Recently, the husband and I were able to slip away to Paris for a couple of nights on our own sans l’enfant. While we absolutely adore our little boy, after 13 months it was absolutely time for a couple of days away, adults only.
The sheer joy of being about to sit on a plane and read a book without trying to constantly avert a melt down by Tiny Toddler (as he’s classified now by nursery) meant that flying Easyjet felt like First Class quite frankly. You can keep your showers and your Dom Perignon on tap, all I’m asking for is to be left alone in peace and quiet to read and maybe eat a sandwich without ending up wearing it. So we arrived feeling very refreshed after a quick hop from Glasgow where we’d left Casper with Gran and Grandad.
First up, we’d booked a hotel car to pick us up. Yes, I know they’re ridiculously over priced but sometimes you just want the comfort and ease of a luxury transfer. Arrival at the hotel was smooth and we felt a bit dizzy at the pleasure of having spent a whole hour in a car relaxing and not singing nursery rhymes over and over. Ahh how quickly you forget. We picked the Grand Hôtel du Palais Royal to stay at. This was mostly down to its location but also because even though it was still pricey it wasn’t as insane as some of the Paris hotels. (1K Euro a night anyone??!)
European hotel rooms are always a shock to me now that I’ve lived in the Middle East for 8 years. They’re nearly always smaller than one would expect for the price you pay. Still, we were right in the middle of the city within easy reach of many must see attractions so I guess that’s what you’re paying for.
We were a hop, skip and a jump away from the Louvre and once we’d dumped the bags we headed over to wander around and take a walk along the banks of the Seine. We were blessed with utterly gorgeous weather which made the whole trip that bit extra special. As we were on our own timetable and not constantly thinking about whether Tiny Toddler (TT) needed to eat/sleep we wandered leisurely along the river, grabbing a quick crepe en route until we found a suitable looking place to stop for a drink. The great thing about being in France is that you’re pretty much assured to get the best Rose wherever you are (Cote de Provence in case you’re wondering).
That evening we dined at Arpège. The husband has wanted to eat here for a long time as he used to be a vegetarian and the chef at this establishment, Alain Passard, used to cook only with vegetables. He’s since added some meat and fish to the menu but it’s still noted for his clever and unusual dishes with veggies. Whilst it was certainly an experience I’m not sure I’m going to recommend it based on the astronomical price. I’ve heard its better value for money for lunch so maybe go during the day if you want to try it.
Next morning we started at the Musée d’Orsay. We went early to try and avoid the crowds but in typical French fashion it opened late so we still had to wait a while. Once in, we headed straight for the 5th floor to see the impressionists, some of my favourite artists. It was a real treat to see one of my absolute favourite paintings, Monet’s Waterlillies. I know it’s a cliché, but I’ve always loved it.
After the museum it was time for some shopping. We strolled through the Jardin Du Tulleries soaking up the late autumn sunshine on our way to rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré for some window shopping. Then onto Galleries Lafayette for some real shopping and a glimpse at the beautiful Christmas decorations.
After lunch at a suitably French bistro (how are all the corner bistro’s just great for food?) we took an Uber over to Montmartre. Yes, we could have taken the metro but Uber’s just so easy isn’t it? Plus my feet needed a rest. I could happily have spent many hours browsing the quirky shops and stopping for refreshments at the beautiful cafes along the way however, we wanted to hit the Sacre Coeur for the views so we carried on.
After the climb to the top of hill to take in those magnificent views over Paris it was once again time for more liquid refreshment.
Dinner that evening was at Il Carpaccio. It was a sublime affair, wonderful service, beautiful food and a convivial ambiance that left us thoroughly satisfied and happy that we’d chosen it. Yes, it probably seems a bit mad to have Italian food in Paris but it was worth it.
The last morning should have been full of more shopping but quite frankly, we just wanted to savour every last minute of our childlessness. So we slept late, breakfasted leisurely and packed our cases slowly. We were super excited to see our little man when we got back but two days of couple time was absolute bliss and I’m already planning our next sojourn without le bebe!