Paris is the perfect place to spend a lifetime, but for those of us not lucky enough to call this beautiful city home, a weekend will have to do. We have put together our favourite picks for making your trip into a perfect Parisian weekend.
Putting on the Ritz
The Ritz Paris has been an icon of style and elegance in this beautiful city since it opened in 1898 and is our pick for a perfect Parisian stay. A known favourite of Coco Chanel and F. Scott Fitzgerald, there is no better place to enjoy a weekend in Paris than in the luxury of this beautiful hotel. We also love that from the Ritz it is an easy walk to the jewellery and fashion boutiques around the Place Vendôme and along the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. Luxurious and convenient for shopping, need we say more?
Shop until you drop
Speaking of shopping, while you can find many fabulous shops around every corner in this city of style, our favourite two picks are the Le Bon Marche and Merci.
Le Bon Marche has been setting the style of Paris since the 19th century when the owner and his wife decided to create a unique store where customers could come in and browse undisturbed. Le Bon Marche is now one of the most exclusive department stores in Paris, combining high-end products with surprisingly friendly staff that encourage a relaxed style of shopping without the hustle and bustle. Our tip, visit their gallery of imagination where products and brands from around the world are displayed. Look out for their pick of designers who are yet to hit the mainstream and check them out before everyone else finds out about them.
Our other favourite shop is Merci. A new concept store that is located in the heart of the historic district of Haut-Marais inside an elaborately reconfigured 19th-century fabric factory. The three loft-like floors are filled with furniture, jewellery, stationery, fashion, household products, children’s wear and haberdashery. You will also find stylish cafes and a restaurant to keep you refreshed. That’s not all we love about Merci; this most generous of retail stores also gives all its profits to charity.
Pick a fragrance
What is a trip to Paris without buying perfume! Our pick for the place to find your dream fragrance is in Guerlain on the Champs-Élysées. Arguably Paris’ most famous perfume shop, it is also one of the most beautiful. Bringing sweet fragrances to Paris since the early 1900s, this shop is a wonder to be in. Marble floors, shimmering mirrors and art deco styling take you back to a time of elegance and grace in the city of style. If you really want to soak in the glamour of this glorious reminder of the past, you can book into their decadent spa for total indulgence and pampering.
Fill up on French Cuisine
After all that shopping you will need to find the perfect place to eat. May we suggest the Monsieur Bleu for lunch? Monsieur Bleu is an Art Deco marvel with green marble floors, velvet banquettes and geometric chandeliers. This restaurant perfectly combines elegance and chic with an extensive menu filled with classic French cuisine. Monsieur Bleu really is a “must visit” for the perfect Parisian weekend lunch.
Explore somewhere new
For something a little out of the ordinary, we think you might like the Musée du quai Branly. Filled with a wide range of indigenous and folk-art that extends back to the Neolithic Age, this museum is like an adventure back into another world. Wind your way through this innovative building housing more than 300,000 artefacts that have been presented to the Kings of France or collected by the great explorers over the centuries. It is easy to spend an hour or two in this museum just appreciating the beauty of tradition and craftsmanship from the centuries.
Promenade like a Parisian
When you have shopped, filled up with French cuisine and soaked up some culture, what could be more Parisian than to partake in a centuries old custom of the promenade? A perfectly Parisian custom of taking a leisurely walk in a public place for pleasure and/or display. The Jardin des Tuileries is a public garden where the stylish citizens of Paris would parade in their finest clothing in ages past. But, even if you are not into parading, these stunning French style gardens, which separate the Louvre from the Place de la Concorde, are a much-loved cultural walking place for Parisians and tourists and a nice break from the busy city.
Experience Vegan Haute Cuisine
As the day turns into evening we have a unique suggestion for dinner in this city so well known for leading-edge cuisine. Our recommendation is the Gentle Gourmet. Known as the house of vegan gastronomy this restaurant combines the finesse of French gastronomy with an ethical and ecological dimension and a lot of passion and precision. Each season the experienced chefs create a stunning plant-based menu filled with bold vegan twists on French classics that make this restaurant well worth a visit.
Finish your evening with an enchanted flair by finding a location over-looking the eliminated sights of Paris at 1 am. This is when the city of Paris turns its lights off for the evening. There is something magical about watching all the twinkling lights of Paris going out leaving only the muted streetlights still glowing to guide you home after a perfect Parisian day.