Have you been wanting to go to Paris??Maybe you?ve thought about it but have gotten overwhelmed by the many thousands of options for hotels, activities and restaurants a city like this has to offer. You?re not alone. Maybe you saw our video or other travel videos from Paris and got even more overwhelmed by all the options. Again, you?re not alone.
We decided to write a complete Paris guide that features everything we did, in chronological order for our collaboration with?Paris Je T?aime.?We wanted to give you this full and real picture for mainly two reasons. First out, it?ll give you an idea of all that took place in order to create a travel video. It will help you be more realistic when planning your trip. Secondly, this write up will give you info, tips and facts to plan your own Paris vacation. As LGBTQ travellers, we?re always on the look out for lesbian and gay friendly destinations, and after spending a week in Paris as an open lesbian couple, we?d definitely say that Paris is a LGBTQ friendly city to vacation in.
This will be a long write up, so if you make it to the end please let us know so we can send you big, virtual hugs for excellent patience and focus. Ok let?s get this party going.
Tuesday 20th of June:
Stockholm Arlanda Airport is full of tourists in colorful clothes, heading out for charter trips to the mediterranean. I?m on day 1 of my period and am feeling slightly out of it. But we?re excited to hop on a 2 hour nonstop flight to Paris. (When you?re used to commuting between Los Angeles and Stockholm, this trip is literally nothing). We land in a 90 degrees steaming Paris in the afternoon and experience some real struggles to find our Uber. Tip ? when getting an Uber from a terminal, check the exact geographical point for the Uber pick up. Not all, but many airports have them. It will save you time, sweat, expenses, angry drivers and angry wives.
Our car eventually pulls up next to?Eden Lodge Hotel?in the 11th arrondissement on Rue du Charonne. It looks like we?re completely lost. No hotel entrance, no signs? nothing. But then Lauren spotted a little sign on a red door with the hotel name. We type in the four digit code that had been sent to us and the gate opens. And WOW. On the other side of this bustling street, there is a treehouse looking hotel in a green quiet oasis. It?s gorgeous. Eden Lodge has 6 rooms and is very unique. They are one of the top climate friendly hotels in Paris. Everything was resourced eco and organically, which we love. But at this point it?s closer to 100 degrees and due to the eco-regulations, the room and building has no AC. As much as we love this place, we now had three nights ahead of us in a boiling room. So, I might look all chill and relaxed in the video but I?m actually sweating my brains out. Lauren?s thick hair makes her brain boil and we both had a hard time the first days. Here?s the thing; Eden Lodge is an amazing hotel! It?s secret garden-like with a lovely, private breakfast. But we want to be honest and say if you plan to travel in the middle of the summer, this won?t be the hotel for you (unless you love a constant sauna-like living). At any other point, go for it. It?s cute and a good choice for the environmentally friendly traveler.
After an attempt to freshen up in a cold shower, we headed to the famous restaurant?Chamarr? Montmartre.The chef Antoine Heerah is inspired by the Mauritian and French cuisine and his creations are explosions of colors and flavours. It?s hard to pick favourite restaurants in Paris with its gazillion top rated spots, but both Lauren and I agree that this was our number one fav that week. We met the chef after our meal and Antoine walks around with a gigantic smile, and his radiant, happy energy spreads in the room like fireworks. Lauren and I realised that all of that sparkle and energy he was carrying, is exactly what we had found in our food! We ate plates of joy, experiments and life lust! We have been posting quite some photos from that 8-course lunch on our Instagram ? you should check it out. More importantly, if you go to Paris, go to Chamarr? Montmartre for lunch or dinner.
Full and happy (and a little tipsy), we left Montmartre for a quick visit at the?Mus?e du Quai Branly, to see the?Picasso Primitiv exhibit. The exhibition shows a much darker side of Picassos life and work that almost was too heavy for me. Lauren though it was an emotion-stirring exhibition, that she would recommend it to anyone who is interested in Picasso or African art. The only thing that was tricky is that many signs did not have an english translation. My French is decent, but when it comes to intricate arts lingo, I?m done for.
Right next to Quai Branly is a restaurant called?Les Ombres. It?s a roof top venue overlooking the Eiffel Tower with a top class kitchen and even more of a top class view. We enjoyed Champagne (like? tons) and delicious food. But more than everything, you have to look hard for a better Parisian location and dinner view.
Wednesday 21st of June:
We started with breakfast at our hotel, followed by a private tour of Paris in an open top vintage car with a company called?4 Roues sous un Parapluie.?It?s awesome to get your ride customised, and also being able to stop at any time to take pictures. If you haven?t seen our Paris episode yet where we cruise around in this bright pink car,?check it out here.
For lunch this day, we went to a restaurant in the magical forest Bois Du Bologne. It?s located right in Paris but is quiet and secluded enough to make you feel like you?re out in the french country side. Once we got to the park, we had to catch a little ferry over to the island where the?restaurant Les Chalet Des Iles?is located. The venue is a huge wooden house with a grand patio and plenty of outdoor seating options. This was probably the most romantic meal we shared this week. If you?re looking for a unique, quiet, nature getaway from the city for a few hours, this is your spot. Food and drinks are high quality and the setting doesn?t get much more romantic.
From Les Chalet Des Iles, we grabbed an uber to Montmartre for a photo shoot with the awesome photographer?Erica Simone.?Even though we work professionally with videography and photography, it?s hard to take good photos of us together. That?s why we sometimes hire other people to help us with that. You can see some of the shots we?took here. Heat was still rising and we were sweating our brains. But hopefully we look all cool and romantic in the pictures. What do you think? Give us some feedback. Can you tell we?re struggling? Just know that behind the scenes, calves? were cramping, hair was sticking to our glossy faces and we actually couldn?t wait to be done. So! There you go. That?s some transparency for ya!
In the evening we did something very Parisian. We went down to the river Seine to hang out with happy, mingling people. We had a quick bite and some ros? wine at?Rosa Bonheur Sur Seine, which is a party boat on Seine. The boat is all about pink flamingos, hot gay guys at the bar and an overall happy vibe. Think constant Pride on water. Yes please. This could be a quick stop for refreshments or an all night adventure. You choose! We were exhausted though and chose quick stop and then bed time. Gosh we?re getting so old. No, let me rephrase. We?re getting so classy and mature.
Thursday 22nd of June:
OMG you guys. We went to a french cuisine cooking class at?Atelier Des Sens. I though I knew quite a bit about cooking but realised that I didn?t even know how to correctly peel and chop an onion! There is so much to learn. It?s fun and it gives you an insight to the famous french cooking culture.
We?re still around 100 degrees Fahrenheit and despite the most amazing trip, we can?t help but feeling exhausted and overheated. That?s why a free afternoon to chill out came in the most perfect time. We had three hours to unwind, charge camera batteries, dump footage, make some Instagram posts and take a cold shower.
This night we were in for a real unique experience. On the schedule was a cabaret show at the?Moulin Rouge!How cool is that?! The huge saloon was covered in red velvet and gold, with painted walls and ceilings. The candles flickering in the dim light, champagne bottles popping open and the sound of hundreds of people in lively conversation had us travel back in time. Our tiny table for two, was located by a large pillar, and made our corner feel secluded and VIP. The whole night was such a wow experience. The cabaret was spectacular ? just as you would expect from a Moulin Rouge show. Our warmest recommendations.
Friday 23rd of June:
Not gonna lie. We woke up slightly jammy in the head after all the Champagne the night before. jammy, but happy. It was now time for us to check out from our green house oasis hotel and move to a trendy, boutique hotel designed by fashion creative Christian Lacroix,?Hotel L?Antoine. If you?re staying in a city for more than 3-4 nights you should consider switching accommodation midway through. There?s a kind of new excitement that kicks in, almost like getting an extra trip in your already existing trip. Another upside is also that you get to experience and learn about a new neighbourhood! This hotel was right up my alley. Interesting decor, colours and patterns that make you feel like it?s all about surprises and that anything can happen around your next corner. We stayed in the junior suite on the top floor with high ceilings, exposed wood beams and Parisian vintage windows. Dreamy. But guess what the dreamiest thing of all was? Yep, you got it. We now had an AC in our room. Thank sweet universe.
For lunch we headed to Versailles. One of the most prominent chef?s in France, Alain Ducasse, recently opened a restaurant in the old Prince Quarters of Versailles.?The restaurant is called Ore?and for history and food lovers like us ? this was a piece of heaven. If you want to indulge in exquisite food and have the most insane view over the courtyard of Versailles as you?re sipping chilled Champagne, this is your spot. Hard to beat the cultural and historical heritage of a place like this.
The afternoon and evening was spent discovering the rest of the Versailles and its infinity of art, stories and beauty.
We went to bed early that night. Wiped out. A pro travel tip ? make some room in your itinerary to rest. We promise you; you will experience everything with fresher eyes and a happier heart if you?re rested.
Saturday 24th of June:
PRIDE TIME! Our collaboration with Paris did not just include a romantic city getaway for This Colorful World but also a?Paris Pride episode for Button & Bly.?So this day was all bout capturing the Pride festivities all around town. But before the parade started we met up with?Fresh Street Art Paris?for a fun and unexpected tour.
At lunch time we headed to a lesbian-owned bar called 22m2 ? Chez Toi ou Chez Moi? And yes, it?s exactly what the name is implying. The bar is twenty two square meters. So cute! We had a vegan lunch by chef?La Guinguette d?Ang?le, who is famous for her vegan specialties. The bar was in fact so cute, we had to come back at night and see the place in full bloom with pretty Parisian women sipping Champagne. Definitely worth the return trip.
The parade was everything you?d want from a Pride festivity. Colorful, vibrant, friendly and all-inclusive. And of course glitter and unicorns.?Click here to see the video we made from Paris Pride.
Sunday 25th of June:
So we weren?t the perkiest people in France next morning, but the day and night was well worth it. Good thing the next thing on your schedule was a brunch with live jazz in?La Bellevilloise.
After a lot of food and intricate music, we strolled through some markets while people watching. It?s something about French people. They always look cool. And always without trying. Lauren and I wonder how. If you are French and have the magic formula and answer, please share it with us.
At sunset we went up to a?360 observation deck by Montparnasse.?I?m slightly claustrophobic and scared of heights but despite those obstacles ? this was a fantastic way to end our week in Paris. We had spent time in almost all parts of the city and now we got to see it all from above. And by above, I really mean above. The Eiffel tower looked like a baby in comparison. Lauren got some breathtaking panorama shots from up there, so make sure to watch our Paris episode to get a glimpse.
We ended our very last night with a casual meal at?Au Rendez-Vous Saint Germain.?We got a table? in the corner of the outdoor patio and enjoyed some spritzers in the evening sun. We were exhausted. Full of impressions. We were ready to go back home to California and start editing all the captures of this amazing trip.
This is where this marathon post ends. If you made here, then WOW! We?re impressed with you. It was important for us to show some transparency in what a week like this trip looks like in reality. It was a dreamy vacation and as you can see in the videos ? quite a unique experience. But the transparency is important because we do also get exhausted. And creating content like this takes a lot of energy, planning and strength to go even when your body needs to lay down and rest.? This transparency is important for mainly two reasons; Firstly, we don?t want you guys to go on a trip and plan an ultra busy schedule like this, and expect you to be as relaxed and happy as we look in the video. The video is just parts of the trip, the highlights if you will. Same as with most posts on social media today. Secondly, it?s important to shed some light on the work it takes to do travel vlogging or blogging for living. A lot of people we talk to think our job is the easiest, most chill thing ever. We will agree that it?s a luxury to have this as a job and we?re grateful to do it ? but it?s not easy and all relaxed times.
In addition to sharing these reasons, we now also got the opportunity to give you links to all the company names and places we went, for when the time comes for you to plan your Paris trip. Bon voyage! We love you!