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POSTED ON 07/08/15 | Share This Post pinterest twitter facebook
How to Enjoy a Day in France Without Leaving D.C.

How to Enjoy a Day in France Without Leaving D.C.

You just bought tickets and requested time off for a summer vacation with family in Wyoming. You’re excited – who can beat home-cooked food and having a fun time camping and eating s’mores?

At the same time, you wish you could fit in time to head somewhere more exciting, like Paris. We may not be able to help with the extra vacation time part, but we can definitely help with the French part.

When in Washington, D.C., do as the French do – and join us for a day in France, all steps from your front door in Cathedral Heights.

Saturday Itinéraire


Bonjour – it’s Saturday morning, and time to roll out of bed. There are some great things about being an adult – French children get Wednesday afternoons off, but they have to attend school on Saturday mornings. Most Parisians wake around 8am, but it’s not because they’re lazy – it’s because most events in their day tend to happen later, including bedtime.

Savory breakfasts aren’t popular here, so skip the healthy-ish breakfast burrito (seriously, it’s OK). However, don’t go crazy – the french don’t indulge in French toast, pancakes, crepes, etc. – those are actually considered desserts! Let’s settle on a Cafe au Lait and a chocolate croissant at the Starbucks onsite at Cathedral Commons. Relax – bring that book along that you’ve been meaning to read, and enjoy the morning. While you’re at it, make reservations for you and a friend (or S.O.) at La Piquette at 20.00 (8pm) tonight.


Take a stroll west down Newark street and around the verdant Glover Archbold Park, well-known for its beautiful running and hiking trails. Take it easy – this is the weekend, after all. When you’re feeling a little hungry again for your morning snack, start heading back toward Cathedral Commons. Stop at Giant right here in the neighborhood, and grab some cheese, bread, and fruit. Enjoy the view and a well-arranged plate from your balcony, and make sure you rehydrate. This should tide you over until lunch.


Hop in your car, and head for The Kreeger Museum (driving directions). Wander the five acres of sculpture-filled gardens hedged in by woods at this private, non-profit museum. Once you head inside the museum, you’ll be greeted by some of the most astoundingly beautiful pieces of art from the 19th and 20th century in their permanent collection. Enjoy Monets, Renoirs, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corots, and Cezannes – who says you have to be at the Louvre to see the best French art?

13.30 (1:30pm)

In France, citizens take lunch very seriously. By now, you’ll certainly be hungry – enjoy a late lunch at Et Voila, a Belgian-French restaurant where Chef Claudio Pirollo dishes up unique interpretations on old favorites, including burgers made of mussels or lobster. Cleanse your palate with a refreshing Pineapple & Coconut pop drizzled with passion glaze and topped with shredded coconut. Check out their lunch menu and get excited!

15.45 (3:45pm)

Time for a little shopping to shake off that mid-afternoon slump! Le Village Marche just opened downstairs at Cathedral Commons, and it’s filled to the brim with French delights. Wander between tables filled with luxurious handcremes by TokyoMilk and home decor to die for. This “Beurre” (butter) dish is sure to fit almost any decor, with a timeless look that will make bread and butter feel classy.

17.30 (5:30pm)

If you’re out and about on July 11, the French Festival at Hillwood Museum is going on from 9:30am-7:00pm. Enjoy live dance and music performances, watch theatrical acts, and join in French-inspired art projects before dinner. If it’s not July 11, consider becoming a member of the Jete Society and purchasing tickets to the Washington Ballet’s wildly popular “Beer Ballet & Bubbly” events. You’ll get to watch TWB dancers rehearsing upcoming productions while you enjoy fun, food, and drinks with other DC-ites.

If neither of the above options are your forte, enjoy a matinee at the AMC Loews Uptown (and if it doesn’t have subtitles, we’ll let it slide).

19.45 (7:45pm)

Arrive at La Piquette DC with friend or S.O. in tow. Revel in pan seared foie gras with roasted apples and port reduction, escargot fricassee, tender salmon tartare, or seared scallops. Whatever you choose from this outstanding French restaurant, you may feel the urge to personally thank Chef Francis Layrle for making your day in France complete.

At the end of this wonderful day, don’t fret. You can experience all the joy and excitement of living in a metropolitan neighborhood in DC while enjoying the culture of famous capitals. Looking for a classy apartment in D.C.’s Cathedral Heights? Get in touch with us today, and start checking the French Embassy’s culture events calendar for special events in D.C.

Why shouldn’t you prepare yourself for an extraordinary experience every day? It’s the Cathedral Commons way.

Image Source: Pixabay

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