I have many fond memories of Paris but the weekend my boyfriend came over is one of my warmer ones. While I’m always aware of how beautiful Paris is, I find it’s even more so when with the one I love (probably because I’m not resenting any happy couples like I did when by my lonesome). So lovebirds, hitch your cupid arrows to your backs and prepare for a post full of sweet (and cheesy) things to do in the City of Love.
The saying “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” is certainly accurate with my significant other. Keeping this in mind, Fauchon and Angelina’s were an absolute must. Fauchon, found in the pretty area of Madeleine, do delicious cakes. This is typical for most places in France, let alone Paris but the thing that makes them that little bit special are their intricate designs. It’s rare you come across a cake that looks so good, you don’t want to eat it! The Madeleine church is right beside it and Opera House is close by – both beautiful buildings. Angelina’s has two tearooms in Paris city centre – one in Palais des Congrès de Paris, the shopping mall beside the Beauvais Airport bus terminus and one on Rue de Rivioli, close to the Louvre. The rooms are beautifully decorated, lavishly furnished and softly lit – Perfect for romantic repose during your Paris wanderings. Whichever one you go to, you need to get their hot chocolate. It’s world famous and for good reason: it feels like liquid silk, is divinely chocolately and if that wasn’t enough, is accompanied by whipped cream which melts in your mouth. Another thing that Angelina’s is famous for is its Mt. Blanc cake; a combination of cream, chestnut flavourings, meringue and scrumptiously sweet chocolate icing. Admittedly, both of these places are expensive. Expect to pay between €6- €8 for a cake in Fauchon and about the same for both, the hot chocolate, and the Mt. Blanc. Not having enough money to satisfy our sweet tooth, Jer and I got one thing each and shared them which actually added to the enjoyment of the experience. The cakes, although small are very rich and the portion of hot chocolate is very generous so it was parfait.
Another couple of Angelina’s are found at Versailles – a stunningly beautiful chateau with delightful gardens on the outskirts of Paris. Entry into Versailles is free as long as you’re an EU citizen under 26. The grounds are huge, so expect to spend a good few hours here – pack a lunch and picnic in the gardens to keep you going. The chateau’s interior is stunning and with the aid of free audio guides, you can learn all about it. You can rent row boats for a small fee and go out on the lake together – queue amorous visions of parasols and tweed.
On the topic of old chateux, a trip to the Louvre is fun (and again, free). The two of you can wander around and take in the fantastic displays (the nude sculptures might give you inspiration for activities later on). The quays along the Seine River are a super place to have a packed lunch. Picture it: the pair of you cuddled up, munching on a fresh baguette and watching the boats slowly cruise by on the green water, complimenting the soft brown stones. We certainly enjoyed it!
Jardin des Tuileries is a lovely garden beside the Louvre. With a pond where you can watch people of all ages playing with toy sailboats, interesting statues of varying styles dotted around the place, healthy-looking plants and seats available for the taking, it’s a good spot to relax and take in the beauty (especially if you’ve been walking around the museum for a few hours).
Along the river, close to the Louvre is the Pont des Arts bridge. This is a popular Love Lock bridge. A pleasant stroll along the river lined with bouquanists’ stalls (2nd hand book sellers) will lead you here. As cheesy as putting a lock on the bridge’s railing is, it’s still a lovely thing to do.
The Sacre Coeur is a gorgeous church on top of a lush green hill. The panoramic views it offers you while comfortably lying on its grassy knolls are superb and that’s before you even go inside. With plenty of street performers around to provide entertainment, on agreeable evenings, there’s nothing nicer then being here and watching the sun set over Paris. At the foot of the hill, there’s a really pretty carrousel with spinning booths that you can you control the speed of – the satisfaction of beating the children to them and twirling around like crazy is immense! We certainly got some bewildered looks but it was definitely worth it.
Not having much cash, we went to the Latin Quarter for a cheap and cheerful meal – 3 courses for €10; it’s fun and fulfils the sweet idea of dining out together when in the capital of Gourmet Food. It also allowed us to spend a bit of time in the city when it’s lit-up – the Eiffel Tower is gorgeous when all aglow and being an icon in itself, it’s nice to view it when in one-another’s presence – a cliché, but a cute one. Be aware, while places like the Eiffel Tower and the Champs Elysees are great to explore together during the day, at night it’s a different story: Avoid them. Some very shady characters find their way here and love to prey on unsuspecting tourists. It only takes a few seconds for a dreamy walk around the city of love to turn into a robbery.
Don’t let that last note deter you – when travelling, you always need to consider these things as you’re in unfamiliar territory. Paris is safe to be in for the most part and a wonderful part of the world to see with your better half.