We had so much fun exploring the 12th arrondissement during our recent eco-friendly staycation in collaboration with the Hotel de la Porte Dorée.
We loved going to the local market
When we first left the hotel, we walked into the local market that was taking place right in front of the hotel. There were gorgeous fruits and veggies (lots organic) and a gorgeous flower stand. White roses are some of my favorites. How about you?
Chalet des Iles Daumesnil
We strolled through the market and into the Bois de Vincennes. We had planned to have a relaxing and romantic lunch à deux. We weren’t sure where we wanted to go but as soon as we began exploring the Bois de Vincennes and discovered the Chalet des Ile Daumesnil, we knew this was the place.
We loved our lunch. We enjoyed accras, beef tartare and a grilled salmon bobun.
Accras are a typical Creole dish that usually have cod fish inside. We were surprised and delighted to discover that these were filled with crabmeat which made them taste more like crabcakes than accras. Being from the US and having lived in Paris for 15 years now, there are certain things I miss sometimes and crabcakes are definitely one of those things! I was so excited about eating these – yes, I do get that excited about food!
Hugo loves beef tartare and often orders it when we go out to eat. He was very happy with his order and said this was one of the best he had tried in Paris.
I loved my grilled salmon bobun as well. It was a generous portion of salmon and filled with delicious, crisp veggies as well.
We enjoyed everything with a side of rosé!
The Bois de Vincennces and Daumesnil Lake
What’s great about staying in the 12th arrondissement when you come to Paris is that it is off the beaten tourist track. Every area of Paris is beautiful and full of experiences to be had and wonderful places to explore, so you can’t really go wrong.
The Porte Dorée Aquarium
One of the best things about traveling, is having new experiences, spending quality time with the ones you love and allowing time to slow down and just doing an activity for the fun of it.
We wanted to make the most of our time in the 12th and have as much fun as possible, so when we realized that the Aquarium de la Porte Dorée was just steps away from the Hotel de la Porte Dorée, we thought it would be fun to explore!
We highly recommend taking a couple of hours out of your stay to visit the aquarium. It is a fun experience for a family with kids or a couple wanting to see some lovely fish. The space is really unique as well as the aquarium dates back to 1931 and has been kept nearly as it was originally. It is unusual to experience such an old-fashioned aquarium and it’s definitely worth taking the time out of your stay to go there.
A romantic dinner for 2 at local family restaurant –
Chez Ma Belle Mère
In the evening, we went to have dinner at Chez Ma Belle Mère, also in the 12th arrondissement. The ambiance was cosy and fun, the food was delicious and this place made us laugh because there are many references to the stereotypical difficult French mother-in-law… The restaurant has funny images of an imaginary judgemental mother-in-law and even critical things she may say written on the walls! Quite silly – but all in good fun. (PS. I have the best mother-in-law and love her very much so I absolutely could not relate!)
A gelato in the Places des Vosges
The Place des Vosges is not next door to the Hotel de la Porte Dorée, but after dinner, we decided it would be fun to go for a romantic stroll and gelato in the Marais. We hopped on the metro and in 15 minutes we were in the Place des Vosges. (We have been loving Amorino ice cream this Summer and really enjoying that they offer so many organic flavors now – including our favorites : yogurt and Sicilian lemon, YUM.)
Back to our home away from home at the Hotel de la Porte Dorée
After a long and lovely day, we were so excited to head back to our gorgeous home away from home at the Hotel de la Porte Dorée, change into our comfy robes and put our feet up!
The places mentioned in this post :
The Hotel de la Porte Dorée : 273, Avenue Daumesnil, 75012 Paris | Tel. 01.43.07.56.97
Chalet des Iles : Ile de Reuilly, Bois de Vincennes, 75012 Paris | Tel. 01.43.07.00.10
Chez Ma Belle Mère : 257, Avenue Daumesnil, 75012 Paris | Tel. 01.43.44.38.21
Amorino, Place des Vosges : 1, rue des Francs Bourgeois, 75004 Paris | Tel. 09.80.55.73.90
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