I am obsessed with everything French – the food the, the wine and especially the effortless style of a French girl. I will be forever trying to emulate the natural je ne sais quoi they all possess. As stereotypical as it may be I have dreamed of travelling there for most of my life and was so happy to start living my French dreams with a trip to Paris in September 2018.
Two long flights, countless movies and some bad plane food later we had arrived. The city of lights – it was love at first sight, it really took no time at all for me to fall completely head over heels in love with Paris and I hadn’t even seen anything yet.
We stayed in Le Marais district, which is host to beautiful architecture, great restaurants and shopping and is also relatively close to a lot of the main sights or just a short metro ride away. It is also a great spot to feel in the middle of it without breaking the bank on accommodation (thanks Mum for another great find!). Hôtel Bastille Speria was our home for the next four days and while four days it not very long and I know there is so much more to see, it is what we had. I think that just gives me more reasons to go back!
We landed at 9am and hit the ground running. The first thing I wanted to do was see the Eiffel Tower, well the first thing I wanted to do was check into the hotel and shower but after that we headed in the direction of the Eiffel Tower and grabbed some lunch on the way. Lucky for us my beautiful French friend Laura was staying with us and translated the whole menu at a tiny little bistro and also ordered for us too. Having someone French around was super handy. After the tower Laura and I split off from my parents in the afternoon and just walked around the city, grabbed a drink or two by the Seine and then met my parents for a quick dinner.
This all started with an unintentionally long sleep in for me assisted by an ill-advised sleeping tablet taken at 2am, thank you jetlag. My parents headed out early to a GF bakery for my mum and after I awoke in panic from my sleep in Laura and I got ready and went for a traditional French breakfast of baguette, croissant, juice and café au lait. First sight of the day was the Arc de Triomphe where we joined the other tourists in the battle for the best shot. We strolled along the Champs-Élysées and stopped for champagne cocktails and macaron at Pierre Herme. We then set off in the general direction of Notre Dame stopping for spritz and rose on the seine. Then another food stop this time in the form of gelato and then our good old friend exhaustion hit so we headed back to the hotel. Laura and I got ready for dinner and went for crepes with traditional French cider followed by a cute little cocktail bar for some drinks.
No sleep in today, we had early admission tickets to the Louvre and sadly had to say goodbye to Laura. The Louvre is beautiful, expansive and everything you probably have ever dreamed. Also impossible to do all in one day so I would suggest picking your favourite sections before and hitting those first. At our first coffee break disaster struck when I opened my bag to find sans phone (if you know the feeling then you know). A combination of bad Internet and my attempt not to get upset ended in a lot of upset and a trip to security. THANKYOU to the kind person who handed in my phone and while it was embarrassing to admit I had lost it to the people at the desk (thanks again Mum) I was elated to be reunited with it. With my phone safely in my bag we did more exploring and headed out for a late lunch. After visiting some gardens we trekked and I mean trekked to Sacré-Cœur stopping in Montmartre for an Aperol Spritz and to look through the art being sold in the square. My dad and I climbed the dome, which I only recommend if you are not afraid of heights and claustrophobic (both of which I am), however I faced the fear and it was worth it for the amazing views. Another gelato was well deserved after the climbing and we headed back to our hotel. We also had a failed dinner cruise that night but that is a story for another day.
A very special day! Mum’s birthday and the event that sparked the whole trip to begin with. We had a lie in, coffees and headed to the Picasso Museum. Then we walked around the Le Marais and did some shopping. Next we had more coffee and some macaron and eventually a little siesta before our final dinner in Paris. We went back to a restaurant my parents had visited previously which they entitled “The one with the grumpy hostess”. I had some quintessential French onion soup and shared some fries…all the croissants might have been catching up with me because I could not face a full main meal. Then back to the hotel again to pack before our flight the next day.
It was a quick trip but it just cultivated my love for everything French and especially Parisian even more. We walked a lot, I ate a lot of carbs and drank a lot of rose and loved every moment. I can’t wait to head back to this beautiful country in the future and explore more!