocadéro for the best view of the illuminations.
Another iconic site in Paris and a must-see while you’re there, this stunning cathedral had its first foundations laid in 1163. If you are short of time, don’t brave the queue to get inside. Simply appreciating the beautiful exterior will sate architectural appetites.
If you’re in Paris with your amour, this former artists’ residence and now quaint museum in the Montmartre district is well worth a visit. Stroll through the gates and wander around through the buildings and studios, which have retained their original character and charm, admiring the paintings of popular portrait painter, Ary Scheffer. Afterwards, refresh with lemonade in the romantic hidden garden courtyard.
After a visit to the Museum of Romantics, amble amorously over to the Wall of Love (also accessible from Metro stop: Abbesses). A perfect spot for romance, filled with 311 declarations of ‘I Love You’ in 250 different languages, it’s a good alternative to the famous but now-dismantled spectacle of the Love Lock Bridge at Pont des Arts.
For an iconic view over the City of Light, we suggest a wander over the Pont Neuf Bridge. The oldest standing bridge over the River Seine, you can see the Eiffel Tower appearing over buildings and trees in the background, as well as sweeping vistas toward the Louvre and Tuileries Gardens.
With Paris claiming the title of the world’s fashion capital you can guarantee that there will be plenty of shopping opportunities when visiting the city. From the biggest fashion houses on Rue Saint Honore to the quirky independents in the streets of Montmarte, find beautiful pieces to take back with you.
Faire des courses…
Opposite Cuillier, this wonderful store is a bookworm’s paradise. Pick up a literary classic or guide to Parisian style from their magnificent red, wall-to-ceiling shelves, and select a couple of their beautiful gift cards from the stand outside to write to loved ones.
Spend an hour or so in here, picking up curated pieces for every room in your home, plus a little treat for your wardrobe, too. We especially loved the accessories room.
Drop into this beautiful jewellery store filled with unique, understated pieces. We loved the simple gold disc necklaces. If you are in Paris a little longer you can leave the necklaces with the team for 48 hours to engrave a personalised message – a perfect souvenir from your trip.
What better flower to express love and romance than the classic rose? Visit this florist – dedicated just to this bloom – for the perfect romantic-weekend-away bouquet.
Win a minibreak to Paris
Don’t forget to enter our competition for your chance to win a weekend in the city of love.
Share your favourite places to visit in Paris in the comments below.
Explore The Chic Escape – our fashion lookbook featuring our favourite outfits for romantic, French-inspired style.