Paris Photo Diary, Part 2

Musée des Archives Nationales oak fort trench coat dolce vita flats

We haven’t been back to Paris since pre-kids, and perhaps it’s my shift in style and tastes as I get older, but I felt more inspired than ever being in the city. The architecture, the interiors, the fashion at every turn… the locals have nailed the polished smart casual style that I can only aspire towards!

Since we’ve visited a few times in the past, we took it easy on this trip without much of an itinerary. We did a ton of walking on both sides of the river, explored smaller attractions, and tried to live the leisurely outdoor cafe life (though stick with indoor dining if you’re sensitive to cigarette smoke!). While I’m wearing flats in these photos, sneakers were the go-to for longer walks.

Hotel de la marine audio tour aritzia sweater crop effortless pants
Audio tour at Hôtel de la Marine. In Aritzia sweater xxs c/o, effortless crop pants 00

What we did

We planned our daily outings near an attraction, then ate, shopped, and walked around the area afterward and back to our hotel.

  • Hôtel de la Marine. A favorite museum this visit! A beautifully restored, grand mansion from the 1700s overlooking the Place de la Concorde. It once kept the king’s furniture and jewels before housing the royal navy. The audio headset guides you from room to room (with stunning interiors), sharing history and tidbits of what life was once like.
  • Petite Palais (free admission). A smaller but nice art museum by Ave de Champs Élysées with plenty to look at. Beautiful ceilings and a peaceful courtyard to sit down and admire the scene.
  • Musée des Archives Nationale (free admission). Pictured at the top of this post. A mansion in le Marais with pretty grounds and grand living chambers that once belonged to the Prince & Princess of Soubise. This also houses some national artifacts, but those descriptions were in French, so we just browsed then headed out to explore the neighborhood. Lots of eateries and shops around the corner like Sezane and Polene.
  • Picnic / takeout at Jardin des Tuileries and Jardin du Luxembourg
  • Things on our list we didn’t get to: Palais Garnier (tickets were sold out so plan ahead), Galerie Dior which was highly recommended.
  • Shopping: will blog more on this, but some designers that are priced notably less over there are Polene, LV Celine, Prada, Goyard, Maje, and Sandro just to name a few! Be sure to bring a passport when shopping to do paperwork for a VAT refund.

Where we stayed

We spent half our trip at the Hôtel Grand Powers near the Champs Elysées, and the other half at Hôtel Alfred Sommier near the Jardin des Tuileries and Opéra Garnier. Both are in the 8th arrondissement, but I found the latter hotel to be more conveniently located. I love doing hotel recaps and took a number of photos, so will save those details for a separate post!

sezane blouse madewell jeans dolce vita flats
Seafood at Hugette // Sezane blouse 0/32, Madewell jeans in Altoona 24P, Dolce Vita flats 5.5 (more sizes)

Where we ate

You guys shared so many recommendations in the comments of this post, definitely take a scroll through if you’re visiting! We aren’t big on reservations so ended up at mostly casual spots. I recognize that many of these are touristy, but we enjoyed them nonetheless!

L’Avant Comptoir – recommended by quite a few of you! Casual little wine bar serving small plates with multiple locations near the Luxembourg Palace. We went to their location “de la mer” (of the sea) which served primarily seafood, and was directly adjacent to their other location serving non-seafood. We went at noon and there were barstools with plenty of seating. In hindsight, I would’ve liked to go to one of their locations with non-seafood plates as well.

Hugette – a seafood bistro that we sat down at after walking by because everyone’s plates looked good. Good people watching if you can tolerate smoke from fellow outdoor diners. A short walk from L’Avant Comptoir and there was a popular gelato shop next door.

angelina cafe paris
Breakfast at Angelina’s // Zara pearl blouse xs (loose fit on me), Anne Klein watch

Angelina Paris – Always a good bet for indulgently creamy hot chocolate, breakfast, tea sets and pastries. The Rue de Rivoli location opens at 7:30 AM for jet lagged travelers who are up bright & early. We were able to walk from Hotel Alfred Sommier.

Chez Andre – Our other hotel (Grand Powers) was right by this restaurant and Le Relais D’entrecôte, which is famous for having just 1 meal on their menu: steak frites with gravy and a greens and walnut salad. The line was long at Le Relais so we popped across the street to Chez Andre for a classic French bistro meal. There’s outdoor seating, daily specials, and a spread of seafood on ice greeting you at the door. I enjoyed the garlicky razor clams appetizer special!

Pink Mama – Some find this spot to be overhyped, but if you’re just dining here without being influenced by any social media, we found it to be nice experience with good, reasonably-priced food in a beautiful setting. Make reservations in advance and request to sit at the top floor, or walk-in toward the end of their lunch service hour for a short wait. I had read that the pasta is very al dente compared to what we’re used to here, so asked for it to be a little more cooked.

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Decor & dishes at Pink Mama were a feast for the eyes. We split the grilled octopus, eggplant ravioli, truffle pasta, zucchini salad with burrata and drinks for around $100
paris vacation

Enni Udon – I can’t help but crave Asian food wherever we visit! This was a short walk from the Grand Powers hotel, and on the pricier side for noodles but typical of the area. I’m still thinking about the flavorful miso cream udon (happens to be dairy-free) which was unlike any udon I’ve tried before!

paris vacation restaurant
Tasty miso tofu cream udon at Enni Udon (bottom left dish)

Kuma – tiny Japanese curry spot in le Marais, down the street from the popular L’as do Falafel. After visiting the Musée des Archives, we split an overstuffed falafel sandwich and then meandered here to share a very flavorful curry plate. Most people were getting takeout since the restaurant is so small, and there was a good looking vegetarian option.

Les Nouilles Dansantes – casual Chinese spot where you can choose either hand-pulled (rounder) or knife cut noodles (flat, wider style). Nick enjoyed his spicy beef noodle soup and we were both impressed by the roast duck, which is boneless with extra crispy skin. Saw several regulars coming in just for the duck on rice. If you’re having it with noodle soup, ask for the duck on the side so it’ll stay crispy!

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Japanese curry bowl + egg at Kuma for $14
archives museum paris trip
The princess room at the Musée de Archives Nationale
hotel de la marine paris
Hotel de la Marine
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Classic Parisian style with loafers & trouser socks
paris outfits
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  1. imnotarunner wrote:

    I went to Hugette and had a wonderful meal thanks to you last week. 🙂

    Posted 5.28.24 Reply
  2. Anonymous wrote:

    Thank you Jean for your post. Can’t wait to visit some of the sites you mentioned, especially checking the interior of the Opera House as well as Dior. There are so many places to eat but so little time. Maybe you can do a video on your Paris haul.

    Posted 4.30.24 Reply
    • Extra Petite wrote:

      Hi! I didn’t buy much this trip but there was so much eye candy! I took some try on photos and noted the price comparisons vs the US and will share those soon : )

      Posted 5.6.24 Reply
  3. Serena wrote:

    Thanks for all the recommendations! I love the Parisian style so very chic. The ballerina flats you are wearing are flattering as well. Loved the Zara blouse, I would have probably worn more black


    Posted 4.27.24 Reply
    • Extra Petite wrote:

      Hi Serena, thank you so much! I appreciate your kind words 🙂

      Posted 4.29.24 Reply
  4. Sophie wrote:

    Merci! Wonderful post – please do tell though is it an Hermes Kelly 25 in gold in the mirror photo at Hôtel de la Marine?

    Posted 4.26.24 Reply
    • Extra Petite wrote:

      Hi Sophie, you have a sharp eye! Yes it’s a 25 in gold that I got last year.

      Posted 4.29.24 Reply
  5. Vera How wrote:


    Posted 4.25.24 Reply
    • Extra Petite wrote:

      Thank you Vera!

      Posted 4.26.24 Reply

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