Hello and welcome to Djalali Cooks! I have a special post today; a recap of my recent trip to Paris. It was my first time visiting the City of Light and I must say that I am already looking forward to my next visit. Beth and I went for one week, which flew by. But instead of trying to see and do everything, we opted to not over-plan; to see where each day took us. We did have a few things planned ahead of time: a cooking class, a dinner cruise on the Seine and a photo shoot, but otherwise it was wonderful to just explore. Today I have part one of my trip to Paris.
The First Arrondissement
Beth and I stayed at an apartment in the 1st arrondissement. This district is the center of Paris, it’s very much like a downtown area; with lots of shopping and downtown city life. Our apartment was on Rue Saint-Honoré, a street famous for luxury shopping. With shops like Dior, Chanel and Saint Laurent, it’s a beautiful narrow street with a medieval feel amidst the contemporary shops and decor.
One of the best features of staying in the 1st arrondissement is its proximity to the Louvre and the Tuileries Gardens, the Palais Garnier (the Paris Opera House), the Musée d’Orsay, the famous St-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood, and so much more.
We mostly walked everywhere we wanted to go, which is a great way to get acquainted with the city.
Become a Regular During Your Trip to Paris
One of the first things we did was to discover a cafe or brasserie close to our apartment that we could go to every morning for coffee and pastries. Returning to the same cafe each morning gave us the feeling of being regulars. We sat at the bar and the waitstaff got to know us and anticipate our regular orders of pain au chocolat, espresso (for me) and cafe crème (for Beth). This was a great way to start each day of adventure in Paris.
As it turned out, we spent many days across the Seine in St-Germain. St-Germain is a charming neighborhood famous for the literary giants and artists who spent time there in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In St-Germain, the cafe culture is strong. Famous spots like Cafe de Flore and Les Deux Magots line the Boulevard St-Germain. We skipped Cafe de Flore and opted instead for the less crowded Les Deux Magots (which is basically next door to Cafe de Flore).
We spent a couple (or was it a few?) hours enjoying the people watching and the wine at Les Deux Magots. Striking up conversation with the women sitting to the left and right of us; enjoying the moment. Even if you like to have each day of your Paris vacation planned out, I would encourage you to leave a few afternoons open for just sitting at a cafe without feeling rushed to move on to the next activity.
Another day we spent some time at Cafe Louise. I ordered the Foie Gras de Canard Maison, which is house-made duck foie gras with house-made brioche and house-made (seasonal) apricot marmalade. It was amazingly delicious.
Walking to and from St-Germain meant we walked across the Seine every trip. Each time, we tried to cross a different bridge. There are many bridges, and we crossed several of them (without going too far out of our way!). Positioning ourselves to cross different bridges meant we got to explore different parts of our arrondissement and St-Germain.
Take a Cooking Class
We took a 6-hour cooking class that included a trip to an outdoor market to shop for the ingredients for a three course French meal. The cooking itself is not difficult and the group of 10 is tasked with doing various aspects of each dish. So you’re not fully making something from start to finish. There was break halfway when we had a small cheese and wine tasting.
I will say my favorite part was learning about French ingredients and histories of the 5 French cheese groups. Our chef instructor was really great; he was funny, knowledgable and gracious. The company is called Le Foodist and I highly recommend taking a cooking or baking class.
Tune in for part two of my Trip to Paris recap on Wednesday. Take care and be well. Au revoir! xo Kelly
CarrollNovember 14, 2022 at 7:47 am
That must have been so much fun! Would you like to stay longer if you had the opportunity to go again?
Kelly DjalaliNovember 14, 2022 at 8:53 am
Hi Carroll, Yes for sure. 2 weeks or 10 days would be perfect! xo Kelly
SusanNovember 14, 2022 at 7:56 am
Thoroughly enjoyed your Paris posting while I had a morning cup of coffee! The pictures and writing certainly could be part of an adventure brochure! This was such a refreshing snapshot for your readers, thank you!
Kelly DjalaliNovember 14, 2022 at 8:54 am
Thanks so much, Susan! I am really happy you enjoyed it. Stay tuned for part 2 on Wednesday! xo Kelly
MariNovember 14, 2022 at 8:11 am
The pictures are beautiful, and your trip sounds like a little piece of Heaven. Paris is a place I have always dreamed of visiting ever since taking French in high school. It sounds like you had a wonderful time. I think walking is the best way to familiarize one’s self with a new place. When my son and his family were in Scotland, they walked a great deal and met a lot of people. They try to take a family vacation in a new destination every year, whether it’s in the States or abroad. The children are growing up with wonderful memories and meeting new people. Not to mention eating some amazing food. Happy Chilly Monday. Have a great week. 💨
Kelly DjalaliNovember 14, 2022 at 8:58 am
It’s really great that your grandchildren are traveling at young ages; it’s so important (I think) for kids to see different cultures, hear other languages (or dialects) and meet new people while they are still young and developing their sense of the world around them. xo Kelly
Loya PalmerNovember 14, 2022 at 8:40 am
Thank you for sharing your trip. It looks like you had a fantastic time.
Kelly DjalaliNovember 14, 2022 at 8:58 am
Thanks so much Loya! Stay tuned for part 2 on Wednesday! xo Kelly
Alison J GlapaNovember 14, 2022 at 10:15 am
Great photos, what a fabulous trip!
I love Paris too. I will definitely be going back and taking a cooking class on your recommendation.
Kelly DjalaliNovember 14, 2022 at 1:24 pm
Hi Alison, The cooking class was a lot of fun. It was also great to meet and chat with other people from other places. A wonderful time, I am sure you will enjoy it! xo Kelly
TerryNovember 14, 2022 at 10:53 am
Good morning WOW your pics are really good I enjoyed seeing your adventure through your eyes ..thanks for sharing ❤️🤗 mom
Kelly DjalaliNovember 14, 2022 at 1:24 pm
Thanks Mom! xo Kelly
Dottie WillardNovember 14, 2022 at 12:37 pm
Great travel post Kelly! I enjoyed reading your excellent descriptions of places you stayed and visited. Your suggestions are very helpful! I have been to Paris twice, but your blog made me want to return !
Kelly DjalaliNovember 14, 2022 at 1:25 pm
Hi Dottie, I am so happy to have inspired some travel dreams! I am already making my list of things to do when I go back! xo Kelly
Sally BurkeNovember 14, 2022 at 4:12 pm
Good morning Kelly, what a wonderful time you and Beth had, and definitely when you go back stay for a minimum of two weeks. All up we have had three weeks with side trips to Brussels and Rouen. As you said you don’t necessarily need to have every day planned but it is so easy to fill in those days. One of the places we visited a few times for coffee and a Macaron was the food court in the La Fayette shopping centre. The aromas were amazing. So enjoyed todays post and will look forward to your next episode 🤗
Kelly DjalaliNovember 14, 2022 at 5:22 pm
Good morning, Sally! I have heard of the La Fayette shopping centre, I will have to add to my list! Having enough time to do some side trips from Paris is a great idea. Thanks for stopping by! xo Kelly
Pam JohnsonNovember 14, 2022 at 6:46 pm
Thoroughly enjoying your blog and love your approach to visiting a city, not over scheduling, and developing little habits to feel like a regular!
Kelly DjalaliNovember 15, 2022 at 6:48 am
Hi Pam, Thank you so much! You know, picking a spot to regular while visiting a new place is probably my favorite (and quickest) way to get a feeling for being local. It’s especially great if you can communicate easily with the waitstaff. Thanks again for stopping by! xo Kelly
Connie MorganNovember 14, 2022 at 8:17 pm
Thank you, Kelly! I so enjoyed your beautiful pictures, tips and recommendations. What an incredible trip you and Beth had.
I have never been to Paris so your information is wonderful to take in.
Kelly DjalaliNovember 15, 2022 at 6:50 am
Thank you, Connie. I think a city like Paris can feel overwhelming if you have the idea that you have to see everything. As soon as one lets go of that, it can all feel a lot more manageable and enjoyable. Take care, xo Kelly
KenzieNovember 15, 2022 at 2:14 am
Looks like you have had a wonderful trip. Paris reveals new secrets every time you visit.
Kelly DjalaliNovember 15, 2022 at 6:51 am
Hi Kenzie, I imagine you’re 100% correct. I can’t wait to explore more of Paris! xo Kelly
Linda HNovember 15, 2022 at 8:54 am
Your photos are beautiful and brought back many memories of Paris. I love the European culture of walking almost everywhere. What fun you must of had taking a cooking class, especially in another country. So enjoyed your blog this morning, looking forward to Wednesday’s details! As much fun as it is to go, to learn and to see everything another country has to offer isn’t it always wonderful to come home?
Kelly DjalaliNovember 15, 2022 at 9:23 am
It really is wonderful to come home again, Linda. I used to get the post-vacation blues when I lived in California and worked a tough job…nowadays though, I am always so happy to come home! Thanks for stopping by, see you again for part 2 on Wednesday! xo Kelly
Deborah A BurnettNovember 15, 2022 at 7:27 pm
I LOVE Paris! My daughter studied there and lived in the 6th arrondissement (Montparnasse) on the block where Hemingway lived. Their save the date photo was taken in front of The Closerie des Lilas, where Hemingway wrote The Sun Also Rises. So glad you had a wonderful time!
Kelly DjalaliNovember 16, 2022 at 6:21 am
Hi Deborah, how wonderful! What a great opportunity for your daughter to live and study in Paris! Thank you for stopping by and sharing your Paris memories! xo Kelly
Mary HartmanNovember 16, 2022 at 12:25 pm
I am enjoying reading your posts about your trip to Paris. I appreciate the things you like to do. On a trip to London my late husband and I most enjoyed the local culture – we even went into grocery stores. Would you considered writing a post on trip planning? I could use all the help I can get.
Kelly DjalaliNovember 16, 2022 at 5:27 pm
Hi Mary, I am so glad you enjoyed my travel posts. I love going into grocery stores, or markets when I travel. It’s so fun to see the different things they have. I didn’t include it in this post but, I like to take pictures of the Lay’s potato chip flavors in different countries. They’re always SO different than what America has. In Paris I saw roasted chicken flavored potato chips and bolognese sauce flavored potato chips! Canada always kills me with the ketchup flavored potato chips, LOL!
What aspects of travel planning are you interested in reading about? Let me know! Thanks so much for stopping by today, xo Kelly