Paris Summer Survival Kit: Beating the Heat
Bonjour lovelies! Looks like we are about to get hit with another heatwave this week and this one looks like it’s going to be a real scorcher with Wednesday hitting highs of 104°F! It’s only 81° today and I barely survived 30 minutes outdoors! If you are anything like me, here are some tips for beating the heat, or avoiding the heat altogether.
GET OUT OF TOWN
If you have a lifestyle where you can work remotely, I highly suggest this option, especially if you don’t have AC, which, let’s face it, most Parisians don’t. Fact: You will not be able to work in the heat. Your brain literally shuts down making it impossible to focus and produce anything of substance. I tried last summer and we weren’t even at 100°F.
When picking a destination, make sure it is a coastal town where it will be significantly cooler. Most of Europe will be experiencing this heatwave so if you travel to another landlocked destination you are pretty much screwed. If you want to stay in France, Cap Ferret or Arcachon are nice alternatives. They are at least 20 degrees cooler than the rest of France and only a 3 hour train ride away or 2 hour train ride and one hour drive if you rent a car from Bordeaux.
If you are looking to escape France all together and do exploring, I highly recommend Brugge in Belgium, which is also a 3 hour train ride from Paris. I did this on a whim during the last heatwave and the city truly exceeded my expectations. (Doing a full post on that—for a notification when it’s up, click here). It is truly a city that will enchant you and is one of the most picturesque places I have ever been with tons of history. Like Paris it is a walking city, but smaller, so you can walk from the north to the south without breaking a sweat. Bonus is that is also 20 degrees cooler than Paris and the closest beach is a 25 minutes away if you want to work on your tan.
If you would rather go south, hop a plane over to Lisbon, as they will also be experiencing much cooler temperatures than most of Europe. The lovely thing about Lisbon is that you can get both city life and beach life, as Algarve is a short drive away, where you can chill at the beach or go cave swimming.
Go somewhere you haven’t been before. One of my goals this year is to add more countries to my “traveled to” list. I had never been to Belgium so booked a last minute ticket to Brussels and ended up staying the week in Brugge. Sometimes not planning has the best rewards.
Another option for the digital nomad crew is to work from hotels. Most hotels in Paris cater to American tourists and have air conditioning (THANK GOD). I tend to work from hotels some days despite the temperature for a change of scenery. Depending on the location, I will either work from the hotel lounge or the hotel restaurant. I don’t like too much noise or conversation while I work so opt for the quieter of the two at every location.
The Hoxton: Pretty chill vibe and different common spaces to choose from. They also serve food all day, and have great coffee. The main restaurant tends to be louder than the courtyard, but becomes close to a library pretty much after 2pm.
Royal Monceau: Love spending the afternoon working in the tea room as it’s not too loud and the Pierre Herme desserts are to die for.
Crillon: The Jardin d’Hiver is our pick of choice as you can order lunch, snacks and whatever all day and the seats are just so cozy. And if you want to reward yourself for a day of work well done, their Puligny Montrachet from Domaine Alain Chavy by the glass is one of the best I’ve ever tasted, which you can enjoy there or mosey into the main bar where you can enjoy live piano music on certain nights.
The Ritz: My favorite place in the entire world. Have lunch at Bar Vendome and work from there or the tea room. I do find their afternoon tea in Salon Proust lovely if you rather do that than a traditional lunch. Work like the boss that you are and treat yourself to a Rivkin martini at Hemingway Bar. when you’re done with your day.
If you have points, just check into a hotel all together. It’s nice to get a new perspective living in another part of your city. Think of it as a NYC Staycation.
Make sure your hotel has AC before you book it. Not all hotels in Paris have AC—it’s something, we Americans take for granted, so do your due diligence!!
GO BIG OR GO HOME
So, I usually like working from cafes during the week as it gives me more creative inspiration. Unfortunately, during this heatwave, it is nearly impossible as most Paris cafes, as charming as they are are not air conditioned.
So, if you prefer not to hotel hop as recommended above, I suggest going to big chains or big department stores with cafes/coffee shops inside.
Thierry Marx @ Beaupassage: This makes our love list as most of the establishments in this open air mini mecca are air conditioned. We love Thierry Marx for their coffee and pastries, but if you want something more substantial, head over to Polmard for some of the best meat you will have in your life or Allénothèque for some gastronomique masterpieces.
Rose Cafe @ Bon Marché: We love Rose Cafe because it combines 3 of my favorite things into one, food, shopping and champagne! This truly is an oasis because when you lose your focus, you can walk the many floors of the store or even across the way to Grand Epicerie, one of my favorite places in the world! Oh, and you don’t even need to step outside as there is a bridge connecting the two.
Angélina @ Galeries Lafayette: This location is our favorite as it is the least crowded in the city center and you can spend the whole day there ordering whatever you crave. The ambiance is amazing and you also have great shopping at your fingertips.
Bac a Glace: If you are looking for a more traditional cafe, head over to Bac a Glace to satisfy your sweet tooth. The AC is always blasting since they need to keep the ice cream nice and cold. From sundaes and crepes to your daily jolts of caffeine, they have you covered.
If you don’t mind noise and crowds, head over to a Starbucks or Pret a Manger. All their locations have wifi and AC.
BATTEN DOWN THE HATCHES
So if you aren’t on les vacances like most of France, make sure that you treat your apartment like a fortress, or a modern day panic room, with all the necessities you need in there to keep you alive. Make sure to close all your shutters the night before and do not open them until the heatwave is over. You need to keep the sun out completely, otherwise it will heat your apartment to the outside temperature, and believe me, you don’t want that! Open your windows after 1am in the morning, or whenever you take your late night bathroom break, to get some circulation into your apartment. You are okay to leave them open for fresh air till about 9am. After that, the outside air will have heated up and you won’t want any of that coming in. If you don’t have a tower cooling fan, I suggest you invest in one immediately. My first recco would be a dyson, but if that is too rich for your blood, this model from Honeywell does the trick.
PRO-TIP: LIVE LIKE A NEW YORKER
Outsource everything to keep yourself cool. You can check out our full article on how to live like a NY’er in Paris. But pertaining to this heatwave, here are our 5 cardinal rules.
1. Thou shalt not cook, use deliveroo or go to an air conditioned restaurant, “salle climatisée”.
2. Thou shalt stay hydrated. Keep cold water heavily stocked in your fridge or freezer.
4. Thou shalt not do their own groceries and only use Amazon Prime Now..
5. Thou shalt tip the delivery person heavily for getting all your necessities to your door. Don’t be a dick.
Also, if you have pets, please make sure you are taking all the necessary precautions and keeping them cool. Do NOT give them ice cubes or other frozen items to cool them down under any circumstances, as this has the opposite effect of cooling and causes their bodies to warm up. It recognizes that something ice cold has been absorbed and their body temperature rises to compensate for this. Make sure to only give your dogs tepid water!!!
Stay safe everyone. We will be posting some of our favorite places to stay cool on our instagram. So follow us to stay in the cool.