I’m not exaggerating when I say that everything I ate in Paris was basically the best thing I’ve ever eaten. The food here is incredible. Luckily, the city is so beautiful that you enjoy walking around all day burning off your croissant calories. We would walk about 10 miles a day, which was good when every store window looked like this:
The one piece of advice we stuck to in Paris was to avoid restaurants on street corners or by the tourist attractions as these tend to be more overpriced and less authentic, catering to tourists. Following this advice, we found some amazing spots including a few hidden gems and here are my favorites.
There are small bakeries just about every block and I never found one I didn’t like. We would stop in for fresh baked baguettes or croissants, or better yet chocolate filled croissants. I can say there is no better way to start your morning than a fresh baked croissant and an espresso from a local bakery in Paris. One great place for an assortment of fresh French breads is Le Pain de la Bourse. They serve you a basket of different varieties of fresh made breads with an assortment of jams and creams to spread on them just to start! Then, we got fresh squeezed orange juice and scrambled eggs with a side of bacon and salmon. You can even purchase jars of their spreads to take home and they make great gifts!
One of my favorite places to spend time shopping in Paris was Le Bon Marché. At the bottom of this department store there are fine Parisian chocolates and meats and cheeses. My favorite thing here was their truffle cheese! Truffles + cheese, what could be better? We would pick up some truffle cheese and prosciutto here, then a baguette at a local bakery, then have a great picnic outside of the Eiffel Tower! Add some wine, and you’ll have yourself a party!
My hands down favorite meal in Paris were crepes at Creperie Saint Malo. There are countless crepe restaurants around town, but I was told by some trusted locals that this one is the best. I loved this restaurant so much I went here twice on my 2-week trip! You have to get the special with 1 savory and 1 sweet crepe! It also comes with a salad. I admit it’s a lot of food, but how can one choose between a sweet and a savory crepe? I got the egg and cheese for my savory and the caramel crepe for my sweet option, but you can’t go wrong with anything on their menu.
Another favorite meal was at La Mamma, a small Italian restaurant we just stumbled into walking home from the Catacombs. Neither of us could choose between their amazing fresh pastas, so the natural choice was to each get the pasta sampler and try them all! Wow, I was so glad I did! Their pastas were delicious, and to top it off with some French wine was the perfect dinner date!
Of course. we need to talk about macarons! I preferred the macarons at Pierre Hermé to the ones at Ladurée. Pierre Hermé is a tad less touristy and has amazing flavors like a Pistachio & Raspberry compote mix, called the Montebello. My personal favorite was the Mogador, which is a chocolate & Passion Fruit mix. So delicious!
Another favorite dessert (okay, I admit I have a lot of favorite desserts) was Amorino gelato. You can pick your flavors and each flavor becomes a petal in a scrumptious gelato flower!
These were just some of my favorites! The food in Paris was so incredible and you will definitely enjoy eating your way through this magnificent city.
BEST DAY EVER!
A few days into my Paris trip, my best friend, Diane, told me she needed to go take photos for her blog. She convinced my boyfriend, Teryn, and I to wake up before the sun and get dressed up with her to have some nice photos taken while her boyfriend was taking her blog photos. Little did I know that this was a plan that my boyfriend and best friend had come up with months prior!
We all get dressed up, then take an early metro ride to Trocadero. I can still remember turning the corner to the most beautiful uninterrupted view of the Eiffel Tower and feeling in awe. Diane quickly jumps out for her blog photos. It was so fun to see her in that element! Then, she pulls me in for some best friend photos! After a few quick snaps, she tells Teryn to take her place. We posed for a few photos, then he turned me around to face the Eiffel Tower behind us. We admired its beauty, then I turned back around to face our friends. That’s when he put his hands on my hips and turned me back towards him. I noticed then that his hands were shaking. He looked me in my eyes as he reached toward his suit jacket pocket and said “Ashley, I need to ask you something”. At this point I clued in. I was shocked, excited and a big ball of emotions all at once. He pulled a small pouch out of his jacket pocket and slipped out the most beautiful ring as he got down on one knee. He said “I love you. You make everything better and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?” Of course, I shouted “YES!!” and jumped into his arms.
We just got engaged in the most romantic city in the world! Pinch me, I must be dreaming.
We then went around the city taking our engagement photos! It means so much to us to have our true moment of happiness caught on camera. Afterwards, we went back to my best friend’s apartment where she surprised us with fine French champagne and a tower of macarons to celebrate! It was so special to have my best friend there to celebrate this extraordinary moment with us. After our celebration, my now fiancé and I went to walk around and enjoy Paris just the two of us to let it all sink in. It felt so romantic to enjoy this day with my fiancé on the other side of the world when no one else back home knew yet! We spent the day walking around Paris just the two of us all giddy and staring at my hand!
I feel like the luckiest girl in the world and have been on cloud nine ever since! I can’t wait to marry my Prince Charming!