Paris For My Birthday Part 1.




It was such a special treat to spend my birthday in Paris this year. What I love about Paris, especially after my first trip, is that there’s so much to do and see. Even a walk around a neighborhood is a fun thing to do. We’ve finally been enough times now that we feel like we have a good sense of where everything is, and we have favorite places that we like to visit every time we’re there. On this trip, we had almost no formal plans aside from a birthday dinner scheduled. So we went with how we were feeling and what we were near, and decided to explore that way.

 

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Prior to leaving for Paris we were watching The Collection, which I talked about in this Sunday Series. Thomas was feeling inspired by the photographer in the show that was shooting all around Paris (and if you’ve seen the show, you’ll get why I was inspired to wear this all red outfit!). So he convinced me we should rent a medium format film camera for our Paris trip. We rented a Hasselblad 203fe. Despite lugging this heavy camera all over Paris, we only shot 5 rolls of film (60 total shots) as there’s a much higher learning curve than we anticipated. It was fun to play around with and we are glad we brought it, but we still have much to learn about it. We had 4 of the rolls developed and received the low resolution digital scans yesterday (Thomas posted a picture of one), but sadly half of them were out of focus. They are still beautiful photos though! I’ll make sure to call out any film shots, if I post any.

 

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For lunch on our first full day, I asked T to make a reservation wherever he would like. After some research, he found Carbon in Le Marais. We knew we would be in for a lot of decadent French food on the trip, so Carbon was the perfect detox from that. Most of the dishes that are served are cooked over an open fire in someway. Even though most of the small menu had meat, they were more than accommodating to our pescatarian palettes. Our favorite dish were the carrots, which were glazed and grilled and tasted so sweet they could have substituted our dessert. If you are new to Paris, make sure to have a few meals in Le Marais. One of the reasons why we love the area so much is because of the incredible diversity in food.

 

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We had initially arrived in Paris in the late morning. We always like taking an evening flight to Europe, that way we can sleep on the plane, land and have a full day ahead. It’s always a little tiring though, as we never know how much sleep we’re going to get on the plane, but we usually have so much adrenaline from our excitement that we head out and explore right away. A little drowsy, but not enough so to stay back, we got dressed up and headed out to walk around Saint Germain. This is my favorite neighborhood. You can also reference this post we put together last winter of all of our favorite neighborhoods in Paris.

 

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If you follow me on Instagram then you probably saw Stories or Instagrams of our beautiful hotel in Paris, Hotel de Crillion. After spending 4 years under renovations they finally reopened this hotel in July and they did such an impeccable job with it. The service at the hotel was one of the best experiences we’ve had traveling. The staff were so sweet. Also, I got a kick out of the employee uniforms which for the men included Hotel de Crillion monogrammed smoking slippers. Thomas and I got dressed up and headed for a wine at Le Bonaparte in Saint Germain, followed by some live jazz at Chez Papa (so fun! I LOVED every minute of it). Afterwards we met up with Rosie and her man for a late dinner at our favorite, Brasserie Lipp. Then had just arrived via train from London and I was so so so excited to have them in Paris with us. At midnight they had the waiter bring out cake and sang me happy birthday!

 

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On my actual birthday, I had THE BEST day! I told Thomas that I didn’t want any gifts because being on the trip was more than enough. We ordered room service and had it delivered to our room, and Rosie and her man came over too. As we waited for our breakfast feast, a knock came from the door, and Thomas quickly went to go answer it. He then rounded the corner with the biggest bouquet of blush pink roses for me!

 

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After our champagne filled breakfast we decided an art museum sounded like the perfect activity since it was raining. Thomas spoke with concierge and he came back very excited about a portrait photography exhibition at Grand Palais. The exhibition displayed the work of Irving Penn, one of the most famous portrait photographers of his time. He shot for Vogue for years and shot with lots of celebrities. I can almost assure you that you’ve seen an image of his somewhere. We love going to art museums whenever we can as they leave us feeling inspired for the creative work that we do. This is especially true after seeing photography exhibitions.

 

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We had lunch at Cafe le Jardin Du Petit Palais, which was right around the corner from the exhibition and followed that by a stroll through the Tulieries Garden. After getting stuck in the rain and stopping for a quick espresso at a cafe, we headed back to the hotel for some tea and hot chocolate. We took it easy for the rest of the afternoon, as we knew we were going to have a fun night out!

 

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