Leading off: From London, we flew British Airways from London Heathrow to Charles de Gaulle.
Touching down: From the airport, we took a subway train to the closest station near our hotel. It was about a 10 minute walk from there, so we figured it wasn’t necessary to call a car. However, we did not account for the all dirt pathway park that we would have to travel though. With rolling luggage, we made quite a loud and dusty entrance to Paris.
Pro: The rooms were cozy and homey. Since we were celebrating our honeymoon, they surprised us with champagne and macarons. I can’t say enough good things about our stay. The service, style of the hotel, beds- everything was top notch.
Con: The hotel is in the 6th Arrondissement. The area is incredible, and feels local. However, depending on what you want to do, this may not be the most central hotel.
We arrived at the hotel around 11:30 am and couldn’t check in until 3 pm. However, they were kind enough to store our bags until the room was ready. Since we left London so early and it was now almost lunch time, we headed out to find a nice place to relax and grab a bite.
Cafe Cassette, is one of the many surrounding cafes that was recommended to us by our hotel concierge. The decor was funky, beautiful, and fun, and the food was delicious. If we had more time, we would have gone back for dinner.
Fat Tire Tours
After grabbing some food, we headed out for a city bike tour. We rode past sights like, Alexander III Bridge, Tuileries Gardens, the Louvre, Napoléon’s Tomb, and ended at the Eiffel Tower. Personally, I loved seeing the city this way. As first timers, it gave us a good grip on not only where things were, but also on how far apart each landmark was from one another.
Pro tip: If you plan on doing a city tour of any kind, I highly recommend doing one in the first two days of your trip. Others on our tour waited until the last day, and complained that they had “been there, done that” already.
Le Trait D’Union
After a much needed nap, we tried to get in to a few nearby restaurants for dinner. However, everywhere we went had a long wait, or required a reservation. It was getting to the point where we would have eaten at McDonald’s, if we found one. Somehow, we hangerly stumbled upon Le Trait D’Union. Their outside seating was completely full, but inside was almost empty. We gladly took a seat, and (gracefully) inhaled our meals.
Pro tip: Make dinner reservations! You don’t always have to keep them. But, at least you have something.
While visiting us in Seattle, a friend of mine did a Flytographer photo session. After learning more about the company and the premise, I thought it was a perfect way to commemorate our honeymoon. Use this code for $25 off- http://flytog.co/mQeWBfh
To get these non-crowded shots , we woke up with sun. Not the best idea with jet lag…but the 30 minute shoot was very worth the photos and memories. We shot with Rachael, who is truly a gem. Together, we had a blast, and she made us feel so comfortable.
After the shoot (which I believe started at 6 am and ended at 6:30 am), we allowed ourselves to take a short nap and get ready for the day. We stopped in for breakfast at Cafe Madame, which was basically kitty corner to our hotel. The cafe was quaint and cute. But, I am not sure there’s a cafe in Paris that doesn’t match that description.
Then, we headed for the train station, where we would catch the RER A train to Disneyland Paris! After quite a bit of research, we came to the decision that a one day park hopper pass would suffice. Even though I would consider myself a Disney die-hard, we were mostly going for the atmosphere and experience.
After spending the majority of the day there, I think we made the right decision. Rob and I have been to both Disneyland and Disney World, so we focused on rides, sights, and foods that the American parks don’t have. Highlights of our day included; drinking champagne from Disney’s vineyard while still walking around the park, riding Crush’s Coaster, and spending hours just looking through the stores.
Bistrot Chez Remy
However, our favorite part of the day (by far) was dining at Bistort Chez Remy for dinner. This is Remy’s restaurant, the mouse from Ratatouille, meaning the entire aesthetic is set to feel as if you were also the size of a mouse. On top of the immaculate ambiance and attention to detail, the meal was incredible. I HAD to try the ratatouille. If anyone is going to do the recipe right, it’s Chez Remy!
Pro tip: You need to make a reservation! I made one the first day I could, which I believe is two months in advance.
Cook’n With Class
Taking a cooking/baking class in France has been on my bucket list for some time now. So, when I found out I could take a class learning how to make one of my favorite desserts (macarons), I couldn’t sign up fast enough. We took the class through Cook’n With Class. We made four flavors; raspberry, chocolate, salted caramel, and pistachio. One by one, we each took turns stirring the filling and piping the pastry. The entire experience was incredible! The teacher was educational, the others in the group were a good time, and the macarons were some of the best I have ever had — and I have had my fair share.
They also offer other cooking and baking classes.
Exploring on foot
After the cooking class, we took our time walking around the city. Despite it being unseasonably warm in Europe, we headed for Angelina Paris. This world famous cafe is known for their hot chocolate, which is not your typical American winter favorite. This is quite literally melted warm chocolate in a cup, a.k.a. every chocolate lovers dream.
Pro tip: This is a sit down cafe, where wait times can be lengthy. However, there is also a “take-away” side of the cafe, where you can buy drinks and treats to to go.
We then took our decadent drinks just down the block to The Louvre. This was another landmark/stop we heavily discussed. For us, we decided that we didn’t necessarily need to fight the crowds and go inside. Instead, being in front of the prominent pyramid-shaped building was enough. Personally, we thought there was too much else we wanted to see and do.
Our stroll then took us down the Siene River to Notre Dame and Pont des Arts. With artists lining the famed waterway, the walk resembled a dream.
Notre Dame was partially blocked off due to the devastating fire earlier in the year. However, the portion of the building that was visible still looked immaculate. The bridge, better known as the love lock bridge, had also seen recent renovations. The original, which was littered with locks from lovers, was becoming too heavy and unstable. Instead, the wired railings were replaced with Plexiglas. Even with the changes, lovers still found the space to make their mark (see photo below.)
Le Coup Chou
For our final sit-down dinner in Paris, we made reservations at Le Coup Chou. This quaint restaurant was recommended to us because of their true French cuisine. Everything was exquisite- the meal, the staff, the atmosphere…everything!
Fifa World Cup
By luck, we just so happen to be in France during the 2019 Women’s FIFA World Cup. As the host country, the city closed off the Jardin Nelson Mandela to provide a FIFA Fan Experience, where fans (like us) could watch matches. The evening we were there was the semi-final match between the U.S. and England. Tournament sponsors set up concessions and handed out noise makers. It was the next best thing to actually being at the game. The night concluded with the U.S. winning 2-1, advancing them to the finals.
Our final day was spent on a wine tour just outside of Paris, with Paris Wine Day Tours. We loved our time in the city, but being able to see more of the French countryside was exactly what we needed. We stopped at numerous places including;
–Conse-sur-Loire for farm-fresh cheese. Or, maybe not so fresh seeing how it has aged for some time? Regardless, it was a delicious experience.
–Pouilly-Fume for our first wine tasting of the day. We stopped at a local winery, which was surrounded by vineyards as far as the eye could see.
Pro tip: The French do no visit wineries to taste wine, like we do in America. Instead, they will either already know what they like, or go to a tasting room. The only way to get a local tasting experience is through a tour like this.
–La Cote Des Monts Damnes for lunch and our second wine tastings. We were treated to a lovely lunch, served by the family who owned the business. The inviting restaurant, tucked away in the picturesque town has been in the family for generations.
–Sancerre for a town tour and final wine tasting. During this stop, the group (which was only another couple, my husband, and me) walked all throughout the town, truly taking in the sights. This little town, which is perched on a hill, offers breathtaking views of the French landscape. Again, something out of a picture and a dream.
Our final tasting was at a local wine shop, which also sold an abundance of witch memorabilia. Apparently, the locals believe that witches are a sign of good luck.
–Château de la Bussiere was our final stop of the day. Originally built in the 17th century, this castle is still owned by descendants of the family who acquired it in 1814. Out of all of the castles I have toured, this was one of the most…unique. The entire interior paid homage to fish and fishing. I’m not talking Nemo or Dory either. I mean pre-historic and ancient kind of things. It was weird, but also educational. Fisherman would probably love it.
Picnic at the Eiffel Tower
There was only one real way to conclude our wonderful trip to France. We took cheese and wine that we had purchased earlier in the day and headed toward the Eiffel Tower. Amongst a gaggle of others who had the same idea, we found a spot on the Champ de Mars to watch the sunset and toast to a near-perfect trip to Paris.
Au revoir! Next stop: Italy!