Paris

10 Romantic Things to do in Paris

Hey, Happy Valentine’s Day! Do you have something fun scheduled with your special someone, with your friends, with your kids? I want to hear all about it!

For our first Saint-Valentin as newlyweds, Maxence and I had an advance dinner at a new Italian restaurant in our neighborhood, Il Cuoco Galante (“the gallant cook,” named after an 18th-century book of Neapolitan cuisine), where I had a marvellous dish of fresh-made fusilli.

I also surprised him this morning with a cloud-shaped collage of pictures from our recent wedding on one wall of our living room, plus (going all out, people!) I’ve hand-lettered a card for him, directly inspired by one I featured in my Valentine’s Day gift guide. (Can you guess which one?)

And since I write to you from the city of love, inarguably, my gift to you is this mini-guide I put together with 10 Romantic Ideas in Paris, free to download!

PS: Short on time but still want to mark the occasion? These five last-minute recipes for Valentine’s Day are for you!

PPS: Need help getting into the spirit? Jacques can help: (He always gives me the chills.)

My Paris Wedding

All photos by Fabien Courmont.

On December 22, 2016, twenty years to the day after our first date, Maxence and I got married.

It was a small wedding — just our parents, siblings, sons, and closest friends — that we decided on and planned in just two months, because we’re crazy like that.

It was, quite suitably, the most magical, the most romantic day of my life, and I kinda want to do it again this year, and the next, and the next (with the same man, obv.).

One of the benefits of getting married when you’re thirty-seven years old and you’ve been together for twenty, is that you know yourself and the other person very, very well. You can make swift and easy decisions that feel 100% you, and you can flow through the planning in a way that is joyful and exciting and a celebration of your relationship.

In that spirit, I want to share with you some of the choices that added up to create the perfect day for us.

If you don’t give two figs about weddings, I’m not offended in the least; I was firmly in your camp up until three months ago, so click away, my friend, click away.

But for those of you who geek out on this kind of stuff, here goes. (Also, I have put together this mini-guide of 10 Romantic Ideas in Paris that is free to download!)

Bride & groom's hands

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Paris Meetup on November 22!

Artisan Bar. Photography from their website.

Are you going to be in Paris on Tuesday, November 22?

If so, please come and have a drink with us from 7pm to 9pm at Artisan, a small cocktail bar I love in the Pigalle neighborhood! They serve well-crafted cocktails, natural wines, craft beers, and, if you’re hungry, a short seasonal selection of small plates.

I will be there between 7pm and 9pm; feel free to come whenever you like. It will be our chance to meet in real life, and chat about our shared passions. (I will also have a pen with me if you want any of my books signed. Don’t be shy. :)

So, will you join us? Please say yes!

Artisan, 14 rue Bochart de Saron, 75009 Paris, métro Anvers ou Pigalle (Facebook / Instagram).

Cocktail

12 Foods To Bring Back From France

Planning a trip to France, and not sure what to bring back as an edible souvenir for yourself, or a thank you gift for the kind soul who’s watching your dog/goldfish/child while you’re away?

I have twelve suggestions of artisanal products that are typically French, won’t break the bank — all items are under 10€ — and will actually get used and eaten in your or your friend’s kitchen when you get back.

Those are all easy to find, too. For each item I’ve recommended where to look!

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Luxury Afternoon Tea in Paris + Exclusive Guidebook (A Giveaway)

The Shangri-La is a chic hotel in Paris’ 16th arrondissement, a short walk from the Palais de Tokyo and the lovely Président Wilson greenmarket.

For some reason, it’s not the most talked-about of luxury hotels in Paris, yet I’ve been invited a couple of times to eat at their gastronomic restaurant, L’Abeille, and also at their more casual restaurant, La Bauhinia, and I’ve been sincerely impressed with the quality of the cuisine and the outstanding service.

The hotel team is also quite inventive with the events and special offers they create, and they recently issued an exclusive guidebook, highlighting 10 Parisian Walks for you to explore the city’s most charming neighborhoods and discover hidden gems. It’s a slim little book that you can slip right into your pocket as you go on your self-guided tour of Romantic Paris, Historic Paris, Kid-Friendly Paris, and seven more themed itineraries.

Chic Tea and Promenade

This guidebook is normally reserved for customers of the hotel, but! I was so enthusiastic about it I wanted to make it available to you, and asked if we could put together a giveaway. They said yes, and this is how I’m able to offer this generous prize to you.

If you win, you will be invited with the person of your choice to enjoy the Shangri-La’s Vegan Afternoon Tea under the bright glass ceiling of La Bauhinia. You’ll indulge in the amazing pâtisseries and mini-sandwiches created by talented pastry chef Michael Bartocetti, and leave with your very own copy of the Paris Promenade guidebook — in English or in French, as you prefer. (This is a 120€ value.)

Vegan Pastries at the Shangri-La

Vegan Pastries at the Shangri-La

To enter, please fill in the form below before Wednesday, May 4, midnight Paris time. I will draw a name randomly (if you’re curious this is the service I use), and announce the winner here the next day. Please note that you will have a year to benefit from this offer (or have a friend use it on your behalf). Good luck to you!

We got a winner!

The winner of this giveaway is Nancy W. (email: nw******an@gmail.com). Congratulations, Nancy! You should have received an email from me with instructions. Please contact me if you haven’t. And thank you to all the other participants for your enthusiasm!

Photo credit: Roméo Balancourt (guidebook photo) and Bernhard Winkelmann (tea time photos).

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