Paris is a place of many clichés – the Eiffel tower looking romantic, chic woman drinking coffee in street cafes and of course Place de Clichy, to name just a few. So many of Paris’ clichés may be stereotypical but they are also brilliantly enjoyable. Perhaps I am mellowing in my older age but I say don’t be a cynical Cecile and instead fully embrace this iconic city, clichés and all.
My 7 favourite clichéd things to do in Paris:
- Browse and buy books in Shakespeare and company
- Eat and/drink in cafes and restaurants that are famous – (I can highly recommend ‘Procope’ which is the oldest café in Paris, established in 1686 – try their Coq au vin, my mouth is watering just remembering it)
- Visit a famous piece of art work, ideally whilst trying to forget that you’ve seen it reproduced on millions of coasters and mugs – (my favourite is Monet’s Water Lilies in the Musée de l’Orangerie, the first time I saw them I cried)
- Sit in a street café and watch the activity on the Seine, ideally whilst drinking coffee and looking chic…
- Reenact your favourite Parisian film – (I recently had a joyous day in Montmartre pretending I was Amelie)
- Go to the Louvre to watch the sunset (as seen here from a distance)
- Listen to some live jazz (I spent a lovely sunny Sunday afternoon this summer outside Péniche Marcounet, next to the seine on the right bank. There was a live jazz band and what seemed like a hundred swing dancers, I wanted to join in but I’m really not very coordinated so I had to make do watching and listening, with a chilled beer in hand, a perfect Sunday afternoon in Paris)
- Writing this list inspired me to start a totally new one which is brilliant as it now means I must return to Paris!My 7 favourite iconic things to do in Paris:
- Wear a tulle skirt near a famous Parisian landmark, ideally the Eiffel Tower, a la Leslie Caron in ‘An American in Paris’ or Sarah Jessica Parker in ‘Sex in the City’
Both lists are still open – if you have any suggestions I would be very happy to give them my due consideration…
Whilst writing this I have mainly been listening to jazz, here’s Sidney Bechet with Claude Luter and his orchestra playing “Si tu vois ma mère” by Bechet, just close your eyes and you’ll be in Paris.