Last year, I took a significant birthday trip to Paris with several female friends. We had a great trip and spent lots of time focussed on food, shopping and seeing the sites. Here is the itinerary from our trip.
Day 1: Depart for Paris on Air Tahiti Nui
Did you know that Air Tahiti Nui is a flight partner with American? I was able to use American frequent flyer miles to book this trip. Very convenient schedule through LAX directly to Charles de Gaulle in Paris. For breakfast before we landed, our choices were scrambled eggs with teriyaki sauce or pancakes with chocolate syrup. Needless to say, I was a little hungry when we landed.
Day 2: Arrive at CDG, Paris, about 8:30am, take the Metro into the City
We rented an apartment in the 7th, very close to the 6th, for our trip, as there were 5 of us traveling together. The apartment had three bedrooms and could have slept 6. We also had a nice sized kitchen, as well as a relaxing living/dining room at our disposal. This was our base of operations. After settling into the apartment, Erica and I headed over to Barthelemy for cheese, Poilane for bread and Nicolas for a bottle of bubbly. Just laying in some supplies.
Dinner was at the Hotel Lutecia Brasserie, a nice French way to start the trip. I had oysters.
Day 3: Market Day - we hit the Bird Market, Organic Market on Boulevard Raspail, and the Marche Parisien de la Creation (Arts & Crafts Market). Loads of photos taken in all places, and I bought an interesting piece of art at the last market.
Dinner was a special deal, the Hidden Kitchen, which I did manage to write up after we returned. Outstanding, fun and unique. Highly recommended.
Day 4: Walking tour of the Marais, including the Pompidou Center, Musee Picasso (which was unfortunately, closed) and the Jewish Memorial. Lunch was at the best falafel place in Paris, L’As du Falafel, which was true to its name. Portions are ginormous, I would consider sharing next time. The sun came out in the afternoon and we spent a while sitting on a park bench in the Place de Vosges, watching the world go by. Relaxing.
Dinner that night was at Ze Kitchen Galerie, a recommendation from my neighbor at home who visits Paris often. Interesting Asian-French fusion menu. Recommended.
Day 5: Visit the Musee D’Orsay (I love this converted train station museum!), then walk through the Jardin des Tuileries. We had a little snack and I think this is where I may have come down with a tummy bug. By the time we had finished visiting the Jeu de Paume museum, I was not feeling well at all, but managed to drag myself along to Fauchon and Hediard, as well as a beautiful Laduree shop on Boulevard de la Madeleine. We also tromped over to E. Dehillerin, an outstanding kitchen supply shop in the 1st on rue Coquillere. Next time we visit, I will be sure to bring home some of their beautiful copper. And maybe a whisk.
Dinner that night was at our apartment, since I was by now quite sick. My traveling companions visited Bon Marche and came home with soups and other light dinner items.
Day 6: Being sick while traveling sucks, especially when the majority of the plan is to eat and look at food and take a cooking class at the Cordon Bleu. Oh, yes, the cooking class was today!
I dragged myself out of bed, showered (which made me feel much better) and put on clean clothes (thanks Suzy and Erica) and we went to lunch first at Helene Darroze. The lunch prix-fixe is the way to go, with wine, and we left after touring the kitchen and the collection of vintage alcohol. I think Erica smiled nice at the maitre ‘d.
Crispy Desserts was our cooking class at the Cordon Bleu, and it was just exciting to be there. The class was ok – I doubt I will ever make phyllo dough tarts with almond cream and apricots ever again – but being the classroom was exciting, and our chef-teacher and his translator were very entertaining. I managed to write up this experience after we returned home, you can read the details here.
Dinner that night was on our own – I went to visit Parisian friends Sophie and Thierry, who took me to a great seafood restaurant in the 11th, L’Ecailler Du Bistrot. I think I have a picture:
Oysters again. Don’t talk to Suzy about it, she thinks that was how I got sick in the first place. I think not.
Day 7: Last Day in Paris, but I am still not feeling 100%, so we canceled our visit to Sacre Coeur and Montmartre. Next time. Suzy and I had last minute shopping to do on the Ile St Louis, and we made it out to a wine and chocolate tasting with David Leibovitz and then walked over towards the Eiffel Tower for a little night time viewing.
Day 8: I was off in the morning to meet my family in Venice, and the rest of my traveling companions were departing later, so we bid farewell at the apartment and I headed over to the RER to catch a train to the airport for my flight. Au revoir Paris, see you soon!