Ashley Brooke’s Guide to France: #ABDdoesParis #ABDdoesBurgundy
Good morning friends! Today I am so excited to share with you our favorite places we stayed, ate, saw, and drank in France! This was our first time there, and we didn’t even scratch a teeny, tiny bit of the surface, but what we did get the opportunity to do was magical. I wanted make sure I got the chance to share with you! Feel free to leave other places that you’ve enjoyed on your travels to France in the comments below… I’d love to know!
Where To Stay in Paris:
One Fine Stay: While we were in Paris, we rented an apartment through One Fine Stay, and it was amazing! I was so excited to book through OFS, especially since I had heard such great things. And let me tell you, it did NOT disappoint! It actually exceeded any expectations that I had–truly. Not only was the OFS team wonderful, they left us with a full loaded iPhone with international data for us to use during our stay. I cannot tell you how handy this came in when we were trying to make reservations, get Ubers, and, of course, map ourselves to and from places. The area we picked to stay in was wonderful, full of restaurants and fancy shopping! If you are interested, here is the apartment we rented! I know, amazing. Checking in & checking out was a total breeze, and I can’t wait to book a second trip with One Fine Stay–so many amazing options to choose from!
What To Explore/See in Paris:
The Eiffel Tower, duh: Well, it’s amazing, and just as magical as you think it will be. Plus as night, every hour on the hour it sparkles, and when it does, your heart explodes. True story.
The Louve: Everyone makes jokes about the Mona Lisa being so small and covered with tourists… but I, for one, enjoyed the whole experience! I would definitely put it as a must see!
Le Palais Royal: The gardens are AMAZING. Also, the black and white columns are an Instagram waiting to happen!
Arc de Triomphe: It is ginormous–much larger than any of the photos make it out to be! It’s fun to march through and feel victorious; I would for sure put it on your list!
The Palace of Versailles: It’s about a 45 minute train from Paris, but so worth it! It’s a must go, but GO EARLY as the lines are un. real. (also, buy your tickets before you go… trust me on this one!)
Our Favorite Neighborhoods in Paris:
Rue Crémieux – This one is kind of in a random place, but the rainbow street totally makes it worth seeing and snapping a photo… or two!
Le Marais – This neighborhood was like a little mini Soho and we loved it, we walked around for hours and stopped in little cafes and shops
St. Germain – great shopping, food, and atmosphere! This is where Ralph’s is located!
What To Do in Paris:
One of the most fun activities we did was the Fat Tire Night Bike Tour around Paris! We did this on our first night there which gave us a great opportunity to see the city before we started exploring it on our own! But beware: this is no bike tour for the weak. It was freezing and raining, and we were quite literally in the middle of Paris traffic for a good half of the time, but I loved it! We even made friends with some of our bike mates and we all went out for a late night dinner and drinks.
Did I mention that they serve wine on this bike tour? Because they do. The French get it.
Where to Eat and Drink in Paris:
Pierre Hermé – Amazing macarons… seriously, so good! Get the rose macarons. Life changing.
Ralph’s- Ralph Lauren, Paris Style. We had dinner here the second night, and it was wonderful and the atmosphere was perfection! Make sure you make reservations! Oh, and they give you fried olives as soon as you are seated… so there is that.
Ladurée – I’m going to be real with you, this place is so beautiful, but the service was so. so. so. bad…. and I never say that! Ever! So if I were you, I’d still go because it’s totally worth a trip, but just know, it’s not you, it’s them.
*side note, I’ve been to the Laduree in NYC and looooved it! So they could have just been having a bad day!
Paul – They are all over Paris and have great croissants!
Le Bar du Bristol: This was one of my very favorite places we went our entire trip to Paris. This bar is located inside the Bristol Hotel where Midnight in Paris was filmed, and it was so incredibly lovely! The food was amazing, the drinks were unreal, and the service was like nothing I had ever experienced. Hotel Bristol, you have my heart! Also, just FYI their Old Fashions are pretty much the best thing you’ll ever taste.
Lina’s– Great sandwiches and breakfast… we ordered the quiche and it was so. good.
Café des Abattoirs – Okay, wow. This place was INCREDIBLE! The menu is unreal and the chef is amazing. You. Have. To. Go. Also make a reservation, it is small and fills up QUICKLY!
The Trianon Palace Versailles / Waldorf: We ate here after our visit to the Palace of Versailles, and not only was it the most beautiful walk to get there, but the food literally gave. me. life. We sat down and ordered burgers and beer like true sophisticated Americans and I didn’t care one little bit.
La Varenne– This was a super adorable little sweet shop in the town of Versailles; you have to stop in if you are near the area!
Berthillon– quite literally THE BEST ice cream in Paris! Get the chocolate, it’s to die for!
Where To Stay in Burgundy:
While Paris is WONDERFUL, I highly recommend venturing outside the city to see what the rest of France has to offer. I promise, you won’t regret it!
Abbaye de la Bussière – So I am going to be real with you: we booked our hotel in Burgundy on a complete and total whim. We had literally no idea what we were getting ourselves into, but Tablet Hotels recommended it so we thought, sure… why not! And then, we drove up, and were shocked. It was UNREAL. I mean, it was built in 1131… so there is that. If you go to the Burgundy region at all, do yourself a favor and book a night (or 4!) at Abbaye de la Bussière. Not only was this place over the top amazing, but the service was exceptional! Also, don’t even get me started on the food–both breakfast and dinner at their in-house Michelin Star restaurant was beyond comprehension.
*As a side note, if you go to dinner at Abbaye de la Bussière and you don’t get the cheese plate for dessert, we cannot be friends.
What To Do in Burgundy:
Joseph Drouhin Wine Tour-Drink wine, duh. No but seriously, that is what the people do and you know, when in Rome (er, France)! We stopped by a few different wineries before we found Joseph Drouhin winery in the center of Beaune, and we fell in love! The tour was not only amazing and so informative, but the history behind the winery was incredible. Part of the cellar is built over the original Roman Road which was really fun to stand on, for no other reason than to say that we did! And not to mention the tasting was wonderful. We even brought a few bottles back home to the states! If you are in Beaune you must go!
Just Explore – To be honest, we did a lot of sight seeing in Burgundy. We rented a car from Paris, so we drove around and took photos and strolled in and out of shops, old churches, and art galleries. It was so nice to slow down a bit after being in Paris for a few days! If you are going to France, do yourself a favor and rent a car and drive down to Beaune… you will love it!
Where To Eat and Drink in Burgundy:
Le Salon de Café – All I have to say this GO. Seriously. We had lunch, dessert, and lattes and it was so good! I’m not going to lie to you, I wanted to go back the next day.
Joseph Drouhin – Do the tour and drink the wine, so good.
The 1131 – This is the restaurant in our hotel we stayed at– a must go! It’s going to be a fancy one, so bring all your euros… but I promise it will be worth it, and please for the love, do not forget to order the cheese plate for dessert.
Bistrot des Moines – This was the casual restaurant in our hotel; we ate here for breakfast and I wanted to stay until lunch was being served, but Ryan said we had to go see things. Boo.
Bein et Bon – We got sandwiches here one night, and took them back to our hotel after a long day of sight seeing! It actually ended up being one of my favorite nights. We had our sandwiches, a bottle of wine we picked up in town, rented Meg Ryan’s French Kiss, and had a good ole fashioned picnic!
I hope you love this post as much as I enjoyed putting it together! And again… let me know where you’ve stayed! Let’s plan our next trip together! As always, you can follow along on our adventures with the hashtag: #TravelwithABD!