One of the beauty of living in London is the ability to go on a short and sweet weekend trip in Western Europe to my heart’s content.
I loved Paris the first time I visited in 2006 on my own. I stayed at a historical hostel and did not really mind slumming it given my student budget. I returned this time and decided to treat myself a little bit given that I can now travel more in style. I decided to check out Airbnb, a site that offers rental accommodation at various price ranges, sometimes cheaper than staying at a hotel. We found a cute little apartment in Central St.Martin, right next to the canal in a neighbourhood filled with cool bars and restaurants. It is said that Bobos (bourgeois boheme), the Paris equivalent of hipsters live here.
A favourite site used by many locals to find out the latest spots in Paris is ParisbyMouth. It listed spot-on restaurant reviews where we were staying as well as in other Arrondissements.
The weather was lovely in the morning I arrived at St.Pancras station, as the train moved steadily towards Paris, I drifted in a sweet dream filled with delicious bread and macaroons. Having arrived at mid-day, the friendly land lady gave us the keys to the apartment we rented for the weekend. I walked up 5 flights of stairs as the building did not have lifts, just what I needed to kick up my fitness regime!
The neighbourhood was surrounded by the beautiful canal where you find locals sitting on the canal banks reading a book on a lazy Saturday.
We found a cute little brunch place along the canal called Les Enfants Perdus. I ordered the prix fix brunch menu and was surprised at the amount of courses on our table. This was only the first course…
It was delicious and lovely. As I sat al fresco in the Paris spring sunshine, I loved the break away from London’s hustle bustle scene.
After lunch, we took a little stroll towards Monmartre as I really wanted to visit the La Basilique du Sacre Coeur. It was a lot more touristy than I imagined, also being a sunny day, there were so many people just laying about in the sunshine.
The view from the top was beautiful, Paris took on a new lease of life in the sunshine.
And of course, a trip was never complete without a visit to the Eiffel Tower. As I watched the regular water fountain cannons firing away on the hour, the sounds of children playing, local Parisians chatting amongst friends, I fell in love with Paris once again.
P.S. one secret passed on by a Parisian local friend, the best place for macaroons is Carette (much better than Laduree). I’m ashamed to say that I did not get the chance to take a picture of the beautifully crafted macaroons before we gobbled them down sitting in front of the Eiffel Tower. But here is a beautiful picture of the bag instead… 🙂