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One Great Day in Paris, According to Meghan Donovan

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We are dreaming of days in Paris at Luxembourg Gardens

Photo by Meghan Donovan

We are dreaming of days in Paris at Luxembourg Gardens

For Meghan Donovan, it is about long walks, good food, and photo opps.

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Note: Though COVID-19 has stalled a lot of travel plans, we hope our stories can offer inspiration for your future adventures—and a bit of hope.

Meghan Donovan started her lifestyle site, wit & whimsy, in 2006. She was one of the first social media influencers and has maintained her presence as influencer culture has exploded and changed over the years. She posts new content on her blog and Instagram almost daily that covers lifestyle, travel, fashion, beauty, and personal stories. At the end of each year, she launches a Kindness Campaign, with suggestions on how to #SpreadKindnessSpreadJoy, such as charity and teacher donations and buying gift cards to pass out.   

In her travels around the world, she keeps going back to Paris. After living there for four months, and revisiting a few times a year from her Brooklyn home, she decided to turn her love and knowledge of Paris into a new business: a travel consultancy called Paris, Perfected that offers personalized Paris recommendations for hotels, restaurants, museums, culture, and more. 

Here’s her perfect day. And I’d love to hear yours! Please email me at annie@afar.com.

Paris, Perfected founder Meghan Donovan starting the day in Paris

Morning 

I like to start my days early because, to me, there is never enough time in Paris. There is a sense of magic in the air as the city slowly wakes up. 

I have two favorite hotels, one on the Right Bank, Hotel Thérèse, and one on the Left Bank, Hotel Récamier.

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In the Marais, there is a pint-size coffee shop called Ob-La-Di with beautifully tiled floors, where you can slowly drink your coffee that’s served by a friendly staff. I’ll get a croissant at Poîlane or Boulangerie Utopie and walk around snapping photos. 

When you stroll around Paris with no agenda, you can see where your feet lead you. You will discover endless colorful doors and surprising charming courtyards. I like to recommend photo spots for my Paris, Perfected clients, so I’ll take notes on any particularly delightful places I discover. 

I’ll pop into shops in the Marais as they open, such as the concept store Merci (their homewares are my favorite) or those along Rue de Turenne. I particularly love the candles at Kerzon and usually get one either for myself or as a gift for a friend. Nearby, the Place des Vosges is one of the most photogenic squares in all of Paris and also its oldest.

Afternoon 

For lunch, I love the sidewalk terrace at Café Charlot on Rue Charlot. There is no better place to watch the world go by over a warm goat cheese salad and a glass of cold rosé. 

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After lunch, I’ll walk towards Île Saint Louis. I love the bridges that lead toward the island and the views of the homes along the Seine. An afternoon treat of Berthillon ice cream is always a good idea, and my flavors of choice are usually raspberry and chocolate—a combination my mother introduced me to on my first trip to Paris as a little girl. To this day, a taste of Berthillon gelato is so nostalgic for me. 

From Île Saint Louis, I’ll head to Place Dauphine, one of my very favorite places in Paris, to sit under the trees and rest. Then I’ll stroll through the Palais Royal and gardens and pick up an afternoon noisette at Café Kitsuné.

Later on, I’d visit the Musée D’Orsay to see the Impressionist Wing, and then walk over to Luxembourg Gardens to relax and enjoy the slow Parisian park culture. If I am in the mood to treat myself, I’ll book a facial at the Institut Darphin, which is tucked away in a secret courtyard off of Rue Saint-Honoré that used to be Napoléon Bonaparte’s stables.

Evening 

The perfect dinner would be the steak frites and Grand Marnier soufflé with some beaujolais wine at Bistro Paul Bert in the 11th arrondissement. Even though it is more than 22 years old, you still should book ahead because it’s packed every night. They do simple, classic French cooking so well. If weather allows, I’ll stroll home along the Seine and try to catch a glimpse of the sparkling Eiffel Tower. 

For more on Meghan’s Paris, visit here.

>> Next: What to Do in the 7th Arrondissement After Checking Into J.K. Place Paris

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