Un Dimanche a Paris…and what a Sunday it was! A whole long weekend in fact.
My mum and I, after a long and tough Winter, pledged to ‘live life to the full’ and booked in a long weekend away in Paris so we had something to look forward to throughout January and February. And the weekend came round sooner than we thought and the next thing I knew, I was sat on the Eurostar, croissant in hand, with mum on our way to the wonderful city.
As a child, we used to holiday in France every Summer and most years would involve at least a couple of days in Paris. So we know the city quite well. But it’s been about 6 years since I’d last been and I couldn’t wait to get back to the city, sample its culinary delights and just generally chill-out with my mum. Bliss.
We were on the 7.55am Eurostar train from London St Pancras, which got us into Paris Gare du Nord at about 11.20am. A full day ahead of us. We were staying at the ABSOLUTELY STUNNING Hotel Du Collectioneur which was just a stones thrown from the Champs Elysee and Arc de Triomphe, so an ideal location for getting around…but more on that in a separate post. We arrived on a Friday and were leaving on Monday, so 3 nights.
As we’d been to Paris many times before, we’d done all the ‘touristy’ bits, like going up the Eiffel Tower and the galleries and museums before. So on this trip we just wanted to walk, walk and walk some more…oh and eat! And that we did! Although packed for bitter cold winter weather, we were shocked when we arrived to 70 degree heat, gorgeous sunshine and blue skies! It stayed like that for the entire weekend, which made the perfect backdrop for a Parisian jaunt.
Due to smog and pollution warnings in the city, the French government were pedestrianising much of the river front and stopping a large number of cars from driving through the city. They also made all public transport free of charge! This was turning out to be the ideal weekend.
Here are some of my photos from across the weekend…
Of course, we couldn’t have a trip without seeing the beautiful tower, offset perfectly against the cherry blossoms on a Saturday evening.
We couldn’t resist a boat-trip along the Seine, which was just under 1.5 hrs and took us past all the stunning architecture that flanks the riverside. A perfect way to while away a sunny Saturday afternoon and rest our feet.
Notre Dame never ceases to amaze me!
Off we went for a wonder around the streets and shops of Paris…
Even the fire hydrants are stylish…look at this art deco one!
One of my favourite areas of Paris, is La Marais Quartier. I remember it from years ago, was a very up-and-coming area, with eclectic independent shops…a little rough around the edges but full of charm and character. It still has that today, but very much overtaken by expensive boutique shops. You can tell it must have been hard for a lot of the original shop-owners to stay. Reminds me of a Parisian Notting Hill. Definitely worth a visit and a gorgeous place to take a leisurely stroll.
A bit of a new discovery for me was the Saint Germain Des Pres area of Paris. We ended up there after heading to the Latin Quarter for lunch on Sunday. It was the hottest day of the weekend and we had been walking for miles, so decided we would stop often for drinks and a rest. And that’s exactly what we did and ended up feeling very authentic, sat on the pavement with all the other Parisians, sipping coffee and wine for hours in the sun, watching the world go by. I love people watching!
Even the buskers are stylish! They provided us with a backdrop of jazz, whilst we enjoyed the Sunday afternoon sunshine.
We carried on our walk and made our way back towards the river and stumbled across this Parisian beauty…Laduree (gutted it was closed as it was a Sunday!)
I’ll save all my talk of French food in a separate post, so keep your eyes peeled.
What’s your favourite areas of Paris?