Growing up in London, Paris used to be a city that we would always love to visit. It wasn’t just for the food but also for the fashion, the energy, the culture and the pure passion of the French.
The French seem to have a natural sense of style. They know how to dress and have an innate knowledge of food and etiquette.
Paris is the most romantic city in the world. Everything oozes passion and love. The store windows are dressed in impeccable taste, the specialized food stores focus on what they know best, the wines are divine, the cafes stimulate the senses and the woman are stunning.
I was once told by a French friend that you should take as long to eat a meal as it takes to cook it. That’s great advice. In France the food is rich but you don’t see many overweight people because they respect the value of food. The French belief is that each mouthful has to be worth it as every calorie matters. So in France most people take one real big dinner a day that is eaten slowly and made up of small portions with NO PROCESSED FOODS. We need to learn from this.
So what to do in Paris? Well of course you must eat, drink and shop!
Start your day with a baguette. It’s that simple. Nowhere across the channel makes bread this good. There I said it. But seriously, the bread in a patisserie is made twice a day and stores still close for lunch so that they can have the early crowd come for the breakfast treats and then the late afternoon rush for dinner. It’s time-tested and works.
Now once you’ve eaten hit the stores. Blvd St Germaine is the best of the best. Small boutiques and well-known favorites like Louis Vuitton intermingle. After you’ve hit the shops it’s time to relax and have a coffee at the famous Polidor restaurant that was even featured in a Woody Allen movie. I warn you though it won’t be cheap but it is worth every penny (or Euro actually).
Walking around the Opera area is beautiful. Start to walk down Rue De La Paix and you will magically stumble upon one of the world’s finest hotels, the venerable Ritz. This hotel still holds court as the best there is in Paris. The hotel harkens back to a different era and as such is elegant, refined and totally Parisian. Interestingly my next favorite property in Paris is the recently opened Shangri-La which is quite a different sort of hotel. It exudes real flair that blends Asian chic with the elegance of Paris.
Of course there are museums and strolls that will show you why Paris is like no other city in the world. The river Seine also offers some wonderful boat trips. They tend to operate all seasons but the summer time really is the best time to view the city by boat.
Paris enchants, Paris enthralls and Paris engages, so no wonder that it holds such a special place in my heart… and the hearts of countless of millions of other travelers who have also visited and fallen in love with this magical city.
Daniel Green, the Model Cook is a Celebrity Chef known for his healthy approach to food and living well. With TV, books, magazines and live appearances, Daniel spends his time helping fans to cook better, feel better and live better. He’s also an avid traveler and a self-confessed Foodie.