Hello, friends. Hope you had a great weekend!
To kick things off this week, let’s dive into the Day Two recap from a recent trip to Paris.
(If you missed Day One, click here to check it out. Lots and lots of local recommendations!)
While we’d intended to get up earlier in the morning (don’t we all?), jet-lag was lingering — so we didn’t make it out of bed until close to noon. One of the best ways to see Paris (in my opinion) is to go there without a specific agenda, but one of the only things we’d planned in advance was taking an indoor cycling class that afternoon at Dynamo. Dynamo is an indoor cycling studio in Paris that brands itself very similar to SoulCycle, so of course I couldn’t miss it.
But first, of course… Coffee.
Thankfully, the Hotel du Louvre — our home-away-from-home — (briefly reviewed here) was super-central, so we were able to walk to the studio. On the way, we stopped into a cozy-looking cafe called Baguett’s for “take-a-way,” which means coffee to-go.
I wish we’d have had longer to linger in this place — the artful walls gave it a really home’y feel, and the all-you-can-eat breakfast menu looked fan-fucking-tastic. This is also the first place that I noticed that some Parisian restaurants have croissants available for free — kinda like a bread basket or how you’d see a jar of nuts on the counter at a bar. Weird, right? (Weird, but amazing.)
Finally, we arrive to the spin studio… Into class we go!
Dynamo was an experience. It’s very similar to SoulCycle (where I teach in Chicago) in the set-up and structure of the class — dark room, candles, loud music — but the bikes are a bit different. (If you didn’t know, SoulCycle bikes are unique because there’s a piece that connects the handlebars to the rest of the bike. This challenges you to ride back over your seat with your entire core engaged, so it’s ultimately a better full-body workout.)
The music was awesome; it’s the same things we listen to (you can even find their favorites on Spotify), but the entire class was in French. Jess and I found it very easy to follow, though, since we’ve been indoor cycling-obsessed for so long. Our Instructor, Clotilde, was super cool. One of those chicks you just want to be, you know?
(… Also worth mentioning, your first class at Dynamo is free!)
Now, on to more important matters: FOOD.
The area we were in (Paris’s Opera district) was quite cute, so we wandered for a bit before settling into a small cafe called Bagelstein. Bagels sounded good, for whatever reason — we were craving bread-heavy sandwiches. We sat outside despite the fact that it was a bit chilly, because, well — Paris.
By the time we finished eating, it was nearly 4 p.m. That evening, we’d decided to see our favorite DJ duo — The Chainsmokers — in concert that night.
We made our way back to the hotel (slowly, with a few photo ops and coffee stops along the way — natch) to shower and get ready for the evening’s events. Among the places we stopped into were Matamata Coffee Bar and a handful of stores along rue Étienne Marcel.
(And before we move on, a quick FYI to those who like to plan: The area where we spent Day Two is really close to the places we’d wandered on Day One, Rue Montorgueil. You could easily knock out seeing/exploring both in one day.)
… Into the night!
Our first stop of the evening was Cafe Ruc, a chic little restaurant located at the foot of our hotel. We sat outside and had some rosé, because again, Paris. (Oui!)
bottle beverage or two, we decided to hit up Hôtel Costes for one last pre-concert cocktail and a bit of a scenery change. It was Paris Fashion Week, after all, so we knew there would be some great people-watching (and potentially celeb spotting). Jess and I both had a total fan-girl moment with Nicole of Gary Pepper Girl.
We made our way to the concert venue, YOYO at Palais de Tokyo, and arrived a few minutes before the show started. Perfection! Uber is seriously a god-send in Paris, you guys. You can’t hail taxis in Paris (as you can in Chicago, New York or other big cities) — you have to find a taxi rank, which is located at most main intersections.
I shall spare you the nightlife details as my mother reads this blog (if you were following on Snapchat, you saw first-hand), but truly, this was one of the best nights of my life. It was so much fucking fun!
We danced and drank our way through the concert with a few hundred attendees, which seemed to be a mix of Parisian 20-something’s and American exchange students. (The number of people who asked me, “What are you studying?” Lol! Thanks, boo. Buh bye.)
As lovers of the nightlife scene, we obviously weren’t ready to call it a night post-show, so we headed to Le Ballroom du Beefclub, a basement cocktail club located underneath its sister restaurant (the Beefclub). The bar was dimly lit with a speak-easy vibe — and it was only accessible by a dark, unmarked door.
We ended up meeting a few French men who showed us a few of the city’s best nightlife spots, and we ended up at Concrete — a venue resembling a boat located right along the Seine river.
I’ll leave it at that for today — but listen, if you’re looking for a recommendation of the best late-night bars in Paris, we’ve got you. (Check out Beefclub, Experimental Cocktail Club, Prescription, Curio Parlor and Concrete.)
… Day three to come, mes amis!
PLACES WE WENT
- Baguett’s Café, 33 Rue de Richelieu
- Dynamo Cycling, 14 Rue Saint-Augustin
- Bagelstein, 102 Rue Montmartre
- Matamata Coffee Bar, 58 rue d’Argout
- Hotel du Louvre, Place André Malraux
- Cafe Ruc
- Hôtel Costes, 241 rue Saint Honoré
- YOYO (Palais de Tokyo), 13 avenue du Président Wilson
- Le Ballroom du Beefclub, 58 rue Jean Jacques Rousseau
- Concrete, 69 quai de la Rapée
SPACES WE EXPLORED
- Palais Royale
- Opéra (district)
- Etienne Marcel/Montorgue
Photography by Hallie Wilson & Jessica Sturdy