12 Hours of Art in Paris
WHAT TO DO WITH JUST 12 HOURS IN PARIS (FOR ART LOVERS)
I love Paris. As a self-confessed dreamer, there are few things I love more than romanticising and daydreaming myself around a new city. So, it’s no surprise that I was instantly wooed by the amorously alluring city of lights.
I’ve been lucky enough to have been on a few work trips to Paris and I always try and squeeze as much out of my time there as I possibly can. As always, spending only 12 hours exploring any city so brimming with life, history and culture is almost an impossible task. None the less it is one I tackle with delight, vigour and much optimism.
9am: When in Paris for one day only, one must start the day right. With coffee and pastries galore in my favourite part of Gay Paree, Le Marais. Although you can’t really go wrong with pastries in Paris, there is a one cafe that holds a particularly special place in my heart and that is Rose Bakery.
10am: Since your in the area, and also because what better to start your day than taking a trip to take a trip down modern arts memory lane, visit Musée National Picasso-Paris. Immerse yourself in the life of one of surrealism’s greatest students and be transported to a more poetic time.
11am: Next on my list is a quick visit to Shakespear and Company book store to bask in literary utopia and marvel at the vast repository of second hand books.
12.30pm: If you’ve read any of my other blogs (namely my top 15 Asian restaurants in London that won’t break the bank) you will know I regularly hunt out the best salty and satisfying noodle soups a city has to offer. I would highly recommend trying My Noodles, it’s nothing fancy but exceptionally good value and packs some serious flavour. You will find it just a bit further south across the river but well worth the short walk. They make their noodles fresh every few hours in front of you and they are that perfect gooey texture that noodle dreams are made of. However, if you fancy something a little more french, since you are only here for 12 hours after all, I would recommend Cafe Charlot. This is a lovely old school traditional French Cafe/Brasserie where I have whittled away many hours people watching and beret spotting.
2pm: After lunch I would venture out of the Le Marias district to visit the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris for a wealth of the artistic creation in XXth and XXIth centuries and testifies of the dynamism of the contemporary artistic scene.
4pm: Next, I would visit Palais de Tokyo just next door bringing you the artists of our time with contemporary artistic creations from across Europe.
7/8pm: I have 4 different dinner recommendations around this area depending on your budget, they are all seasonal french restaurants.
Les Grandes Verres - you will have to book in advance to get the best seats in the restaurant (the only seats with a view of the Eiffel tower) but this restaurant is great food and the best value you’re going to get in such a touristy area. It’s situated right next to Palais de Tokyo. You can get the full monty (drinks, starters mains and dessert) for around £40 per head.
Les Ombres - slightly more expensive, you’re probably looking at around £65 but you’ll get a more sophisticated dining experience, and a guaranteed (as well as much closer) view of the the Eiffel tower.
58 Tour Eiffel - The best seat in the house - inside the Eiffel tower itself. You can get a three course meal with drinks for around £90 per head, which considering the location, I think it’s well worth the cash.
Ducasse sur Seine - A bit of a blow out wild card - this is a boat cruise around the city starting from the Eiffel tower for around, including a 4 course meal for around £150 per head.
And there you have it. 12 hours of art and food in Paris well spent. I have grown such an affinity for the land of mystique, love and romance, although I have been countless times, I find myself being drawn back there time after time.