I can't believe how long awaited this post is as we went on this trip at the end of February and now it is May! It was such a perfect weekend away and a great opportunity to properly take my camera for a spin as a tourist, rather than just using it for product photos.
For years I have wanted to visit Paris and I was lucky enough to be whisked away for a long weekend by Matt in honour of our two year anniversary. I didn't actually know where we were going (I thought it was Scotland!) until we were literally coming up to the channel tunnel and I opened my card which stated the destination. Of course I cried as it was literally the most thoughtful thing Matt has ever done especially as he planned so much of our weekend. As you probably guessed we took the car which took hardly any time at all to cross the channel although it was 3 hours to Paris from Calais but was cheaper than the Eurostar. It also gave us more flexibility with packing, timings and enabled us to see the city from a different view point too as well as other parts of France.
We left super early in the morning to make the most of our first day, and from the moment we arrived we fell in love with the city. I didn't think I would love it as much as I would but everything from the cobbled roads to the little cafes was so charming and french which I know is a weird way to describe it but if you've been I think you'll know what I mean! It reminded me lots of the Aristocats haha.
We stayed at the Hotel du Collectionneur which was right in the centre and less than a five minute walk from the Champs Elyess. Upon arrival we were welcomed with a bottle of champagne and a big slice of patisserie which Matt had specially organised. He had asked for it to say 'happy anniverary' but as anniversary is birthday in French they said happy birthday instead haha! After exploring our room we ventured down the road to see our first landmark: the arch de triumph. Then we wandered down the Champs Elyess and visited the first ever Laduree (my fave!) a Sephora (my other fave!) and lots of other shops and cafes on the way to the Eiffel Tower. We ate at a quintessentially French restaurant which over looked the Eiffel Tower - it was our first proper taste of French cuisine and it was so delicious. Another great thing about Paris is that they serve you bread with every meal for free which is a good addition and England should definitely take note.
Then we walked past Notre Dame and through lots of quaint little streets and alleys near the Latin quarter which housed amazing shops and cafes and lots of fresh flower and fruit stalls. It was nice to experience more than the normal touristy places and we felt we got to see more of the heart of Paris. We also had to stop in nearly every Pharmacie because I was obsessed with finding the best French skincare! Later that afternoon we took advantage of the hotels facilities and spent a little time in the jacuzzi and sauna before getting ready for dinner. We decided we wanted to go somewhere non-touristy but that was still popular with the locals so we went to Jaja's after a cocktail in the hotel bar (which was amazing!) Unfortunately the main we had wasn't the best but the pudding and wine was amazing, and the restaurant was small but buzzing so it was most definitely a case of ordering the wrong thing. We also got a different perspective of Paris by car and we saw the Eiffel tower's light show too.
For our last day we went for a last walk around the area our hotel was based and found a lovely cafe to have brunch in. Then we packed up the car and parked in a little side street close to the Eiffel Tower. We chose to pick the ticket which allows you to take the stairs half way up rather than the lift the whole way as it was cheaper and the queue was much smaller. In the end though we were up the tower for around 3 hours or so as there are so many levels and the queue to get to the top was very long. Although it is such a tourist thing to do it was one of my favourite parts as the views were incredible and it was amazing to see the tower up close after seeing it in so many pictures. We were running late for our slot back to England for the channel tunnel but we managed to squeeze in a quick crepe from a vendor by the tower, because you can't be in France and not eat a crepe!
There was so much we didn't manage to fit in but that just means there is an excuse to go back again (not that one is needed!)
What is the best trip you have ever been on? xxx