wander guide : a weekend in paris

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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