With passport in hand, my return to France occurred over the last 10 days. After a long 8-hour flight, I arrived at the airport and was excited to finally be back in Paris. Even though there were some COVID precautions still in place, Paris was the ever-sparkling light in the center of the country.
I wandered the streets and markets, taking in the beauty and history of this amazing city. Everywhere I looked there were reminders of why I fell in love with Paris: the cafes, the exquisite architecture, the Marais, and Montmartre. The sights, sounds, and smells of Paris intoxicated me. It was like a dream come true to be back in the City of Light.
I had always heard great things about the Marais neighborhood of Paris in the 3rd arrondissements, and I was excited to finally visit. Upon arrival, I was immediately taken by how beautiful the area is. The architecture is unique and interesting, and there are plenty of restaurants and stores to explore.
Stroll into Pierre Hermé’s heaven made of chocolate, macarons, and pastries worthy of being art pieces.
Stare through the glass
at Maison Verot
to pick out that afternoon’s
Take in the beauty
of the gardens in the Square du Temple –
Standing at the tallest point in the city, the Basilique Du Sacre-Coeur de Montmartre is a sight to behold (in addition to having the best view of the entire city of Paris). I would suggest saving some time (as well as some steps) in your touring day by having a car drop you off at the top so you can meander your way down at a leisurely pace. Before starting your trek down, stop by Carette for the best macarons in the city. Maybe even pop into the le Moulin de la Galette to sit at the table where Dalida, Van Gogh, and even Renoir dined (and Renoir immortalized it in his painting, Bal du Moulin de la Galette). You can’t miss it with the windmill on top.
Paris wasn’t the only destination on my journey. A quick 3-hour train south into the Occitanie region of Southern France, Nîmes was spellbinding. In the heart of the city is the Arena of Nîmes– a Roman amphitheater built in 70 CE. My stay at the five-star Maison Albar Hotel L’Imperator (a favorite of Hemingway) along with the Chef’s Tasting Menu at Duende (the hotel’s recently awarded Two MICHELIN Stars restaurant) was like something from a dream of a bygone era.
I’d love to share with you all the details of what I did, what I saw, and what I ate/drank along the way. I can even discuss the ease of arriving in France and the details of what you need to know to return to the U.S. Find a time on my schedule for us to chat about your next French adventure.