Ahhhh those glorious days of sunshine we just experienced in Paris. If only they were here to stay. We have to hold out a little bit longer until spring, so we thought we’d give you the inside scoop on how to stay relaxed in Paris until the flowers bloom. Here’s our rundown of some chill places to take a break in Paris:
- Rêves d’Abyssinie (132 rue Saint Denis 75003) : Named in honor of Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee, this adorable little coffee shop is relaxed and houses a beautiful brass bar that will have you drinking cup after cup of their 1euro40 coffee (at that price, who wouldn’t?!). With deliciously brewed coffee from Brazil, and soon to be offered Turkish coffee, this place offers a feel good experience with an international kick. While coffee is often an exotic product that comes from afar, Reves d’Abyssinie serves creations that remain true to the origins of the coffee beans. Throw in a soup or sandwich and you’ve got yourself the perfect place to take a lunch break or grab a midafternoon espresso to reboot your morale.
- Les Galeries du Panthéon Bouddhique (19, avenue d’Iéna 75016) : Did you know that in the heart of the 16th, near Iena, lies a beautiful Japanese garden ? Neither did we! This Japanese garden is located next to the Guimet Museum, the French national museum of Asian art, and is a paradise that attracts Buddhist sages but is open to all. Upon entering the garden one sees bamboo awnings, stone paths, wooden bridges, which are not to be overshadowed by the soothing sound of a stream. The garden is designed to represent Harmony (Wa), Respect (Kei), Purity (Sei) and Serenity (Jaku). Each week there is a tea ceremony open to all who are curious about Buddhist teachings. This unique garden makes for a perfect relaxation spot—best of all, it’s free.
- Cupckarie Chloé. S (40 rue Jean-Baptiste Pigalle 75009) : Can one ever be unhappy when one is holding/eating a cupcake? Doubtful! Trade in your afternoon smoke session for a cupcake break. At Cupckarie Chloe. S you can choose from among the M&M Chocolate cupcakes to the Black Tea cupcakes, just to name a few. The icing is whipped to perfection and though you may go in with the intention of only buying one, you’ll probably exit this store with more. You know what they say about temptation—avoid it or yield to it. Cut yourself some slack and give in to these sugary delights. An added bonus: they put marshmallows in your coffee. This girly boutique, which looks like a doll’s house, is sure to sprinkle your day with sweetness.
- Le 7th Ciel (12 rue Joseph de Maistre) This list wouldn’t be complete without one rooftop bar. After all, cocktails with a view is one of the most relaxing and delightful combinations. Head to Le 7th Ciel, where you’ll find a beautiful lounge set-up and a terrace that overlooks the city with a panoramic view. Drinks don’t come cheap here but you’ll find an assortment of mojitos, whiskies, champagnes, and beer. Risottos, salads, bruschetta, and tapas make for yummy munching food. It’s best to take in the plants, sunshine, and view in the afternoon when things are slower and more mellow. At night the bar fills up quickly and you’ll have to fight for a bench or table. This is the perfect place to come for swanky drinks with friends who want to soak up the sun and enjoy the Parisian skyline from Montmartre.
5. Place Dauphine (Place Dauphine) Last summer I discovered the fun that is petanque. What was once considered a game for older people has now become the newest hipster game of choice. To play all you need is a friend or two, an open space, and the ability to aim and then throw the ball. Someone throws the jack and the rest of the game is spent trying to throw your boules closer to that jack than the other players. It sounds a little crazy I know, but it’s wickedly relaxing, especially at dusk with the sun setting behind you. Place Dauphine has a great little area in which to play petanque. Make a day or evening of it by bringing a picnic, some nice wine, and great friends.