1. The glorious garden setting at Hotel Le Bristol is one of my all-time favorite spots in Paris for a stylish cocktail in summer. Eric Frechon’s starred restaurant, Epicure, also spills into the pretty courtyard garden when the weather is fine. It’s a great spot for people-watching and a popular Parisian meeting place at any time of the day. Relax under a shady white parasol and enjoy a light lunch, stop by for a reviving tisane and a pastry, or indulge in a memorable ‘High tea Le Bristol’
2. For the food-loving visitor, a jaunt to an open-air produce market is a quintessentially Parisian experience, throwing light on the character of a quarter and the rhythm of everyday life. Nestled conveniently between the Champs-Elysées and the Eiffel Tower, the atmospheric Marché President Wilson caters to the well-heeled 16th arrondissement and smart Parisians from across the river. Just one colourful aisle sweeps you into the French countryside, and at this time of the year, baskets brim with blushing peaches, bags of cherries and rustic berry tarts. Ripe artisanal cheeses and crackling baguettes plead to be taken on a picnic, and the array of flowers is simply breathtaking, with fragrant roses and peonies stacked into pretty mosaic hedges.
Avenue de Président Wilson from Place d’Iena to Rue Debrousse, 75016. Wed and Sat mornings from 8 am.
3. Brimming with poetry and charm, the Musée de la Vie Romantique (Museum of the Romantics) was built in Italian style as a private mansion in 1830 for the fashionable Dutch portrait painter Ary Scheffer. Here, he entertained a glitterati of guests, including Chopin and the Romantic feminist writer Baronne Dudevent, alias George Sand. Fans of Sand can catch a glimpse of her life and times on the ground floor. Amongst the treasures are plaster casts of Sand’s arm and Chopin’s hand – one of the few cues here to her eight-year love affair with the famous Romantic composer and pianist. The tucked-away museum is approached via a cobbled lane flanked with ivy and shaded by robinia trees in summer. Pastel-green shutters set the scene for tea under the trees in the peaceful little rose-and lilac-scented garden.
4. From President Wilson Market, stroll down to Place du Trocadéro and hop on the 30 bus at its terminus at the top of Avenue Kléber. The bus will whiz you around the Arc de Triomphe and drop you off at the marvellous Parc Monceau. It’s a lovely spot for a picnic; there’s a kiosk where you can buy drinks and ice cream, and a playground. The original gardens were known as the Folie de Chartres, and various architectural follies still remain, including a moss-covered Corinthian colonnade that runs around the edge of a lily pond. Be sure to take a photo through the park’s ornate grille on Avenue Van-Dyck back towards the Arc de Triomphe.
5. Make a trip to Paris memorable by renting an apartment with Paris Perfect. Freed from the limitations of a hotel room, an apartment allows you to fall in step with the rituals of everyday life and live like a Parisian. Such joy comes from nicking down to la boulangerie early in the morning to return with a bag of warm, sweet-scented pastries, or relaxing over an alfresco lunch on the balcony with produce from the local market. The company was started by a Franco-American couple as a way of sharing their love for the city, and all of their hand-picked luxury rentals are in quarters with a neighbourhood feel.
Jane Paech grew up on a farm in South Australia, where her lifelong love of food was born. Living in Manhattan further ignited her passion for both food and travel, and when an opportunity to live in Paris arose, she turned from a career in nursing to travel writing, unable to resist documenting all the wonderful sights, smells and tastes she discovered.
Her work has been featured in various publications including Australian Gourmet Traveller, Qantas inflight magazine and The Australian. She is the author of A Family in Paris: Stories of food, life and adventure, published by Lantern imprint, Penguin Australia, which won the Australian category for Food Literature at the prestigious Gourmand World
Cookbook Awards in 2012. The International Assn of Culinary Professionals shortlisted A Family in Paris for best ‘Culinary Travel’. Delicious Days in Paris is her second book by Lantern. Jane currently lives in Adelaide, South Australia. For more information and where to buy visit: knifeandforkintheroad.com.