One Romantic Day in Paris


Jun 12th, 2013, 07:53 PM
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One Romantic Day in Paris

My husband and I will have one day in Paris (after having been in France/Italy with his family, and before he leaves and my family arrives). It will be Monday the 23rd of July. We are not interested in doing any of the big tourist attractions as we've been to Paris several times before.

What I'm hoping for are some ideas for a lovely romantic day. I'm thinking a picnic somewhere would be great. We also love sitting at a cafe and watching the world go by. We also like offbeat art. We're both cyclists so if there was something that involved cycling that would be cool - but not necessary.

I'm not a wing it kind of person - I'd rather have a good starting plan and then take the day as it comes. So if we're doing a picnic, knowing where we will procure our picnic goods (a great market?) and where we plan to picnic are important.

We won't be doing anything super early as my husband is not a morning person! We also want to have a romantic dinner, but as I have a train at 7 and he has a plane at 9:30am it won't be a big night.

We are staying at Hotel Relais Saint Sulpice in the 6th.

Thanks in advance!
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Jun 12th, 2013, 09:18 PM
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Some of our favorite romantic places and activities in and near Paris include the Place des Vosges, an afternoon on bicycles in the gardens at Versailles, the garden of the Rodan Museum, a visit to the Jacquemart Andre museum with lunch in the dining room, a picnic bought on the rue Cler and a bench with an Eiffel Tower view, sunset cruise on the Seine. Of course with the location of your hotel a walk in the park or the islands would be lovely as well.
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Jun 13th, 2013, 05:04 AM
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Is that 7 AM and 9 AM the next day?

Scootoir's suggestions are all excellent, though you can't do them all and I certainly would not go all the way to Rue Cler to buy a picnic since as-good-as or better streets are all over Paris.

I like the idea of a cruise on the Seine ending your day, from the Pont Neuf. It won't be really dark, but you can walk back to your hotel fairly quickly, so you will be relaxed.

To take a cruise on the Seine, you will need an early dinner. I would go to Bofinger, since they will have all-day service as a brasserie. If it is not crowded, it is very romantic under the dome and worth asking for.

Why Bofinger? Well, it is just around the corner from the Place des Vosges, which I agree you should see if you don't already know it. Nice places to stop for a drink.

How do you get to the Place des Vosges? Well, I would window shop my way down the Rue des Francs Bourgeois and some of the other boutique filled streets in the area, or I might go to the Musee Picasso, also nearby.

I like Scootoir's idea of lunch at the Jacquemart Andre because it will be light and delicious and because you will see how a couple who loved each other very much built a house together, an amazing house.

If your husband likes to sleep late, then you can have an overpriced cup of coffee and a pastry at Café Flore or the Deux Magot at St Germain, frequented by those bizarre lovers Sartre and de Beauvoir and their lovers also. Very confusing.
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Jun 13th, 2013, 10:06 AM
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Excellent suggestions!

Here's what I'm thinking so far...

Coffee & Pastry at Les Deux Magot
Picnic in Place des Vosges - Would rather not have lunch and dinner at a restaurant. **Where to buy food??**
Passage de Retz
Dinner at Bofinger
Seine Cruise from Pont Neuf

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Jun 14th, 2013, 07:14 AM
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There are tons of places to buy food along rue de rivoli if you come at Place de Vosges from that side and even a Monorix with a full grocery on the lower level


71 rue Saint Antoine (which is just the continuation of Rivoli)
75004 PARIS
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Jun 14th, 2013, 07:18 AM
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Oh I fogot-IMO you can do better than Bofinger for dinner, but depends what you are looking for. Here are two food blogs I follow for Paris:

By Alexander Lobrano who was the food critic for Gourmet Magazine and wrote a good restaurant guide for Paris called Hungry for Paris:

BY David Lebowitz who used to work at Chez Panisse as a pastry chef, Living the Sweet Life in Paris:
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Jun 14th, 2013, 08:13 AM
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I'm just listening to Living the Sweet Life!

I'm tempted by Bofinger because my husband isn't a huge fan of the more traditional French food - but he loves Alsacian food. However, just looking at some reviews and it does seem to have gone downhill. Hmmm.

Any other suggestions?
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Jul 1st, 2013, 07:16 AM
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Jul 1st, 2013, 11:05 AM
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I like Bofinger, never thought of it as Alsatian, but maybe because I only eat fish there, so I didn't notice Alsatian food.

Personally, I don't think a picnic in Place des Vosges is remotely romantic or even pleasant, ugh. Tons of people everywhere, dust, bums sitting around on park benches, etc. What does that even mean, by you want a picnic? I think what people mean when they say that is they buy takeout and go sit on a bench and eat it in the park, and I don't think place des Vosges is that great a place myself. Wouldn't it be more pleasant and comfortable to just pick a nice cafe and eat there? If you want a view of place des Vosges, there are several around it. It would certainly be a lot easier and more comfortable.

There are some parks I think are more relaxing and have some prettier areas, and are bigger, such as Luxembourg Gardens or Parc Monceau, and maybe more shade, also. One really nice park is Montsouris, but that's not as conveniently central. I think they even have a restaurant there.
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Jul 1st, 2013, 07:17 PM
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I second Christina on Luxembourg Gardens or Parc Monceau for a picinic. They are both perfect for a picnic. Also, what about sitting down below on the edge of the Seine? Every time we visit Paris I see couples sitting by the water's edge with their picnics. Always looks very romantic. There is a park at the tip of Ille de la Cite, I think, that several have recommended.
I also remember a lovely picinic my DH and I had in the Tuilliries before a sunset concert at St Chapelle. Wherever you decide, it will be your special memory.
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Jul 1st, 2013, 08:40 PM
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Excellent. Thanks so much for the suggestions!
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Jul 1st, 2013, 09:16 PM
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If when you leave the Pompidou, you head up a half block to Rue Rambuteau and walk east on Rambuteau, you will come to any number of small delightful food markets. Very good bakeries and other places for fruit and veg and deli type provisions. Those first few blocks of Rambuteau heading east from the Pompidou have lots of lovely food shops.

Otherwise, look up market for this day (Monday, I think?) and stroll and peruse and provision yourselves. I call that fun and romantic.
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Jul 1st, 2013, 09:32 PM
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that's exactly the kind of advice I was looking for tuscanlifeedit - thanks!
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Jul 2nd, 2013, 05:51 PM
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My recommendation is a leisurely stroll through Pere Lachaise cemetary.

I know... the idea of walking through graves sounds morbid and a complete opposite of romantic. However, my personal experience with Pere Lachaise has been nothing but relaxing, spiritual and "romantic".

The cemetary is beautiful. I haven't been there in the summer time which I can't wait to experience in a couple months when I go. There are quiet spots everywhere that are away from the tourists who are looking for Jim Morrison, Chopin or Oscar Wilde. You can find a bench to sit and enjoy the picnic and reflect on "life"...

Well... if you absoutely find my idea obsurd, my 2nd recommendaion would be the Rodin museum. I love the garden. The only thing I'm unsure of is how private and quiet it'd be in the summer high season.

Best of luck and enjoy your romantic day in Paris.
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Jul 2nd, 2013, 05:54 PM
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This bike tour was the highlight of one of my trips to Paris: The downside is that you would be with a group.
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Jul 2nd, 2013, 06:03 PM
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In the 6th you can get your picnic at Da Rosa Cantine/Epicerie; for dinner try Guy Savoy's Bouquinistes on the Seine, left bank in the 6th as well. So delish, if not romantic. Perhaps make a reservation for an over-the-top lunch in case the weather does ot cooperate -- Grand Vefour??
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Jul 2nd, 2013, 08:24 PM
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Check for ideas about what to pick up where (picnic or on the go food), as well as restaurant guidance.

In addition to the parks/gardens mentioned above, some places I've had picnics (the sit on a bench with food kind of picnic) include

Jardin des Plantes

And even the Jardin Tino Rossi

I wouldn't necessarily seek these out; however if your wanderings put you nearby, there's interesting scenery and people watching both places.

Otherwise Parc Monceau would be my ideal destination-picnic spot. But I've never specifically tried to have a picnic, much less a romantic one.
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Jul 3rd, 2013, 08:27 AM
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I recommend Gerard Mulot (near the Odeon Metro stop in the 6th) to pick up your picnic. The food and shop are beautiful! The have all kinds of things to take away for a picnic. I would go to Luxembourg Gardens for the picnic.
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Jul 3rd, 2013, 10:41 AM
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Gerard Mulot looks absoultely perfect! Thanks denisea. Here's a link to the website for anyone who is interested -

vivace98 - I don't find that idea absurd at all!!! Normally I love cemeteries, but we've had a few too many deaths in our families this past year so probably not a great idea for this time - but I'll definitely keep that in my ideas for another time.

And thanks everyone for all the picnic location ideas! I'll report back how it went.
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