I first went to Paris when I was seventeen years old. My high school used to coordinate a Europe trip every summer, and I was fortunate enough that my parents allowed, albeit paid for, their "living in a bubble" teenager to frolic down the streets of Paris and Spain for three weeks.
I didn't appreciate traveling back then as much as I do now. But I will tell you that seeing Paris and the Eiffel Tower for the first time was incredible. I mean, it's Paris.
The second time I went to Paris I was nineteen years old and I was with my family. I have vivid memories of bickering with my mother this entire trip so I'm going to take a wild guess that I neither appreciated nor enjoyed this trip as much as I should have (if only we could be born with the wisdom that comes from old-er age).
Then I grew up (a little), graduated college, went to law school, graduated law school, practiced law, got married, and decided that Paris was a good idea for a honeymoon. Paris is always a good idea, but I will say it was a very thought-out decision. We were married in February; unless we were going to some 23 hour plane ride destination like Thailand or Australia (which wasn't an option due to our work schedules), the western hemisphere was pretty much off limits thanks to cold weather. The Caribbean was a no-go - Florida natives, we spent a good chunk of our summer vacations on almost every island in the Caribbean (as if Miami wasn't hot enough). I had been to Paris twice, and my husband had been once, but we'd never been there together. There was a direct flight from Miami to Paris. We had wedding money, and what better to do with most of your wedding money than spend a week at a fabulous destination. So, naturally, Paris just fit the bill. Under one condition: we would enjoy Paris. And when I say enjoy Paris, I mean stay at the Mandarin Oriental, eat really delicious food, and since we'd both already been to Paris, limit the touristy hoopla.
It's like I'd never been to Paris. Maybe it was so different because I'm older and/or more wise (??), but it was the most beautiful city I'd ever seen in my life (and I have a pretty extensive travel resume). The streets, the museums, the fashion, the fresh flowers on the sidewalk (even in cold February), the Sienne, Montmartre, the hotel, the food!!!! Magnifique!
So fellow readers, I thought I'd share our amazing honeymoon in the City of Lights, including restaurants visited and the wonderful food they served (and we ate). I always appreciate travel recommendations so consider this my journal of Paris go-tos and must-eats.
Take off! Upgraded, thankfully.
Hotel welcome gift. I will forever dream with the Mandarin Oriental on Rue Saint-Honore (I honestly dream i'm back there often). It's seriously an experience all on its own. The service was out of this world and the people so nice. A definite recommend!
I will replicate this at an event one day. I swear.
Paris a la Fernandez
Lunch - Le Castiglione Cafe
On the Menu: French Onion Soup (obviously) and Drinks (this deserves a bigger obviously)
Dinner - Ferdi
On the Menu: Mojitos, Guacamole & Chips, Mac and Cheese with Shaved Ham (as seen below, and yes, it deserves a picture because it's the best, best, mac & cheese i've EVER had), Breaded Shrimp, Empanadas, Churros and Chocolate (let the gluttony begin). They're also known for their burgers but after the Mac & Cheese, we tried to discipline our intake as much as possible.
Lunch - La Durée
On the Menu: Butternut Squash Soup, Club Sandwich, Burger, Macarons, Cake au Citron
Dinner - Hotel Costes (a MUST). If you've ever, ever wanted to feel cool and trendy, this is the place to be. Best part? The food is to die for.
On the Menu: Dry Martini with Belvedere Vodka and Lime, Dim Sum and Truffle Risotto Appetizer, Mandarin Duck and le Tigre. Cheesecake for dessert.
Breakfast - Angelina
On the Menu: Hot Chocolate and Chocolate Crossaints (die)
I know you're digging this hat. In my defense, it was 29 degrees and I bought the first gem off the street corner. It really did keep me warm!
Lunch - Relais l'Entrecote
On the Menu: The same thing they serve every single time - a green salad with balsamic vinaigrette and the most delicious steak and frites. And wine, obviously. This is a Paris MUST. Don't fret. They have 3 locations in Paris and you'll be sure to make it to at least one (note: no reservations - and patrons line up by the masses, so be sure to go early).
Valentines Day Dinner - Les Ombres
On the Menu: It was Valentines Day and a Preset Menu (in french!). I can't be of much help here but I will tell you, it was delicious, and very FRENCH.
Lunch - A la Pomponette
On the Menu: Vegetable Soup, Escargot, Lamb with Rice and Chicken with Potatoes and Cream (no one, no one, makes chicken like the French. NO ONE).
A view of Paris from the Sacre Coeur.
The best lemon fruit tart I've had (except for the one I've made, of course, found here).
Dinner - Maison de la Truffe
And it was over as soon as it started. Until next time, Paris!
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