TRAVEL GUIDE | PARIS, FRANCE 🇫🇷

If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.” – Ernest Hemingway.

Oh Paris! This is my second tryst with this captivating city and I look forward to the next. With only two nights in the city of love to end our European summer holiday, we avoided the typical landmarks and tourist traps, exploring the city on foot heading instead to dining hotspots. I hope you enjoy this travel guide. Just comment below with any questions!   

Grand Hotel Amour Travel Guide Paris

STAY | GRAND HOTEL AMOUR
📍
  18 rue de la Fidélité 

Grand Amour Hotel is located on rue de la Fidélité in the 10e, an upcoming neighbourhood fast becoming the place to be. You'll spot the tell-tale blue, red and white frontage and by night, the hotel's bar Petite Amour bursts with bodies across the road. Co-owned by Thierry Cos and designed by graffiti artist cum nightlife kingpin André Saraiva (Le Bain and Cafe Henrie in NYC, The Friend in LA, Le Baron in London).

Don't be offended by the erotic photographs, mainly of the designer himself, and the sex hyped details (yes that means vagina patterned carpet and a well endowed wooden carving of Mickey mouse in the lobby). You'll find 42 unique rooms (and one apartment) inspired by travels from across the globe and a hip pink washed restaurant.

We stayed in the Apartment which was perfect for three at 340,00 € per night (approx AUD $532 per night). The boutique hotel experience is so much more personalised. I love the attention to detail, being greeted by postcards and welcome notes on the bed and the Hermes bath products. You truly are treated as an individual and not just a room number. It may be a little pricier but is certainly worth it... treat yo'self! Read my blog for all the pics.

Grand Hotel Amour Travel Guide Paris
Grand Hotel Amour Travel Guide Paris
Paris Travel Guide

BAKED DELIGHTS | COLIN REGIS
📍 43 Rue Montmarte

When my sister’s Parisien friend shared a little insider info… ‘the best boulangerie-patisserie in Paris, in my humble opinion’, naturally it was our first stop. Order up and find a park bench to share your baked goods. Recommend arriving early as stocks were running low in the afternoon. Read my blog. 

Regis Colin
Stohrer Paris

BAKED DELIGHTS | STOHRER
📍 
51 Rue Montorgueil

Paris' oldest patisserie opened in 1730 by pastry chef Nicolas Stohrer, the pastry chef for Louis XV of France and his wife, the daughter of the king of Poland. Centuries on, Stohrer remains one of Paris' most distinguished. We stocked up on an eclair, strawberry tart, cannelle and mille feuille and enjoyed back at le apartment.  Read my blog. 

Stohrer Paris
Le Fermette Paris

CHEESE DREAMS | LA FERMETTE
📍 86 Rue Montorgueil

Cheese heaven! The best thing about staying in an AirBnb (or in our case Le Apartmentt at Grand Hotel Amour) is finding local produce and creating the ultimate grazing platter. The owners of this fromagerie were incredibly friendly, the gatekeepers of cheese heaven. Buy your weight in cheese and meats then head down the road for plump raspberries and fresh apricots. Read my blog.

La Fermette
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La Bovida Paris France Travel Guide

SHOP | LA BOVIDA MAGASIN LES HALLES
📍 36 Rue Montmartre

Gourmands, home cooks and chefs alike will fall in love with La Bovida. A two storey kitchen supply store brimming with every culinary utensil, tool and gadget you may never need. Definitely worth a visit, although very very pricey.

Mata Mata Paris France

☕️☕️ | MATAMATA COFFEE
📍 58 Rue d'Argout

Paris is good at many things and coffee certainly is not one of them. Luckily though, Matamata is serious about coffee. 

Mata Mata Paris France
Grand Hotel Amour

EATS | GRAND HOTEL AMOUR
📍 
18 rue de la Fidélité 

The Restaurant at Grand Hotel Amour is straight outta a scene from a Wes Anderson movie, event Refinery29 UK thinks so. Enjoy breakfast, a lazy lunch or glass of wine at dinner. The restaurant rolls easily from morning into night. Such a chic spot in Paris' favourite 'love hotel'. 

Grand Hotel Amour Brunch Paris Travel Guide
Hotel Grand Amour Paris Travel Guide
Le Comptoir de La Gastronomie Paris

EATS | LE COMPTOIR DE LA GASTRONOMIE
📍 34 rue Montmartre

You can’t go wrong with Les Classiques at Le Comptoir de La Gastronomie. Try the house made duck foie gras (any which way.. the carpaccio version was popular amongst diners) terrine with toast and chutney, Foie gras ravioli with truffle sauce, Shepherd’s Pie with duck and mushroom sauce and an obligatory serve of bourgogne snails. Read my blog here

Le Comptoir de La Gastronomie Paris
Le Dauphin Paris

EATS | LE DAUPHIN
📍 
31 Avenue Parmentier,

A hip bar serving Spanish-style tapas. You’ll love the marble everything and floor to ceiling mirrors. Very chic, very disco and right next door to Le Cave and Le Chateaubriand. This little strip is a must-do. Read my blog here.

Le Dauphin Paris
Le Chateaubriand Paris

EATS | LE CHATEAUBRIAND
📍 
 129 Avenue Parmentier

This stylish bistro run by self-taught Basque chef Iñaki Aizpitarte, came highly recommended by my friend, gourmand and all round good guy Max Veenhuyzen. His list of the world’s best eating haunts and cultural must eats is coveted and FK I'm lucky to have such generosity on tap. Sir… I salute you.

Le Chateaubriand was incredible!  70 Euros for the 7 course menu, 135 with matching wines.

Le Chateaubriand Paris
Maison Sauvage Paris France Travel Guide

DRINK | MAISON SAUVAGE
📍 
5 Rue de Buci

Find a spot streetside, order cocktails and watch the world go by. 

Au Petit Fer a Cheval Paris

EATS | AU PETIT FER A CHEVAL
📍 
30 Rue Vieille du Temple

Holiday dilemma #496… should your last meal be traditional cuisine of the destination? For us, the answer was yes. So we found a stylishly shabby old bistro, Au Petit fer a Cheval in Le Marais, that has likely not changed the menu since 1963. Soup du jour, Steak tartare, Duck confit and Beef bourguignon satisfied that calling for traditional French fare. Read my blog.

Au Petit Fer a Cheval.jpg

WISH LIST | FOR NEXT TIME
Experimental Cocktail Club
Le Cave
Clown Bar
Le Bon Marché
Le Hibou
Le Mary Celeste

EAT | WIDE OPEN ROAD (Brunswick, VIC)

Killer coffee, industrial charm, terrazzo tiles and punchy food. What's not to love about Wide Open Road

Sake Donburi Bowl on a bed of rice w grilled salmon, mixed veggies, edamame, seaweed and wasabi mayo. Side of gruyere potato cakes and avocado w lemon and basil.

Sake Donburi Bowl on a bed of rice w grilled salmon, mixed veggies, edamame, seaweed and wasabi mayo. Side of gruyere potato cakes and avocado w lemon and basil.

Coffee roasted in house

Coffee roasted in house

Wide Open Road Brunswick Breakfast
Bacon Sandwich w provolone, smoked mozzarella, apple and chilli relish

Bacon Sandwich w provolone, smoked mozzarella, apple and chilli relish

Wide Open Road Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

TRAVEL GUIDE | TAORMINA, SICILY ITALY 🇮🇹

High on Monte Tauro on the east coast of Sicily sits the resort town of Taormina. With sweeping views of the Ionian Sea, Mount Etna as its backdrop and an ancient Teatro Greco ‘Greek theatre’, this seaside location is the perfect escape for a taste of Sicilian dolce vita.

We packed a lot into our three nights in Taormina thanks to travel tips and recommendations from friends. I hope this list keeps you satiated.

Views of Mount Etna

Views of Mount Etna

Villa Hotel Belvedere Taormina Travel Guide

STAY | HOTEL VILLA BELVEDERE
📍 via Bagnoli Croci, 79

Hotel Villa Belvedere has all the charms of a traditional Sicilian private villa with its terracotta floors and parlour rooms. Nestled on the cliffs overlooking the Bay of Naxos and Mount Etna and only a short walk to the town. We loved our three night stay here. Read my review here.

Villa Hotel Belvedere Taormina Travel Guide

SEE | PIAZZA IX APRILE
📍 Corso Umberto

The main square of Taormina is Piazza 9 Aprile, the heartbeat of the town. Named after an important date, 9 April 1860, when mass in the Taormina cathedral was interrupted to announce that Garibaldi had landed at Marsala to begin his conquest of Sicily. Avoid the overpriced cafés that line the square, find a bench and enjoy some people watching whilst taking in the views. 

Taormina Travel Guide

SEE | TEATRO GRECO

The ancient Greek amphitheatre hosts almost all cultural events in Taormina. What a spot for a film festival?! HEAVEN.

The construction of the Teatro Greco dates back to the third century BC and is an awe-inspiring historical sight. Plus you'll love the stunning backdrop of the Calabrian coast, the Ionian coast of Sicily and Mount Etna. 

Taormina
Chiesa Santa Caterina D'Alessandria

Chiesa Santa Caterina D'Alessandria

SEE | VILLA COMUNALE
📍 Via Bagnoli Croce

Wander through the stunning public gardens to escape the hustle. Created by English aristocrat and conservationist Lady Florence Trevelyan in the late 19th century. Take a book and enjoy this lush paradise overlooking the sea. 

The Odeon, a modest Roman-era theatre of the AD 2nd century.

The Odeon, a modest Roman-era theatre of the AD 2nd century.

SWEETS | GELATOMANIA
📍Corso Umberto, 7

Look, I’m no gelato expert but I’m about two years into my Chicho Gelato addiction. That weekly hit of the good stuff has certainly refined my palate. Of all the gelato I tried in Taormina, Gelatomania was by far the best. Nearby town Bronte grows the best pistachios in the world, so make sure you get a scoop!

Taormina Travel Guide

SWEETS | PASTICCERIA MINOTAURO
📍 via di Giovanni 15

A local pointed out this little pastry shop. The glossy fruits will dazzle you if you’re a marzipan fiend. Otherwise go for the stuffed cannoli and keep going back until you are dead certain you’ve found your fave flavour.

SWEETS | BAM BAR
📍 via Giovanni di Giovanni, 45

An absolute must. This bright and lively granita bar is a favourite with locals and tourists. Endless granita flavours with in-season heroes. Order the Granita con Brioche… eat like the Sicilians by tearing off the brioche and dipping it past the cream into the granita below to get the full experience. YUM!

EATS | TISCHI TOSCHI
📍 via Francesco Paladini, 3

Cutest name, best little spot! My friend Alicia raved about this hidden gem. Tucked away from the main tourist drag, Tischi Toschi is a family-run trattoria with a focus on slow food. The limited menu changes with the seasons and you’ll find an interesting take on regional specialities. Dive into the wine list and let them steer you towards the local Sicilian winemakers. You have to order the baked goat cheese. Out of this world… salty, stringy, hot and loaded with garlic and herbs.

Tischi Toschi Taormina travel guide
Tischi Toschi Taormina

EATS | TIRAMISÚ TRATTORIA
📍via Cappucini, 1

Another gem from my friend with the good tastebuds. Tiramisu is located nearby Porta Catania and has an intimate and cosy vibe.

Staff were hilarious… this guy thinks he is a dead ringer for Vin Diesel. Go for the jokes, Risotto alla Marinara and Linguine Polpa di Ricci (sea urchin) and stay for its namesake, the tiramisu.

Tiramisu Trattoria Taormina

EATS | PIZZERIA VILLA ZUCCARO
📍 5 Piazza Carmine

This open-air pizzeria was absolutely heaving. Love the bustling vibe and watching pizza pans fly by. Beautiful big pies cooked the Neapolitan way. I have a soft spot (yep that jiggly bit around my waist) for cheese, so the quattro formaggi was my pick. Loved the prosciutto and pistachio number too. Wash it down with an Aperol Spritz. Mangia mangia!

WINE | AL GRAPPOLO D'UVA
📍  via Bagnoli Croci, 6

You'll find charming enotecas dotted through the town. We stopped in for prosecco at Al Grappolo D'Uva before dinner. Highly recommend having an early dinner and then settling in for the evening, letting the staff talk you through the local and natural wines.