It’s not surprising that so many people choose Paris as the place to celebrate adding another year to their age; after all, the City of Lights is so much more than a stereotypical honeymoon destination.
Nonetheless, so ubiquitous in the popular imagination are the French capital’s tourist attractions, that it can be easy to end up going through the motions in how you celebrate many happy returns here. Scale the Eiffel Tower, pop some bubbly, down it and descale, tie a padlock on a bridge….yawning yet? Us too.
But in this famed capital of art, fashion and gastronomy, there’s every opportunity to get creative and personal. With that in mind, here are 5 IDEAL, unique Paris birthday ideas.
QUIRKY OR TRADITIONAL GIFTS
Wherever you end up holding yours or a companion’s birthday party in Paris, talking points are assured if you bring along a quirky gift. Paris is full of strange and old-world shops such as Aurouze Deratisation or Deyrolle, selling stuff that you wouldn’t find anywhere else. And often that’s the best gift of all, are we right? Perhaps so that you don’t have to, the Tripsavvy site has visited and summarised some of these extremely unusual outlets. We mean, who wouldn’t want a stuffed kangaroo for their birthday? However, if you want to go with something more traditional, you can’t go wrong with a box of macarons.
EXPLORE INVENTIVE MODERN FRENCH CUISINE
Fine dining in the French capital doesn’t necessarily need to be white tablecloths, hushed tones, tall chef’s hats and silver service. A new breed of young, gun-slinging chef is making waves in the city, doing away with pretence, stripping back the dining room, but still serving delicious food. Innovation, not inheritance, is the watchword here. Although of course, this being France, a little lip service to the great culinary masters of the past is always paid. We love Septime, in the 11th arrondissement; sustainable, forward thinking and most importantly, ambrosial. If you can’t snag a table there, try next door’s Clamato, from the same team. Modern bistro Garance, next to Park Esplanade des Invalides, is another favourite.
A PARISIAN ESCAPE ROOM
The days of innovation in Paris did not come to an end with the Impressionists or Picasso; indeed, it remains alive and well today, as shown by the proliferation of escape games in the city in recent years. In fact, there are now more than 70 such rooms in the French capital, each with their own exclusive motif.
That’s more than ample to give you choice as far as themes are concerned. Whether you fancy taking on an escape room with a historic heritage theme, or perhaps based around science fiction or even burglary, Paris serves up many of the best of them, worldwide.
Indeed, the France Hotel Guide has explored seven of the city’s finest escape rooms in greater detail, suggesting options for every difficulty level.
PLAY PIANO IN THE CHATEAU LOBBY
There’s certainly no shortage of great accommodation options in for birthdays in Paris or nearby. One such prestigious, well-equipped venue is the monumental 19th-century Château Bouffémont, which occupies a breathtaking site in the heart of the ancient Montmorency Forest. Its grand reception halls, well-appointed suites and manicured French gardens certainly bring fairytale to mind. Getting there from the city is easy enough; 20 minutes from Charles de Gaulle Airport and 35 minutes from central Paris.
DIVE INTO THE DRESSING UP BOX (BUT STEER CLEAR OF STEREOTYPES)
Of course, hosting your birthday party in Paris is only half the journey. To make it convincingly Parisian in its essence is the harder part. The UK’s largest party supplies retailer, Party Delights, has some advice on how you can capture an authentically Parisian theme, if sickly sweet, Princess driven is your thing. Dressing in the regalia of historic Paris is another option; it’s said that the very notion of ‘fancy dress’ originated here. We’d heavily caution against the stereotypical beret, white and navy hooped jumper, garlic around the neck, armed with a baguette look though; very naff indeed.