Walkable Paris: Jacquemart-Andre Museum Paired with Lunch in their Mansion and Parc Monceau.
Updated: Aug 25, 2022
Trail-Stop One: The Dining Hall at Jacquemart-Andre Museum.
Unlike other museums of this caliber that I could mention, and which rhyme with mouvre, the line here is never long, and you'll be searching for it, wondering if the place is closed or that you've ended up in some unsuspecting rich Parisian's driveay, but even if the line is long, the line is the driveway that Gaston traveled up in his carriage when they used it as a film set for the 1950’s MGM musical, Gigi. So it's cool to stand in the driveway of Gaston's house, anyway.
Edouard Andre and Nelie Jacquemart gifted this Parisian mansion to the people as a museum and the cafe here used to be their private dining hall. So start the museum by accepting their invitation to dine with them because after all you're a Parisian aristocrat, too, and of course you dine in places like this.
Although I can never decide whether to sit inside with tapestries and a painted ceiling or outside on Nelie and Edouard's back patio. So when it's available I sit in the back corner table of the dining room by a window and get the best of both worlds.
Take your time here and enjoy your meal. There are a few of these houses that were once real and working mansions gifted to the state as museums, but in this one you aren't roped through but dine here and live here and it's a lovely experience to eat where the family ate.
This is an experience hard to find in all of Europe.
Trail-Stop Two: The Museum Itself
So our friends Nelie and Edouard used their rank and money and power to travel the world and collect art work from the high renaissance like Sandro mother f%&kin Botticelli to Rembrandt. On two separate occasions have I had a Sandro mother f&%kin Botticelli to myself. It's as unreal of an experience as you imagine it to be. At other times, there can be a few other people in the room, but it's a high level of traveler here so it's a pleasure to share the experience.
The rooms are pretty much as Nelie and Edouard left them, with all of their Parisian aristocratic taste. It's all art. All of it. Even the staircase is a work of art that you get to climb and experience. One of the better run museums in all of Europe, if you're asking.
Trail-Stop Three: Park Monceau.
After art of the highest level, it's only appropriate that you, first, wave goodbye to Nelie and Andre, with an, “I will never return to Paris without coming back for a stop at your house,” and second, head west on Boulevard Haussmann for a few steps and then a right on Rue de Courcelles and then a right on Rue Rembrandt. Like I said it's only proper to stroll down a Parisian street named Rembrandt after perusing through Rembrandts but also this is one of the most gorgeous streets in Paris.
Rue Rembrandt and its row of mansions runs you straight into Parisians lounging on lawns and running with their strollers in Parc Monceau.
It's hard to imagine a trip to Paris without a trip to this working Parisian park. Live with Parisians here in their natural habitat.
There's a place for ice cream near the little carousel.
And a place to rest after your rest.
Also that weeping willow over the pond is the backdrop for Gigi singing about how she doesn't understand the Parisians. However, this park couldn't make understanding the Parisians any easier. Look around. This is Paris and this is what Parisians love and how they live Paris. Couldn't be more straight forward.
Don't for any reason set a time for how long you should spend here. The park will find it rude. But trust me it will let you know when the conversation is over and when it's ready for you to take your leave. Don't force it. Forcing it is counter to why you came to Paris and to a park it prizes like Monceau.
A Little Bonus:
Out of Parc Monceau, exit these gates and the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs-Elysees are right down there, if you want. Those macarons at Laduree ain't gonna eat themselves.