I’ve only ever stopped in Paris for brief stints, usually on long layovers, but I’m headed there this coming May to explore for a couple of weeks and to host a little two-day weekend retreat with my friend, chef & Paris expert, Olaiya Land. Olaiya and I will be staying in the Marais at the gorgeous Charlot apartment (pictured in this post) from Apartments Actually along with our husbands. We’ll be teaching photography & styling courses from there and hosting a Parisian market lunch that we’ll be making from scratch. (This retreat is unfortunately already sold out!) That’s my favorite way to travel: to find a home, nest, and then simply live—cooking, getting breakfast at the same café each morning, going to the market. I stayed there in January, and my husband and I had the Charlot apartment all to ourselves. It’s in the Marias, the perfect neighborhood for us (lots of our favorite stores and eats within walking distance), and we used it as a home base for our bustling two days of restaurant hopping & shopping before we took off to Morocco (more on that in a later post…). You’ll find our short list of Paris favorites below along with a printable/downloadable map of our recommendations at the very bottom of the post, just enough for a jet set Parisian weekend. And a big thanks to Sarah at Apartments Actually for making us feel at home and to Susan Spungen, whose recommendations were invaluable to helping us find the eats we loved on short notice! You can also find recommendations on the Apartments Actually blog!


  1. Apartments Actually
  2. Hotel Paradis


  1. Fragments Cafe (their avo toast was jet lag gold & the espresso was husband approved as was the coffee guy banter)
  2. Boot Cafe (my coffee obsessed husband loved this place; they serve 5 Elephant Coffee and the owners are from Tokyo)


  1. Au Passage (reservation recommended)
  2. Septime (reservation recommended) & Septime Cave (their small bites and wine bar)
  3. Le Chateaubriand (reservation recommended)
  4. Clamato (love this for dinner or pre dinner oysters and something refreshing to drink)
  5. Holybelly (brunch)


  1. Merci  (a nice cafe with a dream store behind it, great for brunch and a shop)
  2. Colette (chic Parisian concept store)
  3. Frederick Gautier Ceramics (small studio, Kyoto inspired ceramic artist)
  4. Marché aux Enfants Rouge (Saturday Morning farmer’s market)

Pastries, Bread, Chocolate

  1. Du Pain et Des Idees (my all time favorite in Paris thus far)
  2. Poilane (amazing bread)
  3. Jacques Genin (caramels & pate de fruit!)
  4. Le Chocolate Alain Ducasse (Ducasse does chocolate…)



There are legions more brilliant spots in Paris that I’ve either yet to discover or try—I am by no means an expert— but at present, this is what Matt & I found and loved. We loved staying in the Marais, and this list is largely based around that location. Also, if you do end up staying with Apartments Actually, they are a wealth of information on the area and are sure to point you in the right direction…so if you have more than a weekend to explore, they can give you more direction!

A Weekend in Paris

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35 Responses to wander guide : a weekend in paris

  1. Madeline says:

    These photos make me miss Paris! I spent one week there last May, and it was the most beautiful, charming, and inspiring little city. I also rented an apartment (but through airbnb), and love it because it is more like actually living there instead of just being a tourist! Hope you enjoy your next visit and get to explore even more! If you haven’t yet, be sure to go to Angelina’s–they have amazing hot chocolate and pastries!

  2. mareen says:

    dreamy pictures. now i want to pack my bags, hop in the car and drive to paris asap.

  3. Amanda says:

    I simply cannot get over how much I adore your photography. It makes me feel calm- and also stirs my wanderlust. One of your retreats just went on my bucket list.

  4. Thalia says:

    Now all I can think of doing is going to Paris. Xx

  5. Tom says:

    Loved this post! My husband and I were in Paris a week before the tragic shootings/bombings last November and absolutely fell in love with the city. We plan to go back soon. We had actually considered a couple of the restaurants on you list but never made it to them; maybe next time. One recommendation I have for you though is Le Taxi Jaune. This is an absolutely wonderful little bistro that perfectly rides the line between traditional and contemporary cuisine. The owner/chef/waitperson/bartender/all-around jack of all trades, Otis Lebert, is a real character but treats his customers like gold. You should really try this restaurant while you are there.

  6. I didn’t particularly love Paris when I first visited a few years ago, and am planning to give it another chance next year, but your photos have made me feel like I just wasn’t looking at the city through the right eyes… you’ve captured the most stunning moments, now I’m actually really excited to head back! Thanks for the pastry recommendations, too ;)

  7. Janet says:

    Had this been up over last summer! I was teething for some coffee like what seems to be served at Boots.

    Have a lovely time! I’m saving this list forever.

  8. Miranda says:

    I was nineteen when I went to Paris – seems like a million years ago – with my younger sister, because I had such an obsession with Jean Paul Gaultier I dreamed of entering his Paris shop for two whole years before actually doing it. We went so unprepared it made the whole thing rather fun, we stayed for a week and hopped around very untouristy like, taking looooong strolls through Pére Lachaise – we were staying quite close – and the rive gauche, spending hours browsing through bookstores and little corners… we hardly saw any of those tourist spots that seem mandatory, and for years now I have been wishing I could go back and do that, the tourist part, but in hindsight, it was really cool to just be in Paris, without giving a toss about being a tourist. Of course it all must have changed ever so much, since then, but I would love to take a stroll down the road where our living quarters were and see if the boulangerie was still there, and the vintage clothes shop still existed…

  9. mariell says:

    I have been to Paris more times than I can count, but I’m going now in march and was looking for some different tips, will be bookmarking these and taking them with me. :) Thanks!

  10. Wow, that apartment!!! I travel much the same way you do, and Paris is one of my favouritest to visit precisely because it just lends itself to this kind of a life – the food in the grocery stores and the markets is so cheap and lovely, and strolling its streets is such a pleasure, that it’s a joy to just take it all home and cook yourself a big, glorious French meal from the comfort of your vacation apartment.

  11. I’m a 2 hour train ride away from Paris and I’m itching for another weekend getaway from London! I’m definitely visiting some of these eateries you mentioned! Thank you so much :) And lovely photos!! x

  12. Patricia says:

    I have never been there but it is a very special place for photographers !

  13. Wow, I’ve never been to Paris myself but these pictures are so pretty… I was planning to go to Berlin somewhere this summer, but I believe I’ve just changed my mind.

  14. Brittany says:

    Looks like the most beautiful way to experience Paris! Thank you for the downloadable guide, I’m definitely saving that for next time I visit!

  15. Allyson says:

    These pictures are making me homesick for a place I don’t know. Having a nest is my favorite way to travel as well- you get to know a pocket, and that pocket becomes yours. I hope you have a fantastic time on your retreat.

  16. […] most irresistible photos of Paris I saw this […]

  17. Wendong Yao says:

    The pictures looks great, I have been to France once and the pics make me miss the city so much. I hope this summer I can go there for the second time.

  18. […] Kirby, from the Local Milk blog, together with chef & Paris expert, Olaiya Land, will be hosting a photography and […]

  19. Katie says:

    Beautiful pictures of Paris, I loved this post. We also rented an apartment last time we stayed there and its a great way of having a bit more freedom to do the menu du jour at lunch and then relax if you want to in the evening. The Marais is such a great place to stay, your event sounds amazing!

  20. Your photographs are stunning, Beth… you’ve captured Paris so well! …But there is so much more to this lovely city than the Marais (which is freaking beautiful, truly, but not the only neighborhood worth exploring), as I just know you’ll see when you’re back here soon. If only I could join in on your retreat!

    Sending love,


  21. michal says:

    Looks beautiful. I recommend crepes at Breizh Cafe (111 Rue Vieille du Temple) in Marais.

  22. Christy says:

    Hi Beth,
    I’ve been enjoying your blog for some time now and love your Paris post. I am an American artist but my husband and I have called Paris home now for the past year. I am now looking forward to visiting some of your favorite spots that I have not already found! There are so many places here that I feel you would love so its exciting you will get to spend some time in the city. I’ve included a small list of favorites you may be interested in visiting on your upcoming time in Paris, just in case! Most of these are around the Belleville area where we live, but there are hidden gems all over this city :) Thank you again for another lovely blog post…always enjoy your words, stories, and art.

    Belleville Brulerie/CREAM cafe: a small coffee roaster in Paris. They source their coffee to the many wonderful craft cafes around Paris, but my favorite one is CREAM, located on Rue de Belleville (and around the corner from the Brulerie if you and/or your husband would like to meet them)

    Le Comptoir, this is a very small, local French restaurant and wine bar tucked away on the streets of Belleville. The menu changes weekly and is always made with fresh, stunning foods! I believe they just have a Facebook page.

    I would also highly suggest visiting Parc Butte-Chaumont…I’m a little biased since I go there almost every day but its stunning, especially in the spring!

    The small island also boasts the best ice cream in Paris, Shakespeare and CO is the place to go to channel Hemingway and le Belle Epoque, and I could go on and on about art/galleries but I will stop myself :)

    I wish you a wonderful time here and would love to answer any questions if you’d like some other suggestions. Take care and safe travels. x

  23. Oh, yesssss!!!! That would be my ideal stay/travel in a foreign country too. Staying at a homey locale with access to the kitchen, but mostly access to non-touristy establishments…yup, that sounds glorious. ^_^

  24. […] extravaganza, it was a lot of fun. A lot of nostalgia hit me when I read this blog post,  a weekend in paris, Local Milk put together some awesome tips for a relaxing trip, as well as some beautiful […]

  25. Sonja says:

    Diese Bilder sind so wunderwunderschön, dass ich direkt Fernewh bekomme…
    ♥ Sonja

  26. […] till Paris i inlägget. Dessutom från en av mina absoluta favoritbloggare – Beth Kirby på Local Milk. Hon besökte staden i januari i år så alla tips är dessutom högst […]

  27. sarah king says:

    Est-ce que vous parlez francaise? Si non, vous devrez appendre! C’est le plus beau Langue!

  28. What a beautiful, thoughtful guide. Thanks for producing such high-quality content. I’ve been to Paris a few times, and I love it — I’ll file this away for the next time I visit. You have a wonderful eye!

  29. […] A weekend in Paris. (swoon) […]

  30. Sabine says:

    I like Paris through your lens. I´ve been living here for about a year, and I must say you capture the vintage-y spirit of the city so well with your moody blueish photographs. Just beautiful!

  31. Sophie says:

    I know in asking this I risk a small part of me dying inside (that bit that sharpens and pulses when it sees something akin to something you lost but didn’t realise you had in the first place, so innate is the connection), but what is the shop pictured in the fourth shot with the ridiculously pretty cut glass pendant lights, please? X

  32. Chrystina says:

    Hi Beth!
    Congratulations to you, your baby girl and family! I love your blog and aesthetic and wanderlust““.
    Just curious, what is the pastry in your pictures? The disc shaped with beautiful lame etching. I’m a pastry maker and want to give it a try. I’m thinking it may be galette des rois! Merci d’avance!

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