Now that E.’s moved in with me, our trip to Paris feels like a million years ago. Amazingly, it’s only been about a month–I cannot believe how time flies.
With E. and Melanie immediately post-proposal
One of the reasons our trip to Paris was so awesome–other than, um, the fact that we got engaged–is because of where we stayed. Rather than getting a traditional hotel room, we took the advice of my fellow bloggers in the Luxury Travel Blog Network and decided to rent a luxury apartment through Avenue Story.
I wrote a bit about Avenue Story when we were in Paris, mostly along the lines of: OH MY GOD, I CANNOT BELIEVE WE ARE STAYING IN THESE AMAZING APARTMENTS. We ended up renting two different apartments on the Left Bank, and we had a vastly superior experience than if we’d stayed in a regular hotel. It’s partially because of the convenience factor–with the Avenue Story apartments, you have a kitchen, washer and dryer, and oodles of space–and partially because Avenue Story offered a concierge service above and beyond what I’ve found at most Parisian hotels.
That’s not to say that if you were staying at the Ritz, the Crillon or the Georges V you wouldn’t have a fan-freaking-tastic concierge to call upon…but are you staying at the Ritz, the Crillon or the George V when you’re in Paris? I didn’t think so. I’m certainly not! (Maybe someday…)
Honestly, though, now that I’ve had the Avenue Story experience, part of me wouldn’t want to stay in crazy fancy five-star hotels. E. and I had a crazy fancy five-star hotel experience when we left Paris for Reims, at Chateau Les Crayeres, and while that hotel was next-level amazing, we were so much comfortable in the sprawling, homey, quiet apartment near Invalides with a view of the Eiffel Tower that we rented to close out our trip.
Getting snap-happy in our Rue de Bac apartment–got engaged about two hours later!
Avenue Story properties are available in Paris, in London and in the Loire Valley. E. and I rented two apartments: one was just steps from the Seine and the Musee d’Orsay on the Rue de Bac, and the other was down the street from Le Bon Marche and around the corner from Invalides. Both were a hop, skip and a jump away from Metro stations and in areas full of cafes and shopping.
A quick perusal of their website shows some Parisian apartments that are even more bonkers than the ones we stayed in: Avenue Story offers an apartment with a balcony view of the Eiffel Tower that’s to die for. To die. Check it out here.
So back to that concierge: after E. proposed, he told me just how instrumental the Avenue Story team had been in helping him plan everything. They helped him narrow down and eventually pick the restaurant for our post-proposal dinner, made reservations for our post-proposal dinner at Laperouse and on the following night at Michelin-starred restaurant Lasserre, suggested hotels and champagne houses in Reims, made the hotel, dinner and champagne-tasting reservations for those places in Reims, and organized private cars to and from Charles de Gaulle airport for us.
Our friendly concierge David also visited both of our apartments to make sure we were comfortable and that the (free) wi-fi was working…and on the morning after our proposal, brought us breakfast with champagne, piping hot fresh bread from a local bakery that our friend Melanie knew, loved and was impressed by, apparently nice cheese (E. partook, I obviously did not), and a spread of artisanal jams. Delicious.
As I’ve been writing this post, I’ve been reliving our Paris trip and wishing with all my heart that we were back. We have plans to return with Papa Jolie in December 2014 for Christmas, and we will definitely be using Avenue Story again.
A bientot, Paris!
Welcome to our humble abode! The dining room of our Rue de Bac apartment, where E. and I were staying when we got engaged
So, this is the billiards table in our Rue de Bac apartment. Not too shabby, eh?
Entry hall of our Rue de Bac apartment, steps away from the Seine
Rue de Bac apartment at night–Melanie came over for wine
Another view of the billiards table, with Rue de Bac behind
I never remember to take photos of hotel bedrooms until the second before I’m leaving, alas.
Kitchen in our Rue de Bac apartment
Glamorous Hermes Eau d’Orange Verte bathroom products at one of our Avenue Story apartments
I couldn’t stop staring at the ring
After our post-proposal dinner at Laperouse, E. and I walked along the Seine
A Bateaux-Mouches boat on the Seine post-proposal
Epic, delicious, couldn’t-get-enough-of-it dessert at Laperouse the night of our proposal (restaurant suggestion and reservation made by Avenue Story!)
Laperouse is one of Paris’s oldest restaurants, dating from the 1760’s and right on the banks of the Seine in a multi-story mansion. It’s stunning and our post-engagement dinner took place in a private room: the Salon des Senateurs
Our private dining room at Laperouse, complete with scratched antique mirror and chandelier
In our private room at Laperouse
Our Avenue Story apartment near Invalides; we stayed here the last two nights of our trip, after returning from Reims. It was the perfect place to say goodbye to Paris, with a view of the Eiffel Tower!
One of the views from our Avenue Story apartment near Invalides
Since the Avenue Story apartments have kitchens, you’re able to live with all the comforts of home and truly experience Paris like a Parisian. On our last morning in Paris, I awoke to find this breakfast spread that E. had prepared for the two of us!
With E. at Michelin-starred Lasserre, one of the best restaurants I’ve ever been to, bar-none
We miss you already, Paris! Thank you to Avenue Story for helping to make the best engagement trip ever!