With travel bans in place and air travel schedules as unpredictable as they currently are, unless you live in Paris, you're probably not going to go for a visit any time soon. For all of us wanderlust's that are itching to get back to one of our favourite travel destinations, Paris can come to you in our guide to travelling Paris from the comfort of your home.
Set the Scene by Decorating Your Space
If you want to prepare for a Parisian evening inside of your home, you should set the scene a bit. To do this, we always recommend flipping through the pages of French Vogue for some quick in inspiration. We're often inspired by the French's layreing of light, neutral colors, reflective surfaces and mirrors, and dedication to using natural materials like wood, linen and brass. You'll rarely find plastic or acrylic finishes in a fabulous Paris apartment.
A quick search of "Paris decor" will also result in a lot of great inspiration, in particular DIY projects for creating your own DIY decor items. Can't afford a brass chandelier, why not try finding a used one at a flea market or a local buy-and-sell and add your own brass finish with a good quality spray paint. Looking for a vintage mirror to jazz up your living room? Try re-vamping an old mirror you might have lying around the house with the same brass spray paint and voila, you've got yourself a vintage-style mirror, just like the French.
Surround yourself with the city
Another way to bring a touch of Paris to your home through your decor is with some Paris city map art. If you're looking to decorate your space with a French flair, then it's clear that Paris is a place that is significant to you, so why not use some maps of this fabulous city to remind you of one of your favourite places and the memories you made last time you were there.
Try incorporating a framed city map print of Paris into a gallery wall or making is a feature in a prominent place that will catch your eye throughout the day. This Paris city map comes in a minimalist black and white color combination that will fit into any decor, and stay within the sophisticated Parisian aesthetic we know and love.
If you have a large space and are in need of a single decor item that will have a big impact, the you might want to try a custom Paris map mural like this one. These murals can be made to any custom dimensions so even if your wall is a unique size or has some strange cutouts for doors and windows, the design team at pointtwodesign.com will work closely with you to create a custom wall mural that fits perfectly into your space.
Make a Classic French Drink
Did someone say cocktail?
While the French are predominantly known for their amazing wines, they also have a few amazing classic cocktails up their sleeves as well. Start your at-home Parisian adventure off right with a shippable cocktail that undoubtedly French.
The French 75 is making a splashy comback these days, and we completely understand why. It is the perfect balance of bubbles, citrus and aromatics to get you in the Parisian spirit. Use Champagne (or a dry sparkling white wine as a substitute such as Prosecco or Cava), freshly squeezed lemon juice and the most aromatic dry gin you can find. Ask your local liquor store for their recommendation and we're sure they'll be excited to point you in the direction of a gin that isn't Tanqueray (we love you Tanqueray, but this cocktail needs a bit more of an herbal punch). This cocktail is so simple with just 3 ingredients that there's room to play. Start by adding 2 ounces of your gin to a champagne glass or coupe, a generous squeeze of the lemon you've just juiced and then top it off with as much Champagne as you like.
Cook something French
When it comes to cooking, there aren't many places that know food and rich flavours more intimately than the French. The choices for cooking a French meal are almost endless and there are too many amazing recipes to choose from. If time is one your side, try your hand at making a coq au vin. This is a recipe that is quick to put together and uses humble ingredients but once it's found its way into the warm oven, there's not much left for you do to expect be patience and wait for the flavours to slowly develop and deepen over the course of the day.
If you're a vegetarian or looking for something a little lighter for dinner, why not whip up a ratatouille? It's an excellent way to use up the remnant veggies left over from we week of making salads yet delicious enough to be the feature component of a meal. And the smells that will come out of your kitchen while its baking will most certainly make you feel as though you're walking the streets of Paris.
Watch a movie set in Paris
Speaking of ratatouille, complete your night in Paris with a movie set in the magnificent city. There's an almost endless list of choices to choose from, so try not to get too overwhelmed. You could go for a classic like Sabrina, Charade or Moulin Rouge. If you're feeling artsy and adventurous you might want to give Amelie a try. Or if the family is joining you on your staycation, then you can't go wrong with watching Ratatouille. Even if you've already seen it an umpteen number of times, it never gets old.
Treat yourself to a French souvenir
With the scene set, the decor in place, cocktail in hand and something delicious baking in the oven, there's only one last thing you'll need to complete your at-home Paris adventure before tucking into your movie of choice and that is to treat yourself to an over-the-top treat you wouldn't normally buy. But a treat that's classic to Paris of course.
If you've always wanted to buy those $3 macarons from your local patisserie but could never justify it, well tonight's the night and you won't regret it. These flavour-packed pillows of goodness are somehow crunchy, chewy and soft all at the same time. Make sure you buy a few more than you think you'll want because they're just that delicious.
Or if you don't have much of a sweet tooth, you could make your dinner even more French by skipping dessert and end the meal with a crusty baguette and some odorous cheese. Traditionally eaten at the end of the meal, it's a fun way to change up a routine and finish by eating something savoury instead of sweet.
If you're trying to watch your calories but are still looking to treat yourself, go ahead and splurge on a copy of French Vogue, a new book set in Paris, a floppy felt hat or a fabulous silk scarf.
You can never have too much Paris in your life
Often, the best part about taking a trip or a vacation is not the destination itself, but the experiences we have while being there. More often than not, it's the food, the smells, the aesthetic and sounds that come together to shape the positive memories we make while visiting new cities.
However you choose to surround yourself with all the things that remind you of your favourite city, the important part is to put the time into crafting an experience that will create some new and amazing memories for you and your loved ones.