Tyler and I returned last week from a whirlwind trip to Europe. If you followed along on Instagram, you know that it was VERY last minute and VERY hectic.
The whole thing came about because Tyler found out he needed to turn around and head back to France for work for the 37th time this year. I decided to tag along because we had spent so much time apart this year (I know, cry me a river), and we had enough points to cover my ticket.
We both worked a ton during the week, but we used the weekends to explore and had a blast.
This time around he had to stop in Munich, Stuttgart, and Normandy during the week, but we spent the weekends on either side in Rome and Amsterdam.
If it sounds like this trip was a complete tornado, it’s because it was.
And to make it just a little more hectic, we had a night on either end of our Amsterdam trip in Paris. I mean come on, I wasn’t not going to finagle Paris into our itinerary.
This was my first time in Paris in warm weather, and I was a sight to behold, like a manic, cotton candy-stuffed kid at Disneyland. I’ve always loved Paris (Tyler’s sighing right now), but being there in the summertime was just so different and so lovely.
In previous wintertime trips, I’ve spent a lot of time gawking at glamorous women clad in fur coats dashing mysteriously in and out of ritzy bars and chic shops I’ll never be able to charm my way into.
This time around, these same women took to the streets and pranced around in espadrilles and flowy floral. We loved how vibrant and carefree the entire city was in the warm weather. Every Parisian seemed to have time to grab a glass of rosé with a friend at a sidewalk table.
Tyler and I happily embraced the summertime vibes in Paris and found some incredible new spots we wanted to share here.
Hotel-Residence Foch: We chose this hotel for the price and the location. The rooms start at just 90€, and it is tucked away in the 16th arrondissement. We had an early flight the next day (the theme of this trip), and it was super easy to hop over to Charles de Gaulle from that location.
In addition to its convenience, the hotel itself was lovely. The staff was helpful and kind, and the room was spacious by European standards. But I have to say that the rain shower and huge bathroom are what really sold it for me. This is the perfect place to stay if you are just stopping in for a night or if you prefer the refuge of a quieter, more put together neighborhood.
Hôtel Saint-Paul Rive-Gauche: For the last night of our trip and our first stay on the Left Bank of Paris, we stayed at the Hôtel Saint-Paul Rive-Gauche. We decided to stay here because of the hotel’s location in the heart of the Saint-Germain neighborhood and its proximity to the Luxembourg Gardens. We love Saint-Germain and wanted to stay a night there so we could have a chance to explore it more thoroughly.
We had a really great experience here, too. It was slightly more outdated than the aforementioned Residence Foch (namely, the bathroom), but the location was PERFECT. You could be at the gate of the gardens or grabbing a glass of wine at a lively bar in less than five minutes.
We definitely recommend staying here if you are looking for a base from which to explore the Left Bank.
Maison Sauvage: Head here for a refreshing cocktail and an evening of people-watching in Saint-Germain. This street was full of those classy and carefree Parisians I mentioned earlier, and the seating outside this adorable bar provides the perfect vantage point to stare in awe.
Le Relais de l’Entrecôte: This place is NUTS. We heard the words “best steak and fries in Paris” and were en route within minutes. We had to make aggressive eye contact and squeak out “Bonsoir” about four times to a handful of hostesses before they acknowledged our presence. We were dropped off at a sidewalk table, without a menu in sight.
I spent the next several minutes begging Tyler to stop staring at everyone else’s food when finally a server swept by our table and asked how we wanted our steak cooked. That’s it.
They brought our plates about 25 minutes later: two piles of steak and frites, along with a cup of sauce that Tyler describes as the nectar of the gods. Apparently short term memory loss is real when the food is good enough. The meal completely redeemed the brusque service.
When we were just about finished with our plates, we glanced up to see a server dropping off an entire extra plate of steak and frites for each of us–that’s right. REFILLS. Can’t get better than that.
(I just read this out loud to Tyler who immediately yelled, “OH MAN I COULD EAT SOME OF THAT RIGHT NOW” and stormed to the kitchen for a snack).
They don’t take reservations, but it is SO worth the wait.
L’Atelier Ramey: I just realized that we are likely alienating every vegetarian who will ever stumble upon this blog with this post. I’m so sorry, but there’s more red meat in this story.
We wanted to check out Montmartre, so we got a reservation at L’Atelier Ramey. Contrary to our experience at Le Relais de l’Entrecote, the staff welcomed us with open arms. As soon as we sat down, our server dropped off a complimentary truffle souffle that Tyler swallowed whole by the time our menus arrived seconds later.
At our server’s recommendation, we decided to split la côte de bœuf (“cut of beef,” lol). The meat was absolutely incredible, and we were just about dying over the side salad and potatoes.
This place also has an amazing wine selection that the staff helped us navigate through. We had a fabulous evening and can’t recommend this place highly enough.
Myrthe: This gourmet deli of sorts is right near the Canal St. Martin. Stop in for a carefully crafted sandwich or chai latte, or swing through to pick up some high-quality French groceries. This place is SO cute and cozy.
Eric Kayser: Not much to say here except that this bakery makes amazing baguettes. Fair warning: these babies may cause you to start looking up apartment rentals in the area and wonder exactly how much would it be to ship your stuff to Paris. Swing by and grab a couple before heading to a park for a picnic.
Square du Vert-Galant: Speaking of picnicking, this is the ideal stop for a little park bench happy hour. This park is situated below Pont Neuf in the middle of the Seine. It’s perfectly peaceful with (more) great people-watching.
Pigalle Basketball Court: I found out about Nike’s collaboration with Pigalle on Instagram and was so excited to go see the vibrantly-painted basketball court. We are really bummed because by the time we made it over the lights on the court were off. We weren’t able to get a good picture of it, so you’ll have to check it out here.
How fun is it that we’ll literally never run out of awesome places to find in Paris?? I’m already so excited to go back.
Stay tuned for recaps of Rome and Amsterdam!