We stayed at the Plaza Athénée. A beautiful hotel – really nice. There's a fun bar and the service is excellent. The Plaza Athénée is very friendly, too. My other favorite hotel is the George V. It's beautiful and classy and big, and it's got all the amenities you need. The Ritz is also beautiful, but very expensive.
L'Amis Louis is one of the best restaurants I've ever been to. It's very small and very hard to get to; you have to make reservations almost a year in advance, but it's our favourite. And the côte de boeuf, it’s ridiculous – incredible. And they have a wine list you would travel six thousand miles for. It's just a great vibe. I get their foie gras and their potatoes and spinach.
You have to walk. Paris is a walking city. You walk, you take the Metro. That's how you have to experience Paris – even if you end up walking for miles. That's where you have your romantic moments. Even if you're alone, you know. You'll look back on Paris and say, "Remember that day I walked for an hour to get to that little coffeehouse? Or that little place where I had croissants?" That's what Paris is to me. At whatever hotel you're at, ask them: "What’s the best creperie?" A galette is what they call it; it's a different kind of crepe. It's buckwheat, and I get eggs in it and ham and it's so yummy.
You've got to go to the Louvre, even if it's just that every time you go back you say, "I'm just going to do one room." That way, eventually, you'll have seen the Mona Lisa, and then the Picasso Museum. The best is Monet's Gardens in Giverny, if you're there in the spring or summer. You have to check that out because it's just insanely beautiful. You realize how inspired this man was by his surroundings. Sometimes that's everything, you know.
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Excerpted from Celebrated Weekends: The stars' guide to the most exciting destinations in the world by Mark Seal. Copyright 2007 by Mark Seal. Excerpted with permission from Rutledge Hill Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced except with permission in writing from the publisher. Snack
After the Louvre, I'd probably go get a hot chocolate at Angelina's. It's right down the street, and it's a must-do. It's like drinking cake through a straw. It's the most amazing concoction of hot chocolate that you'll ever taste in your life. The amazing thing about it is that it's really thick, and when you try it without the crème fouettée, it's bitter. But then you put the crème fouettée on it and, well, it's a sort of ritual. They bring it in a pitcher, with the crème fouettée on the side, and you put it together to your own liking. And when you put the crème fouettée on it, it sweetens it. So it's sort of this amazing alchemy of chocolate and cream. Together it's the most sensational thing you'll ever have. Afterward, you might as well check yourself into the nearest hospital – because it's overload. They also have really good pastries. It's very touristy, but worth it.
I'd go to Chez Janou for lunch. It's a little more laid-back restaurant, a little more hip. It's just outside the Marais. The food is Provençale, and it's amazing. You have to get the chocolate mousse when you're there, because it comes in this big tub, a big bowl, and you just scoop out the mousse, and, oh my goodness, it's so yummy! It's on a fabulous street corner, and it feels like you're in a real neighbourhood – we love that. They have wonderful stuffed peppers, and their rabbit is excellent if you eat meat.
I'd go to stores you can't go to anywhere else – like Colette. That's my favourite store in Paris. Then there's L'Eclaireur in the Marais. It's like Maxfield's in Los Angeles, with local designers, some Dries Van Noten, and beautiful things I'd never seen before. The Marais is the best place to go shopping; it's the most young and hip area.
I'm not a club person, but my husband and I did go hear some music. We went to see jazz pianist Ahmed Jamal at that beautiful concert hall. Oh, it's a famous one; it's really high up. There are lots of balconies. When you walk in, it's almost like a circle and the balcony kind of circles up. But the best was the Zenith, where we went to see Bob Dylan. The Zenith is more like an arena. It's not the most charming. It's not like the Paradiso in Amsterdam, you know, where I went to see the Black Crowes. But it was amazing because it was Bob and he's always amazing.
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Excerpted from Celebrated Weekends: The stars' guide to the most exciting destinations in the world by Mark Seal. Copyright 2007 by Mark Seal. Excerpted with permission from Rutledge Hill Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced except with permission in writing from the publisher. Dinner
There's 404. It's a Moroccan restaurant that's really fun. My favorite drink is there, and it's called a 404 Cocktail. It's sort of like a mojito with vodka. They have it in London as well, at a place called Momo's. It's the same owner. Really good, really fun, and really good couscous. The seating's pretty low, very bohemian, a little more funky. There's also a wonderful Italian place called Stresa. I love it. I always get the pasta with caviar – just a flat pasta with butter and caviar. That's my favorite. And then a scoop of vanilla ice cream with a shot of espresso over it. As you can tell, food is a big part of my time in Paris. Oh, then there's Bofinger, the brasserie that has all the big platters of seafood. It's a famous place. It's two floors … Uh-oh! There goes my baby. My baby needs me, so I've got to go.
Kate Hudson's Paris Essentials
Four Season's George V, $$$$, 011-33-1-49-52-70-00
31 avenue George V
Plaza Athénée, $$$$, 011-33-1-53-67-66-65, 1-866-732-1106
25 avenue Montaigne
The Ritz, $$$$$, 011-33-1-43-16-30-30
15 place Vendome
404, Moroccan, $$$, 011-33-1-42-74-57-81
69 rue des Gravilliers
Angelina's, tea salon, $$, 011-33-1-42-60-82-00
22 rue de Rivoli
Bofinger, Alsatian brasserie, $$$, 011-33-1-42-72-87-82
5 rue de la Bastille, near Bastille Opera
Chez Janou, Provençale, $$$, 011-33-1-42-72-28-41
2 rue Roger Verlomme
L'Amis Louis, café, $$$$, 011-33-1-48-87-77-48
32 rue Vertbois
Stresa, Italian, $$$, 011-33-1-47-23-51-62
7 rue Chambiges
The Louvre Museum, 011-33-1-40-20-53-17
34 quai du Louvre
Monet's House and Gardens, 011-33-2-32-51-28-21
Rue Claude Monet, Giverny
Picasso Museum, 011-33-1-42-71-25-21
5 rue de Thorigny
Colette, hip department store, 011-33-1-55-35-33-90
213 rue St. Honore
L'Eclaireur, clothing, 011-33-1-48-87-10-22
12 rue Mahler
The Zenith of Paris, live music, 011-33-1-42-08-60-00
211 avenue Jean Jaures
Looking for a place to stay? Read about Canadian Living editors' favourite places to stay around the globe.
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Excerpted from Celebrated Weekends: The stars' guide to the most exciting destinations in the world by Mark Seal. Copyright 2007 by Mark Seal. Excerpted with permission from Rutledge Hill Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced except with permission in writing from the publisher.