Oh Paris, what a beautiful city and to have it snow while we were there both added to the beauty but also on the flip side forced me to buy new shows because I looked like Bambi on ice walking down the Champs-Élysées. I hadn’t been to Paris since I was at school, so I decided for Jonny’s Christmas present I would book us a little weekend away in February to a place we both hadn’t been as adults.
I got a great deal on one of my favourite hotels that had only just opened in Paris, this was the most Perfect Parisian stay in The Hoxton. You can read my post and get my full thoughts on that as a base for our trip (hint – I would return in a heartbeat). We we’re delayed as there had been heavy snow so a flight from Gatwick that should have been and hour took and extra three and a train from the airport took two. We ended up getting to our hotel four hours later than expected, so we headed to the room got changed and our first stop was the hotel bar, here we opted to pick somewhere within walking distance but with good reviews for dinner as we were both a bit tired after our hectic day. We decided on Pizzeria Popolare which we know, is not very French. However i was shocked how many Italian restaurants were in Paris. This is somewhere you have to go early, we were there at 7pm and got in right away, we came out around 9pm and there was a queue going right around the block, on a Wednesday. This is the norm for this place, we walked past on Friday night and woah the line was double the size and no word of a lie at least sixty people wanting to get in.
Pizza was good, however the menu was in a french Italian mix and not one word of English (not complaining as I am abroad) however it meant Jonny and I couldn’t decipher much so just picked at random. I had a truffle pizza and Jonny a meat one, both lovely but i must say not the best I have ever had. The vibe was vibrant and the seating very Wagamamma esque as you are on long tables with so many others. For such a small place they fit a lot of people in and are constantly busy. We didn;t stay for drinks, instead we headed directly next door to Comptoir des Frangins for a few cocktails as they were 2-for1. Safe to say after six Pornstar Martinis, I was ready for bed and ready for the first full day.
Our first full day, we normally get up early on holiday but something about Paris, and the marshmallow bed we had a lie in every morning and just both gave ourselves the chance to really relax. We woke up to a little snow flurry, so wrapped up warm and headed to the Champs-Élysées for a look around the shops. We jumped on the metro and took the 20 min journey, by the time we walked out the other side the snow was thick and covering the whole of the city.
It was both surreal and magical, Paris in the snow is really something to see. We decided a quick trip into Ladurée for coffee and cake would warm us up. Now this was a little disappointing, I love Ladurée and of course got myself and my mum some macaroons to take back as they are our favourite. The restaurant area though really didn’t wow me, it was a little battered and not this incredible luxurious place I had hoped for, i think the Ladurée Royale or Bonaparte locations may have been better as this one just seemed tired looking and the price did not reflect the service, nice to picture in the snow though!
Thursday night was Jonnys Christmas present to me, tickets to see Moulin Rouge. Wow, what a fantastic show, we were sat in some great seats that are allocated on arrival so don’t be late and be very polite to the people seating you (buying a guide and having a huge smile helps). We had a bottle of champagne at our table ready for us and we had such a laugh at the show. It was all in French so we had no idea what the storyline was but it didn’t matter it is a must see at least once in your life and I can understand why people flock there still.
Dinner was at Rouge Bis, it is opposite the Moulin Rouge and it is the perfect place to kick back before the show. The food was both delicious and portion size huge and for Paris standard very affordable.
What is a shame about Paris on a whole is the price of everything, cocktails were so much more than even London in some cases and our usual bar to end the night with ample of cocktails just wasn’t feasible every night here as it worked out around £12 a cocktail! It’s okay though, we did a supermarket trip and got wine and snacks and enjoyed a film in bed with drink in hand.
Another lie in for our last full day, we headed out around lunch time after taking some pictures for my John Lewis Valentines post. This meant our first stop before jumping on the metro to wander was Crêpe Chez Suzette by Grands Boulevards station, about a 5 min walk from The Hoxton. Nutella with vanilla ice cream was both of our choice as the burnt caramel wasn’t available. Both delicious and far too much for me to finish!
We headed to The Louvre, Le Palais Royal and The Eiffel Tower to walk of the food, only to make room for a little more of course. Snowing again we decided to just walk until we found the closest metro. We stumbled upon the cutest little cafe called Le Petit Caillou. We shared a starter and drank quite a bit of wine for a Friday afternoon, it was all worth it though as we whiled away the hours we then popped back for a nap before once again heading out for food. The choice was Jonny’s and he of course went for somewhere that did steak! It was called Bang! and he was in heaven, the only do meat for mains, served on a hot stone he had a selection of cuts, me however I preferred the parmesan truffle chips and was just not wowed by it, it was small and very very cramped but I did enjoy the company.
You may notice for us food was a big part of the trip, I found myself not falling in love with Paris like I had hoped. Budapest for me has been my favourite city break recently, though nothing can knock off Rome as my top city break destination. I had however been recommended a place to eat by someone at work who’s wife works Paris, so I made sure my last meal in the city was a good one. We headed to Miss KO a Japanese sushi restaurant off the Champs-Élysées. I was told to expect the best sushi of my life, Jonny joked i had come all the way to Paris just for this (he was kind of right) this however funny was a highlight of the trip for me along with watching the lights on The Eiffel Tower, in the snow at night was top however!Everything about this restaurant was fantastic, the design, staff, drink and most importantly food. Jonny said get whatever we want he will get it for us as a treat, as the food does come at a cost here €150 for the two of us to have lunch and a drink kind of cost but oh so worth it.
We shared tempura prawns and in Jonny’s words the best spring rolls he has ever had, with a beer and a cocktail in hand. We waited for a huge platter of sushi to arrive, you can mix and match here and you can have any combo on the menu you like so you get extactly what you want.Tuna, prawn and lobster were our choice of fillings and they were just that filling. We left bellies full and ready for a flight home, once again delayed by two hours.
Overall I loved Paris as a city, it was beautiful and I din’t feel the need to rush, it was the most chilled out break we had ever had. I really liked that, it was nice to spend time together as Jonny had been working a lot recently so some time to plan our next big holiday was possible too. I found that a lot of people in Paris were rude to us, which I was surprised by and the cost of everything was pretty high so this is not a cheap break, which I expected anyway. I would go back, it would be a great trip with my mum for instance but it’s not my favourite place. I am glad I went of course and The Hoxton was just the most perfect base so if you do go, stay there and enjoy how pretty the city is.
Have you been to Paris? What did you think?