Springtime in Paris

I was lucky enough to spend a long weekend in Paris recently and wanted to share with you a few of the highlights!

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Me, my two best friends from university, Lisa and Lizzie, my husband Sam and Lisa’s husband Alex all met at St Pancras International to hop onto the Eurostar at a very civilised 1pm on Saturday (via a gin in a tin stop at M&S of course!) This was my first experience of the high speed train, having only traveled via ferry or plane before, so the trip was already off to a fun start for me.

I settled in with the latest magazine updates from Readly and enjoyed a lovely 2.5 hours of reading, snacking, sipping on the aforementioned gin&tonic and catching up on gossip with the gang. Bliss!

Once in Paris, we hopped into a cab to find the apartment we had booked in Le Marais. On arrival we were met by a member of the team from City Cosy (who I can’t recommend enough, especially Lola who was super helpful with all of my pre trip questions!) and shown around our ‘small’ loft apartment.

Our apartment was gorgeous with lots of natural light and quirky architectural features, very Parisian indeed!

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That night we set out for a quick supermarche shop and stocked up on the essentials (cheese, cheese and more cheese) before getting ready to really explore our local area.

This took us first to Death by Burrito. Previously a Shoreditch pop up, it has now found a permanent home in Paris; and is well worth a visit. It was a tiny little place, but had such delicious little plates to snack on alongside the most amazing tequila cocktails!

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Following this we wandered over to Le Comptoir General, a very cool and bohemian style bar and restaurant that we really wanted to investigate, but after 20 minutes waiting in a queue that was going nowhere, our inpatient London ways took over and we went on the search for a less busy option.

That led us to the decadently beautiful Experimental Cocktail Club where we quite happily found a sofa and enjoyed the varied menu until the wee hours.

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As you can imagine, our Sunday didn’t start until lunchtime and after walking around desperately trying to find a boulangerie that was open, we ate our body weight in pastries before heading out for a spot of market shopping at Carreau du Marche. I could have easily spent hours pouring through the different furniture, clothing, homeware and other bits and bobs; think Spitalfield’s market when it was good! We followed this up with more wandering around the local shops and slowly meandered back to the apartment.

That evening we decided to keep things simple and head to a local cafe we had seen earlier that day, expecting simple French dishes and instead finding the most amazing hidden gem that was part New York restaurant/part 1950’s brasserie. I decided to grab the bull by the horns and order my first ever escargot and was not dissapointed, followed by the most delicious steak frites. All in all a great day!

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This was followed by our last full day and a serious shopping plan! We started by walking over to Merci. This store is just fabulous, part bookstore, clothing shop and furniture showroom it has some of the coolest things you just won’t find anywhere else. We left with some unique matchboxes as little presents for family and a gorgeous metal lamp that I’ll need to find a home for somewhere (I just couldn’t resist!) and all for surprisingly reasonable prices!

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No trip to France, let alone Paris, would be complete without a Pharmacie haul, and this time was no different. I have a selection of things that I always stock up on from my favourite shop Sela Pharmacie du Four as the value for money can not be beaten!

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Our last night deserved a bit of a blow out meal, so we reserved a table in the conservatory at Hotel Amour, one of my favourite restaurants in the world! It’s oozing with laid back, hasn’t tried cool and serves things like sardines still in the can, deconstructed goats cheese salads and the most amazing steak tartare (with tiny pickled onions) that I’ve ever had. Well worth a visit for the food, as well as the people watching opportunities.

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That brings us to the end of our lovely Parisian weekend, and I think you can get a bit of an idea that I am a foodie who loves to wander around and look at beautiful things! Good job the next city break is already booked!

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