Nicolas Blain

I fell in love in Paris—such a cliché, I know. But luckily, the person I fell in love with has no tolerance for Parisian clichés, so I know this is the real deal. Could we have fallen in love in, let’s say, Detroit? Yes, it just wouldn’t have been quite so awesome.

Here’s how it went down, in case you’d like to consult my love map as you chart your own course.

Aux Folies & Café Charlot (Akuppa; Winter d’Adulescent)

Nice To Meet You: We actually met twice—first at a house party, and then a year later at one of my most-frequented bars, La Perle (made famous by John Galliano’s rant). Our next meet-ups were at Aux Folies and then at Chez Jeanette. It’s no coincidence that these are still my preferred Parisian watering holes.

First Date: Ours was on-the-fly. After a long day of wandering around Parc Monceau and the Musée Camondo, we drifted over to Café Constant, and finished the night at La Mer à Boire. Not a bad way to spend a day.

Parc Monceau (Christophe Alary)

Romantic Getaway: Early on, we took an impromptu road trip to Normandy. When we mistakenly drove three hours in the wrong direction without caring one bit, we knew we were really in love.

Group Date: When I started publicly flaunting my new beau, we met up with friends at Aux Deux Amis, where we ordered up a bevy of small plates and worked our way through a few bottles of wine.

Bistrot du Peintre (Julien Hausherr)

Committed: Our current LDR (Long Distance Relationship) status prevents us from being real regulars anywhere, but if we had to eat out twice a day, I think Bistrot du Peintre (for lunch) and Café Charlot (for dinner) would suit us quite nicely.

On the Rocks: There’s nothing about Café des Musées that should necessarily be fight-inducing—it’s a perfectly lovely place. If you happen, however, to feel a tiff coming on, ask for a table in the cave. It’s hidden away and you can squabble without making a scene.  (This may or not be based on personal experience).

Musée Camondo (Samwisegamgee69; Jason Whittacker)

Meeting the family: When my uncle swept into town, we all met up at Bistro Paul Bert. It’s the kind of place where everyone feels comfortable—lively but not too loud, trendy but not too sleek. The menu is concise but always chock-full of seasonal dishes. After a bottle of Cahors and a round of Calvados, we bid adieu and my uncle promptly emailed the rest of my family to report that G was “worthy of my hand.”

Settling down: We love Parisian restaurants, but our best meals are those we cook up in G’s tiny little kitchen, using ingredients from local traiteurs and Paris’ unsung culinary hero: Monoprix. When I first made David Lebovitz’s Chocolate Idiot Cake (it really is that easy), I knew I had G hooked.

Taxidermy from the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature (Julien Hausherr)

And that’s as far as I’ve gotten. I imagine that the Canal St. Martin would be a nice place to get engaged and the Musée de la Chasse would be the perfect spot for my weirdo wedding reception, but we’ll cross those bridges when we come to them (hint hint).

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Written by Tory Hoen for the HiP Paris Blog. Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, Provence, or Tuscany? Check out Haven in.

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Tory Hoen

Tory Henwood Hoen has been published by New York Magazine, Vogue, Condé Nast Traveler, Bon Appétit, Fortune, and others. She was Creative Director of Brand at M.M.LaFleur, where she founded the brand’s digital magazine, The M Dash. Her debut novel, The Arc, is available in bookshops near you and online.


  1. This is really precious. I love the phases, and the whole weekend getaway is so true! L and mine was to Dublin. HA! Although falling in love with a Frenchman is somewhat cliché, whatevs, we are living it!

    And Musée de la Chasse is phenomenal. I dream of a wedding reception in the Musée des Arts Forains. BRILLIANT.

    Great share 🙂

  2. Pas mal, Tory! G is clearly a keeper given the venue selections of the first few dates. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for a wedding reception amongst all the animals in the not-too-distant future!

  3. wonderful Tory; I wish you all the happiness you undoubtedly deserve 🙂
    I LOVE going to the Peintre; they are always nice (even when harassed and overworked), the atmosphere is as parisian as it gets, the food too and the beautiful and authentic set-up is in my archives in hundreds of photos!!!
    One idea though; I KNOW you love the Taxidermy stuff but PLEEEEAAAASE NOT for a wedding reception…. it really could put people off! 🙂
    Have a lovely summer; it has been 36C yesterday and 32 today – far too hot – but brilliant!

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