She twirled her curly brown hair absent-mindedly, a red beret a-perch her head precariously. Peering into the distance, she cursed her shortsightedness, as she made out a couple, fuzzy around the lines. She put on her stylish thick rimmed cat eye glasses with the vintage frames, and focused. There they were in the city of love, twirling around under the light of the silvery moon, she choked back a sob. They looked like they were made for each other, dancing on the cobbled banks of the river Seine. The moon reflected on the open waters, the silence broken by a street performer playing French classics on his whimsical accordion. She had always been told that Paris was the romantic place in the world, but she didn’t believe it. Until now. Now she was converted. There really was unique date ideas in Paris for couples, strangers, and romancers anew.
It wasn’t just trips to the Louvre (as glorious as it was), or climbing the Eiffel Tower. It was getting to know Paris in an different light, beyond the tourist attractions and into something unique. It was finding your soulmate in the unlikeliest of places, admiring the street art in the 13th Arrondissement, a parodied Snoopy catching your eye. Caught in a riot of colour, textures, and prints, you both stood mesmerized. You on your camera snap-happy, him avidly staring at the statuesque murals. Some were dark, some were funny. All were unique, all were mesmerizing. That day, you fell in love. Not just with the man by your shoulder, but with Paris itself. It was a symphony of art, culture, food, and romance. Whoever said romance was dead, clearly hadn’t been to Paris. Nevertheless A knew that romance, and it’s definition needed a makeover.
Sometimes you needed to try something new, and to A romance was going out of your comfort zone. It was about stumbling into secret clubs in the 10th arrondissement, just seconds from the bustling Place de la Republique. Beyond the laundry facade lay a secret world, where couples perched by a tiny, colourful bar, sipping on Moscow Mules. Mostly, it was about finding your happy place, in the most unique, French way possible. There were floatation baths begging for couples, doused in Epsom Sea Salts that clarified the skin. They would float away into a state of relaxation, with a clearer mind than they had when they first came in. Without a care in the world, they sank into clear waters, closing their eyes, getting comfortable with the silence. Sensory isolation was fortifying, cleansing the mind, body and soul.
Speaking of sensory isolation, noone did it better than Dans le Noir. Couples dined in the dark, relying on their senses to navigate their plates. Served by visually impaired waiters and waitresses, guests learned what it was like to rely on your other senses alone. Your sense of taste, mingled with sense of smell. Relying on your memory, to visualize corridors, doors, and plates. It was dining in the dark, with a twist, an educational culinary exploration that left you wanting more, more, more. It was a far cry from the restaurants you usually frequented but frankly you were glad. Your partner wasn’t into ‘Instagrammable locations’ anyway, so the flavours of the dishes really had to speak for themselves. Paris was many things, but even A was surprised by the uniqueness of Rue Quincampoix, let alone Dans le Noir.
A’s eyes flitted back to the present. How could she encapsulate Paris in a single list. It was a dilemna she was mulling over. After all, Paris was multi-dimensional, it had many layers. At first glance it was crowd strewn streets, people clapping at street performers that sang lilting ballads, emotion caught on the cusp of tongue. At first ponder it was couples taking photos at the Louvre Museum, staring into the iconic eyes of Mona Lisa. At first visit, it was queues into the Eiffel Tower, watching couples propose at the historic landmark. But then A realized that there was more to Paris than met the eye. From an anti-romance ‘destruction’ outing at The Fury Room, to catching a show at La Nouvelle Seine, Paris showcased un-sentimentalized love like no other. Nowhere else but Paris could showcase ‘romanticized love’ and ‘realistic love’ in one singular breath. A was intrigued, it was time to show the world what they had been missing. Paris was so much more than its glorified TV/Film image after all…
Go On A Colourful Street Art Tour Of Paris
A lived and breathed art, with ignited passion. From Cubism, to Realism, A’s heart was a-flutter everytime she saw art that spoke to her soul. But to A there was no greater art than street art. Why? Because street art was chaotic, messy, and broke all the rules. It challenged conventional art tropes, and merged artistic styles together. From murals, to graffiti, to sculptures, and paper paste ups, its interpretation of what it meant to create art, was extraordinairy. Paris was no exception. To A the most romantic, and unique date ideas in Paris for couples revolved around street art.
It was a racous explosion of colour, culture, and cheek, home to artists like JR, Miss.Tic and Invader, who were all born and bred in Paris. But where could you find street art in Paris with your beau? They would start on a tour of the Belleville and 11th Arrondissement, rugged round the edges. Tucked away from tourists, A appreciated its grungy feel, and loved its mix of commisioned, and anonymous works. Rue Oberkampf was up first for inspection, the young couple awed by the art that lay before them. To A it depicted a different side to Paris that tourists didn’t see. It was life in Paris immortalized in art. With work from the likes of Jerome Mesnager and Nemo, an organization called Le MUR was responsible for the iconic wall art here.
Rue Saint-Maur, was another iconic hotspot, in the 10th and 11th Arrondissement. A in particular had been entranced back in 2016, when she came across local artist Kashink, whose art was spellbinding. With a strong feminist vibe, and drawing comparisons with Frida Kahlo, the self-aware artist helped bring important social issues to the forefront of the city’s art movement. Contrasting social street art, was classic Parisian street artists like Invader’s video game inspired tilework, and black and white portraits by Shephard Fairey. Yet, A’s favourite street art spot for a unique day out for couples, was the 13th Arrondissement. Here murals were on a large scale, the XXL walls project a collaboration between StreetArt13 and the town hall for the district.
Lucy, Linus, Snoopy and Charlie Brown were given an extreme makeover, that would leave Charles Shultz turning in his grave. Still, A didn’t mind the dark parody version of Snoopy and Co, it was deliciously painted. Found west of the Nacionale metro station under both sides of the tracks, it was a riot in blue. The Canals of Saint-Denis was just as flawless. A street avenue where colour knew no bounds, A and co were struck by Marko 93’s depiction of a neon leopard, crashing its way into the Paris cityscape. Blues, yellows and oranges too, contrasted in a colourfest that was a feast for the eyes. When it came to unique date ideas in Paris, it’s street art scene was unparallelled.
Swoon At The Wall Of Love (Le Mur Des Je t’aime)
Speaking of art, nothing made A swoon more than Le Mur Des Je t’aime. The self-professed wall of love was tucked away in Montmartre’s petite Jehan Rictus garden square, a vision in black. With lovebirds flocking from near and far, artists Fédéric Baron and Claire Kito created the mural in 2000. Emblazoning it with hundreds of variations of Je t’aime (I Love You) in 250 different languages and dialects it was a must see. A peered into the ‘I Love You Wall’ with glee, the contemporary architectural style, contrasting with the bright and bold street art, that they had witnessed before. This too was imperfect, an unusual monument dedicated to love. The splashes of red on the al fresco represented parts of a broken heart, contrasting against the idealized version of love that had come to be associated with Paris.
Covering a surface area of 40m², and composed of 612 squares of enamelled lava, it also symbolized the human race which had been torn apart. However, the wall was trying to bring love back, and breathe life into troubled relationships. Though it might not sound romantic, it was a stark reminder for couples to hold each other close, and embrace the imperfections. It was to look beyond their own expectations, and realize that the idea of a ‘perfect romance’ didn’t exist. There would always be ups and downs, but A knew that her and her beau, would always be able to say ‘I love you’. Or as they say in France, Je t’aime.
A free activity that didn’t cost a thing, the wall was simple, but meaningful. Looking, and seeing how love was spelt across the world felt impactful. After all, it was a link, a place of reconcilation, where couples could hug it out, and whisper sweet nothings. It was a mirror that reflected an image of love and peace, its meaning intended. People could say that those were just words, but to A it gave her butterflies. Because those words meant something. It was a cultural exploration of love around the world, where lovers would find harmony, clarity, and feel strong. Many people thought that saying ‘I love you was easy’, but it wasn’t. Not saying ‘I love you’ for real. Not saying I love you, like your whole body, mind and soul depended on it. Real love, was fragmented, but always hopeful just like Le Mur Des Je t’aime.
Have A Luxury Spa Day At Les Jardins Du Faubourg Hotel & Spa
Speaking of Je t’aime, nothing said romance more than a luxury spa day. Tucked away in a quiet street, Les Jardins Du Faubourg Hotel & Spa was the magical paradise they had always dreamed of. Moments away from Rue du Faubourg, the Elysée Palace, Madeleine, and the Champs-Elysées, the 5-star boutique hotel was its best kept secret. But alas, all good secrets were fiercely guarded, how on earth would they score a booking at such a prestigious place? Ebooking France would be here to save the day, with more than 3,000,000 hotels, apartments, holiday homes, and villas at their disposal.
It was Les Jardins Du Faubourg Hotel & Spa that caught A’s eyes immediately, an elegant yet unique hotel with 36 5-star rooms. With the choice from contemporary or Parisian rooms, there were two wildly inspiring worlds, where romance could come alive. The very essence of luxury and French elegance, Ebooking France had shown the young couple a world where everything slowed down. Here there was no clamouring to get past tourists excitedly chattering. They didn’t have to shove their way through crowds, almost losing each other in the process. Instead, there was tranquil silence, laced in thoughtfulness. From mindful spa treatments to languorous meals in the restaurant, it was a unique hotel travel experience with a boutique feel.
A unique wellness experience, where would A and Beau would go first? They would enter the SHISEIDO Spa, struck by the incredibly warm and welcoming atmosphere. It was unlike any spa they had experienced before, beautifully natural surroundings, where the power of nature shone. They began in the steamy heat of the Hamman, dominated by wood, feeling the toxins leaving their body. Their pores opened, and the impurities gradually faded away, sloughing off unneeded dead skin. Their body too reaped the benefits, stiff muscles melting into stupor. The constricting tightness that snaked A’s back, eased into relaxation, a heavenly feeling.
There was a sauna too, but A always preferred ‘wet heat’ to ‘dry heat’. Still, there was a marvellous 15-metre swimming pool that was waiting for them, blue rippling waters. Though it was a small pool, this English couple did not mind, laying back, and feeling the water wash over them. However, when it came to unique date ideas in Paris, its spa was up there. It wasn’t that the SHISEIDO Spa offered something she hadn’t tried before, but it was just the way they made her feel. Suddenly the tension that had been boiling up in her body dissipated, the knots in her back kneaded. She opted for the Balinese Massage, a full-body holistic treatment using traditional Indonesian techniques.
Combining gentle stretches, acupressure, and reflexology to stimulate the circulation, oxygen, and Qi energy, she had never felt so relaxed. A 90-minute massage, she allowed the calming scent of the spa to wash over her, transported into oblivion. She would have a personalized moisturizing Treatment to aid her dry, oily skin too. Hydrating, moisturising, and oh so good, she felt her skin being plumped to perfection. The manual facial treatment used a RIDOKI, a tool inherited from Asian medicine used for millennia for its regenerating and soothing properties on the skin. She could hardly believe how good her skin looked, glowing from within. It was a spa day like no other, a holistic experience that cleansed them both mind, body, and soul. In short, it was heaven.
Dance The Night Away In A Secret Club (Lavomatic)
It was almost by chance that A stumbled across Lavomatic, in an unassuming location. At first glance it was a laundrette, washing machines going round and round with clothes. There were dryers too, the distinct scent of fabric softener and detergent swilling together aimlessly. Except the sign glowed neon blue, she didn’t know many laundrettes, that were quite so aesthetically pleasing to look at. The glow was enticing, she had to see what was going on. It seemed like it was more than just your ordinary laundrette, there was something that wasn’t quite right. A door disguised as a washer led to a speakeasy bar, that was brimming with promise.
It would be the ‘Drunk in Love’ that would be the tipple to take A’s fancy, made with fruit puree, Maras des Bois strawberries and coriander. Fragrant and full-bodied, Drunk in Love, personified A’s unique date ideas in Paris itinerary perfectly. There were other drinks too: sake-based Sakura perched daintily in a Japanese-styled porcelain cup, natural wines too. There was even La Marise draft beer from De Proef Brouwerij in Brussels for the non-cocktail drinkers. The vibe was cool, calm, and casual, so A felt very overdressed in her sequins that she often frequented. Still, she didn’t mind. Despite being a themed ‘laundry bar’, it was hella boujee, in the best possible way. There were small plates too; slathers of fresh burrata melting in hungered mouths, and for meat eater’s charcuterie, and shellfish platters. Still, it wasn’t just the ‘novelty factor’ that made Lavomatic part of A’s unique date ideas in Paris round up. It had good music too, turned up loud, with a young hip crowd in jeans and trousers, making friends. It was small, intimate, and friendly. Just the way A liked dates to be.
Catch A Show In A Floating Parisian Theatre (La Nouvelle Seine)
If anything captured the delicate charm of Paris, it was La Nouvelle Seine. A unique floating theatre located on a barge right in the shadow of Notre Dame itself, it was perfection personified. Part theatre, part restaurant, and part bar, it was a magical wonderland where couples came alive. One of the most unique date ideas in Paris for couples, it was dedicated to discoveries. Whether it was discovering culinary experiences, or artistic talents, the theatre, showed what was ‘new on the scene’. Featuring upcoming artists from stand-up comedy to cabaret, there was nothing better than catching a show at a floating Parisian Theatre.
It floated along the banks of the Seine River gently, defined by fresh artistic direction. With shows emcompassing theatre, comedy, cabaret, and music hall, the incredibly talented artists were a breath of fresh air. From Blanche Gardin (winner of Molière de l’Humour in 2018 and 2019), to Bun Hay Mean, the artists were invigrorating. It was like watching comedy like you had never seen before. But you shouldn’t have expected any less. After all, Eddie Izzard, Sexpowerment, and Olivia Moore was just a few of the artists that had frequented La Nouvelle Seine. The chic and trendy theater had a beautiful boutique feel. Comfortable, and charming, 110 plush velvet seats were packed out with curious and curiosers, tempted by the comedic menu that was available too.
Though there was a restaurant, they chose to drink glorious cocktails instead. Primarily because there was a lack of vegetarian options, save dessert, but also because they had eaten beforehand. The drinks list was expansive, but what would they choose? Well, what else but Red Wine in Paris would be a romantic end to a wonderful evening. A could think of nothing better than sipping red wine, as they caught a show, floating langorously down the river. A bottle of Cote Mas Pays D’Oc Languedoc was sitting as pretty as can be, served evenly in wine glasses. A delicious red, it was exceptionally fresh and fruity with strong berry notes. Though her beau was not normally a fan of red wine, even he could appreciate its charm on the Parisian river.
Smash Things Up In The Fury Room Together
Now, here was something unconventional. A room dedicated to smashing s**t up. Whether you came alone, or with your beau, The Fury Room helped you cool your jets. For A and co, the room was ideal for challenging themselves and trying something new. This wasn’t your ordinairy dinner and drinks combo, but a room designed to bring couples closer together. A, being the stress-prone anxious person that she was, hadn’t realized how good something like this was for her soul. She wasn’t someone who got angry often, or broke things by any means. And yet it felt incredibly satisfying. Together they broke TV’s, plates, glasses and furniture without a care in the world.
At first A was timid, she felt bad. But then she realized why they were there. Besides, all broken items were to be recycled, so it wasn’t like it was a waste. Choosing between two packages (Housebreaker and Madhouse), they opted for Madhouse. They entered a fully furnished room that was themed as an apartment, and let their inner Hulk out. She wasn’t quite as big or as green as the Hulk, but she sure was enjoying herself. It was unlike anything that she had ever tried before, and she freaking loved it. This was a different side to Paris, and A was revelling in its rebellious nature. It was rough around the edges and proud of it. She wished they had something like this back in the UK. After all, living in London was extremely fast-paced, and she knew all too well how much she needed an outlet to release it.
Together, they could release their emotions in a safe space, where there was no judgement, or consequences. It was a new age of therapy, a pure, unhibited sense of adrenaline that washed over them, oh so cleansing. Here there were no rules, and no boundaries. Thought it was short sessions, they felt invigorated. Forgotten were the bickering arguments, and the huffs and puffs. They felt calmer, more restored than ever before. It was alternative medicine, that became a talking point in relationship.
Meditate Together In A Flotation Bath (Meiso)
Alternative therapy, and mindfulness had no bounds in Paris it seemed. Meiso was a unique flotation, meditation, and wellness centre, where perpetual evolution came together. It was an introspective experience, with 6 floating baths, 3 treatment rooms, a sauna, an ice bath, and even a great Dojo. A had never seen anything like it. Sure she had tried a flotation bath before, but nothing quite like this. An hour and a half in the water and the showers was impeccable. She was never one who was good at keeping still, or welcoming the sound of silence. Yet here, she realized that self-knowledge began with silence. Sensory isolation was a unique experience for both of them, restoring and optimizing them as a couple.
Here they could reclaim their time. Carried by the water, she experienced the sensation of weightlessness. She was in a cocoon outside of time and space, there sound, visuals, and over-stimulants were replaced by water. All was calm here, all was profound. Using the power of sensory simulation, the effect of weightlessness, and Epsom Salts, she quite literally felt like she was floating on air. It was a new experience for her beau too, but even he was piqued by the experience. There were 4 models; ‘The Cocoon’ was a spacious bubble, ‘The Plant Source’ and ‘Mineral Source’ a large pool, and ‘The Space Capsule’, a mirror ceiling hybrid. They both opted for the plant source, curious by its nature. It was in one word, perfection.
Yet Meiso, was best experienced as a custom package. In the ‘Mez Anines’ there was everything from an interior travel diary, thematic library, and even Michi Tanuki, the feline master in relaxation. Michi prowled territorially, a vision in adorable ginger fluffiness. It reminded A of her beau, who was one big ginger kitty himself. There was also a Doja Hammock Forest that was just as calming, with the opportunity to do yoga, meditation, and relax in a calm, dim-lit environment. A had never experienced a wellness centre quite like Meiso. After all, it wasn’t a spa, or a beauty institute, but a community where self-care and holisic living was the forefront of everything they did. In short, it was purifying, cleansing, and detoxing. Just what A and her Beau needed.
A couldn’t remember a time when she didn’t love animals. In fact, she was probably planning her first pet in the womb, she was that obsessed. From cats, to dogs, and everything in between, everyone who knew her, understood her fervour. Animals were her happy place. With a stroke, pet, cuddle, or nuzzle, they could ease the stress reverberating around her body. It didn’t matter how anxious she was, animals always helped her feel better. There were her support animals, they made her smile, laugh, and cry. Her beau too was just as obsessed, and couldn’t wait until they would own pets together.
Enter Le Cafe des Chats, a restaurant and tearoom, where the two could cuddle with a dozen cats. Rescue cats that were given a loving home, from animal protection associatons, you could see how much they were loved. They were comfortable and at ease, roaming around the cafe with sparkling eyes. Gavroche was a beautiful long-haired black cat with a small white patch, who fancied himself as the head of the cat squad. He was calm, and docile, while Perceval was more playful, with distinctive black and white markings that were striking. There were cats that had been adopted as far back as 2013, and the latest in 2019, 13 glorious creatures that deserved happiness. A watched them as they went around and did as they pleased, letting them take the reins.
Though A and D purely came for the kitties, the quirky interior was an added bonus. Like something out of an old professor’s library, it was quaint with a homely feel, that made complete sense. It was comforting, and there was even homemade light bites, and desserts that were prepared by their four cooks. A and D embraced their inner child with cups of chocolate milk, that was rich and satisfying in taste. To eat A had a delicious chickpea burger, while her beau had a beef burger, with herbed potatoes, a satisfying meal. Though the cats was what drew them in, they were surprised by the quality of the food. It was surprisingly delicious.
Dine In The Dark At Dans le Noir
Ever since A had gone to Dans Le Noir in London, a few years back, she had always wanted to try it again. Why? Because A loved immersive dining experiences, and Dans Le Noir was one of the best. Dining in the dark was a unique sensory experience, where you had to rely on your sense of smell, taste, and sound to enjoy the food. Here there were no photos, no doing it for the gram. Instead it was beautifully tasting seasonal and fresh food, that allowed you to reevaluate your perception of taste. Not only this, but you reinvigorated your relationship with food, while reclaiming your taste. Accompanied by blind or partially sighted guides, Dans Le Noir had uniqueness in spades.
Given a choice of four colour-coded menus, A opted for green (vegetarian), and her beau had red (meat) in complete darkness. He didn’t get to enjoy Dans Le Noir the first time round, and where else but Paris to take him on a sensory exploration?Antoine Bouaziz’s gastronomic and creative cuisine was based on a selection of high quality ingredients, with fruit and vegetables, 80% of which were organic. The mystery menus meant that A and her beau had to guess what they were eating, tucking in the darkness. They had such fun guessing what they were eating, and relishing the taste of the fresh ingredients on their tongue. It was a conversation starter that brought them closer together. After all, where else would you eat in the dark, focusing on the taste, smell, and texture of each mouthful you ate?
Though A wouldn’t spoil any surprises as to what they were eating, A could confidently say that the experience was even better the second time round. After all, this time she was here with the man that she loved, getting to enjoy his reactions too. Last time she had gone with a friend that was just as fabulous, but this time had exceeded all expectations. The food, drinks, and service was impeccable, and she vowed to go a third time. She wanted to try the Dans Le Noir sensory lounge as well, with three sensory lounges to choose from. There was The Treasures of Palate, with aperitif tastings, and gourmet delicatessen products of high sensory quality. Wine spirit was the second, challenging your perception of wine culture with an original and multi-sensory approach combining taste and smell. Finally, there was ‘Perfume in the Dark’ exploring the mysteries of perfume. Memories were revived, imagination released, and the greatest perfumes discovered in a sensory experience like no other.
Please note this is a collaborative post but all thoughts are my own and are not affected by monetary compensation