So if you follow me on instagram you will have seen I have been in Paris recently. I managed to see A LOT so I’m going to break it down into a few blogs so it’s not ridiculously long.
Paris is infamous for being one of the most romantic cities in the world and attracts millions of visitors a year, and it’s easy to see why. We took the Eurostar which I have never done before so was quite exciting. It was so easy and much less stress than flying. We still had to hang around a bit but it was lovely to not have to deal with all the crap you do at airports like no liquids over 100ml in the hand luggage etc. The hotel we stayed at was called Opera Cadet and was located in the north of the city, about a kilometre from the Gare du Nord. I would say the location was pretty much perfect. It was tucked down a little side street with hardly any traffic (we didn’t actually realise cars were allowed down it for a few days). The street was everything you hope Paris would be, jam packed with tantalising food. As you walked out the hotel you came face to face with a boulangerie patisserie, and the smells of rotisserie chicken cooking hit you. The cafes that Paris is so iconic for poured out into the streets, with many happy and well fed people seated outside, tucking into inviting dishes. Interspersed with the cafes, fruit and veg stands dotted the street, stacked with a plethora of vibrantly coloured produce. The hotel itself was lovely. The decoration was not the most modern, but the staff were lovely and helpful. They truly made the hotel a delight. One of the best features of the hotel was a small garden out the back. Situated in a courtyard, the garden was a perfect oasis from the city and I spent many hours reading there after days of exploring. I water fountain bubbled away contributing to the tranquil atmosphere, and leafy green plants sprouted from every available space.
We started day 1 with probably the most iconic sight in Paris, the Eiffel tower. Built in 1889 for the World fair to mark the centenary of the storming of the Bastille; the tower was only meant to be a temporary structure; however proved so popular that it still stands today. We took the metro to the Trocadero then walked down to the tower over the Seine. The views from the top of the Trocadero are stunning, with fountains and gardens running down to the roads, and uninterrupted views of the Eiffel tower. Luckily for us, it was a beautiful day, so we hung around and joined the masses of crowds taking photos and posing. When we got to the tower, we spent what felt like forever in queues. Queues to get our bag checked, queues to get tickets, queues to take the lift. The top floor was shut when we got there because it was so busy so we could only go as high as the second. When I went to Paris a few years ago, we went late in the evening so as we climbed we could watch the sun set and the lights come on. I would definitely recommend going at that time over going in the day. I think the tower was open until midnight or something like that, so you have loads of time! The views really are unrivalled from the tower. Paris is so stunning and it’s amazing to have 360 views of it stretched out before you as far as the eye can see.
After stopping for a lunch of croque monsieurs we headed back to the river to take a river cruise. I know it sounds super touristy but I would highly recommend the river cruise. It was such a calming way to spend an hour, just cruising down the Seine spotting the famous buildings that lined the bank.
After that we decided we felt pretty tired and were probably down for the day so we headed back. Where we were staying they had some gorgeous shopping galleries. Nestled in one of these was the beautiful Le Valentin Salon de The. On our way past the night before we had stared in wonder through the window, Mouths watering at the sight of rows of intricate designed cakes, and stacks of sweets. The cakes did definitely not disappoint. They were stunning. Layers of rich salted caramel and mousse and meringue that melted in your mouth.
After relaxing in our hotel and letting the cake go down, we headed out quite late to find somewhere to eat. We decided on a bar/restaurant called La Comete just down the road from us. I thought I better balance out the rich lunch and cake by having a salad for dinner. My parents went for the French classic Confit de Canard. The food was great and the atmosphere of the place was fantastic. All the tables were full with a lively hustle and bustle. Waiters bobbing in and out carrying plates of delicious looking cold meats.