Le Saint-Valentin. It even sounds sexy in French, and this year I am dreaming up a particularly sexy Valentine’s Day in Paris. My dream begins with waking up in a luxurious hotel, like le Pavillon de la Reine, located under the arcades of the quintessentially romantic Place des Vosges. After a decadent breakfast in bed, wearing Monsieur’s dress shirt from the night before, I’d put on some tight jeans, with a large cashmere boyfriend sweater, and some decent boots that have heels that I can actually walk in. Then, we’d head out the door to celebrate Valentine’s Day with romantic must-do’s in Paris.
Our first destination would be the Rodin Museum, where Camille Claudel once lived passionately with the great artist, and where plaster-of-paris molds of hands holding hands are romance come to life. A coffee in the gardens would be a welcome delight before heading out on a long stroll to the right bank.
If it is raining out, we’ll have to go for plan B and take the metro (a direct journey on Line 8) to the Grands Boulevards, where we can explore the passages, looking at nostalgic old toys, poring over vintage postcards and strolling hand in hand, perhaps choosing a souvenir of the day, enjoying the streets of Paris, protected from the rain.
Lunch would be at one of the most romantic restaurants in the city, 1728. Located in the completely restored Mazin Lafayette mansion, this restaurant serves impeccably presented, inventive cuisine in sumptuous surroundings; the rich decor includes 18th-century oil paintings on the damask-covered walls and large crystal chandeliers.
For me, there is nothing sexier than a hot steam, so after lunch I would take my date to the hammam les Cent Ciels, where I’d feel like I’d entered an exotic harem that offers some of the cleanest, most beautiful facilities in Paris, with unique, relaxing massages.
Spa les Cent Ciels.
Les Cent Ciels is on the same metro line as my next destination, les Bateaux-Mouches. I know, it’s cheesy, a cruise on the Seine. But it is also gorgeous, and I can’t imagine a better day to sit on a bench with my date’s arms around me as we watch the boat’s strobes light up the City of Light.
Lucky me, because this year, Valentine’s Day falls on a Thursday, and that night le Bon Marché is open late. Since this is my dream day, we’d head to le Bon Marché to look at some lingerie, lingering over and choosing between Carine Gilson’s softly romantic silk and lace, or Eres’s modernly sexy silk and lace.
Lingerie by Carine Gilson.
Monsieur is a man’s man, and after a bit of shopping, he’s ready for a meal. But in my fantasy life, I subsist on the mere beauty of Paris, so I compromise and we end the evening on the terrace of le Café de Flore, where I can sip champagne and he orders a light meal, shoulders touching as we watch Paris stroll by.
Perusing the Passages
Les Cent Ciels
Le Bon Marché
Le Café de Flore
Editor’s note: Happy Valentine’s Day to one and all! What about getting a little something for your favorite person, YOU, today? Check out our T-shirts, market bags and aprons.