Shopping, Eating & Falling In Love With Paris.

A lot of you have been asking about where I stayed on my trip. This was a hugely stressful choice for me, as with most decisions in my life, I want them to be PERFECT.  Unfortunately, the health of the dollar vs. the euro didn’t help my cause and all the great boutique hotels I wanted to stay in (L’Hotel , ahem!) were running about $600 a night for a normal room. Not in our budget.  So after many hours of researching we decided on Hotel du Louvre , smack in the center of the city across from, you guessed it, the Louvre.  I was being a bit of a spoiled brat and anticipating that this place was going to suck because it wasn’t a “high design” hotel (even though it was still about $400 a night!). I am happy to report those feeling were completely unfounded and that I deserved to be smacked for even thinking that.  It was the PERFECT hotel for our first visit. The location was incredible- we never needed to take the Metro and could walk everywhere in the city we wanted to go.  Our room was large by European standards (especially the bathroom- two sinks and a big bathtub) but all I really cared about were my FRENCH DOORS! I squealed when I saw our room had them overlooking a darling square of cafes, and whipped them open to let in the sounds and smells of Paris.  The staff was lovely, spoke English very well and our room was spotless! I would certainly recommend it to those visiting Paris in the near future!

The room (had a desk, big closet and mini bar as well)
The large bathroom and adorable patio off the hotel’s restaurant

Now, I have so much to say and show from Paris but I have been dying to tell you about my favorite store in all of Paris.  I read about it in the last issue of Town & Country and from the cute picture of the front of the store I knew it would be worth finding ( hello vintage red Mini Cooper Fiat 500!).  And boy was it!  Named Merci and found in the Marais, I can only equate it to a huge Anthropologie on French steroids.

Can you stand the cuteness?

This place has three levels and several “wings” and every inch of this store is so creatively curated it almost looks too good to disrupt by checking things out!  In the entryway there is floral shop with walls painted black so the flowers really pop (which I forgot to shoot and am kicking myself for). You then come into a huge vintage cabinet with art above and inside each cubby is a little diarama of small goodies!  In the main space there are coffee cups and mugs hanging from the ceiling by strings and I totally flipped over this, of course.

I of course plucked a coffee cup down and am drinking my coffee out of it right now.
On the second level is clothing, which i also forgot to shoot because I was distracted by a  Stella McCartney blazer.  Up even further is the furniture and decor area. Bonjour.

In one little wing is a kids section- beyond darling- loving the brach hanging from the ceiling with lights!

In the basement is a section selling cooking supplies and a gorgeous cafe that was PACKED.  The big glass windows look out into a gorgeous courtyard with ivy growing everywhere.

The lower cafe is below left, it was SO amazing.  On the main level you can walk down a hall with floor to ceiling antique books for sale and find another smaller casual cafe! The lighting and wall color was SPECTACULAR.
After all that beauty I needed a break so went in search of an outdoor cafe because it was such a gorgeous day.  I have no idea where we went but it was our best lunch- we had amazing salads with huge chunks of homemade mozzarella and yummy ham and thought we had ordered two GLASSES of wine but instead we got this.

Damn metric system will get ya every time. Needless to say, after this lunch we were nearly skipping (stumbling?) through the Marais like true idiot tourists.
While I’m talking of shopping, I guess I’ll mention a few others. Also while in the Marais (amazing for shopping) we walked by this shop with a window full of gorgeous green bottles stacked floor to ceiling. I had to go in to find out what they were for.  It was an olive oil shop, Oliviers & Co., with the sweetest man who had us taste about 6 different varieties (and some mixtures with gourmet balsamic vinegars too) and taught us all about them.  We were totally enchanted and bought like $75 worth of stuff. Come to find out, there is one on Newbury Street. I felt like a bit of a dumbass, but it was such a fun little experience and the shop was gorgeous!

I also got to go into a smaller Flamant store, which i had blogged about a while ago. It was so lovely, but we were so tired and our feet hurt so much I barely took it in. But it did seem very WS Home meets Restoration meets an antique shop.
I think our favorite breakfast was at Eric Kayser in the Saint Germain neighborhood.  It was a drop dead gorgeous bakery full of such amazing things you wanted to try every single one.

But a cafe au lait, fresh squeezed OJ and an almost chocolate croissant did me JUST fine!

And for the very best part of our trip.  Andrew booked a dinner cruise on the Seine all by himself (pat on the back) and it was the most spectacular thing I’ve done in a long time.  We rode in style in a glass roofed boat at what had to be the best table in the joint!

We were greeted with a bottle of champagne…

AND a bottle of red wine, which thrilled Andrew. Clearly.
I was pretty pleased myself.

We took a 3 hour cruise at dusk and in the darkness of the Seine and it was absolutely BREATHTAKING and worth every penny.

When the Eiffel Tower lit up in twinkly lights I almost cried.

It’s impossible to capture the beauty of this since my camera needed to not be on flash and therefor blurred a lot of the pictures. But if you go to Paris, DO THIS. I insist 110%.

People were camped all up and down the Seine having impromtu picnics or making out wildly, like this last couple.

And we even passed this random huge group of people dancing to classical music! it was like out of a movie (most of Paris is so unbelievable that it seems like a movie…)

Seeing all these pictures again makes me miss it so much.

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