Lucky for us that despite the unglamorous origins of the word Paris (the name was derived from the Celtic tribe, the Parisii, that settled on Île de la Cité), the city still became synonymous with romance and love. And I can’t think of a better place on earth to spend a day as devoted to passion as Valentine’s Day is than in the kissing capital of world.
Keep the sparks flowing all day long with this morning-to-evening itinerary that includes all my favorite romantic spots in and around the 7e.
I’ll, of course, have you finish the day with a visit to La Tour Eiffel, but not without first spoiling you with luscious food, indulging you in luxurious shopping, enticing you with magnificent art and more.
Let Your Day of Paris Romance Begin!
We start with breakfast at Les Deux Abeilles. Although more known as a “ladies who lunch” spot, I adore this unpretentious, quiet and unhurried café for having the most delicious pastries and probably the best hot chocolate I’ve ever tasted in Paris. Starting your day on such a sweet note may not be your usual routine, but today is the day for treats.
This so-quiet-you-can-hear-a-pin-drop hideaway is tucked discretely on rue de l’Universite and there’s nothing more private than its dining room for enjoying a relaxing morning with the one you love.
Les Deux Abeilles
189 rue de l’Universite, 7e
Now that’s you’ve settled your inner hunger, it’s time to satisfy some … ahem … other needs with a visit to Sabbia Rosa.
Make your way to where the 7e and 6e meet on rue des Saints-Peres to find this very special boutique. Ooh la la – this is my idea of Valentine’s Day shopping.
In fact, a visit to THE temple of sensuous and serious lingerie confirms the idea that what’s underneath is equally, and perhaps the French might declare, even more important than the clothes on top!
Brush your hands slowly against the smooth, satiny underthings and there will be no excuse not to purchase at least one item.
I caution you that these garments are not of the Fruit of the Loom variety and are definitely more pricey – but surely you deserve a special lacey something on such a romantic day, don’t you?
73 rue des Saints-Peres, 6e
With your secret purchase tucked away in beautiful packaging so that only you and your beloved know its contents, stroll back into the 7e for a visit to my favorite small museum, Musee Rodin.
Even on a grey wintry day there’s something quite stirring and stimulating about walking through the Musee Rodin gardens with all its sinewy sculptures. Put your heads together and gaze dreamily over these splendid creations and, of course, make time for Rodin’s most famous piece, The Thinker.
Never crowded, this museum is ideal for a day of intimacy and I recommend it over any of the larger art-filled options. An hour or two here and you’re sure to work up an appetite for the next stop on your itinerary – lunch!
79 rue de Varenne, 7e
When it’s time for the mid-day meal, head straight to Les Cocottes on rue Saint Dominique.
While modern and hip, this is a lovely spot in which to warm up from the elements and snuggle over a steaming cocotte (small casserole) showcasing Christian Constant’s culinary mastery.
Secure a high-top window table, order bowls of creamy velouté parsnip soup and then share bites from each other’s cocotte – paired perhaps with Mediterranean sole and a mélange of farmer’s market vegetables.
Don’t forget to also share a slice of chef’s famous tarte au chocolate, for Valentine’s Day simply isn’t the same without a little cacao.
135 rue St Dominique, 7e
After lunch, enjoy a lovely respite in your perfect Paris apartment, bien sur, and perhaps try out that lingerie.
After your refresh, head back out again and cross over to the 16e, directly north of the 7e. Walk through this stately neighborhood and imagine having your own Paris pied-de-terre just for the two of you (one can dream, non?) followed by a visit to Musee du Vin (Museum of Wine).
Here among stone walls built in the Middle Ages, you’ll take a trip through the French wine-making process without having to hop a train to Bordeaux. After walking through the carved archways and into the different tableaus, settle in for an excellent wine tasting catered to suit you in a virtually private setting. Be sure to purchase a bottle for toasting each other later into the evening.
Musee du Vin
5 Square Charles Dickens,16e
The day is almost done, the sun is setting and there couldn’t be a better time to enjoy a special skip-the-line tour of Tour Eiffel.
This is truly THE BEST way to experience the most iconic site in Paris – with a private tour of the Iron Lady.
If you are a Paris Made for You client, we will set you up right with one of our Tour Eiffel experts so you can, quite literally, skip the line and have the romantic outing of your dreams!
Finally, put a fine finish on your extraordinary romantic day with a dinner at Reed Bistro. Squirreled away at 11 Bis rue Amelie (one of the tiniest streets in the 7e), master chef-owner and Canadian, Catherine Reed, will whip up a most magnificent meal to end your day.
This restaurant couldn’t be more perfect. You’ll find nothing bustling, jostling or loud here – just an evening of gastronomic bliss in an atmosphere of warmth and calm. Not only will Catherine exceed your expectations in the kitchen, but she just might pull up a chair and share her favorite places in Paris with you. Ask her. I’m sure her suggestions will only serve to make your Valentine’s Day all the more memorable.
11 Bis rue Amelie, 7e
Return to your temporary home and pour that final glass of wine on your balcony, rooftop or simply by the view from your window and make a toast to your day of pure romance and to your partner, knowing you did it right in the City of Light.