London lifestyle & travels with kids and babies
Paris is always a good idea but springtime in Paris is truly magical: trees blooming, parks burst into flowers, plane trees sprout foliage over boulevards and of course cafe and restaurant terraces buzz with all Parisians and their love for warmer longer days spent outdoors.
(I) Paris spring temperature in March: 15°C high and 5°C low, this can be a risky bet for long walks if combined with storms or grey skies, but fear not, one can warm up with kirs, champagne, sugarless or very dark organic chocolate, late lunches in cute brasseries, mews and arcades. March in Paris on the cover of few French magazines, slow life is the thing to do. Take your time. Re-balance. Hygge – the art of small pleasures, more popular than ever, apparently the 3rd term which made it in Collins dictionary few yeas ago, right after Trumpist and Brexit. Hygge very needed I’d add in this context and definitely girls getaway long weekend, Paris in March with friends and celebrations.
If one is unlucky to catch very literally 50 shades of grey, Paris in March still charms through bookshops, markets and posh chilled bolts, from vibrant streets of Les Marais and Montorgueil, to the chic boutiques in 6eme, more Rive Droite, aimed for Musee d’Orsay and ended up at le Bon Marche. Cocktails, long chats, banters and dancing late in the night. Lazy mornings, taking the time, slow life – le nouvel equilibre. Thank you storm Stella for messing up spring both London and Paris, from sunny 20 degrees, abruptly got into very wet and grey but hey there is the slow life – prenez votre temps!
(II) Paris spring temperature in April: 20°C high and 8°C low, crisp air, trees blooming, and fewer crowds, traveling to Paris in April certainly has many benefits, Sinatra sung so well about!
(III) Paris spring temperature in May: 22°C high and 11°C low, this must be my favourite time to go to Paris with kids or friends!
Best area to stay springtime in Paris ? I love picking my old neighbourhood as a pied a terre : 8eme, 16eme or 17eme are all glorious and the best of it all is L’Hotel du Collectionneur, 2 minutes from Parc Monceau and overlooking Paris’ iconic 8th Arrondissement, 5 minutes away from buzzy Champs-Élysées and the emblematic Arc de Triomphe. 1930s elegance mixed with authentic Art Deco architecture and furnishings, a trendy bar stocked with great wines and fab cocktails, a superb spa, gardens and terrace, Le Collectionneur left us all in love again with the City of Lights in the spring.
A perfect base for Paris daily trips, Le Collectionneur sits beautifully also 10 minutes by Arc de triumph and the top of Champs Elysees, 20 minutes from Palais Galliera and gardens, 25 minutes by foot to Trocadero and 30 minutes by foot Tour Eiffel.
Breakfasts at Le Collectionneur were fabulous, Paris with baby is made so easy in here! For toddlers and olders kids there’s also a gorgeous terrace to play by before exloring Paris or heading to Parc Monceau.
Our favourite spots for springtime in Paris? The kids vote always goes to La Tour Eiffel, exploring the gardens and climbing it to the top!
My vote goes for Musee Rodin and its stunning gardens: 7 acres by Les Invalides populated by Rodin’s sculptures intertwining with lush blooms and greenery in poetic ways – a fabulous space for reflection and soaking in the meanings of The Thinker, The Gates of Hell, The Three Shades, Orpheus. Or to run around in and cause mischief in between the 2 sessions and floors of the museum, according to our kids !
Our favourite parcs in spring include Bois de Boulogne and Parc Monceau, heaven for flower lovers as well as modern architecture, art and kids ! La Fondation Louis Vuiton gets families entrance for both Jardin d’acclimatation and the museum, and the building is the most incredible piece of modern architecture, a playful and bold interlace of wood, glass, water and mirrors huge bird/ ship taking off Bois de Boulogne.
We took the elevators upto its 5th floor and soaked in the views, took the stairs to the 4th and 3rd floor and thereafter played for a while in its huge cavernous basement, by the water and mirrors: reflections, hiding, playing.
Bateaux Mouches are always a good idea with tired or little feet and needless to say sunny spring days makes the boat rides enchanting!, a visual feast with Parisien sights.
Best chic Paris restaurants in the spring ? One is spoilt for choice, from chic brasseries to fusion cuisine. For a cool yet classic Parisian brasserie, check La Rotonde de la Muette. Behind the Ace Hotel and the Standard High Line, La Rotonde charms with walnut paneling, gleaming surfaces and rich textures, great brasserie food, mixing cool with comfort. Brasserie Auteuil is another 16eme favourite, trendy covered rooftop (and heated when needed!). Set in a former train station (the Gare d’Auteuil) , the old line that circumnavigated Paris at the end of the 1800s but fell into decline with the arrival of the metro. The décor is modern and industrial yet cozy and inviting, with plenty of lovely corners to delight any interior design fan. The tiled bar, beautiful bathrooms (both upstairs and the one in the basement that’s also worth visiting) and lighting and plant arrangements pop against the architecture of the original building.
Also in the 16eme and a former Gare, Andia (formerly Restaurant La Gare) takes one on a culinary voyage, including favorites from France, Spain, Argentina, China, and more. Sunday brunch buffet ( between 12:00 and 15:00, €58 per adult) is raved about , one can linger for hours, playing the French boules game pétanque on the back patio and taking the time to really enjoy the food and drinks.
Friends also rave about Bambini with kids (or without) in spring, the new trendy Italian trattoria at Palais de Tokyo and the Museum of Modern Art: chill-out, good sound, sunset facing the Eiffel Tower , cool cocktails and pretty clientele. And in April 2023, we fell gain in love with Berkeley, delicious French cuisine: fish, octopus grilled, truffled mashed potatoes, warm service and yum kids menus – we will be back!
For sans enfants in the afternoon we reckon Athenee Plaza bar by Avenue Montaigne is good and do make sure you check out the latest art collection in the courtyard. The evenings are buzzing at Manko Club, whilst its Peruvian cuisine and its cocktails are yum: expect a DJ and dancing Thursday onwards. Roxie is also fun and lively and yes, we have discovered it way before Mindy & Emily!
For more French inspiration, head to La vie en rose: 4 days in Paris with toddlers and kids; our dedicated post on best chateaux hotels and a fabulous France road trip; Provence with kids , Dordogne luxury family holidays or Luxury stays in a seafront superb chateau in Marseille.
PS: Many thanks to Hotel du Collectionneur Paris for the royal welcome, bubbles, cookies, balloons and beautiful executive suite upgrade and Bateaux Mouches for the complimentary tickets.