Paris – The City of LOVE
My last trip to Paris, France had so many elements of romance that it is hard to decide which takes first place.
I was able to stay at The George V, a Four Seasons landmark 1928 building. This hotel has undergone extensive renovation and been lovingly restored. You enter into a fabulous lobby with some of the most creative flower arrangements, very formal but also open and welcoming. The staff takes a more than usual interest in your well being and you are always greeted by name.
The rooms are sheer perfection. One nice touch I noticed is that there are books of Parisian interest left in your room so that you may take a moment and actually learn a bit of history. The rooms are decorated in soft pastel tones and the furnishings are very luxurious. Luxury travel all the way. I can’t imagine a more glorious place to celebrate honeymoons.
Dining options: “La Galerie” a very open, airy relaxed dining room with a pianist playing every day at 3:00 pm. I found this to be the best spot for people-watching and gazing into the garden. You can cozy up with your sweetie and enjoy a coffee and a beautiful pastry as only the French can bake.
Then of course there is “Le Cinq” This is a very elegant dining room, dressed in grey and gold with beautiful views of the Hotel’s courtyard and garden. Dining here is like being in the middle of a beautiful symphony. All of the staff works together seamlessly to create a dining experience which is not just a meal, but beautiful music. Things are presented and whisked away without you even being aware of the process. The food quality, as you can imagine, is exceptional, two Michelin award stars for excellence in food quality, creativity, service and atmosphere. As a nice touch you are presented with your own personal printed menu of your dinner that evening. What a perfect place for a honeymoon dinner! What a wonderful way to remember your romantic Parisian holiday!
Now, how about walking off those calories. Let’s go to one of my favorite places “La Mouff” as the locals call it. Located on the left bank, a street called “Rue Mouffetard”.
What is unique about the street is that it is a pedestrian mall, so you don’t have to deal with cars. It is a winding narrow street with so many wonderful shops that it makes you head spin. It’s a feast for the eyes as well. The dress shop is next to the fish monger which is next to the chocolate maker which buddies up to the small Mom and Pop Bistro. Get you camera ready! Keep your eye out for original shop signs dating back as far as the 16th century. These are the shops that other shop owners visit and buy from each other so put yourself in the mix and what a delight! We had the best simple homemade meal from one of the many small restaurants. This one claims that Hemingway and his wife lived upstairs for several years, when this neighborhood was truly Bohemian. Remember “A Moveable Feast”?
If shopping makes you hungry, there are fruit and vegetable vendors here too, along with a store that sells dozens of different kinds of pâtés and cheeses. To quench your thirst, peruse the bottles offered at Le Repaire de Bacchus, a wine store displaying their wine in baskets right out on the sidewalk – ahh, vive la différence!
If you watched the 100th episode of Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations”, you may have noticed that he escorted several of his Parisian Chef friends (Eric Ripert and Joel Robuchon) to La Mouff. It was then and there I knew I was in good company for restaurant choices and true first class food at a simple price.
So grab your honey and go to this charming enclave. The nearest Metro Stops are Place Monge, and Censier-Daubenton.