After having stayed put for a month, settling in to our new life in the French alps (find out more about December in Chamonix here) we were ready for a little getaway. Paris was calling! I’d previously visited Paris (albeit very briefly) when I was freshly eighteen on a month long TopDeck tour but hadn’t returned since. Blake had never visited although was dying to check out the popular city and cross it off his bucket list. We were equally as excited for our mid week get away! Fortunately we don’t work too frequently and were able to find a couple of days off and cheap flights so we could pop over the other side of the country (unlike Australia where flying across the country takes 5.5 hours this was a mere 1 hour flight).
We landed at the airport in the early afternoon and immediately caught an Uber to the Eiffel Tower. We picked up some supplies from the boulangerie and supermarket near by and spent the afternoon perched on a bench seat eating cheese and a freshly baked baguette and sipping on rose – cliche but bloody fabulous! Fortunately the sky was blue and the sun was out although it didn’t provide much warmth given it was the middle of European winter. We weren’t too concerned and ended up staying for a couple of hours. There was plenty of great quality people watching with the hoards of instagram shoots going on. We set the self timer up to take our own happy snap and failed to impress the onlookers when Blake didn’t drop the knee to propose!
We spent the remainder of the afternoon walking along the River Seine (enjoying the sunset glow) and then headed out at night time to explore the 10th arrondissement, where our air bnb was located. The next morning we woke up to snow which was magical and also ironic as Chamonix hadn’t experienced any new snowfall in weeks. We headed out to a local boulangerie and perched ourselves inside for breakfast – filling our bellies with espressos and carbohydrates as we stared out the window, mesmerised by the falling snowflakes. No matter how many times I see snow, my enthusiasm never dwindles. The snow didn’t stop for the remainder of our trip which admittedly did make sightseeing and outdoor activities a little difficult however we still had a wonderful time over the three days. Instead of rooftop views (which were either closed to inclement weather or a hazy white out) and strolls through the gardens (too cold and dreary) we found ourselves mostly hopping between boulangeries, cafes and bars. It’s a tough life we lead, I know!
Here’s some photographs and favourites from our time in Paris.
BOULANGERIES: Du Pain et Des Idees (BEST CROISSANT EVER. Don’t forget to try the pistachio and chocolate “snail” also), Pain Pain & Chambelland Boulangerie (a different take on bread and gluten free). To be honest I’m sure it’s difficult to go wrong with any boulangerie in France. Just like it’s difficult to get a fresh baguette home in one piece without biting off a chunk for taste testing (or is that just me!?).
EAT/DRINK: L’escargot (famous for snails! We ordered the traditional and truffle butter variety and also the French onion soup which was mouth wateringly good). Las du Falafel (You could be mistaken for thinking this place was a club with the doorman outside blasting techno beats with his portable speaker but let me assure you once inside things improve drastically with delicious pita pockets and mediterranean food being whizzed out of the kitchen and onto tables left right and centre). Yard (drinks and nibbles).
VIEWS: Sacre-Coeur and Galerie Lafayette Rooftop Terrace.
TOURIST SIGHTS: The Eiffel Tower, River Siene, Louvre Museum, Arc di Triomphe, Sacre-Coeur, Champs – Elysees, Notre Dame, Palace of Versailles and Pont Neuf. There’s obviously loads more but as with any city there’s only so much you can see in a limited time so it’s best to do your research and plan to prioritise accordingly. Personally we’re not huge on the standard tourist sights and prefer to spend our time exploring neighbourhoods and wandering the streets amongst locals instead of bumping shoulders and cueing in long lines with hoards of other tourists who have their iPads ready to snap hundreds of photographs of anything and everything.
GARDENS: Tuileries Garden, Luxembourg Gardens,
NEIGHBOURHOODS TO EXPLORE: Montmarte (beautiful streets), Les Marais (shopping), Canal Saint – Martin (ideal in the Summer time to picnic/drink by the canal).
STAY: We stayed in an Airbnb in the 10th arrondissement and loved the location/neighbourhood.
TRANSPORT: Best to explore on foot (weather permitted) and use the underground (simple, cheap and efficient).