The Satchel Journeys to…Paris!

I am enamoured by Paris! From the moment I stepped foot on the cobble stone streets, I fell in love with the city, it’s buildings, the food, the way the lights frame every street and the river ripples along the bank. Paris reminded me of just how exciting it is to discover a city for the first time, and for that reason I absolutely did not mind spending six euros on an eclair!

I love just how accessible Paris is to us Londoners, and it’s a shame that it’s taken me to long to realise that. Arriving in Paris as early as we did, we wasted no time and bee lined to our first breakfast spot, HolyBelly 5. Suitcases in tow, we settled in to a great breakfast at one of Paris’ most popular cafes, serving an amalgamation of classic breakfast dishes with the best cup of coffee I’ve had in years! 

After stuffing our faces, and checking in to our hotel (the wonderful boutique Hotel Haussman Saint Augustin) we decided to spend the rest of the day walking through the streets of Paris. One thing that immediately struck me about Paris, is how well connected the city is, walking from point to point is incredibly easy and the blisteringly fast Metro is a breath of fresh air to a Londoner that has to deal with the archaic tube.

Our first monument stop on our weekend was to the iconic Louvre!

If you thought I was going to Paris and not making a Wonder Woman reference at the Louvre YOU THOUGHT WRONG! (and yes I packed this toy from home) Honestly this was a bucket list moment for me, because I fangirled pretty hard walking down the same path as Gal Gadot at in the opening sequence of Wonder Woman. Oh also the Louvre was nice!

Geekery aside, we walked the length of the Champs-Elysees, stumbled across the super bougee Abercrombie & Fitch and visited the Arc De Triomphe. I love how Paris has seamlessly intertwined it’s modern architecture with the old, it’s comforting seeing these classically designed building nestled between new structures that respect early Parisian architecture but have built upon it in an exciting way. In our round tour of monuments we visited Palais Royal to pay tribute to Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face, and Notre Dame because I wanted to sing Hellfire from The Hunchback of Notre Dame (don’t come for me that is the BEST Disney song of all time!).

Paris at Night however is otherworldly to me, and there’s no doubt as to why Paris is nicknamed ‘The City of Lights’. It’s streets glow warm under the illumination of its street lights, and no light in Paris is brighter than that of it’s Tower. Seeing the Eiffel Tower light up in sparkles along the river at Midnight is a moment that I will never forget. 

The next morning, we kicked off our day with a table at Angelina, a beautiful Parisian tearoom serving freshly baked pastries alongside a cup of hot chocolate so thick and creamy you could nestle into it for winter and hibernate. Do not leave this place without a box of Macarons! I left with 8.

Food aside for a moment, Paris is famous for it’s art, and what would a trip to Paris be without an excursion to a museum, and our museum of choice was the Musee De Rodin, carefully curating and celebrating the outstanding body of work by Auguste Rodin. The grounds here are just as beautiful as the art within them, and it’s incredibly inspiring to see the intricacies of Rodin’s work up close like this.

Anyway, back to food, because realistically that’s what this trip was about. Zebulon, just a step away from Palais Royal, proved to be one of the best meals in Paris. Everything was beautifully cooked, well seasoned and presented professionally. The food is very haute cuisine so don’t expect huge portions but the quality of the meal justifies the size and the price. The menu here changes monthly and on our visit we were treated to a Steak Bleu (when in Paris right?), Lamb Confit with Rhubarb Puree, and a Chocolate Ganache with Mint Ice Cream. Everything melted in my mouth and the only conversation I shared with my friend was one of satisfied moans, I cannot recommend this stunning restaurant enough!

And whilst we’re on the topic of food, guess what? Another solid breakfast, our final morning Paris was spent in the delightful Coutume Cafe in Iena. For me, a city break is defined by the quality of the food you eat, and the company you share it with and I can proudly boast in saying that on this trip, both were perfect!

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London looming, we spent our final hours perched opposite the Eiffel Tower taking in the view of Paris one last time and posed as best as we knew how. Paris is a wonderfully inviting city, it’s rich culturally and definitely a food lovers heaven if you don’t mind the price tag.

Andrew

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