Monday, February 11, 2013
If you were single and Valentine’s Day was right around the corner, what would you do? If you were me, you would travel to the most romantic city in the world. Not because you’re a glutton for punishment, but because there’s no better place to find love than in the city that inspires it most: Paris.
Last week I headed to the French capital for two days to fall in love with my favorite city in the world all over again. To sigh longingly over its beautiful architecture, embrace its charming style, and kiss the sugared lips of its sweet pastries.
To that end, I went straight to one of the city’s most famous luxury hotels when I arrived: the Four Seasons George V. As if it knew that I was coming to find love, the hotel was bursting with flowers. The resident florist, acclaimed Jeff Leatham, had garlanded the high-ceilinged lobby with a green-and-fuchsia extravaganza.
Upstairs, my newly renovated room awaited. The hotel had offered it to me on a complimentary basis for the night, but I would have been willing to pay a handsome sum to spend an evening there. Spacious and bright, its mint, lavender, and cream color scheme made me feel like I was cocooned in a Laduree macaron.
And speaking of food, downstairs I enjoyed a big breakfast of lemon and ricotta pancakes in the stunning gallery as well as a plate of perfect petit fours and a punch cocktail in the sumptuous bar.
My love affair continued with indulgence at the spa at the George V. From the sauna to the steam room, it was an utterly relaxing experience. And that’s to say nothing of the pool and hot tub, which were surrounded by classical paintings and set under a ceiling that looked like the sky.
But my love of the hotel couldn’t trump that of my love of the city beyond its luxurious walls. To that end, I left my pretty room a few times to spend some time outside.
One such venture involved a walk past the Eiffel Tower and into St Germain for lunch at my favorite hidden gem in Paris, Cuisine de Bar. My artichoke and sun-dried tomato tartine was blissfully good, proving, as Paris has always known, that the way to my heart is through my stomach.
Similarly delicious experiences were had in the Marais, where I met up with friends for coffee at a new cafe called Pinson and a restaurant called Glou. Later I went with one of them to a funky cafe called Le Loir dans la Theiere, where we humored our sweet tooths with carrot cake and the biggest lemon meringue tart I’ve ever seen.
Closer to the hotel, I had dinner with another friend at Chez Andre, a brasserie so classic that it was almost a caricature of itself. The food was great—my poached eggs and mushrooms in Burgundy sauce was a big winner—, the ambiance buzzing, and the silver fox of a server so harmlessly flirtatious that we couldn’t help batting our lashes coquettishly.
At the end of my short stay in Paris, I checked out of the George V and traveled back to London. Even with just two days in France, I found that I had not only renewed my affections for the city I love, but also found new reasons to adore it. Happy Valentine’s Day, Paris. Je t’aime. xx