A Weekend in Parii: A Tour for First Timers.

September 30th 2018

As some of you may know, if you follow us on Instagram, or have read our previous posts, Ed and I took a little weekend trip to Paris on the 28th September. Given that Ed works and I am doing a very demanding University course, taking a week day off was just out of the question.

When we were looking at flights for our trip, they were either leaving Friday morning or Saturday night, which would mean that we either lost a day of work/uni or a day of roaming the streets of Paris, in which case the trip would be somewhat pointless. Therefore we opted for the conveniently cheaper option… National Express. The coach left from London Victoria at 7:30 pm Friday night and arrived in Paris at 6:00am Saturday morning. The total price for the tickets was £80, two people, return. This made a huge difference from the £200 pp price of travelling by plane.

When we arrived in Paris, we went straight to our hotel, Hôtel Des Batignolles. One thing to note about this hotel, which was a shock to us, is that check in is at 2pm. Not ideal for 2 people arriving in Paris at 6am. We used their restaurant bathroom to clean up and change our clothes. We chilled in the lobby until the sun came up, and shops began to open. We headed straight for a patisserie, where we ordered 2 pains au chocolat, in attempted French, that were freshly baked.

We caught the metro to Dupleix station, where we walked from there to the Eiffel Tower.

We spent a couple of hours walking along the river and exploring the area. During this time we were on the hunt for the perfect Parisian coffee shop to settle in. This took for-aaagez!! We had not had a coffee since Friday morning, and considering we had barely slept, due to travelling through the night, this was taking its toll. But we refused to settle for any old coffee shop. For those of you who have not been to Paris before, it is quite hard to find a coffee shop in the area that doesn’t say ‘Happy-Hour’ on the front… not really the look we were going for. We eventually stumbled upon a lovely little cafe called Le Piquet. It had all the Parisian little features we were looking for. Ed ordered a cappuccino and I ordered a Latte. Being a huge coffee snob, Ed likes to make my life very hard when choosing a place to have a bevvy. He was not disappointed. The coffee here was lush and exactly what we were looking for.

We ventured back home after our little break to check in and have a shower.

Later Saturday evening we once again set foot on the streets of Paris. Our hotel was conveniently located about a 5-10 minute walk from Place De Clichy station. Here we found fun, lively, and jam-packed bars and restaurants. The city streets were glowing with the light from the neon signs, there was the sound of glasses clinking, music playing and people having fun. There was a huge contrast between these streets during the day and at night.

Visiting the Moulin Rouge is a must when in Paris. Unfortunately, on this occasion we had not got tickets to see the show, so that will have to wait until our next visit. However, the journey to get there in itself is worth the visit. The famous red windmill is located on a street, heavily saturated with more neon lights, latex body suits, dominatrix gear and ‘live shows’. 😉

We settled for a drink in a bar directly opposite the infamous burlesque house. Rouge Bis bar had great cocktails, beer and view. You will really be in the hustle and bustle of it all here.

Seeing the Eiffel Tower at night is a must when in Paris, so once our drinks had turned into just a glass of melted ice, we ventured back onto the metro towards the great landmark. We got off the metro at Ecole Militaire. I would recommend getting off the metro here, as you get an amazing view of the tower and its lights as you walk up towards it. As we were about half way up the Champ de Mars, the Eiffel Tower began to put on a show. I was in awe at its beauty, and even though there were many people around us, there was something very peaceful about being here at this time.

On Sunday morning, I was woken by fresh croissants, pain au chocolats and coffee in bed, courtesy of Eddy.

Sunday was to be an early start as we knew we had to be on a coach back to London at 9pm. We checked out in the morning and left our luggage in the lobby of the hotel. We headed back to the Moulin Rouge, just to get a glimpse of it during the day.

Once on the metro, our first stop was the Arc de Triomphe. An incredible sight to see. I was happy to skip it off the list at first, as I figured that if our Sunday was limited, I would rather see the Louvre and Notre Dame. Ed convinced me it was worth it, as he has been before. He wasn’t wrong. It was way bigger than I had expected and made for a great instagram shot haha.

We walked down Av. des Champs-Elysees, and somehow stumbled into Cartier… How did that happen? 😉 hint hint Ed…

We headed straight to the Louvre vicinity after Cartier, where we enjoyed another coffee. The Louvre was a beautiful building, and we did partake in one of those awfully touristy photos pinching the top of the pyramid.

note: If you are an EU citizen, entrance is free. We almost made the mistake of buying a ticket at the machine before we realised.

We stopped for lunch at a lovely little Italian style restaurant, relaxing in the sun on the outside tables, before venturing on to our next location.

Funny story: There were two middle aged women sitting behind us in the restaurant speaking polish about me and the clothes I was wearing. Saying that they don’t know why people spend so much on things like belts… the one I was wearing was a knock off Off-White belt, not that they knew it was knock off…. just like they didn’t know that Ed is fluent in Polish. Anyway, when we finished eating, funnily enough Ed’s dad called him, giving Ed the perfect excuse to start speaking Polish. I could see out of the corner of my eye the looks on their faces when they realised he could understand their whole convo.

From one art gallery to another… however one of a very different sort. 59 Rivoli is probably quite an unknown little destination but and incredible one none the less. I found out about this from Pinterest, and so glad that I did. Hidden away in a building along an Oxford Street lookalike, is this haven of weird and wonderful art. It was almost like falling down the rabbit hole, and with access for a donation, it is definitely worth it if travelling from the Louvre to Notre Dame or vice versa.

You could probably guess where our next stop was by my previous sentence. This was probably the place I was most looking forward to, as it was allowing me to live a little childhood fantasy and pretend to be Esmerelda for a couple of minutes. Once again, I was in awe at the sight Paris had to offer. Not only was the exterior breathtaking, but the inside was just as spectacular. We were lucky enough to witness the cathedral in action, given we visited on a Sunday, and the whole experience was incredible and one that I would 100% recommend. Unfortunately we were unable to venture to the top of the cathedral due to the time, so once again, that will have to be an experience for another time. Before heading back to the hotel to pick up our things, there was one more thing we had to do whilst in Parii.

We stopped for a crepe… or two, at a beautiful desert bar directly outside the Cathedral. I can’t even put into words the detail of the building I was able to admire whilst enjoying the last bit of sweetness that Paris had to offer at La Creperie du Cloitre. 

likewedo.com : Summer Sterling-Crosse

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