Buddymoon: a trip taken by two good friends.
Everyone should have a buddymoon to unplug from the routine and revamp their life – after all, there’s nothing like spending time with good friends to create an abundance of jokes and memories that will last a life time.
One of the top world destinations for travel (and frequently visited by honeymooners and buddymooners around the globe) is Paris, France.
Easily one of the most beautiful and romantic places on earth which is evident when one takes a stroll that yields rows of stunning vistas. Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Opera Garnier, Jardin des Tuileries – the list goes on with one enthralling line item after another.
You might already know some of the most popular tourist attractions in the city, but for those looking for top insider suggestions on what to do in the proclaimed City of Love – read along.
W Paris Opera is a blitz of New York energy in the heart of Paris located near the Palais Garnier opera house and a five minute walk to the Louvre. The first W Hotel in Paris, this 91-room establishment, is in a prime location surrounded by two metro stops, popular landmarks and boutiques. Located in the 1870s Haussmann-era building, W is filled with a modern vibe that’s consistent globally and can’t be replicated. As someone who has stayed in various W locations, the chain never seems to disappoint with their top notch friendly staff and the superb service. The rooms, in addition to stylish furnishings that combine sleek furniture and unusual touches, are equipped for a tech-savvy traveler (iPod docking station, a 40-inch TVs and a charging station with plugs for 11 devices).
Looking around the hotel to gage the demographic, it appears this contemporary luxury in heart of Paris appeals to the super trend-conscious (or maybe those looking for a change from the city’s Old World charm). To go with its modern vibe, W also offers concierge service called “W Insider” that allows one to experience a different side of Paris with access not found anywhere else. The resident W Insider in Paris is Johanna – a local in-the-know tastemaker amplifying traveler experiences one at a time. As someone whose job is to know what’s new and hot in the city, Johanna caters suggestions to your interest and is a great asset to W Paris. Be sure to take advantage of next level experiences with Johanna’s help if you find yourself at W Paris.
What is arguably one of the most breath taking views of Eiffel Tower from a restaurant in Paris, Maison Blanche is a must for anyone who’s looking to dine with a view. Located on the rooftop of the Théâtre des Champs Elysées, the ambiance of the restaurant evolved since the creation in 1990. The executive Chef Fabrice Giraud delights the audience with an exquisite cuisine drawn from a multitude of inspirations and an ever evolving menu.
The place is iconic in its exceptional character, offering one of the most incredible views over the capital in a breathtaking setting in the sleek and stylish décor.
However, Maison Blanche is memorable not only for its breathtaking view but also for its staff – absolutely one of the most standout services. If you come for lunch, you can expect to see a business crowd compiled of politicians, celebrities and high-flying businessmen who have been discussing world issues in these walls for the last 25 years. However, in the evening the restaurant converts into a different atmosphere as friends share drinks and lovebirds enjoy a quiet dinner with a romantic view.
The spot is famous for its prestigious parties as leading brands organize their private events. The restaurant has hosted the likes of Dior, Chanel, Cartier, Porsche, Michelin, and Moët Hennessy. This gem in the centre of the city is a must visit.
Located in Scribe (managed by Sofitel), The Lumière’s breathes gastronomy and fine dining. The restaurant uses the top products and presents them in way that never fails to astonish. As you are seated, you will be presented with a glass of champagne to accompany your lunch. The gesture is extremely fitting for the regal atmosphere that includes a glass roof, bathing its visitors in light from the restaurant courtyard – a unique aspect of the place.
Similar to many buildings in Paris – the restaurant also carries history. The name comes from a tribute to the Lumière brothers, inventors of the cinema, who held their first public screening at the Scribe. Without a doubt, this is evident throughout as the venue blends gastronomy and creativeness which can be seen in the food presentations.
You could easily spend hours sitting in Cafe Marly while taking in the view. The cafe is named after the Marly courtyard filled with French sculptures from the seventeenth century. Café Marly has one of the best terraces in the city with a direct view of the famous glass pyramid of IM Pei and the food is just as exquisite with an impressive lunch menu.
Easily one of the best lunch secrets of the capital.
Provocatively named ‘coquette’, the restaurant is W’s charming dining pearl. Chef Jimmy Desrivieres combines the energy and cosmopolitan dining scene Paris offers to surely impress the travellers staying in the hotel and those making trip for the impressive dining. The menu is extremely diverse and catered to vegetarians and meat lovers alike with knowledgeable staff to answer any gastronomic and sommelier questions. With impressive food presentation, Coquette is a fantastic place to start your night in Paris.
If you’re looking for a truly one of a kind experience, earlier in 2015 Shangri-La Hotel, Paris launched a first in the world of Parisian palace hotels by hosting a series of “100% Green Dinners”. On the first Thursday of each month, La Bauhinia presents a special five-course vegetable-focused menu and invites one of the hotel’s exceptional French market purveyors to meet with diners. To further enhance the evening, La Bauhinia is transformed with nature-inspired decor and a DJ to create a celebratory atmosphere.
Shangri-La Hotel, Paris Executive Chef Christophe Moret has been cultivating his nature-driven cuisine since his arrival at the hotel in January 2015. As the grandson of a market gardener, it was natural for him to imagine a “Rooted in Nature” menu that placed vegetables at the forefront without sacrificing taste and pleasure. Guided by values that are dear to his heart – freshness, local, transparent, and ethical – the chef creates each Thursday a different green menu full of vibrant and complex flavours such as Tomato Bloody Mary and Spring Rolls made from watermelon stuffed with soup herbs; Kasha and Green Vegetables En Cocotte with almond milk; Turnips and Red Beetroots roasted in a wood-burning oven and Tofu Ravioli with borsch vinaigrette; Strawberries scented with Sangria, and coconut and lime sorbet.
Perfect for a low key detox evening, prepare to walk away energized with a healthy start to the weekend.
Upon walking into the restaurant, you are able to see a buzzing crowd full of trendy Parisians. Located in the Beaugrenelle Centre, designer Tom Dixon turned a street front dining space into a destination eatery with late-night lounge and fashion following. The space is surrounded in glass with plenty of bronze from chandelier to cutlery that illuminates exotic stone or shimmery gold tabletops. A partial open kitchen gives glimpses of behind the scenes. The restaurant offers an exotically delicious menu filled with meats, cheese and French staples such as foie gras and tartares.
With a visual aesthetic that’s popular with the trendy crowd, Eclectic proves a worthy dining gem for the eyes and palette.
Yeels is a Parisian supper club for the elite and fashion crowd. A mix of a posh supper club that turns into a full blown champagne dance floor, the space is divided between a series of parlors that include an extraordinary main dining room, lounge and mezzanine bar enveloped in black marbles, bronze detailing and vivid upholstery. Dinner is a grand addtion; however, those who come typically come to be seen for the nightlife. Under the ownership of a Russian business man who prefers to remain unknown, you can expect an A-List crowd on weekends with pedigree DJs worthy of your time. Catering to urban professionals in the city, Yeels is one of a kind night spot in Paris.
Visit – More Things Worth Seeing
Merci – Home furnitures, clothes, jewelry, books.
Colette – For exclusive and luxury pieces
Archive 18/20 – A brand new multibrands store for men and women, complete with a brewery.
Hermes Flashship Store – Complete with an Hermes tea cafe.
La compagnie des vins surnaturels – Chic. Cozy. With more than 600 different wines from all over the world to taste, one of the greatest wine bars in the city.
Les Dilletantes – Open the door of this champagne cellar to discover a place like no other. Complete with tasting workshops – perfect for the lovers of bubbles.
Moonshiner – A speakeasy hidden behind an Italian pizzeria.
Place des Vosges and Carette coffee – a famous and historical square in the centre of Paris.
Canal Saint Martin – an area where the locals love to go out for drinks and dinner.
Rue Montorgueil – a pedestrian street filled with French groceries, restaurants and stores.
Bonus: Visit Lyon
Located just two hours away from Paris by train, Lyon is a must visit for foodies of the world even if for a day. The proclaimed “gastronomic capital of the world”, the city is off the beaten path for your average traveller. One of Lyon’s main attractions is its extraordinary dining scene—the city has more well renowned restaurants per square mile than any other European city except Paris.
Without a doubt, the best hotel in Lyon recognized by globetrotters and locals alike. In the heart of Lyon’s Presqu’ile quarter, lies the cubist architecture of the Sofitel Lyon Bellecour. After opening in 1969, the Sofitel Lyon Bellecour quickly built itself a fine reputation. It is the place to stay for rich and famous along with being leading luxury hotel that manages to stay ahead of the competition. As soon as you walk into the hotel, the feeling of luxury is evident. Chandeliers, colour schemes, majestic lobby, cozy fireplace all portray emblematic fine living associated with the brand.
The rooms in the hotel are superb. The suites often overlook the river Rhône, with extravagant surroundings and warm colours. One is able to tell if the hotel is truly a give star by the details and Sofitel surely prides itself in the minor elements such as Hermes amenities, multi-jet showers, customized play lists, and personal trainers in the FIT facility. It is clear, that the hotel aims to please visitors who appreciate beauty, quality, and excellence.
Being the gastronomic capital of the world, Lyon has many gastronomic gems to offer. However, you don’t need to look far away from Sofitel to find one of the best restaurants in the city: Les Trois Domes is located on the eighth floor of the hotel providing magnificent views of Lyon.
The restaurant has one Michelin star and serves the many around fresh seasonal ingredients. Needless to say, when the chef says he will prepare a special customized menu, we try to act casual while jumping up and down inside with difficulty in containing our excitement. The verdict? This dinner at Les Trois Domes makes it one of the top three all time dining experiences by far. From the service, the sommelier pairings, the display, ingredients, the taste, the presentation – it doesn’t come with a surprise that this is a Michelin star restaurant that’s rated one of the best in the food capital of the world.
It is truly an exceptional dining experience at a restaurant that is widely regarded as one of the best in Lyon. Excellent French wines and local cheese are amongst some of the menu items you will not be able to experience elsewhere, allowing for a unique touch.
Following a delicious meal, guests are able to enjoy a sophisticated jazz bar opposite the restaurant. It seems like a necessity at this point to have a digestif while listening to the soothing voice of a local jazz singer as she serenades the crowd in French while we sit there falling under the love spell of France.
Until next time France – we miss you already.