Ah Paris, one of my favourite cities in the world. Apart from the pure beauty of the surroundings I find it a really nice city to be in. The metro is easy to use, no one is ever rushing or pushing you our of the way. Really the French don’t bother too much with tourists which is the way I like things. I’ve been to Paris now about ten times and each time I discover something new even if I revisit the same spot over and over. My sister currently lives there so I’ve been taking full advantage of that and visiting her and her boyfriend as much as I can. And it’s brilliant to visit this way as I get to see another, perhaps less touristy, version of Paris even if we did spend the whole day doing touristy things!
I visited her recently and while I only really had a day and a half we packed in a lot. Here’s a brief rundown of what we did which isn’t rocket science but really the secret lies in the hidden bars and luxurious hotels that make up the very heart of Paris.I landed Friday afternoon and as soon as I got off the metro we hit for the Georges V, which is a Four Seasons hotel near the Champs Elysees. This was a sisterly treat to ourselves, the hotel is really famous firstly for housing celebrities (there were lots of young people outside waiting to catch a glimpse of Gigi Hadid as she was there for mens fashion week) and for it’s afternoon tea which is held in the most beautiful room. We just went for a glass of wine in the bar which is pure old fashioned luxury. The first thing that hit me when we went into the hotel was the smell of roses, there must literally have been thousands of roses decorating the foyer and halls. Anyway, it’s not cheap, you’re talking €20 for a glass of wine but a treat is a treat!Then we hit Galeries Lafayette and Printemps which are two massive department stores (well actually Galeries Lafayette comprises of several different buildings). Januray is a really good time to hit the shops in Paris especially towards the end of the month when all sale items are on their ‘dernier mark’ so you’re talking 50-70% off which is great. I just got some tops in Cos, boring motherly ones really but good quality. Galeries Lafayette is worth visiting in itself just for the pure beauty that is the building and the roof.Next we hit Le Marais which is a really old part of Paris but in more recent times it’s a really trendy, fashionable part of town. We had champagne in La Resistance which was a really relaxed, chilled out bar. We also had wine in Andy Wahloo but really we should have gone for cocktails because they were INSANELY cool! This was a real hidden gem of a place to have a drink.
Saturday we went exploring – starting up at Montmartre we made our way down from the beautiful hilltop church, part the Moulin Rouge, past the beautiful Opéra National, around past the Lourve and over Pont des Art where you have a fabulous view of Ile de la Cité which is home to Notre Dame if you’re feeling energetic. Instead we opted for wine at this point in the uber cook Kong which is almost hidden on the top of an office block and overlooks Pont Neuf. Some eagle eyed people might recognise this as the spot where Carrie met the Russian’s ex wife during her ill-fated move to Paris at the end of the last series of Sex and the City. After that we wandered back via Rue Saint Honore which is home to designer and highstreet stores. If you’re a fan of the history of fashion keep an eye out for Rue Cambon which is home to the original Chanel store. If you wander up past the main shop front you’ll come to the entrance to her apartment, last time I was there I simply looked in the door and two burly security men invited me in to stand at the bottom of THE stairs and have my picture taken (which incidentally turned out to be blurry!!!!). Wander on past the edge of the Louvre again or walk through Jardin des Tuileries in front of it. This will bring you out to Place de la Concorde which is the bottom of the Champs Elysees and you can stroll all the way up to the Arc de Triomphe. Honestly by then I’d be knackered. You’re not overly far from the Seine and the Eiffel Tower at this point so if you have the energy go across. It is pretty fabulous to see up close, it’s a stylish mass of steel! And my best piece of advice – bring comfortable shoes!!!!