L'Amour de Paris || Romantic Parisian Portraits in the City of Love » The #1 resource for lovers in Paris! Featuring travel tips, hotel and restaurant recommendations, suggested tours and activities, as well as romantic portraits of couples in the City of Love.

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Fresh French Fruit

Delicious fresh fruit straight from the farmer

I’ve got a little story for you!  On a recent trip to the Loire Valley, my husband and I had a nightmare travel experience.  We got stuck in a traffic jam that lasted for five hours, got lost in our destination city, and got a flat tire only a few blocks from our hotel.  We were tired, frustrated, and starving, and to make matters worse, when we finally made it to our hotel, they had closed the restaurant just five minutes prior.  They must have seen the desperation in our eyes because they kindly offered to put together a cold plate of fresh fruits, vegetables, pâté, and bread so that we would at least have something to eat.  We initially weren’t thrilled at the idea, as the fruits they gave us were items we aren’t fond of – cantaloupe, melon, pear, and other fruits that generally have a milder taste in the USA.  However, that simple meal ended up being one of the greatest of our trips.  All of the fruit had been purchased from a local farmer’s market earlier in the day, which means it had probably been harvested the day before, and the freshness translated into strong, delicious favor and a perfect sweetness.
Delicious fresh fruit straight from the farmer

It was then that I discovered the joys of French fruit.  Because the US is so large, fruit often has to be picked before it is ripe so that it doesn’t spoil by the time it gets into a consumer’s home.  As a result, the fruit we consume is not as flavorful as it could be.  In France, it’s exactly the opposite.  The farms that grow these fruits are only a few hours away, so there is typically only one, maybe two days between when the farmer harvests it and when it ends up on your plate (the same is also true for vegetables and many meats).  The difference in freshness and taste is instantly noticeable.  Even before you consume it, as you walk through fruit markets, you’re taken back by the uber-vibrant colors and the plumpness of each variety.  In fact, while I am staunchly anti-cantaloupe in the US, in France it’s one of my favorite snacks.

Delicious fresh fruit straight from the farmer

The next time you visit France, stop by your local markets and pick up some fresh fruit to enjoy (try one of the famous Parisian food markets, such as Rue Mouffetard, Rue Cadet, Rue Cler, or Rue Montorgeuil).  If you’re traveling outside the city, take some detours off the major highways and take some winding back roads through the countryside.  Look for fruit stands like the one pictured above.  These are generally run by the farmers themselves, and they offer the freshest possible fruits and veggies you can get at very reasonable prices.  Make sure you have some cash in advance, as these places rarely take credit cards and ATMs are miles away.  Enjoy!

City Snapshot: The First Signs of Spring

Parisians relaxing on a spring day at sunset in the Jardin du Luxembourg

Saturday was the warmest day of the year thus far, and the sun-starved Parisians emptied out of their apartments and into local parks and markets.  The Jardin du Luxembourg was packed to the hilt with locals enjoying the beautiful weather, including yours truly.  With a bag of fresh fruit and a warm baguette in hand, it was a beautiful way to spend the afternoon.

Shannon - My husband and I will be there in just a few weeks! I can’t wait!

AlineKri37972121 - Hi there, I would like to subscribe for this web site to obtain newest updates, so where can i do it please assist.

Travel Tips: The Paris Metro

When you’re traveling, you want to make sure that every penny counts towards enhancing your experience.  From hotels to meals to attractions to airfare, you always want to make sure you’re getting the best possible experience for your dollar.  However, most of us have a blind spot when it comes to traveling within a city. Even the most dedicated planners who have every second of every day planned out in advance usually forget to plan how they will get from place to place.  Since Paris is basically a big circle that is only 6.5 miles in diameter, it’s actually a very walkable city, but walking isn’t always the most practical idea, and cabs can get very expensive very quickly.  Thankfully, Paris offers you an amazing alternative in their top-notch Metro system, which in my opinion is among the best in the world.  The service is quick, safe, inexpensive, and stations are literally everywhere – inside the peripherique, you are never more than a half-mile (or 10-minute walk) from a Metro station.  In this post I am going to tell you everything you need to know to get the most out of the Metro, even if you are a newbie to the world of public transportation!

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Megan - Hello! I am a blogger from Texas and we are traveling to Paris in November. Thank you for all the tips and best practices of the Paris metro. I’ve lived in London, DC – so this should be a breeze, but I guess it seems a bit more complicated to me – the ticket purchase that is. My fiance and I will have to sort that out, seeing that we are arriving on a Wednesday and leaving on Monday morning. Just wanted to say hello!

stacy - Hi Megan, thanks for the comment! I recommend buying a Mobilis (the unlimited day pass) each morning. It’s generally the cheapest way to go, and you won’t end up with any unused tickets at the end of your trip. Hope that helps!

Karen Fairfield - Thank you for this information! I have been researching Paris travel for months now and your post is the best that I’ve seen! We are traveling next year and I will keep this information for our trip!

Reflections of Versailles

The grand chateau of Versailles outside of Paris France

Recently I took a visit out to see the fabulous grounds of Versailles.  It wasn’t my first visit, but I still found so many new things I hadn’t seen before.  I was lucky enough to be there during a beautiful sunset, which illuminated the castle in rich golden light.  As I always do, I rented a golf cart (available just inside the entrance to the gardens for 30 Euro per hour) and aimlessly wandered around the grounds.  It’s a wonderful way to spend a day, particularly when there’s nice weather!
The gardens and fountains of Versailles outside of Paris France

Although the gardens aren’t at their best in winter, you can still appreciate the grandeur and vastness of Versailles and imagine the beauty of it in its prime.  I can’t wait for springtime to come, when the flowers are in bloom and they break out the bicycle and rowboat rentals.  I can’t imagine any better way to enjoy springtime in Paris than floating on the Grand Canal with a bottle of wine and a good book, just as Marie Antoinette might have done herself hundreds of years ago.

Marie Antoinette

Speaking of Marie Antoinette, one of my favorite trivia bits about Versailles has to do with these sheep right here.  When she reigned as queen, she built a small hamlet in her gardens near the Petit Trianon where she would play with her children and pretend to be a shepherdess, tending her flock.  Throughout the chaos of the French Revolution and for centuries after, the staff at Versailles continued to care for the sheep and breed them.  That means that the herd you see here are the direct descendants of the same little lambs that Marie Antoinette and her children played with!
The art sculptures and the grand chateau of Versailles outside of Paris France

Next time you’re in Paris, if the weather is nice and you don’t have anything on the agenda, consider making a day trip to Versailles.  You can spend the morning touring the extravagant rooms of the grand chateau, spend the afternoon wandering the gardens and picnicking on the grand lawn, and spend the evening enjoying the musical fountains and fireworks show.

Abbie McFarland - so gorgeous! love the branding too….it is perfect!

Sneak Peek: Sara & Rocky

Romantic portraits of Sara and Rocky Garza in front of Notre Dame cathedral by Paris portrait photographer Stacy Reeves for L

Sara & Rocky are an incredible husband-wife photography team from my hometown of Dallas, Texas.  It’s always a ton of pressure to photograph fellow photographers, but they really set the bar high when they told me this was the first time they’ve had photos taken since their wedding!  These two are so laid back and so clearly in love, so even though I was so nervous about doing a good job for them, they put me right at ease.  I love this portrait from their session, with the grand Notre Dame cathedral towering behind them.  More coming soon!