The Five Best Words In The English Language: "Dude, I'm Going To Paris"

Ah, Valentine's Day, a time for love and romance, right? A time to book a spontaneous trip to Paris for two---to Paris in the springtime, no less!

Yes, I did just that: I booked a trip next month to Paris. The City of Love! I booked a trip to the place where romance hides in every Eiffel Tower sunset, lingers in every late-night dinner of steak frites. I booked this trip on Valentine's Day. But I didn't book it for me and Sean. Oh no, I booked it for me and my sister.

I know, kind of kills the buzz, right?

Truthfully, I forgot it was Valentine's Day when I was doing it. Sean and I had already agreed that we weren't really going to do anything this year for Valentine's Day, since my birthday was six days ago and it seemed like we'd been celebrating in one fashion or another---presents! cake! booze! dinner!---for two weeks straight. Besides, if I'm honest, we never really do anything much for Valentine's Day, anyway: a card, maybe, and once he bought me an orchid and I made him some cupcakes. But this year it totally passed us by until mid-way through the day itself, when I was all "hey, isn't today....?" and he looked up from his computer and said "Oh yeah. Right."

Then we got a little sad about the opportunity we'd missed to buy each other our first "To My Husband!" and "To My Wife!" monstrosities, but we got over it fairly quickly. "Maybe for Easter," I said. "I'm sure there are 'To My Husband' cards for Easter. I'll find you a really awful one."

Anyway, that's how I came to book a trip to Paris on Valentine's Day for me and someone who is not my husband. (The man on the other end of the Eurostar hotline hid his surprise well, I have to say.) And boy, am I excited for this trip! I've been to Paris a few times before---we actually lived there once, when I was little---but not for a while, and never with my sister. Already, we're planning and scheming. Our Facebook chats thus far have revolved around:

a) How much bread we can eat while we're there

b) How much cheese we can eat while we're there

c) How much wine we can drink while we're there

and

d) How much shopping we can do while we're there

Monuments? Museums? Important civic landmarks? Eh, we'll get to them, I guess, in between the macarons. Since this trip is actually part of a bigger trip I'm taking to London to see family, the Paris part is a little bit of an afterthought, which means we're only going for three days and two nights, and we're going to have to pack a lot in. So if you've got a favorite Parisian patisserie or are clutching to your bosom a little place where the camembert would make you cry, now would be the time to tell me about it.

You know, if you want to. And if you don't mind. It's just that I have spreadsheets---spreadsheets of EATING---to make, you see. Like that's any huge surprise.

1
Laura
Feb 14, 2010

I'll be spending 4 nights in Paris in April, after 5 weeks in the Middle East, and cannot wait to come back and check out all of the comments you get from your faithful readers!

2
Amy --- Just A Titch
Feb 14, 2010

So jealous! Can't wait to hear all about it!

3
Balkan Girl Down Under
Feb 15, 2010

I, too, am jealous.

Duuuuude! PARIS?!

Well...I'M going to...to...

Ah, drat!

I shall remain in my fair Melbourne town until fiancé and I head off to New Zealand for our honeymoon at the end of the year.

Oh, and we're sweeping Hayman Island on the way back (an early wedding gift from my sister-in-law-to-be and her hubbie).

So, uh...I guess I will have places to go...eventually.

No dough now, though. Gah!

(I am happy for you, natch. All the best! :D)

4
Lulu
Feb 15, 2010

You're not in Paris on the 25th of February are you? I suppose that's way too early. It's just that Josh Ritter and the Swell Season are touring there together, and if I can't go I just want to experience it vicariously through someone else

5
heatherlynn
Feb 15, 2010

ooooh, I am sooo jealous! My fiancee and I are actually postponing our honeymoon right after our wedding in May so that we can take a trip to Paris later in the year - in autumn. I cannot wait! Any suggestions here will be helpful!

6
Nicki
Feb 15, 2010

I liked Paris, but I LOVED Italy. Enjoy. Have a chocolate croissant for me! Or, better yet, a chocolate crepe.

7
beyond
Feb 15, 2010

i am jealous. i would love to go to paris WITH MY SISTER. (sorry, dearest husband...)

8
Sioux
Feb 15, 2010

Without a doubt Leo Le Lion is my favorite restaurant to get a feel for quality and authenticity during a short trip to Paris.

Just when you're done having a wonderful meal, the waiter comes out with a cheese platter of the moldiest, most divine cheeses presented on a board with a deer foot--DEER FOOT!--handle.

Despite the lovely service, it is very effing French.

Leo Le Lion is located at 23 rue Duvivier in the 7th Arrondissement on the left bank of the Siene.

9
ScottsdaleGirl
Feb 15, 2010

Seething...SEETHING with all kinds of green jealousy over here!

10
April G.
Feb 15, 2010

I haven't been to Paris since 2000 so I have no recommendations.

But! I read your twitter, and did you know that you can make creme brulee, minus the bruleeing, and then freeze it? Then you can take it out of the freezer before you eat dinner and it will be thawed by the time you are done? And you can brulee sugar under your broiler, no torch necessary? Yes. Yes, you can.

There is nothing better than a store of creme brulee in ones freezer.

11
Kelly
Feb 15, 2010

Where are you staying? I'm looking for little gem hotels in Paris to sneak away to...

12
NothingButBonfires
Feb 15, 2010

Kelly, we're staying at Mama Shelter, Philippe Starck's new hotel: http://www.mamashelter.com/

13
Hip Hip Gin Gin
Feb 15, 2010

I'm so very jealous!! Have a crepe for me. Sounds like it will be a wonderful trip for you and sis!

14
Jackie
Feb 15, 2010

Hi! Found you through agirlandaboy...if you like dessert, you must (must!) go to Laduree. Outrageous Parisian pastries and macarons!

15
The Girl Who
Feb 15, 2010

Paris? Jealous.

Also, maybe it's just me but I always use your "Favorite Reads" section to leap off into other great reads and it's not working for me. Some kind of syntax error? Yeah, yeah, I could just bookmark the pages myself but I'm so used to using your blog instead because I read it every day anyway. Help!

16
Caroline
Feb 15, 2010

Hi Holly,

I'm recently moved to the US but I've been living in Paris for 25 years (and I'm French). Don't hesitate to send me an email if you want advice ! (Even though I'm sure you have plenty of plans for your time in Paris).

(Mama Shelter is a great choice !)

Enjoy !!

17
Caroline
Feb 15, 2010

Arg, just saw in the About me section that you actually lived in Paris. I guess you won't really need advice... so then again : ENJOY ! (I've been living in the US for a month now and though I enjoy it... I miss my dear city of Paris, sometimes...)

18
Nothing But Bonfires
Feb 15, 2010

Caroline, I was only three when I lived in Paris, so I'd love your advice! Didn't go to many bars then, strangely enough...

Will send you an email -- thank you!

19
FunnyGal KAT
Feb 16, 2010

I don't have a particular cafe to recommend, but my general advice is to make sure you never pass up an opportunity to have a crepe filled with Nutella from the street crepe places. I'm salivating just thinking about how good they were!

20
Alexis
Feb 16, 2010

If you want the most delicious steak frite experience, you need to try Le Relais de Venise (http://www.relaisdevenise.com/) and get there early b/c a long line forms. Also, I've heard that Le Souffle is amazing! (http://www.lesouffle.fr/).

Bon voyage!

21
Tijana
Feb 16, 2010

I am so very jealous!! However I just got my Laduree Sucre book in the mail today so I will be having my very own French desserts soon!

Definitely visit Laduree and not just for the macarons, try one of their other amazing desserts.

Visit a farmers market for all the delicious food! Especially the cheese. Last time I was at a market the cheesemonger brought out champagne!

22
Rachael W
Feb 16, 2010

I second whoever mentioned the street crepes. I've been to Paris several times in recent years, and although I loved several of the restaurants I've eaten at, I survived mainly on street crepes, baguettes, and cheese.

There's a 200-year-old restaurant I remember fondly that is NOT Le Grand Vefour, but I can't for the life of me remember what it's called. Zut alors.

23
Layla
Feb 17, 2010

The only thing you MUST eat or rather, drink while you are there is a hot chocolate (Chocolat chaud) from Angelina's. You will probably notice the little cafe from miles because there is usually a long line (hint: go mid morning - all the tourists go early). Its on the Rue de Rivoli, right across from the tuileries metro stop. I kid you not, you will never look at or drink hot chocolate the same again.

Have fun!

24
Marcheline
Feb 17, 2010

With all that cheese, be careful you don't crepe in your pants...

25
Maria
Feb 17, 2010

I'm also going to romantic, springtime Paris around Easter. And I'm going with, er, MY PARENTS. How about that! Our trip is also just a little side trip we're taking when my parents come over to England to visit me. BUT I'm still excited because, well, it's still Paris.

I'm looking forward to reading about your trip and getting some food-related recommendations! The only time I've ever been to Paris was as a teenager with my then boyfriend, and I actually remember having dinner at PIZZA HUT.

26
erikka
Feb 19, 2010

would you be willing to share these spreadsheets of eateries and such? i'd love to see what places I could visit when I go somewhere special!

27
Aparna
Feb 24, 2010

please share the spreadsheets, i'm off on a trip to london and paris next week! perhaps i'll bump into you and susie :)

28
Rita
Feb 26, 2010

I have to say the macarons from Pierre Herme are almost better than Laduree.

http://www.pierreherme.com/?cwsid=6060phAC194316ph1107087

I went to the shop on Rue Bonparte and got one of each kind! It was so decadent to try them all.

One of my favorite boulangeries is Pain d'Epis on the corner of Avenue Bosquet and Rue du Champs de Mar. Ahhhhh the butter!

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