Enjoying Paris in the Spring is cliché. Paris in November is a hidden romantic secret.
- Don't be afraid of a little cloudy weather
Parisians are the first to complain about a cloud in the sky. A little rain and a little chilly outside? That's the "most awful weather" I've heard them say. Of course, if you are used to sunny skies and warm breezes, it might be easy to complain. But as a native New Englander, I have to laugh at this "most awful weather" description. Insead I see nothing but glamorous glistening cobblestones, cozy cafes with rain-speckled windows, and a little darkness to add mystery to an already romantic city. Temperatures will be above freezing (5 to 10 degrees celcius, 41 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit) and it's often cloudy with a little light rain. As tempertures plunge more dramatically in other parts of the world, this range feels almost balmy.
2. Enjoy a cosy cafe or restaurant with a hot chocolate
All of the cafes look cozier when the weather cools and the rains starts. The plush red cushions lining restaurants that seem to add energy in the summer now offer refuge and warmth.
I've heard rumors of great hot chocolate in this city but hadn't tried any yet. I was not disappointed. What better place to first try what the city has to offer than at the famous Angelina's Cafe.
The cafe has a very fancy style to it, with molded ceilings, wide mirrors, and frescos on the wall that look like they belong in a museum. More than just for hot chocolate, the menu has a full delicious looking main course section. But this was already planned as just an early evening spot to act as an appetizer. Be warned! The hot chocoalte is so rich, dinner had to be delayed for a couple hours later than expected. It's almost easier to eat it with the spoon they give you instead of sipping it! As someone who can usually not get enough of chocolate (and going in on an empty stomach), I was surprized when the portion left me both statisfied and completely full. It left me wondering if I'd even need to eat dinner later.
3. Take advantage of the museums and the usual tourist spots!
Why be stuffed inside an over-crowded hot museum during the summer months? November can be a perfect time to visit, with fewer tourists in the city and with native Parisians more likely to be staying at home under a blanket. There are too many museums to list, but why not take in one of the more off-the-beaten-path smaller museums or a traveling exhibet. I've always wanted to visit the Grand Palais and saw an art exhibit featuring Venetian artwork while I was there. (The exhibit runs through January 21st, 2019.)
This exhibit was fascinating because I had no idea how important of a cultural and artistic hub Venice was throughout the 18th century. All of the "it" painters and sculptors were there, to the extent that throughout Europe, the rich would fight for individual consignments. While traveling to different palaces in Europe, I have often wondered, why do many of them look so similar? It's because they were decorated by literally the same group of artists from Venice! Who knew.
The next popular tourist destination I almost didn't visit because I've been there before. But I decided to investigate if visiting in November would be any different. I was taken aback at how pleasant stopping there was, and ended up taking way too many photos. So many, that they deserve a completely separate post to make room for all of them! I'll keep the destination secret for now, can anyone guess what it is?
Til next time :)