Welcome to our Guide to Paris, or more specifically Le Marais, Paris. This historic district is one of our favourite areas and home to every single component you’re after when heading to Paris for the weekend. Full of stunning architecture, cobbled streets, and in our opinion, some of the best parks in Europe. Oh, and then there’s the shopping.
With cafes on every corner and boulangeries on every street, there’s no doubt you’ll notice how much food we ate within this guide, but what can we say except: ce la vie! And pass the cheese/mussels/bread please. So without further ado, we hopped on the Eurostar and within a couple of hours, found ourselves in the City of Lights.
LE PAVILLON DE LA REINE
Located in the heart of the Marais, this family-owned boutique hotel is a total, total gem. Just off the Place des Vosges park and with everything at your fingertips, we never walked further than 20 minutes at a time – which is a big plus (regardless of whether you have a baby in a pushchair or not) Paris can become somewhat of a walking holiday if you’re not careful.
The hotel itself is beautifully styled and full of Parisian charm. Rooms are homely yet luxurious, the beds super comfortable and the staff absolutely wonderful and on hand any time of day or night. Each room is styled a little differently, but with the same sense of style and suave throughout.
Enjoy the hotel’s private garden courtyard, nestled beneath the ivy clad exterior. This pretty spot is irresistible and you won’t be able to walk through without being tempted to spend hours reading the paper whilst people-watching and sipping on espressos (or cocktails). Borrow a bicycle at no extra cost. There’s nothing this hotel hasn’t thought of, it’s the perfect balance of catered for accommodation and feeling totally at home and able to ‘help yourself’.
GO TO: pavillon-de-la-reine.com
MUSÉE NATIONAL PICASSO
Just a few blocks away from Le Pavillon de la Reine is the Musée Picasso. Home to the world’s largest public collection of Picasso’s work, this is one for everyone’s bucket list. To our delight, there was a Calder x Picasso exhibition on at the time (on until 25 August) which was totally stunning and perfect for all ages.
GO TO: museepicassoparis.fr
Situated just past the riverside market, with views of the Seine, this authentic Parisian restaurant is one of the coolest (if not, the coolest) spot in the city. Go for breakfast, lunch or dinner. We went for lunch, stayed all afternoon, ate seriously good food, enjoyed champers, wonderful service and cherubs on the ceiling…
‘Chez Julien is a traditional restaurant and we are watched over by cherubs dancing around a gilded chandelier that adorn the tiled ceiling. Aged glass mirrors in restaurants are very cool. I have a feeling though, these ones are genuinely old.’
Have a read of our full review HERE
OR GO TO: chezjulien.paris
This big concept store sells everything from housewares to clothing and we want one of everything and so will you! (We still haven’t left the Le Marais district by the way) Go early to bag yourself a good seat in their beautiful bookstore cafe and give yourself more than enough time to browse – It’s vast and everything is top notch. And in case you needed any more excuses to shop here, it gives its profits to charity for educational projects and development in south-west Madagascar.
GO TO: merci-merci.com
ANNE at Le Pavillon de la Reine
Le Pavillon de la Reine’s restaurant, “Anne” is everything you want a Parisian hotel’s restaurant to be. Cosy but smart, charming staff and a ridiculously delicious supper, oh and a wall filled top to bottom with books.
Read our full review HERE
Leave enough time to just wander, from delis to boutiques, squares to parks to the local supermarche, you will stumble upon something you love on every street.
There’s no denying the lure of the Eiffel Tower, but if this isn’t your first trip to Paris, avoid the super touristy sites.
Take frequent coffee stops, eat too many pastries and drink wine at lunchtime.
Go to CHEZ JANOU for the best grilled mussels in town.
WHAT TO PACK:
Cybex Eezy S (Always!) HERE
Comfy trainers for the daytime, something fun for the evening. The weather is as unpredictable as London (something to bear in mind!)
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