Paris might be famed for love in springtime, however, autumn could actually be the best time for romancing in the city of amour, here are seven ways to accentuate that love…
1. Strolling in Luxembourg and Sipping Chocolat Chaud
The many beautiful parks of Paris were practically designed for lovers and as fall is whisking over Paris you can admire the drawn out changing of colors on leisurely strolls with your chéri/e. My favorite autumn park may just be the Luxembourg Gardens. There’s something special about those majestic chestnuts, shedding their rusty leaves, the stoic statues standing guard and the quiet curving lanes near the back where you might not encounter other passers-by… plus after your stroll hand-in-hand you can make your way to the branch of Angelina, located at the northwest end near the museum, to savor the most divine chocolat chaud to warm your bellies and your hearts. There are many other lovely jardins to wander through in Paris, here is a post I wrote about some places in the north of Paris ideal for fall promenades featuring excellent foliage.
2. Sitting on Toasty Terraces
If chocolat chaud isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other beverages to be enjoyed on the city’s expansive range of heated terraces. With the temperatures chilling down, those heat lamps make the terraces ever so inviting. Warm yes, but the reduced degrees still give you an excuse to sit close to your amoureux over a glass of autumn full-bodied bordeaux or vin chaud. You’ll find nice traffic-free heated terraces along rue Montorgueil, rue de Buci, place Sainte Marthe or why not camp out in the “private” courtyard gardens of l’Hôtel Amour, L’Hotel Particulier de Montmartre or Le Bistrot des Dames.
3. Wine Festivals Galore
If you’re looking to get a little more up close and personal with your wine, you’ve entered the right season. Harvesting in the vineyards and fete-ing in Paris, three big events earning this category three numbers in one. The first of these events is the festive Fete des Vendanges of Montmartre when the village and the rest of Paris (and the many visitors) come to la Butte to celebrate its wine harvest and luckily that of the other areas of France. Pick up a glass or bottle, possibly some fromage or other delicacies from the various food stands and track down a little alcove one of the area’s many staircases, a unique romantic date. Have a look at these fun photos we snapped at last year’s festival when the theme was amour or this nice article on the Montmartre wine festival by Bryan Pirolli for the Expedia Blog.
Secondly, there’s the Beaujolais Nouveau celebration on the third Thursday of November. Okay, the wine is usually pretty bad, but it’s it fun to bar hop hand-in-hand to compare, laugh and end up drinking something else at the end of the night?
Last but definitely not least, one of my favorite events of the WHOLE year is the Independent Wine Producers fair. During the last weekend of November, thousands of wine gods unite under one roof to promote their delicious wares. A fun way to test the tastes of your beau… or for the singles out there who’ve dreamed of marrying a winemaker and living on a vineyard… this is your chance! I might have only met grand-grandpas who’ve wooed me there (perhaps a story for book two!), but I live in hope!
4. Chocolat, l’Aphrodisiaque?
The ultimate date for chocolate lovers, Le Salon du Chocolat, is held annually end of October. Two floors, two hundred international exhibitors… two happy hearts. In addition to the vast range of chocolate delights, you can also admire veritable works of art made of chocolate: sculptures, clothes, graffiti and more. Chocolate fashion? Is it meant to be nibbled off? If you don’t pick up any chocolate lingerie, you can certainly collect a delicious selection of aphrodisiacal goodies to sample with you sweetie back at home.
5. Montmartre Artist Open House
While the FIAC might showcase the hottest in contemporary art there’s nothing very romantic about the crowds. Instead, on the third weekend of November, head to Montmartre when an open house is run by the association Anvers aux Abbesses (Montmartre art studios). Strolling around the district, you can see where the artistic spirit of the neighborhood lives on in over 80 studios. Once you’re art-ed out, there are plenty of nice heated terraces on rue des Abbesses or several of the places mentioned above just happened to be in le quartier.
6. Paris Mois du Photo
November is also nicknamed the Month of Photography in Paris, 30 days dedicated to this art, especially revolving around the Paris Photo exhibition. Held at the Grand Palais mid-November, it brings together almost 170 photography galleries from around the world. Gather some inspiration at the exhibit with your date, then make the month of the photo your own by embarking on the city streets and parks with your iPhones or cameras. The Mayors office tried to start an initiative for couples to take selfies instead of adding love locks to the bridges over the Seine, let’s see what you can do!
7. Brocante Browsing
It can be arduous trudging out to the official flea markets of Saint Ouen or Vannes, fear not, you don’t have to go so far because the autumn is the best time for brocantes inside the city limits. With practically dozens or “vide-grenier” and brocantes every weekend, this is an excellent Sunday post brunch activity. There’s also this handy website on brocantes of Paris so you can even find the ones closest to you. A cheap date, that is, unless you come back home dragging a set of 1920s armchairs or vintage movie lights (or that might be another reason to bring along a useful strong boyfriend).