(Emily) Kutlwano in Paris
My One Day Parisian Adventure
This blog is one of the best ones that I’ve done, it was fun and it was frivolous and it was just the light thing that I needed to lift the load that I’ve had on my shoulders since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. What’s this blog about you might ask? Well, I decided that I am going to revisit some of the places that were featured in the Netflix series, Emily in Paris. You might think that this is because I am one of the die-hard fans of the show but this is not so, I merely wanted to visit these places because it was one of those fun things for me to do and a new way to explore Paris.
I know that most of the time when one visits Paris, we want to visit all the landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and the catacombs to name a few. And there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just that sometimes you need a fun new way of exploring things. So, I will take you through my unconventional tour of France using Emily in Paris as a reference.
I came across this blog that listed the places that were featured in Emily in Paris and it provided some history of these places that were suggested. The visits were not chronological or mentioned in such a way that places that are close to each other are grouped and your exploration is made convenient. You’d find that on the list, a place is listed first, then you travel maybe 5km to visit the place, and then you have to circle back to the point where you started to get to the second place. This blog is going to be more chronological and make it more fun for you to visit and enjoy all these new and not-so-new places.
We are going to start with where Emily stayed, her apartment at Place De L’Estrapade. It’s a quaint building with the well-known charm of old Parisian buildings. There’s a fountain across from the building. The building is in the Latin Quarter of the city. Then from there, let’s say less than 150 m we go to the famous restaurant, Les Deux Compères, where Emily’s neighbuor/boyfriend/friends-with-benefits, worked as a chef. He later buys the restaurant. As you can imagine, most restaurants have been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, restaurants can now serve patrons on the terraces. Hopefully, by the time you visit, all these restaurants and museums will be operating at full capacity.
Right next to the restaurant is Boulangerie Morderne where Emily gets her first taste of freshly baked chocolate bread, pain au chocolat. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth so I gave the bread a miss and opted for a delicious freshly baked tart. Then from the Boulangerie, it gets a bit tricky because we have to get to Emily‘s workplace which is a 20–25 minute walk from the bakery. You could either take a train or you can walk and explore other nearby monuments. I prefer to do a lot of walking because as you walk you get to discover a lot of gems along the way.
Next, I walked to Emily’s workplace, Place De Valois, and along my walk, I came across The Pantheon, a place where a lot of the people that made significant contributions to the history of France are buried. It was initially built as a church dedicated to Saint Genevieve, the patron saint of Paris. This is where you will find the remains of Victor Hugo, Marie and Pierre Currie, Voltaire and Alexandre Dumas to name a few. The remains of Simone Veil are also at the Pantheon, she was responsible for ensuring that women can have legal abortions in France.
From there, you walk down the street and then you get to the Luxembourg Gardens, a beautiful park that’s also home to the Luxembourg Palace. The palace was originally built for King Louis XIII’s mother but after the revolution, it was refashioned into a legislative building. Then from there, you take Boulevard Saint Michel where you will come across the Fountain of Saint Michael. A lot of first-time tourists skip this important Parisian landmark but it has a rich history and is of great significance. The statue was commissioned by Napoleon III as part of a major reconstruction of Paris. The construction of this fountain opened up the area into a large public square.
A short detour to the right will then lead you to the famous chapel of Notre Dame. It’s still under reconstruction since it’s burnt down in September 2019 but this shouldn’t deter you from admiring the architecture of the church from the outside. Not to be missed of course is the statue of Nicolas De Condorcet down Rue Quai de Conti. The Marquis De Condorcet was a philosopher, mathematician, and political scientist. He advocated for things that are still topical to this day such as a liberal economy, free and equal public education, and equal rights for women and people of all races.
A short distance from Notre Dame is another world-famous landmark, the Louvre. Here, you get to see the famous glass pyramids and of course, if you have a bit of time, you can go and check out the artwork once the museum reopens. Then right across from the Louvre is another chapel, Saint-Germain l’Auxerrois. The traditional Latin Mass is celebrated every day at this chapel and since the Notre-Dame fire, the services that used to take place there have now been transferred to Saint-Germain chapel.
From the chapel, we eventually get to the place where Emily worked and as can be expected, this place is magical. There’s also a very quaint restaurant that you can sit at and take a short break from all your exploration so far and just enjoy a quiet and relaxed lunch or brunch and depending on what time it is. Then of course you get to see the gallery where Emily‘s fashion show happened (before the white dress she was wearing is splashed with paint).
Then of course the natural progression from here is to go to the Palais Royale to see the beautiful gardens there. I loved the statuary and the roses and this is worth a visit. I just need to mention here that from the Palais Royal, you can go and see the Tuileries Gardens. The beautiful flora, statues, and fountains there provide a magnificent maze that you just want to explore.
From the Tuileries Gardens, walk to Pont De Alexandre III, the famous bridge where Emily interrupts a photoshoot with a naked model. But, historically and more significantly, this bridge was built in honour of Tsar Alexander III in 1896. Tsar Alexander concluded the Franco-Russian Alliance in 1892. Of all the 37 bridges in Paris, this bridge is considered the most ornate and extravagant.
From this bridge, you can walk to the Eiffel Tower or the Avenue Champs-Élysées. On one side of the bridge is the Grand Palais with its golden dome and on the other side is the Petit Palais, an art gallery on Winston Churchill Avenue. Walking in the direction of the Grand Palais, you go towards the iconic iron structure that is the Eiffel Tower and opposite this is the Palais Du Trocadero. This location makes for the best backdrop photos of the Eiffel Tower. From the Eiffel Tower you can walk to Avenue Champs-Élysées and the Arc De Triomphe.
From Arc de Triomphe, you can take the Champs-Élysées subway line number 12 and make your way to La Maison Rose. In terms of the Metro, I just need to mention that if you think that you’re going to take the train and bus a lot instead of walking, then it would be better for you to buy a day pass because this allows you to get on and off the train or bus several times using just the one pass. Then we get to the La Maison Rose, a restaurant established in 1905 and independently owned, although it has changed ownership multiple times over the years. This of course is where Emily and her friend go before their big night out in town.
But this is not where the tour ends because just a short walk from the restaurant is the magnificent Sacré Cœur (The Sacred Heart of Paris). This church is located at the highest point of the city and gives you a breathtaking view of Paris. Your exploration can continue from this church because a short distance from Sacré Coeur, you can walk to the Moulin Rouge.
This adventure took me one day to complete, proving that Paris is indeed a small village (to quote Emily’s boss). I hope you enjoyed this blog and if you have any requests about other places around France that were featured in a movie or a show that you’d like me to explore and write about, do let me know.