HOW TO DO 2 DAYS IN PARIS LIKE A LOCAL

2 days in Paris like a local

A few Friday’s ago my Blogger Buddy, who I affectionately call Sparkles (aka Sequinist), & I hopped on the Eurostar bound for Paris. Not before a quick glass of Bubbles at Searcy’s Champagne Bar first obvs!
It’s been about 10 years since I was in Paris (not counting the diabolical con that is Paris Disney ugh) & I have to admit I hadn’t particularly missed it.
Paris has never really blown me away, like Florence or New York do so it’s not at the top of my list of favourite cities to re-visit.
However when Lisa asked me to accompany her to Paris for the weekend I jumped at the chance. Not only would I be enjoying a much-needed break from the devil’s spawn children, I was also excited to be experiencing Paris through Lisa’s eyes! To me there is no better way to travel than like a local – You know what I mean? Without a care in the world, no agenda of must see Museums or Galleries. No racing around like a flustered tourist as if this is your last ever chance to see Mona Lisa & The Eiffel Tower!


So how do you spend 2 days in paris like a local?

It’s simply two things.
1. Know where to eat & book in advance.
2. Keep to one or two arrondissements & walk everywhere.

2 days in Paris like a local

2 days in Paris like a local


2 days in Paris like a local

Where to eat in Paris

I was incredibly fortunate to have the restaurant side of things taken care of by Lisa’s French foodie Husband. This man has eaten at some of the best kept secrets in Paris therefore providing two of the most sensational restaurant experiences I’ve ever enjoyed there. Without his inside local knowledge I’d have done the research online & reserved a table beforehand. However since Matthias kindly booked our restaurants for both Friday & Saturday evenings we were completely sorted.
La Bourse et La Vie, a tiny little hole in the wall, was our first night’s culinary delight. The moment we were tucked into our petite corner the waiter placed two delectable gougères on the table between us. I’d never tasted anything remotely like these exquisite cheese puffs before, the word orgasmic comes to mind – Seriously. Try one. You’ll know what I mean if you already have wink
Everything that followed was equally delicious although I could have done without the massive chocolate mousse at the end which merely served to stuff me like a foie gras goose.

The following evening we ate at Au Passage, a completely different type of Restaurant to the previous one.
This Restaurant serves small portions of unusually creative seasonal cuisine. It’s similar to Tapas in style yet the flavours are more Nordic. Every dish we ordered was sublime, complimented with a marvellous organic wine! If I had to choose a favourite it would have to be the raw tuna which literally melted in my mouth.
Lisa & I found ourselves talking mostly about our fellow diners that night. It was that kind of cool happ’nin place, lots of Hipsters – If you get my drift? As the night wore on I noticed there was quite a long queue forming outside & many people were eating at the small bar. Au Passage is definitely a restaurant I’m keen to return to & if you’re going to Paris I urge you to book here immediately!
For our first brunch we both enjoyed an incredibly mouth-watering eggs Benedict at Café Charlot washed down with freshly squeezed orange juice. A premium people watching place to begin the day with excellent staff service. The following morning we chose the only option on the brunch menu at Rachel’s which was basically EVERYTHING! An absolutely enormous fry up served with fresh juice & coffee that also happened to be ridiculously cheap! This American style café/restaurant is just the joint to cure a hangover & the staff were genuinely lovely.

2 days in Paris like a local

2 days in Paris like a local

2 days in Paris like a local


2 days in Paris like a local

2 days in Paris like a local

2 days in Paris like a local

2 days in Paris like a local

What to see in Paris like a local

Because Lisa’s flat is in the 3rd Arrondissement we stayed mainly in The Marais. Only venturing slightly further once to meet our glamorous French Blogging buddy Abby of Midlifecrisisnut for an all too brief catch-up at Le Meurice. By the way unless you’re a gazillionaire – DO NOT GO THERE. Only that Abby is such a hoot & simply stunning that I couldn’t take my eyes off her long enough to suggest we go somewhere else!

For me the secret to a fabulous mini break is equal amounts of culture & rest. Obviously choosing your accommodation in the 3rd Arrondissement means you can literally roam around aimlessly soaking up the former. Additionally, not having too many plans keeps things manageable therefore achieving the latter. This Mama doesn’t want to return home more tired than when she left her chaotic house because as we all know the chaos will still be there waiting (tenfold!)
Being completely spoiled by Lisa’s generous hospitality I’m in no position to suggest accommodation. Although I did notice a couple of Airbnb options if you’d like to keep the cost down. My experience with Airbnb is very good, I believe it’s a terrific alternative to more expensive Hotel accommodation. Also if you’re leaving from the U.K it’s worth checking Shortbreaks website for deals as they often do cheap train/hotel packages in term time.
As I said earlier we wandered around The quintessentially French Marais where there is a plethora of shops to peruse. The pretty Place des Vosges is one of my favourite parts & where I took the shots above. It’s also an ideal spot to have a rest especially on this gloriously sunny day.
There’s nothing like seeing all the colour & commotion of a local market which is why it’s always on my agenda when I travel. Marché des Enfants Rouges did not disappoint & although we didn’t eat there I did take note that an enormous number of locals were, so the food was most certainly good. I also particularly liked the concept store Merci where there was an eclectic mix of quality clothing, homewares & furniture. I could quite easily spend a small fortune in this bustling mini metropolis but I was strong & left empty-handed.
Naturally my Paris shopping experience wouldn’t have been complete without visiting the famous Maison Kitsuné. Unfortunately its café, the most Instagrammed in Paris, was closed. However as the clothing shop wasn’t I bought a T-Shirt. In fact the T-shirt turned out to be the only clothing I purchased would you believe?
I bought Mark a sausage heeheehee cheeky from Fromagerie Jouannault on Rue Bretagne. He’d polished the entire thing off by the end of the week so it must’ve been pretty yummy. Lisa bought Matthias his favourite cheese, actually all the cheeses looked amazing. I just didn’t fancy carrying it home although in hindsight I wish I had & won’t make the same mistake next time.

2 days in Paris like a local

2 days in Paris like a local

2 days in Paris like a local

2 days in Paris like a local

2 days in Paris like a local

2 days in Paris like a local

2 days in Paris like a local

2 days in Paris like a local

2 days in Paris like a local


All this walking around requires comfort

Being comfortable yet remaining stylish isn’t a trick using this formula. My only stipulation is to spend as much as you can possibly afford on these key items because it’s the quality that makes the look chic. Believe me every piece will pay for itself countless times, over the many years you’ll wear them all.

My outfit consists of skinny jeans, a silk shirt, ballet flats & a cross-body bag. On my journey home later this day I added my leather biker jacket as the weather cooled down considerably.

Indeed you will get away with wearing this exact outfit throughout most of the year. It’s simply a matter of adding the coat or jacket of appropriate weight to suit the weather – Remember it can be quite hot in heated shops at Winter time. It’s actually a relief to be wearing a silk shirt underneath a heavy wool coat when you remove the coat indoors. You’ll see the resemblance to my other shopping outfit example in this post. I tend to stick with variations on the theme because it just works so perfectly.

2 days in Paris like a local

2 days in Paris like a local

2 days in Paris like a local

The only other outfit I wore was this dress – I changed from flat shoes in the day to heels at night, job done!
Finally my last piece of advice when you’re wandering around Paris is remember to look up. You really don’t want to miss seeing all the gorgeous apartments & window boxes!
Please share your story of Paris or any city break for that matter, I’d love to hear them all.
Au Revoir, Mx

  • Comments ( 24 )

  • avatar
    sequinist

    Lovely post and truly gorgeous photos of our weekend in Paris. The only thing is I CANNOT let my husband take credit for finding Au Passage!! That was one of my finds; it is always nice to teach him a thing or two about ‘his’ city 🙂 I’m so pleased you had such a great time, and it was long overdue meeting up with gorgeous Abby. xx

    • avatar
      retrochicmama

      Hahaha Oh no Lisa I hadn’t realised!!!I’m mortified 😉 How good were those carrots though?
      xxx

  • avatar
    Nancy Baten

    What a fabulous weekend! And how nice to meet with an other blogger! It s fantastic that you already knew were to eat otherwise you could be surprised!

    • avatar
      retrochicmama

      I think sampling the local cuisine is an important part of enjoying any holiday Nancy, don’t you? Particularly if I’m only in a place for a couple of days I really don’t want to mess up that aspect of it. It simply means being a little more organised beforehand.
      Mxxx

  • avatar
    Izabela

    It looks like you had an amazing trip. I went to Paris a few years ago and I’d love to go back.

    http://www.mydailywear.co.uk

    • avatar
      retrochicmama

      I did thank you Izabela! I hope you go back soon x

  • avatar
    Abby@midlifecrisisnut

    The post I was waiting for! I mean reading your story Michelle let me experience Paris like I haven’t done for a long time. Whenever I’m in Paris I’m either husband/kids bound, or trying to find a parking spot for hours and then rushing to meetings. I almost never (except maybe on two occasions in the last 3 years) get to wonder around and play casual tourist. I feel SO blessed that I got to see you Girls the other day! And OMG, these kind words you say about me Michelle, I swear, I will frame them and put them on the wall! And whenever I will feel down (which as you know happens quite often) I will look at them and instantly feel better. Thank you so much, Michelle! You are the sweetest! Not to mention, absolutely GORGEOUS yourself! And Lisa too of course! My favourite ladies! Sending you lots of love. xx Abby

    • avatar
      retrochicmama

      Aw that’s so lovely to hear Abby thank you. I do hope you get the opportunity to sneak away from home soon & take a little time to enjoy your pretty city sans fam 😉
      xxxM

  • avatar
    Wendy Kate

    Lovely post, fab photos, I want to go back to Paris NOW!

    • avatar
      retrochicmama

      DO IT WOMAN!

  • avatar
    cecileparisCecile

    As a Parisian, I’m so happy that you had the opportunity to experience the city like a local. I’m always so surprise to see people rushing from a Monument to an other, waiting hours in lines to visit crowded Museums (do these Museums belong to a to do list?). I think they really miss the best of visiting Paris: strolling in a nice area, walking with no real purpose and discovering all the hidden treasures that the city can offer…I also think you wore the perfect outfit to do it: jeans + this nice silk shirt… so effortless chic!

    • avatar
      retrochicmama

      There is no higher praise than from a proper Parisian! Thank you so much Cecile you’ve made my week xxx

  • avatar
    Jill James

    I so enjoyed your wonderful pictures of your weekend in Paris, sharing with a friend is always a joy. I was fortunate to have stayed in Paris for a month back in April , so your pictures bought back many happy memories.

    • avatar
      retrochicmama

      An entire month you lucky duck! So pleased you liked my photos Jill xM

  • avatar
    rockandrosesmama

    Love this! Im all about Mamas taking a mini break every so often… so necessary and amazingly refreshing! where better to go that Paris… perfection. Ill be back to take note of your recommendations when I book to go <3

    • avatar
      retrochicmama

      You bet it is! Unfortunately time always seems to run away with me & before I know it it’s been ages since I took a break. I’m so happy to hear you found my recommendations helpful, you must tell me what you thought when you get back xM

      • avatar
        rockandrosesmama

        Its always the case… hence why they are so super needed sometimes; to refresh our souls! I always make sure i take one around my birthday then thats al least once a year! I will definitely do that… although it won’t be for a while as out next trip will be our honeymoon to Italy… any recommendations for Sorrento!?! Haha! x

        • avatar
          retrochicmama

          Well as a matter of fact I spent a lot of time in Positano which is literally just up the road! You’re probably going to make a day trip or two – I hope. Check out a terrific restaurant Da Vincenzo & if you want a truly sexy day at a secluded beach you can take a little boat around the cove to Laurito. There’s an amazing restaurant called Da Adolfo right on the beach where you can eat super fresh locally caught seafood, in your cozzie!
          I first went to Positano 20 years ago, went back every year for 10 years – It is truly a magical place & so romantic for a honeymoon. You must tell me all about it when you get back xxx

          • avatar
            rockandrosesmama

            Oh wow!! I shall definitely make that a day trip then! Thank you so much… <3

          • avatar
            retrochicmama

            You are very welcome xxx

  • avatar
    No Fear of Fashion

    That silk top with your bag… that is it. Just what you said. A couple of good pieces and you are good to go.
    Love your photos, they make me a bit envious. Such good quality. And thanks for the link to midlifecrisisnut Abby. She is indeed very funny.
    Greetje

    • avatar
      retrochicmama

      Hahaha Yes Abby’s blog is brilliant I’m so pleased you’re a fan now too!

  • avatar
    Michelle

    Brilliant write up and truly stunning photographs Michelle. I felt as if I was there.
    Love your outfits too, perfect for pounding the pavement of Paris (nice bit of alliteration there lol).
    Xxx

    • avatar
      retrochicmama

      Oh bugger Michelle that is a damn fine nice bit of alliteration there! Wish I’d have thought of it 😉
      xxx

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