I tend to daydream a lot. I think it comes from having an over-active imagination and observing so much as a child, I just have this habit of building imaginary worlds and scenarios in my head. This can range from a whole other world in paradise to what I would say in a possible conversation. It’s a funny thing really, that the brain can conjure up different elements to create something that makes us happy.
Anyway, Paris is one of my favourite cities in the entire world. I have only visited three times, but each time is better than the last. If there’s one thing to single out, it’s the vibe. It’s how stylish and chic everything, how every corner is full of class and looks like a scene from a film. Plus every Parisian I see is so cool.
My aunt actually lives in Paris. She has lived there for over thirty years and still loves the city (I think). One thing she told me the first time we visited, is that there’s always something to do. So I thought for today’s post, I would plan my perfect week in Paris. I don’t have any plans to visit, but I like to be prepared.
Arrival day. My hotel of choice (let’s assume money isn’t an option) would be the Hotel Plaza Athenee with the Shangri-La Hotel coming in a close second. Both have a beautiful view of the Eiffel Tower but the Plaza Athenee is on the Avenue Montaigne – the chicest street in Paris. Plus, it’s minutes away from the Avenue des Champs Élysées and the Grand Palais – the photography would be dreamy.
Upon arrival in Paris the first thing to do is eat. Obviously. The first place on my list is Le Cinq which is part of the Four Seasons Hotel George V. The décor alone has me shrieking with excitement, and I’d eat so much, I would have no choice but to walk it off by strolling down the world’s most beautiful avenue.
Then it’s museum time. Centre Georges Pompidou was my favourite museum the last time I was in Paris and the one that left me with the most inspiring impression. I would love to visit again and see the extremely unique modern art and explore the architecture of the building. Musée Rodin and Musée d’Orsay are next up so I can see The Thinker and classic Claude Monet in person again. I’ll never forget the first time I saw Monet – I was completely blown away by how simple but beautiful the paining is. I loved the unfinished borders and the abstract tones, it became my inspiration for an entire year of Art in sixth form.
L’Initial would be the second restaurant choice of the day, it’s safe to say I’ve been stalking a few traveller photos on TripAdvisor and the food looks heavenly. I’m sure the price is worth it. Sometimes you just have to splash out when it comes to high-quality loveliness.
The last time I visited Paris, I did all the touristy things like walking to the top of the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower – even though those views never get old. If I was to visit again, I would love to visit the Latin Quarter as I only got a quick peek during my last visit and need to spend some quality time in that exciting atmosphere. The photos alone would make an entire blogpost complete. I did visit the Montmartre when I was a lot younger, but don’t really remember much. Now that I’m older and own a DSLR, it would be amazing to visit that spot again and experience the excitement all over again. When I was younger, there was a merry-go-round that was the most enchanting ride I had ever seen. I’m hoping it’s still there!
By the evening, I’ll be exhausted (and hungry again) so it’s time to head to Le Jules Verne which is on the second floor of the Eiffel Tower. The price may be outrageous but this is imaginary so anything is possible.
The only thing left do complete on day one is seeing Moulin Rouge! I mean, is there anything else you’d want to do?
For breakfast my go-to would be Frenchie to Go. I heard about the breakfast spot through The Guardian’s travel page and it sounds like something I don’t want to miss out on. I love the big city vibe the little spot brings. Plus, I heard it’s the best place to get a bacon butty. I would look out for some cronuts in Paris too, they don’t have those in Yorkshire.
Day two is Disneyland day! Disneyland Paris is the only Disney Park I’ve ever visited, but I remember it being nothing short of magical. I may have been quite young, so everything was amazing back then, but now I’m tall enough to go on all the rides and would happily spend an entire day in this park. It’s a Small World and Dumbo the Flying Elephant aren’t the rides I’m looking to see again – I’m ready for some Indiana Jones and Star Wars action. I absolutely love theme parks, and couldn’t visit Paris without a trip to Disneyland! I would love to create an entire blogpost consisting of Disneyland photography and experiences, it would be amazing to capture the delightful ambiance. And now that I’m older, I can buy an embarrassing amount of merch and wear it the whole way home.
I’d also love to spend some time exploring the gardens of Paris, from Tuileries Garden by the Louvre, Jardin du Luxembourg which is perfect in the sunshine or Jardin des plantes because botanical gardens are awesome. I visited a botanical garden in Oslo and it’s still one of my favourite memories of the city.
After a day of fast food and even faster rollercoasters, I think it’s fitting to wind down with a cruise tour of the Seine. The last time I did this, it was the middle of winter and I spent the whole time in the foetal position trying not to catch hypothermia. It wasn’t a pleasant experience, so it’s time to wipe away the old memories and replace them with new, warmer memories – and why not throw some champagne in there.
I like to treat Sundays as self-care days, and the idea of a spa day in the most glamourous city in the world is an opportunity I would never say no to. The Spa at Mandarin Oriental has been at the top of my list for a while, not only because of its glowing reviews and relaxing interiors, but also because of the heavenly services they offer. They promise a relaxing time: “whether you wish to feel calm, rejuvenated or energised, our soothing treatments will restore a sense of harmony to your body, mind and soul.” It’s a yes from me.
Then it’s time for something fun and unique like a perfume workshop at Le Studio Des Parfums or a tour of Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte.
Staying on the theme of self-care and a little extra pamper, I would definitely be heading to Galeries Lafayette next. This is a centre I’ve never visited before, and I imagine it to be like the Harrods of Paris, only that bit better. The mall has an enormous glass Coupole which can apparently be seen across the city. All you have to do is search for a quick pic and you’ll be in awe.
The kind of shops available there are Armani, Balenciaga, Givenchy, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Chanel and Burberry – just to name a few. It looks and sounds like the ultimate shopping destination in the city of Paris, and it would be fun to spend a little time acting like Serena and Blair with an unlimited credit card and my own Dorota to carry my shopping bags.
The final meal in Paris will be at Pierre Gagnaire, named after the famous chef. I read an article that said Gagnaire was at the “forefront of the fusion cuisine movement” and another that claimed the his fine-dining menu “is the most inventive in Paris”. If you’re gonna go all out, you may as well go all out. After spending a solid hour looking up some of his most famous dishes, there are just so many I need to try and have the experience of tasting.
So that’s my perfect weekend in Paris. All I need is a never-ending pile of cash, a warm weekend, my friend and my camera!
Have you ever been to the “City of Lights”? And how would you plan your perfect weekend?