A quick pitstop to Paris before Christmas is my new tradition. If you have been following the blog from day one, then you will know that I visited Paris the same time last year. We spent the best part of the previous trip being tourists and while we still did tourist things, this trip was slightly different. We wanted to live like Parisians for the weekend.
If you want to hear all about our previous trip and what we got up to, then click here… don’t forget to come back!
We caught the 7:52 Eurostar from St Pancras and we made it into Paris by 11:15am. I really recommend travelling to Paris this way as it is just so quick and easy.
On arrival we made our way to the hotel, this is where we got scammed! We were attempting to buy a travel card from Gare Du Nord and the machines aren’t very easy to understand. Approaching us was a french lady who had a staff badge, saying she could help us. We stupidly trusted her and ended up paying €40 for a 75¢ ticket! Note to self: Don’t trust anyone off the street offering help in Paris… and then tip them for their help!
After this small hiccup, we arrived at our hotel, Hôtel Les Matins de Paris. As I mentioned earlier, we wanted to make this trip a little more Parisian, so we opted for St. Georges, just south of the Sacré-Cœur.
After checking our cases in and freshening up, we headed for our favourite part of Paris, Montmartre. It is a steep walk but worth every step!
We got lunch in the form of giant hot dogs and we took a seat looking over the Sacré-Cœur. As we sat down a group of buskers started singing and it was perfect! I looked around at the blue skies and the locals mingling and felt in that instant extremely lucky! This year has been a phenomenal year of adventures and this one rounds the year off beautifully!
After lunch we hit the art markets, which were recommended to me by a student. These markets are here every Saturday afternoon and definitely worth a visit. Everywhere in the square was covered by art and it was stunning. We actually picked up some presents here! Some of the art was simply incredible and captures Paris in such a magical way.
It was time to head back down all those steps! Although there are hundreds of steps, the views are definitely worth it and as I mentioned, it is a stunning part of Paris.
As we reached the bottom of the steps I came across the best Parisian fashion pop-up boutique… but more on that soon!
We visited The Louvre as I had never seen the Mona Lisa. After battling though the crowds we eventually saw the painting in all it’s glory. It is much smaller than I had imagined and I must say I’m not entirely sure what all the fuss is about but I’m glad I can say I saw it.
I wanted to hit Champs-Élysées to get some Christmas presents. This year I did not enjoy it quite as much as last because it was absolutely RAMMED! I think that because we went just after the terrorist attacks last year, Paris was fairly quiet and I took that for granted!
We shopped for perhaps 20 minutes and gave up. Sephora is always an exciting thought, but it was truly hideous in there as you just couldn’t move. We were also so wrapped up from the cold, that the moment you stepped foot in a store, you boiled.
We also visited the Christmas markets, which were equally as busy. After picking up some roasted chestnuts, we made a run for the nearest exit.
Although the shopping sounded – well, not the best – it really made me appreciate the area that we were staying. It felt real and there wasn’t an English voice to be heard… unless you needed it!
Ed and I went back to the room to get ready for dinner. We decided to find somewhere local for dinner and picked a small restaurant called Le Clou, just up the road from where we were staying. I am so glad we picked this place because I felt like it was true Paris.
I would recommend booking a table as we seemed to get lucky and get the last table. The reason I loved this so much is because we were the only english people in there. It was full of families and friends celebrating and getting merry together. The restaurant is small and they cram a lot of diners into one place, so you do feel like you are dining with the people on the tables next to you, you literally had to move the table to get out. It made it very friendly and just added to my love of the place. The atmosphere in there was the best I’ve had while visiting Paris and as long as you don’t mind people getting a little close, you must try this place!
We both had burgers and if I can give you a Parisian tip, however you like your meat cooked, ask for it a little more than usual. I like my burgers medium rare but it was English rare! The wine was beautiful and complimented the meat well and after cooking the burger a little more, that too was amazing.
We felt exhausted and stuffed so headed for bed ready for another day of adventure!