Part 3 in a series on Paris
Paris is not just a destination for romance and honeymooners, it can offer a great vacation to families too. You can find great places to live in, which are baby-friendly, as long as you know what to look for. Transport within the city, while notorious on several counts, was no trouble for us. Do check out my previous articles on Paris for useful trips.
We recently spent a week in the famed town- Mom, Dad and 8 month old baby. Thanks to our first hand experience, we have several suggestions to make for parents travelling with little ones. In this post, I offer some tips with respect to eating in Paris, for both you and your baby.
You Can Take Your Stroller and Baby to Restaurants
In my pre-travel research, I got the distinct impression that Parisians are not very fond of kids. Restaurants, we heard, can decline you a seat if you have a stroller with you. Now, that should not discourage you to take a stroller to Paris. In fact, we strongly recommend that you do.
While most restaurants around the key tourist attractions are small with cramped spaces, we never faced difficulty entering with our baby and stroller. The staff always made an attempt to give us a corner where we could comfortably fit our stroller alongside our table. Since none of the restaurants we visited had high-chairs, the stroller would serve as a chair and was hence, rather precious when parked next to our table.
Restaurant staff and others dining around would always give my baby a lot of lovely smiles. Not on a single occasion, in that week, was anyone unfriendly towards our kid.
Sit Indoors, No Matter What the Weather
It is rather fashionable in Paris to settle down in the outdoor seating of cafes and restaurants, especially in summer months. It is rather tempting too, for you can look out at people and places. With a baby, however, you will always need to head indoors because people sitting outside always smoke. Sometimes, we would see no one smoking and give in to the temptation of taking up a table outside, but invariably someone would come along in a while and take out their cigarettes.
Try Garden Restaurants
While we did say that restaurants made us comfortable with our baby and stroller, no matter how limited the space was within, it is still nice to occasionally have the luxury of space. We chanced upon a lovely outdoor café by a duck pond in the Tuileries Garden near the Louvre. Not only was the food good, the ambiance was charming. Kids would love to have the run of the space and watch the little ducks while you dine in peace. As mentioned previously, smoking could be a problem, but since table were spaced out, you could easily choose one a little away from the main crowd.
Grab a Few Meals in Your Apartment
As I suggested in one of my previous articles, it is advisable to take up an apartment instead of opting for a hotel when travelling with kids to Paris. Not only does this give you the option to prepare a few baby meals at home, suited to what the kid is generally used to, but you can also grab a few of your own meals indoors. When out with kids, you will be surprised how exhausted you can feel, come evening and you may not have the energy to step out again for dinner. All supermarkets offer pre-cooked, easy-to-heat meals, which you can store in your apartment fridge. These were life-savers for us on many days.
Have Breakfast Before You Get Started
Babies can drain the energy out of you before you even get started with your Paris touring. Instead of being in a hurry to head out each morning, buy a few basics like eggs, bread, milk and cereal. A quick breakfast will give you the stamina and some added time to get yourself and your baby ready before you head out.
Travelling with a baby can be tricky, but don’t let that discourage you from giving it a go. Our first post-baby vacation to Paris was full of good and bad baby moments, but all together it made for a memorable holiday. I hope my tips prove useful while you travel. Do check out my other Paris related posts and have a great holiday!
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PIyushi Dhir is the author of the romantic novels, 'In Search of Love' (2014), 'I'm Yours, The Next Time' (2015) and 'Enmeshed Evermore' (2015). A voracious reader, a keen traveler and an ardent dog-lover, Piyushi currently resides in Ivory Coast, Africa. A nomad at heart, she loves to discover new places and capture the hues of life with her pen.