Girls weekend: Paris
In the words of the great Audrey Hepburn 'Paris is always a good idea'. So when my mum suggested that I meet her there before she flew back to Australia for Christmas I knew I had to go. This was not my first time to the city of love, I have been lucky enough to go to Paris numerous times over the past couple of years and it is by far one of my favourite cities in this world.
Places: Gare du Nord, Eiffel Tower, Saint Germain, Rue du Buci and Kings Cross London
I woke up on Saturday morning suitcase already packed and I was out the door by 9:00 to catch my Eurostar train from Kings Cross in London. I sat nibbling on a croissant, waiting for my train platform to light up on the board and as soon as it did I was up and in my seat in under 5 minutes. Pretty good time if you ask me. The train ride was smooth and easy and I was pulling up into Gare du Nord in no time. If you're looking at travelling from London to Paris or vice versa I would highly recommend Eurostar as its so easy and you get to see a little bit more of the country on your way. I jumped off the train and met my mum waiting at the gate.
We were staying in one of my favourite areas in Paris, St Germain and our hotel was just off the famous road Rue De Buci. Little Christmas markets lined the street where we picked up some mulled wine and kept walking. My mum and I were so caught up in talking and walking that we accidentally walked all the way to the Eiffel Tower...oops. We walked on the bridge over the Seine and towards the Trocadero as the Eiffel Tower turned its lights on for the night. By this time and after all of the walking we were quite hungry and decided to catch a cab back to St Germain. We went to a quaint little restaurant next to the oldest restaurant in Paris and had a bottle of wine and a lovely risotto each. That was the end of our first day in Paris.
Places: Lock bridges, Saint Germain, Galleries Lafayette, La opera, Tuileries Garden, Louvre, Carousel, Notre Dame and Shakespeare's bookshop
After a bit, if a late morning I finally rose from my bed and got ready for the day ahead. We ventured down to a little cafe near our hotel and had petit dejeuner, which in most Parisian cafes consists of a small baguette, a croissant plain or chocolate (guess which one I got), cute little jam pots and to drink an Orange juice with either coffee or tea. Safe to say that is one of my favourite things about France....the food. After breakfast, we walked to where the lock bridges used to be but unfortunately because they became too heavy due to the number of locks they fell down :( nevertheless they have reinstalled panels of them on another bridge which is much stronger!
Galleries Lafayette was next on our list, ten floors of shopping and a giant Christmas tree in the middle. It somewhere we have gone back to time and time again because its like no other department store and I would highly recommend checking it out.
This area has quite a lot to see and I usually like to walk around and find new things. The Opera is a beautiful building right next to the gallery that you can't miss. It boasts beautiful Parisian architecture outlined with gold. After grabbing a quick lunch we made our way to the Louvre and walked through Tuileries Gardens and went under the Louvre to the hidden gem the Carousel which has the most beautiful stores and very, very good PIZZA! We then headed back to Saint Germain for a little break and to Notre Dame which looked amazing at night time with a beautifully lit Christmas tree out the front. We were even lucky enough to be there to hear the bells ringing. We then went past Shakespeare's bookshop which is a magical place for any book lover, filled to the brim with any novel you could imagine, plus a piano, typewriters and chess if you're in the mood.
My mum and I decided to have dinner at a quaint little French restaurant down a side street near the church which was honestly one of the highlights of this short trip. The waiter was so passionate about his food and he had a reason to be because it was delicious. I had es cargo for entree, salmon tagliatelle for main and a creme brûlée for dessert! I slumped into a food coma and that was Sunday night.
Places: Lots of different shopping streets in St Germain. Arc du Triomphe, Gare du Nord and Kings Cross London
Being our last day in Paris we headed to Pauls patisserie for breakfast and then walked through the streets looking at stores, discovering some vintage shops and new places we hadn't been before. The fashion in Paris is gorgeous and for me is so unique and unlike anywhere else, everybody looks good and everybody rocks their outfit no matter what they're wearing which I love. The city reeks of self-expression and creation and it seems as though that itself has stood the test of time as it has been the city of birth to some of our worlds most famous creatives and artists.
I wanted to head to the Arc de Triomphe because coincidentally 4 years previously I was there and I tried to recreate the photo (I'll show you below). After I was on a mission to find a creperie, I had a ham and cheese savoury crepe to start off and a classic chocolate crepe to finish off. I was completely full. By this time we had to head back to the hotel as I needed to catch my train back to London. I got the Eurostar at 5:10 out or Gare du Nord and arrived back in London by 6:30 and home by 7:20.
The hotel we stayed in is a small Boutique hotel called "Hotel du Buci". Its a beautiful little hotel with a quaint, cosy and very French exterior. The service and staff at the hotel was amazing, it was such an easy process to check in with them which is always a bonus and ordering us a taxi to the airport/train station was no trouble at all. The room itself was just what we needed. It was a good sized room for Paris with big comfy beds and lots of pillows to choose from which I always love! The room also had a kettle and a lovely selection of teas. The metro was very close by and it is situated in one of my favourite parts of Paris, so the location was ideal and would be for any newcomers to this city! Even though it is located in a busy area the rooms were nice and quiet and easy to fall asleep in. I would 100% stay here again on my next trip to Paris and I would recommend it to anybody looking for accommodation in a vibrant area of the city.
By far Paris is one of my favourite cities to travel to in the world and I had the best time having a girls trip with my mum! If you're planning on visiting my one tip would be WALK there's so much to see and discover and that's the best way to find it and experience as much of the city as you can. There are lots of other things we got up to but I didn't want to overload you! I hope you had a lovely Christmas and holiday surrounded by friends and family!
Au revoir for now