What would your perfect day in Paris look like? Depending on your tastes, it could mean boutique hopping in the Marais and a coffee at a nearby café, or attending an art exhibition at the Musée d’Orsay before wandering the lesser-known back streets of this intriguing city.
We’re delving into the lives of some well-known Parisians to find out what they would consider an ideal day in Paris in our new series My Perfect Day in Paris.
To kick off the series, we spoke with Lindsey Tramuta, an American journalist and bestselling author of The New Paris: the People, Places & Ideas Fueling a Movement who has called Paris’ 11th arrondissement home since 2006. Ideally, if money was of no consequence, she’d start her day with breakfast at the Hôtel de Crillon with her husband and her two cats. But since that may not be realistic…
A Morning of Cat Cuddles and Coffee
I’d start the day without an alarm, wake up naturally with my husband, and spend time (more than usual) lounging with my two cats, Leo and Charlie. Charlie is particularly affectionate in the morning and will bury himself beneath the covers and snuggle up between us. Usually, one of us is in a bit of a rush and can’t enjoy the moment as long as we’d like, so this would have no hard stop—perhaps only when Charlie decides he’s had enough and wriggles out. Then, my husband would make coffee and we’d go out for a leisurely breakfast to either Café Méricourt or Holybelly 19. Later, we’d swing by Dreamin Man for Japanese pudding and perfect café crèmes before heading out for the afternoon.
An Afternoon of Art and Patisserie
I’m obsessed with the Jardin du Palais Royal and its relative calm given its location in the heart of the city. I’d sit in one of the reclining green chairs and read and write for hours… (or until my back says j’en ai marre!), getting up only for an ice cream from the Senoble cart that’s usually parked beside the main fountain. I’d go to the Louvre with Inge, a terrific guide for Paris Muse, and revisit the Dutch artists I discovered with her on a tour I took several months ago. I loved her storytelling and I how transported I felt—not to mention this wing is generally far less crowded. Then I’d spend some time perusing books at Galignani, one of my favorite bookstores in the city, before cycling back into the Marais for tea time at Bontemps Pâtisserie. If I’m lucky, their flambéed banana caramel sablé will be on offer and I’ll get a couple to savor with a cup of tea.
An Intimate Dinner Out
My husband and I would meet our closest friends for dinner at Robert, one of our favorite restaurants. I’d order whatever seasonal vegetable starter chef Pete Orr is offering and his fresh pasta main—they never disappoint. We’d discuss everything from politics and pop culture to travel plans and books we’re reading, as we always do.
I’ve never been a partier or a night owl so we’d head home by 22:30, slip into our PJs, and watch a show as the cats snuggle up at our feet. It’s a lot like our normal evenings, but we’d feel no pressure to go above and beyond what we already know makes us happy. Usually bedtime is announced by Charlie positioning himself at the end of the bed, waiting for us to tuck ourselves in.
Lindsey’s Perfect Paris Itinerary
- Hôtel de Crillon – 10 Place de la Concorde, 75008 Paris
- Café Méricourt – 22 Rue de la Folie Méricourt, 75011 Paris
- Holybelly 19 – 19 Rue Lucien Sampaix, 75010 Paris
- Dreamin Man – 140 Rue Amelot, 75011 Paris
- Jardin du Palais Royal – 2 Galerie de Montpensier, 75001 Paris
- Louvre Museum – Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris
- Librairie Galignani – 224 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris
- Bontemps Pâtisserie – 57 Rue de Bretagne, 75003 Paris
- Robert – 32 Rue de la Fontaine au Roi, 75011 Paris
Lindsey is a Paris-based journalist and author of The New Paris. Her work appears regularly in the New York Times, Condé Nast Traveler, Afar, Fortune Magazine, and other publications. Her next book, which will be released in April 2020, looks at the women shaping Paris. You can follow Lindsey on Instagram and Twitter, and tune in to her podcast The New Paris on iTunes.