I can’t be alone in thinking that this year flew by. It was packed with lots of wonderful and unique experiences, meals, people, and a few curveballs. Like anyone, my year was filled with highs and lows, but this ‘Best of 2019’ list focuses on the highs that happened in France.
January – Snow in Paris
I’m from Texas, so anytime there’s a little bit of snow anywhere I get excited. The January snow in Paris was especially fun for me because it was unexpected. I left my French class to discover Paris coated in a beautiful blanket of white. While the snow didn’t stick, it was a nice little treat.
February – Valentine’s Day at Le Train Bleu
February 2019 was a great month in Paris in general because it was basically sunny every day. However, since I’m picking specific Best of 2019 memories, Valentine’s Day dinner at Le Train Bleu is my pick. Romain surprised me, which is hard to do, and I would’ve never expected such a beautiful restaurant to be located inside Gare de Lyon. The setting is spectacular and we really enjoyed the tasting menu.
March – First Margarita by the Seine
One of my favorite things to do in general is to sit by the Seine. It’s quiet and super calming to be next to the water. Towards the end of March the weather was nice enough to sit by the Seine for the first time of 2019. I of course had to make a margarita to mark the occasion. If you’re visiting Paris, I highly recommend going down by the Seine for a drink, a picnic, or with a book for a quiet moment.
April – Notre Dame Cherry Blossoms
April was a highlight filled month – two of my best friends visited Paris, we went to Normandy for Easter weekend, and all of Paris was blooming. There was also a definite low when Notre Dame caught on fire. I feel even more fortunate now that I not only saw the cherry blossoms flowering outside Notre Dame for the first time this year, but also that because of my visiting friends we went inside Notre Dame just days before the fire. Seeing and photographing Notre Dame in April 2019 will always be a special memory.
May – Pavé du Mail at Chez Georges
May’s ‘Best Of’ moment is food related – and one of my all-time favorite meals anywhere. Chez Georges is one of those places where you can’t go wrong with whatever you order, but everyone who tries this dish is obsessed. So go to Chez Georges and order the Pavé du Mail with extra crispy fries. Trust me, after you try it you’ll crave it constantly.
June – Sainte-Chapelle Piano Concert
Certain experiences just take your breath away, and a piano concert at Sainte-Chapelle had that effect on me. June is a great month to go to a concert at Sainte-Chapelle because it stays light so late and you can really take in the incredible light from the stained glass windows. You can see the concert schedule at Sainte-Chapelle here.
July – Escaping the Heat Wave in Carolles
I love Paris, but I take every opportunity I get to leave for the weekend, especially in the summer. This year, there was an especially hot stretch of time in late July so we were lucky enough to escape to Carolles in Normandy. We spent our days outside – mostly swimming in the sea and eating fresh seafood on the porch. We also visited the Musée Christian Dior which is always a must-see for me.
August – Profiteroles at Le Voltaire
August is a wonderful time to visit Paris because it’s empty and feels like you almost have the city to yourself. I made an August in Paris Bucket List and did a bunch of things I’d never done before. What stands out to me most about August though is a six-hour experience on my favorite terrasse in Paris, Le Voltaire. We capped off a fun evening filled with laughs, margaritas, steak, fries, and mashed potatoes with the most divine profiteroles on this planet. The only way to describe them is sinful.
September – Sunday at Les Antiquaires
September was a hectic month filled with lots of travel, so I especially enjoyed a lazy, carb-filled Sunday morning breakfast at Les Antiquaires. I brought a book and enjoyed a moment of quiet and a buttery croissant paired with a buttery baguette and jam. It’s a simple (occasional) pleasure and a great way to reset for the week ahead.
October – Spending Time with Dalton
Dalton is Romain’s family’s eleven-year-old golden retriever and a literal angel. He’s the sweetest dog I’ve ever met and goes anywhere and everywhere in France sans leash. I beg Romain to ask his mom to let Dalton stay with me, and we had lots of time together in October. Dalton’s favorite activities are visiting the cheese shop, going to cafés for croissants, having chicken on the terrasse of Le Voltaire, and taking naps. He brings joy and happiness to whoever he encounters (and really makes me want to get a dog).
November – Fall in Paris
My favorite time to experience Fall in Paris is November. The temperatures are generally pretty mild and the leaves are the perfect shade of golden yellows and oranges. Plus it’s always exciting knowing the holiday decor is coming. Which leads me to…
December – Christmas in Paris
Without a doubt, December is my favorite month in Paris because of all things Christmas. Everything is festive and decorated and there’s just a feeling of magic in the air. I love seeing all of the decorations, but especially all of the Christmas trees throughout the city. My 2019 pick for best tree was at Palais Garnier.