Slow life is an Anglo-Saxon term that has been very trendy these last few years. Behind those words hides the desire to breath, to slow down, and the promise of a more fulfilling life where you give into your deepest desires. Considered to be counterculture in a world where everything moves too fast, Slow life stands as a new way of life. So why not adopt this attitude when it comes to your family vacations? Discover our 100% Slow life friendly suggestions for a wonderful family weekend in Paris.
Paris offers wonderful green spaces to walk with baby
Yes, you read that right! It is possible to slow down in Paris! The city is home to a few lovely Slow life spots, little well-kept secrets that allow you to take in the city of lights from a whole new angle, one of peace and joy.
Turn off your phones, tablets, and other devices and take the time to look around. Open the doors of a neighbourhood bookstore and buy books for the whole family. Why not try Carl Honoré’s wonderful work « In Praise of Slowness »?
Life is full of unexpected turns, but certain ones can turn out in your favour. Your private chauffeur cancelled on you, you can’t find the metro station, or you missed your bus? So what? You’re on vacation! Walk, take in the view, and be open to experiencing the unexpected.
Respect the places you visit by not throwing garbage on the ground and recycling packaging. Exploring the city by foot allows you to get a better feel for the city while reducing your carbon footprint. It also brings you back to the true meaning of the word travel, which is discovering a spot and truly appreciating all its appeal.
Are you obsessed with organization? Do you find it difficult to let go? Take a deep breath and ask yourself what you really want to do, what dreams have been sleeping deep down inside for so long, and give into the temptation…
Slow life is praise for slowness, which is quite the feat in the heart of a hectic city like Paris. But give it a go, and you’ll get the hang of it!
The beautiful rue de l’Abreuvoir, in Montmartre
Whether you are looking for a palace or a beautiful boutique hotel, here is our selection of the best spots that are elegantly reinterpreting the Slow life style.
Located not far from the Trocadéro, the Shangri-La Paris is a peaceful haven near the most beautiful neighbourhoods in the capital. An amazing feature is the marvellous landscaped garden, which is truly a natural jewel. Bringing together style and intimacy, the Shangri-La Hotel Paris is the ideal spot to escape the bustle of the city with your family.
Start the night off right at the Bar Botaniste where the menu, which has been designed around herbalism, is a salute to Prince Roland Bonaparte, the previous owner of the location who created the largest herbarium in the world, made up of more than 2,500,000 types of herbs. The Bar’s reputation comes from its aromatic alcohols like génépi and chartreuse. All of this is set against a backdrop that references the world of botanists and apothecaries, with plants under domes, crystal, and authentic absinthe fountains. The perfect spot to escape the bustle of the city.
As for the rooms, some are connecting rooms which can help make travelling with children easier. Everything your children need is made available and numerous gifts await them upon their arrival.
The restaurant bends over backwards to ensure that their meal is perfect with a specially designed menu just for them. And since Slow life means mom and dad should be able to spend a few hours alone, high-quality baby-sitting service is available if you need it.
Furthermore, Chi, the hotel’s Spa offers precious relaxation time during which you can find inner peace. Their treatments are based in ancient methods from Asia, and during good weather, the magnificent pool opens upon the terrace.
The Botaniste, a very fine bar for connoisseurs
A little slice of heaven in the heart of the 6th arrondissement near the Odéon, the hôtel Baume brings together the elegance and the warm harmony of the 30s. Its Art deco style is perfect for a calming pause in the heart of Paris. Let yourself be enveloped in the cosy and relaxing atmosphere of the hotel with its beautiful materials, warm wood, gentle tones. It’s perfect to visit as a family, like being at home, but better.
This smaller-scale hotel promises personalized service perfectly adapted for families. The suites’ generous size makes them the perfect place for a comfortable stay as a family. And the cherry on top is that certain rooms have a terrace with a view of the Odéon, a true luxury for a Parisian hotel! The perfect spot to contemplate the sunrise in total peace.
Children are spoilt when they arrive at the Hotel Baume
To make the most of your liberating vacation, nothing is better than getting out into nature a bit and being swept away by the beauty of the surrounding area. Most people will surely say that Paris doesn’t have scenery, just monuments. But alas! It does. Paris actually has a few small patches of greenery that have been carefully preserved. Follow the leader!
Behind the Père Lachaise cemetery, near the Alexandre Dumas metro, this garden is an absolute treat. Since it’s a natural reserve, everything there grows wild. Protected from the excitement of the city, this urban oasis includes a frog pond, a charming meadow, underbrush, and calm! No sound gets through here.
The Jardin des Plantes no longer needs an introduction, as it has been seen as one of the gems of Paris for decades now. However, not everyone knows about the little alpine garden hidden within. Constructed in the 30s, this spot immerses you in the heart of the mountains with a lovely walk surrounded by 2,000 species of plants from mountainous regions around the world. A real treat for the senses and a breath of fresh hair in the heart of Paris. Itinerary.
The Jardin des Plantes, a wonderful space for a family escape in the metropolis
That’s the name of a charming neighbourhood in the 20th arrondissement near the Porte de Bagnolet. A handful of charming individual houses, cobbled streets, climbing plants, and carefully cared for plants create a wonderfully fresh bubble in the heart of the capital. Itinerary.
The little lake and magnificent pine trees have made famous this hilly park that juxtaposes the Cité Universitaire and its famous pavilions dedicated to each nationality. Don’t be afraid to get lost and just enjoy nature. Itinerary.
While it is one of the less calm parks, this market space remains an absolute must-see in Paris. It’s great to simply walk around and explore the stalls full of various flowers protected by the ancient dark green halls that date back to the 1900s. A unique, 100% natural spot to take a walk right next to Notre-Dame de Paris. Itinerary.
If the weather isn’t really on your side, don’t panic, Paris is full of activities and things to do with your family even when it’s raining cats and dogs! To find out more, don’t hesitate to read our article on this subject!
Did you know that Slow life comes from the notion of Slow Food which started in Italy, in the Piedmont region in the 80s in response to the growing influence of Fast Food? The basis? Rediscover the pleasure of eating, cooking, and slowing down.
Here are a few exclusive, gourmet Parisians spots that uphold these ideals.
Here’s a secret (about Polichinelle of course) to share as much as possible! Located on the ground floor of the Yooma hotel, on the Quai de Grenelle, the restaurant Polichinelle deliciously and skilfully reinvents buffets with a contemporary flair. The food there is virtuous and sincere. The dishes change according to the season, give vegetables new life, and please gourmets, even the most dedicated carnivores. On the roof of the building is one of the largest gardens in France, put in place by the Belgian group Peas & Love, pioneers in the field. They are completely dedicated to eco-responsibility, shortened supply chains, filtered Parisian water, efforts made to reduce waste, no plastic, recycling, everything to make this the perfect Slow life food spot. The cherry on top: the desserts made by the master Christophe Michalak. See the restaurant.
This fresh and elegant restaurant is completely transparent about the direct line between the farms where they source their products and their tables. Here, the philosophy is clear: « The closer it is, the better it is »!
They only serve products that they know the origins of and are preferably only a few kilometres away! The carefully selected producers inspire the gardener-chefs at Relais whose dishes have already won over the neighbourhood. At night, you can find a great selection of dishes to share and pair with biodynamic or organic French wines or fresh-pressed juices. Another amazing Slow life experience to discover here.
For brunch lovers, Paris really is the place to be! In order to help you choose among the countless gourmet options in the city, Little Guest has prepared an article about the best Parisian brunches!
The perfect Slow life transportation, the Parisian Batobuses allow you to take time to relax while discovering the city in a new way. Aboard this floating bus on the Seine, you can take to the water in the centre of Paris, which will surely please children who love having a moment to relax in the open air. Drift along the water to each of the 9 stations that take you to the most iconic spots in Paris, including the Jardin des Plantes. More information.
This promising name says it all! In this incredibly lovely Parisian Concept Store, you reacquaint yourself with simple happiness. Take a moment to rest in the lovely natural space. The Kid’s Corner offers a great selection of children’s items created by artisans and eco-friendly brands. There you’ll find books, clothing, bedding, and even vegan, eco-friendly, non-toxic polishes for young girls. While mom and dad make their purchases, children can rest in the tearoom and cafe and enjoy a natural juice.
Yoga brunches are open to the whole family, as well as creative and well-being workshops where parent-child duos can create terrariums, bracelets, or flower crowns. Everything you need to immerse yourself in the Slow life experience. See the shop.
A great marketplace who is redefining the ethical art of living, the Welcome Bazar is a 3 in 1 concept store that encourages and shares innovations in the organic movement. Recycling, local and healthy eating, zero-waste, handcrafted goods, and co-ops come together every day. Happiness, generosity, and authenticity are all gathered around a healthy lunch spot, a responsible marketplace and a high-quality food market. A handful of workshops and shows are the cherry on top of it all. See the place.
In the heart of the Marais neighbourhood, you’ll find a home workshop with a lovely garden where you can learn good ecological decision making as a family. 250 spices (aromatics, condiments, medicinal) can be found there along with information about their properties. The site organizes various workshops and expositions to teach visitors young and old about biodiversity. It’s a great place to get away from the centre of Paris. Open on weekends and holidays. To know more.
Don’t spend too much time on social media, as hyperactivity is not the key to happiness! Now it’s your turn to find your rhythm for a restorative vacation. Reconnect with nature and return to the roots of family life with a Slow life attitude, and leisurely explore Paris.
Of course, don’t forget the myriad of activities possible around the capital. See our article.
Have a nice week-end!
Catherine, married, mother of Justine, from Paris