Paris Weekender

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.

It took a little bit of planning, some searching on Skyscanner for value priced flights or trains on Eurostar. But once booked, I was just counting down the days!

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!

Clean and modern kitchen, just the way I like it

Clean and modern kitchen, just the way I like it

 

This was the balcony in my temporary Parisian home!

This was the balcony in my temporary Parisian home!

The neighbourhood was surrounded by the beautiful canal where you find locals sitting on the canal banks reading a book on a lazy Saturday.

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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…

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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.

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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.

Look at those cannons go!

Look at those cannons go!

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… 🙂

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