Paris – Secret Discoveries!

Paris is one of those cities you can’t ever see enough of – you can also buy guidebooks galore but like any large city it is continuously changing and these 5 secret discoveries are based on real, up to date experiences made during my visit to Paris May 2016.

1. Hotel La Maison Favart

Having stayed in so many different hotels in Paris over the years – this hotel really managed to capture my heart – situated right by the Comic Opera, close to both the Opera and Madelaine it has a super nice feel to it.

Love the story of La Maison Favart – in 1745 when Charles-Simon Favart (director of the Comic Opera), falls in love with the actress Justine Duronceray. They marry 12th December the same year and so begins the story of the most famous couple in the history of Parisian theatre.

Each and every room has a unique character of it’s own. A new angle on a classic 18th century style, where memories of journeys dot the fine decor of the House. Every glance reveals another secret or an anecdote from the life of Monsieur and Madame FAVART…

Fell in love with the amazing hidden spa oasis – such a pleasant surprise right in the middle of Paris.

 The breakfast buffet is fab – not to mention the complementary tart and drinks put out for afternoon tea.

The concierge also seriously deserves a mention – having done absolutely everything to make sure our stay was wonderful – giving us a tour of the hotel and researching our every nook and cranny we wished to visit in advance!

2. Lunch at Musee D’Orsay


Musee D’Orsay is my favourite museum in Paris – partially possibly because it was originally built as a train station and not a museum so it is lighter than most museums – coupled with the fact that it always has a new exhibition to offer.

But this visit the best discovery was the awesome restaurant on the first floor – definitely worth a visit, even if it’s just to see the opulent decor but I can certainly also vouch for the fab food.

3. Escaping the Crowds at Versailles

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Versailles is a lovely day trip from Paris – super easy to get to via train from Les Invalides Metro Stop but, these days the crowds can be extremely daunting. My first time to Versailles was boxing day 17 years ago and there was barely a tourist in sight…this time the queue to get in was so long it went way out past the gates – the picture above was taken on our way out around 4pm!

Today you can choose to either take a little hop on/off train around the gardens or hire your own little golf car and explore at your leisure – I recommend the train as this gives you plenty of time to discover the Trianon buildings and gardens without worrying about when you have to return the car.

In an odd way I was thankful for the crowds as it meant we spent time visiting the amazing gardens and Grand Trianon – above -(home for Napoleon Bonaparte and his  second wife, Empress Marie-Louise )…eating a picnic lunch in the gardens outside  – highly recommendable as the restaurants are super crowded!DSC_0224Take time to explore the lovely interior!


As well as taking a journey into the past visiting the Petit Trianon (Marie-Antoinette’s favourite home).


It was great fun sitting in the gardens reading up about Marie-Antoinette and King Louis XIV and his mistresses etc…taking ourselves back in time…


4. Place des Voseges


The oldest planned square in Paris – today where you will find the most fabulous art galleries and great cafe’s …


…currently housing a display (free) all about linen – where it comes from and how it is used etc…we were amazed to find out how versatile the usage of linen is – from surf boards to bags -truly worth a visit!


5.  Where to find Paris Old Boutiques / Mercerie


What a lovely surprise it was to come across some lovely old haberdasheries just at the back of our hotel…see this link for a super write up



Stay tuned for more as in a couple of week’s FunkyForty will be visiting the perfume fair in Paris!

…and if you are planning a trip pretty soon do check out some great recommendations from TripAdvisor:


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Hi! I’m Yvonne, a 40 something (wink) Kiwi, living in Zurich. I love fashion, travel, shopping and food – believing chocolate will cure almost anything!

  1. Oh how I love Paris, it really is the most beautiful city in the world. La Maison Favart looks absolutely divine! I have yet to go to Musee D’Orsay – we usually go with our daughter and she’s not quite old enough to go to a museum without getting bored. We had a child-free weekend in Paris for my 40th birthday and packed a lot in (including the Louvre) but didn’t have time for Musee D’Orsay…next time. One year we went to Versailles – the day after I ran the marathon with sciatica and shin splints – and the house was closed so I hobbled around the garden using my daughter’s buggy as a zimmer frame! Thankfully my husband hired a golf buggy so I was able to have a rest!

    Emma xxx

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