Love Letters from Paris: A Couple's Guide to the Ultimate Parisian Escape

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Curated By

Judith Coetzee

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  • Paris

  • France

  • Couples Travel

  • City Travel

  • Food & Wine

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Curator’s statement

Paris, the epitome of romance and opulence, beckons lovers to immerse themselves in a world where every moment feels like a scene from a classic love story. The city's timeless allure, with its cobblestone streets and iconic landmarks, sets the stage for an enchanting romantic holiday or honeymoon. Known as the "City of Love," Paris effortlessly blends sophistication and charm, inviting couples to bask in the glow of the Eiffel Tower, meander through the artistic streets of Montmartre, and cruise along the Seine at sunset. From luxurious accommodations in historic palaces to candlelit dinners with a view, Paris is a tapestry of experiences that redefine the essence of romance. Expertly combining cultural richness, culinary delights, and unparalleled beauty, the City of Lights stands as a testament to the art of love, making it the perfect destination for those seeking a romantic escapade filled with luxury, passion, and everlasting memories.

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Where to stay in Paris

Le Meurice

Paris' 18th-century palace with regal service and an ornate design that extends from the restaurants to the suites.

Fora Perks
  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade whenever possible.

COUR DES VOSGES

A luxurious boutique hotel located in the heart of Le Marais district in Paris, offering elegant and historic accommodations in a restored 17th-century mansion, surrounded by charming streets and cultural attractions.

Fora Perks
  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible

  • Food & beverage credit.

SO/ Paris

Stylish hotel on the banks of the Seine with a trendy rooftop bar and picturesque city views.

Fora Perks
  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

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Things to do in Paris

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Dinner Cruise on the Seine River: Embark on an enchanting journey along the Seine, where the City of Lights unveils its true splendor under the night sky. Owned by the renowned French chef Alain Ducasse, this dinner cruise promises not just a beautiful meal but a sensory voyage through the heart of Parisian romance. Step onto the first 100% electric boat where the restaurant becomes a haven of tranquility, a floating culinary sanctuary where couples can immerse themselves in a gourmet menu designed to elevate the senses.

Indulge in a romantic dinner as the boat meanders past iconic landmarks, each illuminated to perfection. The journey culminates at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, where the city's grandeur is mirrored in the river's reflection. The ambiance, both magical and intimate, invites couples to savor not just the cuisine but also the shared moments against the backdrop of Paris's timeless beauty.

Dance Through Time at Le Bal Blomet: Step into the allure of the Roaring Twenties at Le Bal Blomet, Paris's oldest jazz club, where the echoes of history entwine with the melodies of the present. Founded in 1924, this historic cabaret in Montparnasse has gracefully stood the test of time. For couples seeking a night of romance and rhythmic connection, Le Bal Blomet offers a journey into the heart of the city's bohemian past. Immerse yourself in a night of musical enchantment as Le Bal Blomet hosts jazz and classical concerts and musical performances. For couples, a dancing date at Le Bal Blomet is a romantic escapade. Let the melodies of jazz guide your movements on the dance floor, where the spirits of artists like Henry Miller, Ernest Hemingway, and Francis Scott Fitzgerald once gathered. Savor the intimate atmosphere, reminiscent of the golden age of Parisian nightlife, and let the history of Le Bal Blomet unfold around you.

Experience Love at the Cabaret, Moulin Rouge: Embark on a journey into the heart of Parisian allure with a date night at the iconic Moulin Rouge, where glamour, passion, and a dash of retro chic converge to create an unforgettable evening. As you step into the lively Montmartre district, the vibrant energy of the Moulin Rouge beckons, promising a spectacle that you won't soon forget. Having experienced Moulin Rouge myself, I can completely attest that it is an immersive experience filled with laughter, excitement, and emotion, unlike anything I have every experienced. As the performances unfold, each act becomes a celebration of artistry and passion, captivating audiences from around the globe.

Parisian Macarons and Pâtisserie Delights at Pierre Hermé: Embark on a romantic rendezvous in the heart of Saint-Germain at the Maison de Haute Pâtisserie by the maestro himself, Pierre Hermé. Since its opening in 2001 at 72 rue Bonaparte, this iconic flagship establishment has been a mecca for those seeking the epitome of pastry perfection. What makes this date idea truly enchanting are the three non-negotiables to savor at Pierre Hermé's boutique. Begin with the Ispahan, a perfect blend of raspberry, rose, and lychee flavors, next try the Infinitely Vanilla entremet, an indulgent creation featuring a blend of vanillas from Mexico, Tahiti, and Madagascar, finally, the thing that calls tourists from around the globe: the macarons. Pierre Hermé's macarons, with flavors like hazelnut praline, salted butter caramel, pistachio-raspberry, rose, and milk-chocolate passionfruit, are a sensory journey through exquisite taste.

Dine Inside the Eifel Tower: Perched 125 meters above ground level, within the iconic Eiffel Tower, Le Jules Verne invites couples to embark on a romantic culinary journey where every detail, from the breathtaking view to the exquisite cuisine, contributes to an unforgettable date night. The panoramic view of Paris through the tower's iron fretwork sets the stage for a romantic interlude suspended in time. The restaurant's ambiance is an exquisite blend of sophistication and intimacy, making it the ideal romantic restaurant for couples seeking an unforgettable evening. At Le Jules Verne, the culinary offerings, masterfully crafted by Kévin Garcia's team, are nothing short of high-flying artistry. When booking, couples are encouraged to request one of the coveted tables near the windows. As the city of Paris unfolds beneath, the view is nothing short of spectacular.

A Picnic Rendezvous in Luxembourg Gardens: Nestled in the heart of the Sixth Arrondissement, the Jardin du Luxembourg unfolds like a romantic tapestry, featuring a harmonious blend of Italian, French, and English landscape design. It tells a story that spans over 400 years, tracing its roots to the vision of King Henri IV's widow, Marie de Médicis. As you enter the Luxembourg Gardens, you're greeted by the grandeur of manicured gravel paths, regal fountains, and the soothing rustle of leaves from ancient trees. Picture strolling along the gravel paths, hand in hand, watching sailboats gracefully glide across fountains. Find a secluded spot by the Medici Fountain, where lovers share stolen kisses.

For a romantic picnic, embark on a culinary adventure by picking up provisions from the nearby Boulangerie Poilane. Select a spot near the Avenue de l’Observatoire, where green metal chairs beckon you to savor the flavors of Paris amidst nature's embrace. In the summer, a grassy area opens up, inviting picnickers to sprawl out and relish the sun-dappled ambiance.

Romantic Bliss at Spa Le Bristol: Indulge in a sanctuary of tranquility and luxury at Spa Le Bristol by La Prairie, the epitome of refined elegance nestled within the grandeur of the iconic Le Bristol hotel. For couples seeking an unforgettable romantic experience, the MIDNIGHT IN PARIS spa package unfolds as a symphony of pampering and opulence.

This spa package is curated for lovers, and the experience begins with two relaxing foot baths and foot scrubs, enriched with essential oils. Then choose from a selection of massages, each a masterpiece crafted to elevate relaxation to new heights. The journey continues with the indulgence of two La Prairie Caviar facials, a luxurious skincare experience that pampers the skin with the finest ingredients. The private duo spa suite unfolds as your exclusive retreat, complete with a private steam room, a soothing whirlpool, and a garden terrace. As the spa experience reaches its zenith, two glasses of Champagne are served with savory canapés by Chef Eric Frechon.

Explore Paris's Chocolate Capital: Embark on a romantic date in Saint-Germain, the enchanting 6th arrondissement that proudly wears the crown as the cocoa capital of Paris. Cobblestone streets and charming French balconies create the picturesque backdrop for a day filled with chocolate-infused delights.
Saint-Germain-des-Prés, with its old-world charm, beckons chocolate-loving couples to savor the finest truffles, bonbons, and pralines crafted by over two dozen chocolate shops and patisseries scattered like hidden gems in the neighborhood. As you wander through the cobbled streets, let the aroma of rich cocoa guide your romantic exploration.

A must-visit is À la Mère de Famille, Paris's oldest chocolatier dating back to 1761. Indulge in the chocolatier's time-honored creations, each a testament to the artistry that has defined Parisian chocolate for centuries. Pause your chocolate journey at Les Deux Magots, an iconic Parisian café, for a leisurely coffee on the terrace. Here, amidst the lively ambiance, engage in the timeless art of people-watching—a cherished activity that captures the essence of Parisian life.
For a blend of indulgence and Parisian flair, a visit to Le Bon Marché is a must. The world's oldest department store, founded in 1838, invites you to a unique shopping experience. Stroll through its nooks and crannies, exploring everything from fashion to furniture.

As the day unfolds, relish the warmth of a summer evening with a bottle of rosé, savoring each other's company on a café terrace or during the winter, find refuge in a cozy bistro for a warming meal. Saint-Germain, with its chocolate treasures, iconic cafés, and historic allure, sets the stage for a romantic escapade, that promises to delight.

Places to eat & drink in Paris

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Le Train Bleu: Nestled above the bustling Gare du Lyon, Le Train Bleu is not merely a restaurant; it's a living testament to Parisian grandeur, history, and the art of culinary excellence. Stepping into this genuine Parisian landmark is like entering a world where time stands still, and the echoes of a bygone era linger in the opulent air. As chandeliers cast a gentle glow over midnight-blue leather booths, the ambiance becomes a dance between history and modern culinary genius. Michel Rostang's culinary mastery elevates the dining experience. The menu, a symphony of French haute cuisine and refined traditional cooking, promises a feast for the senses. Indulge in dishes like pigeon and foie gras mousse or cod with black truffles, where each bite is an exploration of flavor and texture.

Café de Flore: In the heart of Saint-Germain, Café de Flore stands as a testament to the timeless allure of Parisian coffee houses. Established in 1887, this iconic café has witnessed the intellectual and artistic giants of the past, from Ernest Hemingway to Pablo Picasso, engaging in spirited conversations over crispy jambon-beurres and steaming cafés noirs. For couples seeking an intimate escape into the charm of Paris, Café de Flore beckons with its historic ambiance and culinary delights.

Whether you're searching for breakfast or lunch, the menu, is a showcase of classic French fare, and invites you to indulge in fluffy omelets, quiche Lorraines, and stringy French-onion soup. Café de Flore's appeal extends beyond the culinary. It's a romantic haven where couples can immerse themselves in Art Deco interiors or choose the outside terrace, a front-row seat to the captivating buzz of the Left Bank. As you sip coffee or enjoy a leisurely meal, the world of Saint-Germain unfolds before you.

Lapérouse: Tucked away on the charming Quai des Grands Augustins, Lapérouse is not merely a restaurant; it is a haven of romance, elegance, and culinary excellence. Stepping into this 18th-century gem is like entering a bygone era, where literary giants such as Victor Hugo, Honoré de Balzac, Ernest Hemingway, and Marcel Proust once sought inspiration. The restaurant's intimate dining rooms, adorned with rich fabrics, gilded Venetian mirrors, and dim lighting, create an ambiance that is both enchanting and evocative. The restaurant's discreet alcoves and private dining rooms provide an intimate setting, allowing couples to savor their moments in a space that feels exclusively theirs. The enchanting play of light, the subtle murmur of the Seine outside, and the artistic sophistication of the surroundings make Lapérouse an oasis of romance in the heart of the Left Bank.

Le Bistro Paul Bert: Nestled on the charming Rue Paul Bert, Le Bistro Paul Bert stands as a culinary gem, where simplicity meets excellence, and each dish is a testament to the mastery of French cuisine. This renowned restaurant in Paris has become a beacon of gastronomic delight, a place where the presentation may be ultra-simple, but the flavors are nothing short of extraordinary. Le Bistro Paul Bert's cuisine is a celebration of classic French fare, crafted with meticulous attention to detail. Their steak frites, possibly the best in Paris, arrives as a perfectly succulent steak adorned with a luscious pepper sauce and crispy golden fries. The three-course lunch, hailed as one of the city's great dining bargains, invites couples to embark on a culinary journey were quality meets affordability.

The ambiance of Le Bistro Paul Bert is an extension of its culinary prowess. Intimate and unpretentious, the bistro sets the stage for shared moments and unhurried conversations. The warm glow of soft lighting, coupled with the aroma of delectable dishes, creates an atmosphere that is both inviting and romantic.

Joséphine–Chez Dumonet: Nestled within amber walls adorned with glass room dividers and elegant wood chairs, Joséphine–Chez Dumonet emerges as a captivating bistro, reminiscent of a Hollywood scene from a bygone era. As the sun dips below the Parisian skyline, the bistro's ambiance transforms into a haven of warmth, ideal for couples seeking a romantic date night option. With an ambiance reminiscent of the Belle Epoque era, Joséphine–Chez Dumonet offers an escape into the timeless charm of old-world Paris.

For an authentic experience, indulge in the epitome of French culinary excellence—the boeuf bourguignon. Considered the best Boeuf Bourguignon in Paris, this dish is a symphony of flavors that transports you to a bygone era. Each bite is a declaration of love for tradition, and when paired with a glass of robust red wine, the culinary journey becomes an ode to the richness of French gastronomy. Save room for the pièce de résistance—the Grand Marnier soufflé. Decadent and unforgettable, this dessert is a sweet revelation that lingers on the palate. For those seeking an unforgettable dining experience, booking in advance is essential.

Holybelly: As you step into Holybelly, the aroma of freshly brewed coffee permeates the air, setting the stage for a cozy and intimate meal. The ambiance is laid back and casual, inviting couples to unwind and relish each other's company in a lively and cheerful atmosphere.
While coffee is the soul of Holybelly, this spot has transcended its coffee shop origins to become a culinary gem. The breakfast menu, a delightful symphony of flavors, hearty egg dishes, wholesome granolas, comforting oatmeal, what is hailed as the best pancakes in the city.

Restaurant Guy Savoy: Restaurant Guy Savoy stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of French culinary artistry. The ideal restaurant for gastronomic enthusiasts, this Michelin starred haven invites you to embark on a romantic journey through time and taste. As you step into the opulent embrace of six meticulously adorned dining rooms, each decorated with contemporary masterpieces and sculptures, the panoramic windows unveil a breathtaking spectacle—the Seine River, the Louvre, the Pont Neuf, and the Institut de France. The ambiance, a harmonious blend of timeless elegance and artistic sophistication, sets the stage for an unforgettable romantic date night.
Chef Guy Savoy, a maestro in the realm of French cuisine, orchestrates flavors that pay homage to the culinary heritage of France. The menu, a tapestry of fanciful creativity and deeply rooted in tradition, unveils iconic dishes that have become synonymous with the Savoy legacy. Indulge in the signature artichoke soup with truffle, a culinary masterpiece that has stood the test of time and garnered acclaim worldwide. Explore the myriad expressions of oysters, each dish a revelation of Savoy's culinary prowess. Conclude your culinary voyage with remarkable desserts, a sweet crescendo that lingers on the palate.

Restaurant Le Meurice: Nestled opposite the enchanting Jardin des Tuileries, Le Meurice emerges as an icon of Parisian luxury and culinary mastery. Helmed by the esteemed Chef Alain Ducasse it is a dining experience not to be missed. As you step into this culinary oasis, the grandeur unfolds—a white ceiling adorned with gilded accents, crystal chandeliers casting a soft glow, and a curated ambiance that whispers of timeless luxury. The setting, inspired by the Salon de la Paix at the Château de Versailles, transports you and your beloved into a realm where ornate splendor and modern playfulness coalesce, creating a majestic backdrop for an unforgettable romantic date night.

Executive chef Amaury Bouhours, crafts tasting menus that pay homage to French tradition while showcasing his inventive brilliance. Each dish is a journey through flavor, texture, and visual artistry. In the realm of desserts, high-profile pastry chef Cédric Grolet takes center stage, creating sweet masterpieces that not only tantalize the taste buds but is a feast for the eyes as well. Le Meurice's commitment to sustainability is woven into every bite, elevating the dining experience to a celebration of both instinctive flavor combinations and environmental consciousness. As you and your loved one dine amidst the white-and-gold splendor, every dish becomes a manifestation of Chef Ducasse's dedication to excellence.

Need to Know

Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out my guide, Seaside Serenity: Unveiling England's Hidden Coastal Gems.

This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Paris.

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Travel Advisor

Judith Coetzee

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