Recently, I shared with you some places that I consider special to visit if you are in Italy… So, how about the same in my beloved France? If you are in France, you must do the following…
Buy a Chanel bag at the original store on 31, Rue Cambon. What an experience; just walking into this icon of fashion and history is an experience in itself. And if course, get yourself a bottle of Chanel No 5 perfume – or the line “Les Exclusifs” – perfumes sold exclusively at this place!!
And to top it all off, you need to spend a memorial evening over dinner in one of the several 3 star Michelin restaurants in Paris. One of the oldest in the “Place de Vosges”– and certainly for me one of the most beautiful. It’s called “L’Ambroisie” – Wow, you will be blown away – by the food and also by this 17th-century building!
But there are some alternatives. For me, one of the nicest summer evenings I spent in Paris was on a boat trip on the Seine river. Dinner was included and we saw all of the beautiful Parisian Monuments sitting down – enjoying dinner and a glass of Bordeaux wine. Afterwards head for a show at the Moulin Rouge – it’s a different type of evening – but why not do both!
No visit to Paris is complete without visiting the world famous Parisian department stores. I have 2 favourites – “Le Printemps” and “le Bon Marche. Start in Le Printemps store. It’s really quite big, but what a selection of brands they have there. If you are doing some serious shopping, make sure you get some expert help from their personal shopper VIP service. You will save time and get some great expert help. Remember also – international shoppers can shop Tax Free at these stores, so make sure you take advantage and buy lots of wonderful things! Take a break and have a spot of lunch in the rooftop restaurant – with stunning views of Paris! Keep the afternoon for Le Bon Marche store. It’s on the left bank and is more intimate. They have also a wonderful selection of great names. You will be spoilt for choice! But there is a very special part of le Bon Marche that I really appreciate – it’s their food hall called “Le Grand Epicerie” – full of the best products you can eat and drink.
Finally, before you go home, book a VIP room at Sephora Champs Elysees and have a beauty time personalised only for you! This massive store in the heart of Paris is a definite final stop to fill up on all your beauty and cosmetic product needs. It’s the biggest in Europe!
If you are tired of the city, well here is my perfect day for you – on a perfect budget and on condition that it’s a nice day. Take a train to Versailles and stay the whole day there – visiting the extensive gardens and park. Take a picnic – and why not a cool bottle of Rose wine – or even better a nice bottle of Champagne. Bring some French hams. Pates and cheese – and the French baguette bread… Take a boat ride on the canal, avoid the main castle and visit the smaller castles called the Grand and Petit Trianon…beautiful and breath-taking……and often not seen by many visitors. Best of all is the “Domaine de Marie- Antoinette” This is a fantasy farm setting with the most wonderful farm buildings – all recently restored. A great day that will leave great memories with you of France and how royalty lived in those times.
For more tips and places to visit, see our France destination guide.