Well Ms Hepburn, you were right. Paris is always a good idea. And without wanting to sound like Miranda’s mum – such fun.
We let the train take the strain – at just over 2 hours from St Pancras, I’m wondering why we don’t we pop to Paris more often?! I find the train so relaxing – almost hypnotic (remember this is Eurostar on a weekend away, not the bone-shaker into work on a wet Monday morning). I slept most of the way after stuffing my gluten free breakfast!
We arrived just before lunch on Friday and checked into our hotel, the Hotel Castille on Rue Cambon. Next to Chanel dont’cha know! A good sign in my book.
On our last trip to Paris we ticked off all the major sights, so this weekend was all about perfecting the art of mooching, cafe au lait-ing and generally being nonchalantly French-chic! Oh, and trying to avoid stepping in dog poop!
We started off sedately with a coffee and a spot of shopping, before heading off to explore. Highlights included: Place de la Concorde, Jardin des Tulieries, the Louvre, crossing the Seine, Notre Dame and the Pompedou Centre. We walked for miles.
Saturday was a day reserved for our very good friend who has been living in Paris for the last 9 months. We’ve missed him terribly and who better to show us round his new city? We arranged to meet him at his duplex (note – a duplex, not a flat. This is Paris remember) and we were thrown head first into a scene straight out of ‘allo ‘allo. It was like the French-land at EPCOT – but real. We had breakfast in a little cafe and within a 30 metre radius there was a fishmonger, a butcher, a cheesemonger, a fruit and veg shop, a patisserie, a chocolate shop and about 653 cafes. Incredible! We were easily identified as tourists as we were the only people not carrying a baguette or a little dog.
We spent the day in an area called Le Marais and mooched, and chatted, and shopped, and laughed and mooched some more. We had lunch, stopped for coffee and a cake, headed to a wine bar and then ate a beautiful brasserie. It was fabulous. Le Marais isn’t off the tourist track, but certainly somewhere we wouldn’t have ventured to on our own. I can highly reccommend it.
Home time came around way too quick, but we packed in a huge amount to 52 hours. Our final stop though was to Laudree http://www.laduree.fr/- the famous macaroon house. I’ll be honest, I’ve never been a huge fan of macaroons – but as I’d been deprived of all the fabulously gluten-laced treats Paris could offer all weekend, I was ready. And, when in Rome. Or Paris. Let me tell you – I am now a HUGE fan. OM gluten-free G they are amazing. Seriously good. So good that I didn’t even get a picture. They didn’t make it back to St. Pancras. They wouldn’t have liked it.
So, there you have it, a brilliant first date without a tracksuit bottom or tv in sight. It was great to get away – a change of scene is such a tonic after such a wet Christmas and New Year where I felt house-bound. And lovely to revisit a city with no real agenda.
And now onto planning date 2. This is a challenge I’m looking forward to (much more than the 30 Day Shred!)
Nicky (or Nicole as I now want to be known!)