How to spend 48 hours in Paris

As part of the recent trip to Europe, the stars aligned where I managed to coincide work in London withsqueezing in 48 hours of joy in Paris. With no work on the agenda, and the sun shining, this is what we did on our two delightful days in the city of lights… (We spent these two days totally on foot, not taking transport or Ubers at all once we arrived at our hotel.)

Hotel Pavillon de la Reine
We arrived in Paris from London on the Eurostar at about 11am and headed to Le Marais, where we would be staying. Arriving at our hotel, Pavillon de la Reine, a hidden gem just off Place des Vosges (my favourite park in Paris), we were so happy that our room happened to be ready on arrival. Once inside, our room was like a little apartment with a lounge room, with a view of the courtyard and an upstairs floor for our bedroom. It felt spacious and cosy at the same time. This hotel was actually one I have always wanted to stay in. I remember meeting the Lancome Paris team here for an event years ago and I never forgot how hidden, quiet and incredibly charming this place was. This is one for the boutique hotel lovers like myself.

Picnic in Place des Vosges
After checking in, we took some photos on our sunny balcony and headed out buy wine, cheese, ham and fruit to enjoy a little picnic in the sun in Place des Vosges park. This is my favourite thing to do in Paris when the sun is shining. I had imagined gathering our spoils from a number of artisan stores, however after walking past a Monoprix (a mini supermarket chain) we decided to just pick up everything from there and head straight to the park. This little picnic in Place de Vosges in the heart of the Marais ends up being our favourite moment of our entire trip to Europe.

Gelato at Amorino
Post picnic, my Paris must is a flower gelato at Amorino (just off the park.) The lime and basil flavour is worth waiting in line for! We took ours back to the park to eat them in the sun.

A wander around Le Marais
After our picnic we wandered around the cobblestone streets of Le Marais where there were so many adorable shops and cafes. I had definitely overpacked on this trip so was trying very hard to not buy too many things. This trip was about just enjoying the moment. We popped into mini department store ‘Merci’ and stopped for coffee and a ‘Perrier Mint,’ the best drink when Paris hits over thirty degrees. Merci is very hip (and also very expensive) but much of the product sold here goes to charity so it’s always a nice place to stop. Just look for the red beetle out front!

Dinner at Les Philosphes
With our favourite restaurant in Paris ‘The Cristal Room’ closed for renovations (as many of the restaurants in Paris are in August) we head to another little favourite, cafe ‘Les Philosophes’ just around the corner from our hotel. I ordered the confit duck (a Paris classic) and a glass of rose. There is something about sitting outside in Paris during summer, sipping rose and watching people pass by; and this is a great spot to do it! I always loved Paris in August when I lived here. It’s the month that half of Paris relocates to the coast at this time, so the city is quiet and has a positive feeling to it. I think the sunshine has a big part to play in this!

Tuileries Gardens and Cafe Angelina
The next morning after a delightful breakfast at the hotel, we wandered over to the Tuileries Gardens and through to Rue de Rivoli, a street that I always used to visit when I lived here with the largest English bookstore in Paris (WH Smith). We pop to Angelina for the best hot chocolate in Paris. The ‘Chocolate Chaud Africanne’ to be precise. This was Coco Chanels favourite cafe and one I often met my good friend Carla Coulson for catch ups here when I lived in the city.

Chanel Rue Cambon
After Angelina we head to the mothership of Chanel stores, the original and the best on Rue Cambon. A little like a mini Chanel department store which feels rich in history. I manage to just look rather than buy as we head on to Opera for our next stop…

Galeries Layfayette
We wandered along Rue St Honore one of my favourite shopping streets in Paris, all the way to Opera where the department stores are located. Pete is on the search for a watch so we then popped into Galeries Layfayette for some retail therapy and finished up with a coffee and cake on one of the upper levels with a view of the incredible building and ceiling. Neither of us could find a watch or shoe that we wanted to buy but we are so happy with our day. Sometimes it’s just the idea of wandering without too much of a plan that makes us the happiest and just the feeling of switching off from work for two entire days is my kind of happiness.

Le Peloton Cafe
Heading back to our hotel we stop into a cafe serving coffee like we know it from home; The Peloton Cafe. Two flat whites later we wandered back to our room for a little relax in the shade of the leafy hotel courtyard.

 Another little dinner near our hotel that evening and we are saying au revoir the next morning to one of our favourite cities… Until next time.