Visit to Paris

A Postcard From Paris

Capucine's Travels in the City Of Love

Paris. Big dreamy Sigh. I spent some marvelous days in Paris with two of my favorite people in the whole world – my adorable mother Vicky and daughter, Bliss. Our unscheduled days allowed for daydreamy wandering of streets, endless café stops, little shop discoveries and sightseeing – we alternated between feeling like tourists and locals. As I was born in Paris and have lots of family scattered around France, all of my trips to this gorgeous place have been spent at family homes and functions. This trip, rather than staying with family, we rented a little flat in the 9th with a slanted red velvet staircase and lived like Parisians while taking in the city like tourists – relishing in all the charming nuances of the architecture, culture, etc. while visiting iconic places. We romanticized every detail. The light always feels golden in Paris. The beauty of everything always overwhelms. The sky seems bluer in Paris. The flowers more fabulous. The coffee superior. The pastries unparalleled. And if you ask any Parisian, they will agree with us.

Capucine in Paris

The Louvre always nourishes the senses. Its never un-astonishingly grand facades greet you upon arrival. The noisy quietness that echoes in a particular kind of way through the corridors. Un-ending ornate beauty of the buildings filled with intricate architectural details and golden natural light. We stay away from the crowds who festoon around famous works of art. Instead, we scavenge the endless collections for unsung treasures. You can’t look for them – they find you. It’s a feeling you get when your feet involuntarily begin to slow, your eyes sharpen their attention, your heart knocks at your chest to rob your breath and you slow to a standstill with a heightened stillness. Sometimes I smile wide drinking in the beauty, or well up with tears feeling the sadness. Always, I marvel at the talents and imagination of the artists. Then of course, I daydream that I am a duchess wearing layers of silk that swish around my legs while I walk through the once royal corridors. (At some point in their adolescence, our children made a tradition out of photographing the backsides of sculptures which everyone apparently finds hilarious. Sorry, not sorry.) 

Visiting the Louvre in Paris

Eventually, hunger taps at the inside of our bellies, and we walk over to an old favorite, Café Marley. Nestled in the opposite building with a perfect view of the IM Pei’s initially controversial, and now globally adored, pyramid and main structure looming behind it. It’s become a bit overcrowded with tourists nowadays, but it’s still beautiful. In my very best breathy Parisian accent, I order us all cappuccinos, their divine soft scrambled eggs, and pain au chocolats, with a huge American smile. Few people realize that this famous café opens at 7:30 AM and has an absolutely delicious breakfast which can be eaten inside the rich, red-walled dining room with large windows open to the courtyard view. 

Café Marley in Paris

Then we three sit down and I can’t wait to hear their impressions of everything. What was Mom’s favorite painting and why? Why was Bliss so drawn to that sculpture? (Where do they get the chocolate for these croissants!!) I always love to hear their thoughts and impressions. Time with mom and Bliss is so precious. Our three generations harmonize as we share different perspectives on art, life, style and beyond. And so this is how we spent our days, deepening our bonds. A happy trio, visiting places big and small, famous and undiscovered, sharing our thoughts and eating everything in sight. 

Capucine and family

Here are a few of the delightful things we experienced and are excited to share with you: 

Grand Café Capucines
Obviously, this was named after an incredibly glamorous and intelligent person. Well, situated in a busy shopping area, it's a perfect place to sit on the sidewalk and people-watch. Below is a link to a great explanation of where to find them and best practices while shopping there.

Café Marly
Make reservations if you wish to eat outside. Generally, you can walk in if you make reservations if you wish to eat outside. Generally, you can walk in if you wish to eat inside during the day.  

Le Louvre
Ideally book your tickets in advance, which will move you through the line more swiftly.  

Les Brocantes
The famous antique/junktique flea markets of Paris, where anything and everything is sold and you can always come away with a treasure. Unimaginably, I left empty-handed, but Bliss made off with a huge haul of cool thrifted clothes. Below is a link to a great explanation of where to find them and best practices while shopping there.  

Indisputably the finest ice cream in the world. The original location is on the quaint, Ile St Louis and proffers wonderful seasonal flavors of homemade ice cream with the original recipes such as fraise du bois – wild forest, strawberries. Local shop and eat here. You will find very few tourists. Hey Siri.

Veaux le Vicomte
One of my favorites, this is a small, exquisite château with stunning gardens was the envy of Louis 16th. Plan to spend half a day here. There are several little simple cafés on property, so you don’t need to bring food. I recommend arriving after lunch to fully enjoy the property and stay for dinner on property during one of their candlelight evenings in summertime. Dinner reservations must be booked well in advance and sell out quickly. Alternatively, you can get tickets for glasses of champagne and macaroons.

Rue des Martyrs
A historic street in the 9th residential arrondissement that hosts the crème de la crème gourmet shops for cheeses, chocolates, flowers and vintage clothes. Little cafés are tucked among the shops. Local shop and eat here. You will find very few tourists.