In case you hadn’t noticed, Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck, fresh from their micro-wedding in Las Vegas earlier this month, were in Paris for a week’s honeymoon with their respective children in tow. Paparazzi dutifully documented the newlyweds’ every move through the City of Light for our frenzied consumption—there they were waving to the masses as they left the Hôtel de Crillon for another day of amorous adventure, there they were making out like teenagers on a park bench, there they were on a family cruise down the Seine, there was the young Mrs. Affleck in a warm embrace with young stepdaughter Violet (the eldest of Ben’s three children with ex-wife Jennifer Garner).
Like it or not, Bennifer have become excellent ambassadors for the French capital, no doubt inspiring legions of fans to follow in their footsteps. Hate to admit you’re one of them? A quick guide, below, to dining, shopping and sightseeing in Paris, the most famous couple in the world right now.
Where to stay
Paris has no shortage of grand properties, but the Hôtel de Crillon has an enviable position right on the Place de la Concorde, which is of course famous not only for being the place where Marie Antoinette lost her head, but also for the 3,000-year-old Luxor Obelisk from Ancient Egypt that shines proudly at its center. The 18th-century landmark that houses this 124-key rosewood hotel is an example of neoclassical excellence, one half of twin buildings commissioned by King Louis XV in 1758 (the adjacent building is now the Hôtel de la Marine, former headquarters of the French Navy turned into a fine museum). For the true Hollywood A-list experience, consider one of the Crillon’s ten suites, all uniquely designed, fabulously appointed and more than fit for modern royalty.
Where to eat
The week of Mr. and Mrs. Affleck love started at Le Matignon, an elegant restaurant designed by Jacques Garcia on the edge of Paris’s glittering Golden Triangle in the 8th arrondissement. No word if they danced in the basement club afterward.
LVMH’s seven-year project to restore the historic La Samaritaine department store along the Seine was finally completed last fall. Now the Art Deco landmark is also home to the Hotel Cheval Blanc, which boasts a rooftop outpost of Milan’s beloved Langosteria, plus Plénitude, three-star Michelin chef Arnaud Donckele treated the couple to a pre-birthday dinner for mrs.
Named in honor of YSL’s muse, Loulou de la Falaise, this restaurant, located in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, has one of the city’s best alfresco lunch setups, stretching along the edge of the Tuileries. In other words, a great place to celebrate a birthday, which Lopez did with her husband.
Birthday celebrations for Ms Affleck continued later that evening as the pair tucked into a cozy alfresco table at Girafe in the 16th arrondissement, with the Eiffel Tower twinkling in all its glory right in front of them. So romantic was the evening that it seems to have brought Mr. Affleck to tears.
After a day of separate shopping trips — the Lopez twins accompanied their mother to the Hermès store on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré while Affleck spent the afternoon with daughter Seraphina — the whole family reunited for dinner at Brasserie Lipp, a St. Germain since 1880, where they are said to have dined on house specialties such as roast chicken and steak.
Flora on the island
IYKYK Île Saint-Louis’ Ice Cream Berthillon is a must on any Parisian itinerary. The Afflecks know this, too: After dinner at Lipp, the clan made a stop at Le Flore en l’Île for dessert. In fact, they enjoyed it so much that they came twice during their trip.
What should be done
Gardens of the Champs-Elysées
What’s a honeymoon in the city of love without an afternoon spent kissing on a park bench? Bennifer sought the privacy (or so they thought) of the relatively lower-profile Jardins des Champs-Elysées for this endeavor.
The Afflecks certainly made the most of the abundance of world-class museums in Paris. They marveled at the Impressionist masterpieces at the Musée d’Orsay; faced the crowds at the Louvre (Lopez in platform heels, no less), where perhaps this modern-day Taylor-Burton couple got a little jewelry inspiration from Frances Crown Jewels gallery; pondered the Monets at the Musée de l’Orangerie; and studied more than 5,000 Picassos at his eponymous museum in the Marais.
A private cruise down the picturesque river that divides Paris was another family affair for the Afflecks, who were joined by his daughters Violet and Seraphina and her twins Max and Emme. For the afternoon outing, they chartered Petrus III, a 71-foot teak gentleman’s yacht built in 1953.
Where to buy
Ben and Seraphina Affleck were spotted enjoying an afternoon of father-daughter bonding during which they perused pastels and paints at Sennelier, the art store in the 7th arrondissement, located on the edge of the Left Bank. Throughout its 135-year history, the shop, which is still owned by the descendants of its founder Gustave Sennelier, has supplied the palettes of masters such as Degas, Gauguin, Vuillard and Picasso, for whom Sennelier famously invented a medium new known as oil. pastels.
Fresh from an extensive renovation by Peter Marino, the Dior flagship on Avenue Montaigne has been transformed into a resplendent temple to the maison, a one-stop destination for all things Dior, from fragrance to couture, even Chantilly cream pastries and a 1500- square meter suite for overnight stays. Extra points if all it takes is one loyal customer to get access to the keys.
Leena Kim is an associate editor at City and Countrywhere she writes about travel, weddings, arts and culture.