If you’re wondering what exploring Paris with your kids would be like, why not just ask those in the know? And so we did. Our Dutch guests Christiaan and Grace shared their insights on how they put the Parisian puzzle together as a family after a week they’d spent in our “Azur” apartment with their two children.
Where do you come from, why did you choose Paris and who were you travelling with?
My name is Christiaan and my wife is named Grace, we have a boy, Filip, who’s 8 years old and a girl, Hendrika, who just turned 6. We all come from Amsterdam, although my wife is American and we actually met and dated in Paris some 10 years ago! That’s why we decided to go back in time and spend our wedding anniversary in Paris this year, as we wanted our kids to get to know the city where I asked their mom to marry me! We thought it would be fun to revisit old favourite spots or rather rediscover them completely because of the two brand new pairs of eyes that are now an essential part of our family picture!
What made you choose Les Studios and did you enjoy your stay with us?
A family friend of ours had recently come back from a trip to Paris, so it was only natural to ask him for some recommendations. He spoke very highly of Les Studios, a rental agency he was happy to have come across. He said he stayed in a luxurious boat moored on the Seine and felt like a captain with every new morning on the river – an experience he was practically exhilarated by! We, on the other hand, wanted a cozy and friendly place for the whole family, something practical in terms of location and enjoyable to live in. So we browsed Les Studios’ website and the only problem we encountered was deciding on the right apartment – there were so many of them! “Azur” was what we finally went with – it both struck our fancy and met our requirements! Last but not least, Les Studios’ team members were all easy-going and reliable, always happy to respond to our questions and informative about some really worthy restaurants in Montmartre. Great guys! We loved staying with them!
Did you find “Azur” to be kids-friendly? What was your favourite thing about your place?
Definitely! Every one of us was very happy in it and each found their safe spot pretty quickly. We all had a “private corner” to chill out and relax. The kids, for instance, found a new friend in the form of the funky white lamp artistically hanging over the dinner table – they called it The Friendly Jellyfish! For my wife, it was the kitchen! She was in awe of the blue-tiled walls – she said they look so spotless, bubbly and bright that now all she talks about is remodelling our Amsterdam kitchen after Azur’s one! Personally, I loved taking my quick moment of solitude sitting by the window after the long days full of excitement. Smoking my cigarette overlooking the pretty courtyard below, seeping in the tranquility and revisiting the emotions of our daily discoveries – this was my definition of “father’s bliss” (lasting no more than 7 minutes)! As a family, we were all pretty excited to be living in the shadow of Paris’ last historical windmill built in 1622! All in all, our stay in Azur was lovely, cozy and serene, just like the apartment itself.
How did a typical day in “Azur” unfold for you?
Oh, we loved everything about it. We enjoyed having breakfast at home in order to peacefully fuel ourselves for the rest of the day. I used to go to the closest boulangerie while the kids were still asleep and my wife was preparing coffee and hot chocolate in the kitchen. Then we’d all gather around the table, spread maps, notebooks, coffee cups and fresh croissants all over it and start planning the day. It really felt like home. In the evening, we liked to cozy up on the sofa and share our impressions from the past day. The one with the weirdest observation on the city would win an extra scoop of Berthillon on our next trip to the Saint Louis island! Observation skills should be praised!
How is discovering Paris with your children different? Where did you go, what did you do and see?
Contrary to popular opinion, it’s a whole lot funnier! First of all, the kids see things you wouldn’t normally notice (like the weird sculptured heads under the Pont Neuf bridge) and ask weird questions (such as “Why do all French girls wear ripped pantyhose?”). Suddenly all this makes you see Paris in a whole different light and that’s really new and enjoyable! Seeing our children explore this new world with their fresh viewpoint and their pure interaction with the city totally made our stay. We went to most famous museums but then tried some quirky stuff, as well. We cruised the flea markets, rode bikes over the bridges, had a picnic under the Eiffel Tower, much like our Parisian friends would have done! We tried to make our stay as varied as possible.
What did your children like best in Paris?
They liked the giant chocolate hippos in a chocolate shop on Rue de Rennes, they adored sampling the Berthillon ice cream on the Saint Louis island, they enjoyed cruising the Seine on a boat and had a great time inventing French names for the birds for sale in the Flower and Bird Market on Cité.
One thing that absolutely every kid/family needs to do in Paris is…..?
Learn to enjoy yourselves no map in hand! Just go with the flow of the city.
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