10 Romantic (and Sexy) Things to Do In Paris

For those of you who have The Perfect Scoop, you may already be familiar with my friend Heather Stimmler-Hall, who writes the popular website, Secrets of Paris. She’s the one who attempted to seduce her Parisian neighbor with a batch of my ice cream. Not that she needs my assistance (I didn’t ask her how it turned out since I’m such a gentleman, and she’s the model of discretion). But for the rest of us, I tend to take help whenever—and wherever, I can get it.

Heather is the author of Naughty Paris, a guide to the sexiest and most romantic things to do in Paris. Because so many people come to Paris looking for a little romance, on our recent dessert date, I asked Heather for a list of her favorite, most sensual things to do in the city…just in time for Valentine’s Day. So here is Heather’s list of Ten Romantic (and Sexy) Things to Do in Paris. Merci ma chèrie! -David

heart-shaped tart

A lot of people ask me advice on romantic things to do in Paris, and if they’re visitors, I usually reply, “It’s Paris, what’s not romantic about it?” After all, you’ve got a gorgeous setting of historic monuments and scenic bridges over the Seine, a fashionably-dressed cast of Parisians sans baseball hats and “Who dat?” emblazoned sweatshirts, and some of the most mouth-watering cuisine on the planet.

Well, that is if you know where to go.

I can already hear the locals and Paris habitués groaning that they’ve already done all of the Valentine’s Day clichés: a show at the Moulin Rouge, a cruise on the Seine, dinner on the Eiffel Tower, macarons at Ladurée…and I think everyone should try all of those things at least once in a lifetime (okay, once a week for the macarons). But then what?

Then you ask me, the woman who wrote Naughty Paris, for a few ideas—of course! Some of these are obvious, others less so, but all are perfect for a romantic rendez-vous when you’re hungering for more than just a kiss. ; )

1. Oysters and Wine at Le Baron Rouge

Candlelight, soft music and a quiet table in the corner? Please. There’s nothing more intimate than being crammed against each other in a cozy wine bar, jostling with the friendly locals and market stall-holders from the neighboring Marché d’Aligre for a glass of Burgundy and a platter of cheese and charcuterie.

On chilly winter weekends the jovial crowd spills out onto the sidewalk for fresh oysters and Sancerre, couples among them clinging together for warmth, or to hold each other up when the wine starts taking effect…

Le Baron Rouge
1, rue Théophile-Roussel (12th)
Tél: 01 43 43 14 32

2. High Tea at the Ritz

If you’re going to do High Tea, do it in style in one of the most posh settings in Paris, surrounded by sparkling crystal, priceless antiques, and polished silver. Your gourmet tea (or an amazingly thick hot chocolate) is served with a tower of delectable pastries, tiny sandwiches, and scones with cream and jam. And of course, no one—including the politely efficient staff — will bat an eye if you and your amoureux steal a few kisses at the table. PDA is de rigeur in Paris.

Paris Ritz
15, Place Vendôme (1st)
Tél: 01 43 16 30 30
Tea served from 4-7pm.

3. Kitsch Cocktails at the Blitz Tequila Bar

The über-exclusive Black Calvados Bar (aka BC) has been taken over by Blitz, the first European brand of tequila from the Black Forest of Germany. Try and imagine the black lacquered walls and black leather sofas of the BC decorated with glowing mushroom lamps, a cuckoo clock, kitsch 60s record sleeves, and your barman dressed in real authentic lederhosen.

He somehow – like the bar itself — still looks impossibly cool and sexy. Check it out yourself before this bar ephémère closes in June of 2010. There are 41 different kinds of tequila and amazingly tasty cocktails that will convert even the most adamant tequila-haters into (rather inebriated) raving fans.

Blitz Tequila Bar
40 Avenue Pierre Ire de Serbie (16th)
Reservations by e-mail
Open from 10pm.

4. Champagne at Flûte

This tiny venue hidden on a tiny side-street just off the place de l’Etoile was once a “gentleman’s bar”, and still has an illicitly naughty feel to it. Take a seat on the red velour banquette next to the fireplace with a Champagne cocktail, or find a quiet alcove upstairs for a more intimate tête-à-tête. And despite the location and quality bubbly, the prices are more than reasonable, and if you go on Tuesday for Happy Hour (5-8pm) you get two drinks for the price of one. Dozens of Champagnes available by the glass, gourmet appetizers for les petits faims (little appetites), and live jazz on Wednesday nights.

Flûte l’Étoile
19, rue de l’Étoile (17th)
Tél : 01 45 72 10 14
Open Mon-Sat from 5pm.

licking her chops heather gets a laugh

5. Cocktails and Wagyu Burgers at Prescription Cocktail Club

An anonymous black façade gives no indication of the stylish speakeasy-style cocktail bar hidden inside. Which is just the way the jeunesse dorée of Paris like it. But despite the confidential private club feel (reinforced by the stern-faced doorman), the welcome is warm and sincere once you’re inside.

The décor has an elegant 1930s style, with Magritte-inspired bowler hats used as lampshades and comfy upholstered sofas. Come for apéritifs –the creative cocktails are made with ingredients like ginger beer, elderflower liquor, or Japanese whiskey – but if you find it hard to tear yourself away for dinner, their divine Wagyu beef mini-burgers made with foie gras will fill you up without slowing you down.

Prescription Cocktail Club
23, rue Mazarine (6th)
Tél: 01 45 08 88 09
Open Mon-Sat from 7pm-2am (4am on weekends)

6. Vin Chaud on the Seine

A bottle of red, some cheese, and the Pont des Arts…summertime romance in Paris is easy, even if you’re still hurting from la crise économique. But it’s been a rather brisk winter, so keep warm and cozy by sipping from a thermos of vin chaud while wrapped in a thick and fuzzy blanket. Views from the quays of the Île St-Louis are always fabulous at sunset, and the high walls will help shelter you from the freezing winds.

7. Dinner at the Dame du Canton

Add a bit of gypsy-themed romance to your evening on this vintage wooden péniche (barge) formerly known as La Guinguette Pirate. Most people come here for the live World music, particularly gypsy jazz “Manouche” (think Django Reinhardt), but below deck you’ll find a cozy, lantern-lit restaurant serving traditional French dishes. Reserve the cushion-filled, shag-pile-carpeted nook in the back for the most privacy. Just make sure your date isn’t prone to sea sickness…or the gentle rocking of the boat may end your evening prematurely!

La Dame du Canton
Moored permanently on the Left Bank of the Seine just east of the Passerelle Simone de Beauvoir, Port de la Gare (13th).
Tél: 01 53 61 08 49 (or reserve by e-mail)
Open Tues-Sat from 8pm.

8. A Chocolate Massage at the Four Seasons

Instead of the traditional box of chocolates, impress your sweetheart with a decadent, “All About Chocolate” spa treatment at the Four Seasons George V hotel. A chocolate-mint body scrub is followed by a Swiss chocolate and toffee body wrap, and finished up with a deep tissue massage using cocoa oil. In short, two and a half hours of pure bliss…without the guilty calorie counting.

Spa at the Four Seasons George V
31, Avenue George V (8th)
Tél: 01 49 52 72 10
2.5-hour treatment €350

9. Book a Night at The One by The Five

If you’re coming to Paris for a naughty tryst and money is no object, book yourself into the amazing One by the Five, a private five-room apartment suite managed by the Five Hotel across the street. Discreetly hidden on a quiet street near Port Royal, this unique suite was designed with couples in mind to evoke the five senses of seduction, from the ingredients to mix your own Erotic Elixir in the black lacquer kitchenette to the bedroom where you and your lover will float amidst the clouds and sparkling stars on a bed suspended from the wall. Just don’t plan on any sightseeing; you won’t want to leave The One.

The One by the Five
3, rue Flatters (5th)
Tél: 01 43 31 52 31
Rack rate €990

10. The Buffet at Moon City Sauna

Some people claim to read Playboy for the articles. Perhaps these are the same people who go to the Moon City Sauna for the buffet. On the popular “couples-only” Wednesday nights, the exotic Thai-themed sauna in the heart of Pigalle takes on the feeling of a Club Med cruise, with a surprisingly good-looking crowd of ladies and gentlemen in matching sarongs lining up for the couscous, pasta salad, roast potatoes, and grilled meats.

Of course, you can stay after your meal to enjoy the steam baths, sauna and a soak in the Jacuzzi, with no pressure to join the more adventurous couples who disappear into the rooms in the back for a bit of adult romancing in private.

Moon City Sauna
34, Blvd Clichy (18th)
Tél: 01 42 59 52 24
(The best night for couples is Wednesday, from 8pm. Get there early for the buffet. Entry €53 per couple. Note: This site has adult content.)

[Prices, hours and other information subject to change. Please contact the establishments for up-to-date information.]

last picture

Visit Heather at:

Secrets of Paris

Sexy Cities Guide

ParisHeather (Twitter)

Naughty Paris (Facebook)

Naughty Paris: A Lady’s Guide to the Sexy City (Amazon)

Naughty Paris Guide

Special!: Get €5 off your order of Naughty Paris: A Lady’s Guide to the Sexy City by ordering online at direct at Naughty Paris Guide, using the discount code “chocolate” through December 31, 2010.


Related Links and Paris Posts

10 Common Ordering Mistakes People Make in Paris

Paris Transit Options

Gluten-Free Eating in Paris

Paris Favorites

Paris Cooking Classes & Wine Tasting Programs

10 Things to Do With Kids in Paris

10 Delicious Things Not to Miss in Paris

Tipping in Paris

Romantic restaurants in Paris

Health Care Tips for Travelers to France

Where to Find the Best Steak Frites in Paris

Accessible Travel in Paris

Getting Money in Paris

Paris Dining Blog Posts

Paris Dining Guides

Finding A Hotel in Paris

Paris Airport Transfers

Ways To Save Money in Paris

Some Favorite Paris Restaurants

Vegetarian Dining Tips for Paris and a list of Vegetarian Restaurants

Where to Find a Great Hamburger in Paris (Kid-friendly)

Sunday Dining in Paris

34 comments

  • Great list overall… but I’m pretty sure Heather means afternoon tea, not high tea.

  • a chocolate massage? oh tres fab.

  • Oh, I’d definitely go for the chocolate massage. How I’d love to be in naughty Paris right now! Since I can’t be there, maybe I should attempt the chocolate massage at home. Do you have a recipe?

    Nisrine

  • What a list! I am going to save up so that I can indulge in each one of them!

  • I could have sworn I read somewhere on The Four Seasons’ website that the spa was for hotel guests only. I was thinking of booking a treatment when I was there last month, and I thought that’s why I never did. But, I can’t seem to find where I read that, so I must be wrong.

  • A couple thoughts come to mind:

    My, what a lovely smile Heather has.
    I missed out on “Who Dat” sweatshirts?!?
    Would never have thought I’d see ‘tequila’ and ‘Germany’ in the same sentence.
    Always hoped one day to see ‘chocolate’ and ‘massage’ in the same sentence.
    My, my, David, you have great friends.
    Here’s hoping you get to enjoy many of Heather’s recommendations.

    cheers

  • I love it that 9 of the 10 items on the list are directly food or drink oriented. The one listing that is not food per se, the hotel room, does have a kitchenette, so it is not completely foodless.

    “Food, the second greatest pleasure in life.”

    Happy Valentine’s Day, David.

  • There are high walls on the Pont des Arts?

    Happy Valentine’s Day.

  • Sigh, Wish I was there. I don’t think we’ve planned anything for Valentines Day. My husband mentioned a river boat dinner cruise…but…I worried we’d be the youngest couple there.
    Have you noticed that’s a problem with being forty? Where ever you go out at night for date night fun, you are either the oldest couple or the youngest couple. There’s just no inbetween. Where do they all go?

  • Oh tell Heather her book looks cool for me. And speaking of your book, you know that story about dressing to take out the garbage? I’ve been making more of an effort to not wear sweatshirts and stuff even to the gas station since reading that. I’m not really sure why. I just didn’t think about it before…not that I wear that kind of stuff to work or real shop or anything.

  • Lovely list, David. Thank you for getting her to share. I’m in Paris right now and the hubby joins in a few weeks. :)

    Happy Valentine’s Day to you.

  • @Maureen Oh I so know what you mean. Since I’ve read that article I’ve made a concious effort to dress nicely whenever I leave my appartment. it’s David’s bad influence ;)

  • Great Valentine’s post! Chocolate massage is definitely a winner :D Happy V-day!

  • @Tracy: Actually, it is High Tea. At least that’s what they call it on their menu.

    @Corrie: The spa treatments at the Four Seasons are open to the public, but the swimming pool and gym are not.

    @Carole: the high walls refer to the quays of the Île St-Louis, not the bridge. :)

  • I love the oysters and wine at Baron Rouge on Sundays! So far, I’ve only been there with my brother (my partner in gourmandise crime) but next time will be reserved for hubby. Happy heart day to all! Merci for the list to Daveed and Heather!

  • Jan: I love Le Baron Rouge, but if you go on Sunday, it’s so packed, you might end up being more intimate with a few others than you think!

    And I don’t mean in that kind of way…but they get quite a crowd and you might need to squeeze into a table…
    ; )

    berit and Maureen: I actually went to yoga the other day in my long exercise pants, and was stopped before I left my apartment!

  • OMG!!! I had a David Lebovitz sighting today! I was the Rue des Rosiers goins to L’As du Fallafel (per his recommendation) and there he was! Just walking down the street looking very handsome in his coat and scarf! I did restrain the urge to run at him like a groupie and demand his autograph in the middle of the street, but it really was exciting! Hope you’re having a nice Valentine’s Day David. Seeing you “in context” was some lovely frosting on top of my Valentine’s gateau!

  • Thanks! I always appreciate new ideas for things to do in Paris. One fun thing I did on a trip there was a visit to the Panoramic Bar at the Hotel Concorde Lafayette. I thought it was really cheesy in a fun way, but I’m sure some people would think it’s too touristy-cheesy in a not-fun way. Either way, it’s a great view of the city.

  • I love the oysters and Sancerre! even though I think that even having a crepe with cidre can be the most romantic thing…Thank you for sharing all these suggestions!

  • Couldn’t figure what Ms. Heather was eating in the first few photos.( rose and yellow)
    And what was it she was enjoyimg in the last photo? (rose only).
    Just curious.
    Thanks
    Simona

  • LB: That was one icy day to be eating a falafel on the street! I had friends visiting from San Francisco and wanted a falafel, so we thought that 2pm on Sunday would be ok to visit. We were stunned to find a 45 minute wait just to get in the door! So we went across the street, since that place was recommended. (It wasn’t all that, as it turns out…) Hope you enjoyed yours!

    simona: The top dessert is a lemon tart with a marshmallow heart on top and the bottom was a chile-Roquefort ‘cookie’, which was such a sexy color, we couldn’t resist. They were both from a bakery called Aurore Capucine, which is an interesting, if somewhat odd bakery, up in the 9th.

  • Fantastic post, such fun ! I was wondering the same thing as Simona above – what about the desserts Heather was enjoying ? :) The lemon tart with marshmallow heart sounds good to me. Not so sure about the chile-Roquefort cookie… but now I am awfully intrigued by that bakery. Perhaps another to add to the long and growing list. Thanks !!

  • How about some price info for some of these little adventures? It helps in planning and it’s always of some interest.,,,,,,,, Great food writing.

  • Hi Steve: Heather did list prices on a few of the adventures, but because prices are subject to change, there’s also links to website for places like the Ritz and dinner on the Dame du Canton, that should reflect current prices, which hopefully the owners update.

    Kerrin: The chile-cheese cookie, I think, was meant to be spicy rather than sweet. At first bite, it was rather odd. But then the taste really grew on me…and I had a hard time getting the rest out of Heather’s vise-like grasp!

  • thanks. Rose sexy chile-roquefort cookie is just what I would like to have as a snack.Lemon tart is OK, but marshmallows is not for me . On the other hand , I am quite an expert on Falafel (being Israeli oblige) and I can understand the infatuation with the As of Falafel. Of course I never eat falafel when in Paris ( the best falafel is just at the bottom of my appartment stairs), but one thing I know since I was a student in Paris ( a long, very long time ago, but nothing, absolutely nothing changed in the food joints of Rue des Rosiers) : never go on Sunday in Rue des Rosiers : everybody is crazy( I mean, not REALLY everybody, but quite enough to form a waiting line in -3C for some little boulettes of pois chiches, which sounds quite CRAZY to me) after one and a half day without Jewish-Israeli food .( Friday afternoon and all Saturday).
    So all of you are invited to come to Israel, (+28C in the shade in Tel Aviv), and have as many falafels as you want, most of them real AS(ess- sorry, but that’s the plural of As , isn’t it?).

    No more war, more falafel, it’s better for your health!!!

  • I had so hoped this was going to be a list of the 10 Best Sexy and Tawdry Things to Do in Paris.

    Perhaps you can do an encore?

    Me? I don’t think I’m exactly qualified to report on anything ‘sexy’ or ‘tawdry’ in Paris. I left all that back in San Francisco! -dl

  • @Heather: thanks for responding. I thought that was what you meant, but man, I wish the walls were higher! I get cold too easily. ;-)

  • Thank you David for your reply about Tea, I won’t bring a tea bag lol. I just bought Heather’s book and am so excited to read it. It looks beautiful. I am going to Paris in June and am on a budget. Question, if you want one special experience. one restaurant to go that is not a cheap, which one would it be? I hope to get some help from you or your many wise responders Aloha Maya

  • Hey “Who Dat” refers to the New Orleans Saints whose symbol is the fleur-de-lis. Not possible to get particularly more French than that so don’t be snobby about that!

  • I always appreciate new ideas for things to do in Paris

  • Unlike the writer, I am thrilled by the appearance of “who dat” wear around the world. Only a curmudgeon could dislike the joyous outpouring of pride by long-suffering Saints fans and New Orleanians and NOLA-lovers, no matter where they find themselves.

  • The burgers at the Prescription aren’t wagyu, by the way.

  • They’re 40 day aged Yves Marie Le Bourdonnec French beef , topped with caramelized onions, aged comté and truffled, home-made mayo, all enclosed in made to measure Kayser rolls.

  • David: The Ritz may call it High Tea, but it’s a translation error on the menu. I’ve noticed this before (and have considered telling them, but that would be just too pedantic even for me).

    High Tea is a very working class meal that is basically like an early dinner. It includes cold joints of meat, hearty pies and soups, mugs of strong tea, etc. It’s what labourers would eat when they got in, starving, from the fields or factory. Even now in the UK some people will call their evening meal, what we’d normally call dinner, ‘tea’. It varies by region and also by social background.

    Afternoon tea is what you have out of fine china, with dainty sandwiches and pastries, and is very la-di-dah fancy. It couldn’t be more different from high tea!