Romantics on a budget in Paris, France

When we went to Paris earlier this year all I could think about was food.

I mean… that’s not so different than usual, but I kept thinking about the cheeses, the meats, and the bread that would be gracing my mouth with it’s deliciousness, and I couldn’t wait!

There was one problem– eating out in Paris is très expensive.

We had booked a couple night stay in Paris after our African Safari and after visiting one of the most expensive cities in the world (Geneva, Switzerland). In all honesty, our wallets were crying for a break. So, when we arrived in Paris, we began to consider our sustenance plan.

We tend to walk everywhere when we travel, so we knew we would be hungry and thirsty pretty frequently. Plus, it was stiflingly hot while we were there, so water was going to be imperative. One of the best tricks Brandon and I do when we travel is bringing our own refillable one litre water bottles. This has saved us so many times when we travel because we don’t have to keep stopping to buy more water. Typically, in cities you can easily find a water fountain or station. Sometimes, we’ve been so bold that we have asked a restaurant to fill it for us (after we have bought a treat of course!). I have to give credit to Brandon who convinced me that quenching my thirst on a steamy day is much more important than the fashion statements I attempt to make.

Luckily, before travelling to Paris I had preemptively considered that we would want to spend some time in the park by the Eiffel Tower. Years ago we had taken a nap on the grass in the park and I contracted a rash (what else is new!?). This time, I wanted to be prepared so I bought a compact, travelling picnic blanket from Indigo so that we could find a spot in the park and sit without worry of rashes or getting wet.

This small purchase proved to be a genius idea on my part! Instead of finding a reasonably priced bistro for every meal, we decided to become a travelling bistro. We would stop at a grocery store, pick up a selection of salamis, prosciuttos, cheeses, a soft baguette and a bottle of wine, then find a spot with a good view that we could set up our blanket and enjoy our feast. It felt so romantic yet it was so easy. Plus, for every meal we had a wonderful view with interesting people or awe-inspiring architecture.

There was one restaurant that I NEEDED to go to, though. We had seen a video on Facebook reviewing interesting restaurants in Paris, and there was no getting around it… I needed to go to L’Auberge Aveyronnaise and try their Aligot. Aligot is basically a mixture of cheese and potato. The chef comes out with a big pot of it, vigorously stirs it in front of you, and then throws a big slab of it on your plate. Brandon ate his with lamb, and I had mine with sausage. This place did NOT disappoint. It was one of the best meals of my life. Next time you go to Paris… go there.

If you haven’t seen the video of me eating Aligot yet, please check it out on The Happy Project’s Facebook or Instagram page. I look like I am the happiest person on the planet.

All in all, our couple days spent in Paris felt like a dream. It was one of the most relaxing weekends I have had, with no pressure of dressing up or making reservations. Being budget friendly turned out to mean truly enjoying the view and each other. I would definitely travel like that again.

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