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Paris in September
A Seine river cruise, the perfect bistro, and Parisian style
Teahouse is a newsletter about home, travel, and community. Here you’ll find renovation documentation and destination inspiration alongside a curation of things I’m creating, consuming, and coveting right now.
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Paris in September was absolute magic! I’ve never been to Europe this time of year, and it was just incredible. I’m forever spoiled. The summer crowds had thinned dramatically, and every morning greeted us with another perfect 21C forecast. I’m so accustomed to it being too unbearably muggy to do anything other than spritz and nap between the hours of 12 and 6 p.m.
Though I thrived in NYC in my early twenties, these days when I return to New York, the chaos of the city feels a bit much for my soft little country bumpkin Colorado soul. As I’ve gotten older, I’m slightly less inclined toward big cities. Paris, however, felt serene and romantic (again, probably it being September…) and suffice to say, I have a newfound love affair with the city.
Here are my favorite things from this trip:
People watching at Cafe Charlot: You know how there’s one thing from every city you just want to take home with you? In Paris, it’s the cafe culture. I could spend hours just sitting on a street corner on a sunny day watching chic Parisians go by. Cafe Charlot is situated in the ideal spot for people watching, just blocks away from all the Marais boutiques.
The Musee d’Orsay: I skipped a visit to the Louvre this time around but went to the Musee d’Orsay for the first time—such a gem. The museum is housed in a beautiful old train station station. I loved getting to see all of the Manets, Monets, and Van Goghs up close! We rented the audio guide, which I’d highly recommend (there are limited plaques with English descriptions). My takeaway is that the impressionist artists were all friends who lived together, partied together, painted each other’s ladies, and remixed each other’s art. Basically the TikTok mansions / the Hype House of the late 1800s. If, like us, you arrive starving, there’s a cafe with delicious sandwiches, as well as a full-on restaurant inside.
Shopping in the Marais: Shopping in Paris counts as a cultural activity, especially when you are coming from the shopping dead zone that is Denver, Colorado (Denver girlies, IYKYK). It was such a treat to pop into shops for brands that are basically not even stocked in this state like Lou Lou Studio and Isabel Marant, as well as to peruse French brands like Rouje and Bobbies. Sandro, Maje, and BA&SH seemed to be on every corner in Paris. The current favorable exchange rate and the tourist detax makes it a very exciting time for shopping at the moment—for anyone in the market, by my calculations it’s the ideal time and place to splurge on an investment bag! One major disappointment was the Sezane store—I never order anything from Sezane online but was excited to pop into L’Appartement. While the store was merchandised beautifully, the shop associates were pretty unhelpful and sizing was very limited. I did not buy much in Paris but had a joyous time browsing the most beautiful things all day long.
Boat cruise with Vedettes du Pont Nouf: I wanted to book a sunset boat cruise on the Seine and landed on Vedettes du Pont Nouf—I was a little apprehensive of the large size of the boat/group, but the company came pretty highly recommended. We embarked at 7:15 p.m., and they time it so that you cruise right by the Eiffel Tower as it sparkles from 8:00-8:05 p.m. (make sure you go after dusk to see it sparkle!) A sparkly Eiffel Tower does not get old. At only 15€ per person, I’d definitely do it again. For a more private option, consider Paris Luxury Boat and Green River Cruises, though we opted out of both because their classic wooden boats were clearly priced for proposals ($$$), and going down the Seine in a pontoon boat, while more reasonably priced, just doesn’t feel appropriate to me…
French classics at Bistrot de Tournelles: Named best bistrot in Paris by Le Fooding, Bistrot de Tournelles was our last dinner to cap off our time in France. It’s a cozy, unpretentious little spot with just a few tables that oozes vintage charm. We went for the classics: steak frites, foie gras, creme brulee. French food is the cuisine I gravitate least toward, but this trip has inspired me to give French dining more of a chance.
Ordering champagne everywhere: We also took every opportunity to enjoy a glass of champagne, because is (actual) champagne on any menu nearly $30 a glass in your city these days, too? When in Paris, it was often a delightful €10-15, which made my heart sing.
Soaking up the street style of Paris was such a treat! Parisians really are the most chic. Best believe I was *taking notes* on their effortless, slightly undone looks.
Lots of sneakers! Like New York, I think in Paris you also sort of have to dress very functionally for the day, per Allison Bornstein’s take on NY vs LA dressing
Adidas Sambas were EVERYWHERE—most frequently the white with black stripe or black with white stripe
Birkenstocks—both clogs and sandals! I have been excited about Birkenstocks exactly zero times before Paris but am finally being converted (probably just as the trend passes, haha)
Oversized blazers and trench coats and leather trenches
Denim and leather midi skirts
Celine oval sunglasses and sunglasses with red lenses
OK—that’s all for now! See you next time, Paris.
PS: If you plan your trips around eating, asubscription is well worth it! Love Le Fooding, too, for Paris restaurant recommendations. Sarah Rose Palm also has the guide you need for what brands to shop in Paris.