I am surprising my partner with his first overseas trip - 3 days in Paris!
My goal is for this to be a mellow "introduction" to European travel before our planned 10-14 day trip this fall (Spain, Italy, or France-TBD). I just wanted him to get a little taste of the culture shock element on a quick trip rather than on a longer trip so he would know what to expect.
We'll do some of the "big things" (Louvre/Orsay for the art, Notre Dame for the history, etc) but mostly I just want enjoy the experience of being in Paris, strolling along and enjoying each other's company.
We consider ourselves foodies and beginner wine-os (isn't there a better word than oenophiles/wine-os for people who enjoy wine?). On this trip though I'm not looking for the Michelin star-driven itinerary nor really interested in criss-crossing the city for the hot new spot (we do that enough at home!). Just solid, sometimes innovative, high quality dining.
Neither of us speak French, but I am sure we'll be armed with some translation assistance. and I've learned the hard way that even though I speak German fluently - asking the French if they speak German after they say "no" to speaking English is generally not well received)
We'll be staying in the 7th between Invalides/Eiffel in an Air Bnb apartment so we can enjoy a relaxed morning coffee and pastry for breakfast before embarking on the day. I'd like to keep our evening meals in that basic area so we can take an early evening break at the apartment and clean up for dinner at 830/900 - then waddling back to let it all partially digest before collapsing into bed.
My goal for our three dinners is to have some sampling of styles (casual/formal/traditional/modern), french regional traditions - to the extent possible with three dinners - and some delicious seafood (our personal favorite). We're both open/adventurous diners - no restrictions!
Here's my initial crack at an itinerary:
Thursday (arrival in the AM from the US)
Lunch - picnic of cheese/bread/charc or maybe a quiche/savory tart or something portable in the Champ de Mars. My personal cure for jetlag is spending some time out in a green space in the sun - so this is of course weather permitting. Plus it gives us some flex in timing in case the flight is delayed/train is delayed/etc.
Dinner - Phillippe Excoffier or Le 122 (looking for comfortable with a touch of formality - modern French cooking).
Lunch - I anticipate spending the morning at the Louvre, will need to do some research to find a little place for sandwiches or something in the general vicinity (within 15 mins walk), maybe a stand up bar for a glass of wine and oysters or somewhere for sandwiches. Not decided yet.
Dinner - Bistro Belhara or Chez L'Ami Jean. One of the options we'er considering for our fall trip is Spanish basque country - so I would LOVE to do some French Basque. I thought having a high-energy place as L'Ami Jean is reported to be would be a fun change of pace - more akin to what we enjoy at home.
Lunch - if the weather holds, I'd love to do morning at Notre Dame/Saint Chappelle and then meander down to the Lux. Gardens to have another outdoor lunch while people watching and soaking up the scene.
Dinner - Thinking Les Climats or Antoine. A higher end, capstone experience.
Thoughts/input/comments are all completely welcome! Many Thanks.