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How to Have a Romantic Paris Getaway Without Going to Paris

Posted on | April 8, 2010 | Comments Off on How to Have a Romantic Paris Getaway Without Going to Paris

Article by Shari Hearn

You’re feeling like a romantic French getaway but can’t afford to make it over to Paris, the “Romance Capital of the World.” What do you do?

Have a French Picnic in Your Own Backyard

Your backyard can be your actual backyard, or you can go to a nearby lake, mountain picnic area, or in front of your own fireplace in front of a romantic fire. Set the mood with all things French. If you have a nice wine shop in your town (and, if you don’t, move), go and pick a nice French wine. Although many top French Bordeauxs and Burgundies can be a bit pricey, there are many less-expensive, yet delicious labels you can choose. If you’re lucky enough to live near a Trader Joe’s or Cost Plus you can usually pick up an inexpensive bottle of French wine or Champagne.

Next, pair that wine or Champagne with a nice French cheese. That’s right, leave the Cheese Whiz and Velveeta behind and try something new. Visit a cheese shop and experiment a little. Taste a little of this and a little of that. Tell the cheese expert what wine you’re serving and he or she should be able to help you find a great cheese or two that will go perfectly with your wine. If you don’t have a nice cheese shop in your town, you can always go online to find a great French cheese, as well as tips for wine and cheese pairings. One such site is

Now, pick up a couple French CDs as romantic background music and you have the perfect romantic French setting. What? You don’t understand the lyrics because they’re in French? Who cares. It’s French. They don’t call it a romance language for nothing.

Go to a French Restaurant

Most larger cities have some authentic French restaurants where you can dine on French food with a French-speaking wait-staff. You might want to do a search for your city to see if there are any award-winning French restaurants in your area. Many times local papers will have reader’s surveys. You might also check, which lists “best of” businesses. Depending on your city, you might find a “best” French restaurant for your romantic French dinner.

Go to a French-Style Inn or B&B

French food not enough for you? Then spend the weekend in an inn or B&B which is French-inspired, decorated in French furnishings and French art. A few places to consider are:

Great Oaks Manor419 Macek RoadRichmond, TX281-343-9551

Great Oaks Manor is a historic Houston, Texas area bed and breakfast, located just minutes from downtown Houston. Go for the “Night in Paris” Moulin Rouge-style room, inspired by Van Gogh and Toulouse-Lautrec paintings.

La Villa Romaine Bed and Breakfast29 South Market StreetPetersburg, VA 804-861-2285

La Villa Romaine is Petersburg’s oldest continuously-operated B&B. But, once inside you may forget you’re in Virginia and swear you were in Paris. You have your choice of the Louis XV Room, with marble fireplace and 18th century Louis XV painted bed; Louis XVI Room, furnished in the Louis XVI style with a Louis XVI bed purchased at an antique market in France; the Provence Room featuring a Louis XV country French bed and antique Provence wash stand; or the Renaissance Room with Henri II furniture. Other rooms at La Villa Romaine are decorated in French pieces as well, including the dining room in Louis XV Country French style; the Library with French furnishings from the 17th, 18th and 19th Centuries; and the Formal Salon with a Pleyel Grand Piano made in Paris in the mid-1800s.

Degas House2306 Esplanade AvenueNew Orleans, Louisiana504-821-5009

Spend a romantic weekend at the The Degas House, the only American home or studio of the French Impressionist Master Edgar Degas. The guest rooms and house are decorated with antique and reproduction furniture, with a collection of Degas prints and sculpture. Degas created at least twenty-two works of art while living in the house, which is just minutes from the French Quarter.

Go to Montreal

If you live in the Northeastern United States and a French-style inn or B&B isn’t French enough for you, then why not go to Montreal, one of the largest French-speaking cities in the world? And, as long as you’re there, you might want to stay in Le Hotel Le St. James, chosen by Mobil Travel Guide as one of the Most Romantic Hotels. Located in Old Montreal, Le Hotel Le St. James features a spa where you can receive a couples massage, or, should you wish, an in-room massage.

Paris may be the “Romance Capital of the World,” but, with a little creativity, you can make any place, even your own backyard, the “Romance Capital of You.”