Poppy in Paris: The Charms of French Culture

Poppy in Paris: The Charms of French Culture
Working as an au pair in Paris, Poppy Pearce explores the city in her free time. She documents her favorite finds – exhibitions, restaurants, boutiques, day trips – in an exclusive Bonjour Paris column. Find previous editions here. When I envisioned moving to Paris, I pictured myself starting each morning with a croissant and coffee from my local boulangerie, and then lazing on the terraces of bars, laughing with friends until the call for final orders. I imagined myself idling away the hours reading my book on the grass of the city’s many parks, and then sauntering down the sun-kissed banks of the Seine. Always with a baguette in hand. And now that it is summer, well, my vision has come to fruition. Paris in summer allows you to experience the quintessential French culture. Al fresco dining, though an all-year-round feature in France, has truly sprung to life. Sitting at a terrasse au soleil, sipping a coffee, or enjoying a meal while watching the world go, by is a delightful experience. The famous Jardin du Luxembourg, Tuileries Garden, and Parc des Buttes-Chaumont are filled with colorful flowers and lush greenery, and it’s a fantastic time to stroll through these gardens, relax, and enjoy the natural beauty. Across all of the parks, you will find groups of Parisians donning nothing more than their swimming costumes, bronzing their skin, and sharing a bottle of wine. In French, to flâner is to stroll, and this art of walking aimlessly and lethargically is something that I have come to learn from my year here – much to the confusion of my natural marching stride. The Parisian pace of life in general feels slower compared to London, and it is something that I love. So, equip yourself with your baguette, and leave your fast gait behind, as we discover my favorite finds across Paris this past month. Jardin des Tuileries. Photo credit: Dennis Jarvis / Wikimedia Commons

Lead photo credit : The Parc des Buttes Chaumont, photo: Jean-Louis Vandevivère

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Inspired by the rich culture that France has to offer, Poppy Pearce moved to Paris as an au pair in August 2022. Having gained a degree in Theology and Religion with Arabic from the University of Exeter, Poppy has a passion for languages and experiencing new cultures. When she’s not working, Poppy loves to explore everything that Paris has to offer, from exhibitions and museums, to restaurants and second-hand clothing stores.