Paris Travel Guide: The Non Tourist Way to Stay, Eat & Drink in the City of Love

As I’ve shared here in the past, I was fortunate enough to study abroad in France during college, which resulted in Paris forever holding a special place in my heart. My never-ending love affair with the city and be it any and all things French has never wavered. I’ve been back several times since college but this recent trip was a tad different.

I didn’t stay in a beautiful tiny apartment or in an off-the-beaten path boutique hotel only known to those who reside in Paris, instead I found myself cozied up in the sleekest of all luxurious, dreamy places … The Peninsula Paris. This hotel might just be the epitome of French chic, a feeling that you’ve been transported back to the glamorous roaring 20s in Paris.   I ventured across the Atlantic with my fellow Dallas blogging gal Brooke of One Small Blonde  and Strong Travels to experience Paris in a new way, a way in only which their team could show Paris.

Stay at: The Peninsula Paris

My flight was shockingly early, we caught a lovely tailwind and wound up landing in just under 5 hours. Unheard of I know but the Peninsula had tracked my flight so when I arrived with glazed eyes and looking less than stellar, their team was ready for me. They whisked me up to my room for a shower and a nap before the rest of the team from Dallas arrived. This is the type of service is what dreams are made of am I right or what?

The location? While the 16th arrondissement is in somewhat of a high tourist trafficked area it was perfect for our four-day trip.  Having lived in a city for most my life I can say that being close to public transportation is crucial to keeping your sanity when you are short on time.  We were walking distance or a short uber ride to everywhere we needed to go.

The Peninsula itself is everything you would expect it to be and then some. Aside from the wonderful team on hand to assist in every way possible, the property has some of the most breathtaking views of the city. Reserve the corner table at L’Oiseau Blanc on the 6th floor for the most Instagram worthy shot of the Eiffel Tower, only to be complete with a glass of bubbly in hand to truly take in the full 360 degree views. Want to be outside? Head to the terrace at Le Rooftop to take in a magical sunset. In the cooler months, they have heaters outside which I will be taking advantage of this fall when I head back to Paris.

With the leg lag and the long days of visiting properties we were spent on our first night so spent the evening on the roof and then popped into Le Bar Kléber, their cozy cocktail bar downstairs, that was downright perfect for a night cap!

Other options: 

We had so much time to spend in the city and it is (and forever will be) one of my absolute favorite cities in the world. I know that not everyone has the same travel taste which is why I’m always giving you guys a variety of options when it comes to where to stay.

One thing the city of love has is a billion incredibly beautiful air bnbs to rent. Yes even dreamy ones with balconies over looking the Eiffel Tower (as seen here!) Paris is one of the best places to do an house like stay at in my opinion. Go to the market. Get the food. Cook the food. Drink the wine. Enjoy life!

Eat at:

The French just understand food in a whole different way. They understand that you don’t want to compromise taste, that it’s all about savoring your meal as opposed to rushing through it like a crazed lunatic because it is a meal not a marathon. While we didn’t have an exorbitant amount of time to dine we did have the opportunity to enjoy a few meals while grabbing bites on the go.  I’ll be sharing my go-to spots in a future post very soon but until then these are by far my favorites from this trip!

  • Have brunch at Ellsworth, it’s casual but that’s what I love about Paris dining. Not too stuffy and is near the Palais-Royal. You can’t go wrong I promise.
  • Absolutely obsessed with Freddy’s. It is in one of my absolute favorite neighborhoods in Paris, the St.-Germain-des-Prés quarter. Expect a daily selection of tapas, a divine wine list and an open kitchen to watch all of the action. I just need them to open this spot up in NYC!
  • LouLou’s is quite possibly perfect in my books. A huge terrace with delicious food in Paris? What more could a girl ask for?
  • Get a Nutella and banana crepe from a cart. Trust me. You wont regret it or pop into Breizh Café to get your crepe fill. (That’s me above, just living my best life with a crepe in hand waiting for some cute French guy to bicycle me around!)
  • Café Francais, another spot owned by the Costes brothers who pretty much own all of the restaurants in Parisand now I know why. We had Sunday dinner here and it Parisian heaven. The setting was dimly lit, plush velvet seating and candle filled candelabras.

Drink at:

The Hemingway Bar at Hotel Ritz. No questions this was undoubtedly one of the coolest experiences that I’ve had to date in Paris. It was somewhat surreal to be in such a historic bar,  enjoying a cocktail with just our small group. I felt at home with its extensive whiskey offering, cozy leather chairs, warm bartenders and Hemingway’s own boxing gloves (among many other personal belongings) hanging from the ceiling to gaze in awe at.

I also highly recommend exploring a few of the cities hidden gems – Little Red Door is a must or maybe Le Comptoir General is more up your speed. Whichever you choose I’ll say you can’t make a bad decision.

Take in the views and truly fall in love with Paris with a nighttime cocktail at Rosa Bonheur Sur Seine. This barge on the waters of Seine is pure magic at night. With the Eiffel Tower high above, Les Invalides and the Grand and Petit Palais on opposite sides it’s kind of a one stop shop if you’re in Paris for a long weekend.

Favorite “touristy” thing to do:

A picnic in the park with the Eiffel Tower behind you.

It never gets old trust me. Even when weaving yourself through the sea of tourists, once you get settled with a baguette, some cheese and a glass of wine you feel a sense of calm. A sense of being.  I will never forget my first time to have a picnic there. While things have changed a bit since those college days, this place will forever remain special to me.

Excited to share that you can book this same trip with Strong Travels to get upgrades and some really awesome perks – just email me at!  Though I highly recommend staying for longer than 4 days! 

Shop my Parisian wardrobe:

11 Responses
  • Ashley DTKAustin
    July 18, 2017

    Definitely saving this post for when I go back. If I ever go back! I need a vacation and yours looked AMAZING!

  • Rachel
    July 18, 2017

    This post is amazing! I’m trying to plan a trip to France over the next year, so I will definitely be referencing this post if I head up to Paris. Cutest outfits, too!

    Rachel /

  • Laura Leigh
    July 18, 2017

    This is amazing lady! You’re so great for putting this together. Looks like an incredible trip.

    xo Laura Leigh

  • Lauren
    July 18, 2017

    Your photos are making me So jealous! Where I work, the main office is in Paris and I really really want to go! Gorgeous photos!

  • Mollie
    July 18, 2017

    This hotel sounds AMAAAAZING! What an awesome opportunity! I’m dying to get back to Paris and I was just there over spring. Once a year is not enough!

    xx Mollie

  • Meghan
    July 19, 2017

    I absolutely LOVE your outfit. That skirt is calling my name!! I haven’t been to Paris yet but definitely hoping so in the next few years.

  • Kachet - The Lipstick Giraffe
    July 19, 2017

    Love your guide! I am missing Paris something terrible and it definitely made me feel like I was back there for a second. xo

  • Sarah K Tripp
    July 20, 2017

    I’m going to Paris with you and this dreamy team next time!

  • jasmine
    July 20, 2017

    your the cutest!!! you gotta LOVE paris, such great tips!

  • Natasha Stoneking
    July 20, 2017

    i am SO jealous!!! Paris is totally on my bucket list…

  • Maggie
    July 23, 2017

    You definitely look Parisian!! I love the pink scalloped skirt!

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