Paris, Oh Paris. I think every girl in the world dreams of jetting away for a magical trip to New York City and Paris. They are basically the top two destinations for romance, shopping and a good glass of wine. Paris has always been one of my favourite cities to visit in the world. I can still remember the first time I walked around the city and took in every inch of culture I could before I went home. It’s so different from Dublin which is one of the reasons I love it so much. I can honestly say that each time I’ve gone it looks different. I don’t know how but it just seems to always look different with more to explore and find with every little street bringing you down on a new adventure. Richard and myself decided to make a pit stop in Paris on the way home from our big travels in Seychelles. Now we spent two weeks of absolute paradise which put us in a state of relaxation I didn’t think we were ever going to recover from but I can ensure you we were quickly awoken when we stepped off the flight into the high rise atmosphere of Paris. I will say even though I loved my time relaxing in quiet bliss I secretly missed the go go go of city life. What can I say I’m a city girl at heart.
Now if you’re planning your first time trip to Paris then you will have to hit all the famous landmarks. I’m talking the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and of course get that iconic picture at the Champs-Elysees. They are basically your starter kit to any Paris trip. Oh, and of course a fresh pain au chocolat with a coffee in the morning, watching as the city comes to life. Over the years I have visited each place and admired it as if I haven’t seen it before, taking photos and just soaking up the atmosphere. This time I wanted to do it a little different and seeing as I just came from Seychelles I wanted to spend a little more time relaxing before I headed home.
We started off our trip by checking into The Fauchon L’Hotel which is excellently located in the centre of the city. It’s literally within a five-minute walking distance of the elegant Jardin des Tuileries, Musee de Louvre and the Seine. Oh not to mention its right beside the Concorde and Tuileries which are both on line 1 on the metro. Of course, the French are known for there iconic style and the Fauchon is an excellent example of this as it is rather fabulous as it has a foolproof theme which includes a lot of pink. The vibe is sassy, sensual and sharp as French designer Richard Martinet successful transformed two historic mansions into a contemporary cocoon of delicious French joie de vivre. I mean every inch of the hotel was beautiful. I’m pretty sure that this hotel is every Instagrammer’s and blogger’s dream as taking the perfect photo is actually rather easy with the interiors of this hotel. Oh, and our room well, let’s just say I 100% feel I need to redecorate our whole house when we got home because our room was just a vision of beauty from the floor to the ceiling. The room even offers a smart television and Bose speakers that you can hook up to your phone to and personalise the music and movies and with the in-room foodservice this calls for the perfect night in. Oh speaking of speakers the showers have a built-in blue tooth speaker in the ceiling… I know crazy but also kinda genius!
I always judge a hotel by its food. If you’re anything like me then food in a hotel is one of the highlights because let’s be honest, nothing is better then being on holiday and not having to pick up a single dish or pan and instead have someone make all your food for you! Of course, I had really high exceptions for the food in France. Like come on they are particularly the most famous for their fine dining. A few days before we arrived I got an email from the hotel, I thought it was just a booking confirmation at the beginning but little did I know it was an email requesting our gourmet preferences. Yes, you heard me right they actually wanted to know what food we preferred before we even got there… If that’s not being organised then I have no idea what it is… this hotel is more organised with their guests the I am with my daily life and that’s very impressive. When we arrived the hotel gave us a warm welcome which also included mocktails…I literally turned to Richard and said: “I could get used to this”. Upon arrival at the hotel, we first noticed the hotel’s sophisticated scent which is inspired by Maison Fauchon’s signature Marchand de Reve herbal tea. The attention to detail is just breathtaking. Like come on, the hotel has a signature scent…I don’t even have a signature scent I usually just grab the perfume that’s the closest to me.
As I said attention to detail is something that very clear in this hotel. When wandering around the hotel we noticed that scattered all over the place were glass bell jars that have complimentary macarons within them….I don’t think it gets any more French than that, I may have had a few every now and again…I really couldn’t resist. I even asked the receptionist what bakery they ordered them from but she informed me that the chef in the hotel makes them. Oh, she also informed me that the flavour changes daily to match the changing seasons! Like come on, I can hardly make a shepherds pie never mind macarons! I truly believe that this chef has some magical cooking powers! While I was at the reception I got caught up in all the service that the hotel provides which includes flower deliveries, private chauffeurs to an in-room chef tasting (this chef is probably the most talented chef in the world haha) they also offer fashion presentations and bespoke shopping sprees.
The hotel offers a huge range of facilities including a sauna, spa, fitness centre and they even offer to do your laundry so you don’t have to go home with a suitcase full dirty clothes. That actually has to be one of the worst things about coming home from holidays, when you finally get home and your absolutely shattered and you look over at your busting case and realise you have to wash everything in that bag… I end up leaving it for days but always regret it because I run out of clothes fairly quickly!
Now I’ve talked a lot about the chefs in the hotel because they are hands down the most amazing chefs I’ve come across. I mean I didn’t want to leave the hotel for food which is so crazy when you think about it because I am in one of the food capitals in the world. The hotel offers a huge range that will cater to any of your dietary needs which is so important these days. One thing that I noticed was that people were ordering their food in random orders I mean the couple beside me ordered dessert first and then went on to their main course. I really wanted to try that but my inner Irish women just reminded myself that you don’t get dessert until you eat all your vegetables. Oh oh, I forgot to mention that the waiters serve everything to you wearing hot pink bow ties…the waiters match the hotel…I kinda love it! The waiters also informed us that each dish is suggested that you pair with a certain house cocktail mix. Which is Fauchon specialist teas with unusual syrups, yesteryear bitters and a very impressive range of spirits. Now if you think that’s extra then you should know that no meal is complete without a Bisous Bisous which literally translate to “Kisses Kisses” and its a red lip-shaped cake laced with red fruit, mint and fiery chilli pepper. If your starting to think it doesn’t get much better then that then I’ll have to burst that bubble as the breakfast is served in the Grand Cafe or in the Summer on the Pavement terrace. The breakfast is served in a brunch-style which includes champagne (anytime champagne is involved in breakfast I’m there) bread, pastries, cereals, fruit cheese and cakes but there’s nothing I would recommend more than the warm, caramel-laced pain perdu. It is out of this world. I may have had one too many of these over my time in France.
After an amazing few nights in the Fauchon Hotel, Richard and myself checked out and checked ourselves straight into the Pavillion de la Reine in Place de Voges. We wanted to move from the centre to just a little bit out into more of a quiet atmosphere. Usually, when Richard and I go on holiday we like to stay in a range of hotels to really get the most out of our time spent in that place. That’s one of the things I love about Paris as in the Fauchon Hotel we were in a prime location and got to experience the atmosphere of the highs of a city while on the other hand, the Pavillion de la Reine is very charming as it is located in the Place des Vosges which is a gorgeous symmetrical centrepiece of the Marais district. The area around the hotel is surrounded by hip boutiques and some of the best dining spots which are just minutes away from the hotel. Most of them are hidden gems just waiting to be found. If you’re in the mood for a stroll after the fourth pain au chocolate from breakfast then you’re in luck, because the banks of the Seine are no more than twenty minutes away. They are absolutely beautiful in the Summer when the sun shines down on the water. You’re also only twenty minutes away from Notre Dame. At the moment the church is closed off due to the fire in April, but before the fire, it was one of the most breathtaking monuments I had ever set my eyes upon!
The hotel itself is a 17th-century ivy-covered mansion that sits its own private garden courtyard. Don’t be fooled, it may have countryside feel but is very much in the city, the interiors feature marble fireplaces, aristocratic portraits and warm colours that give the whole hotel a warm welcoming feel. Just like any French hotel, the food was amazing. Like honestly a breakfast buffet with pastries, fresh fruit with juices and coffee are the only thing in this world that will get me out of bed in the morning, I may have had a glass of champagne a few mornings in a row, as I was on my holidays. The hotel really puts a lot of effort into making you feel like you’re at home with all staff members happy to chat and be at your service whenever you need them. The hotel also offers the Clefs d’Or concierge who is on hand to help with arranging outings, trips and services such as babysitting, laundry, room service and even airport transfers. Unusually for Paris, the hotel has complimentary secure parking with a valet service available we didn’t rent a car as Paris has a great metro service and with three major lines only minutes down the road it’s also a great advantage.
Oh, and of course the hotel had an on-site spa (Spa de la Reine) which offered a huge range of massages, facial and body scrubs and some anti-ageing treatments which are always a great option for anyone like myself who isn’t getting any younger. The hotel also has a small gym with treadmills, bikes and weights, Richard took more advantage of this then I did! I checked out the spa while Richard worked out, sure it would have been rude not to right?
Just like the hotel, the rooms offer a 17th-century feel with rooms overlooking the picturesque courtyard while inside the room you have a marble fireplace which is perfect to light while you have a shower and relax in your hotel robe and slippers. The bathroom has a range of Molton Brown toiletries also and an iPod dock that is available so you can relax with your own music. The location of the hotel ensures quite in the midst of the city. It’s actually very popular with celebrities who have been known to retreat to it when the hustle of the city is just too much for them. I didn’t manage to run into anyone I knew but don’t you worry I was on the lookout 95% of the time.
Paris is one of the most magical cities in the world, I’ve been many times before but honestly, this trip topped them all. The hotels really made me fall in love with the city all over again as I saw it through a different point of view. It was so different staying right in the city to then retreating a little out as I really got the full feel of what Paris has to offer. If you’re planning a trip to Paris then I could not recommend these hotels enough, yes they are pricey but they are also equally breathtaking, one might say a trip of a lifetime!
Featured Image: Wikimedia Commons