A romantic trip to Paris in the Spring

Paris is a gorgeous city to visit, whether it's with your friends or partner. There's so much choice in terms of places to stay and places to eat.  It can be quite a challenge deciding which Arrondissement to stay in, and if you're not sure they go round in a circle, so you can walk from 3 to 11, in a matter of seconds. 

Paris - map off Arrondissements

We went as kids many times, my father could speak fluent french which was handy when he found two gentleman trying to break into our car and asked them quite matter of factly, what are you doing? 

Have been quite a few times as an adult too, it's super easy on the Eurostar - with an Aussie friend for a tour round, with girlfriends, and with a mixed group of friends. We always try to stay in a different arrondissement to see another neighbourhood and test out some new restaurants and bars. 

Van covered in graffiti in Paris    Signposts on Left Bank in Paris     A street in Paris

You obviously have to visit all the tourist spots - the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, Moulin Rouge, Sacre Cours, Notre Dame, Montmatre, Jardin de Luxembourg, Les Catacombes to name the main ones, and lots of museums too. And there's always a boat trip on the Seine to see things from a different angle.  

Back of Notre Dame, a slightly different angle      Sacre Cours       Eiffel Tower, Paris

Would highly recommend venturing outside of Paris to Versailles too, incredibly beautiful palace and the gardens are excellent, full of so many scents, but as most of the other tourist spots, can get rather busy. They do some stunning cakes in their cafe so can always while away a bit of time with tea and cake. 

Now, that's all the important tourist stuff visited, we can focus on all the fabulous food and wine that is there for the taking in Paris.  And the incredible buildings on both the Left and Right Banks.  It's just lovely to wander up and down the by the river and soak up the atmosphere. 

River Seine looking at the right bank     Book shops along the Seine      Shops along the side of the Seine

Paris is a quite a large city, so walking across can take awhile, but is worth it if you have the time. It's nice to just be able to mooch around the different neighbourhoods and experience everything the city has to offer. If you're in more of a hurry, it's easy enough to hop on the metro. 

You can do some good shopping in Paris if you have the time, on both sides of the river, and there's generally a park or garden close by that you can chill out in too after all the spending. 

You'll find cafes and bars on every corner, for a coffee and cake or a glass of something cold. 

Bar in Paris

In the 7th Arrondissement, we can highly recommend either Hotel Varenne or Hotel d'Orsay, both are in beautiful buildings, with slightly different decor in each, so depends on your preferences. Great locations with easy access to everything. 

Staircase and elevator shaft in Hotel d'Orsay

We visited La Petite Chaise and Chez Francoise when we stayed a few years ago, they're both typical Parisian bistros with nice food and wine, both within walking distance of Hotel Varenne. 

Other restaurants worth a visit are Le Bistrot de Paris and Les Antiquaires, just round the corner from Musee d'Orsay, and a little walk from Hotel d'Orsay.  

Can't recommend places to stay in the other neighbourhoods as wouldn't go back to them ourselves but nice restaurants in the 11th Arrondissement are Le Petit Commines and L'ober-sale, this one was run by the chef and the waiter, it was a fab dining experience (just checked and it's closed permanently). 

The city of Paris is genuinely beautiful and has a sense of sophistication, which is why our Spiced Noir candles conjure up memories of trips here, a powerful combination of wood and spice.  

If you're heading to Paris anytime soon, take enough time to discover the many neighbourhoods and soak up all the atmosphere whilst enjoying a glass of wine or two in the many corner bars. 

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