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Sep. 22nd, 2014

Friday morning at 5am, I actually woke up, ta-daaaa! This does surprise me, as I’d worked like a Trojan all week, and felt very, very weary. Waited over 20 mins for a taxi, missed 2 trains, but arrived at St Pancras in ample time, coffee’d and met up with Vicky and Dawnie. The journey, inc check in was very smooth, Eurostar really is the easy option. The only complaint is the very long wait at the buffet car, and the absolutely appalling quality of the food they serve, Dawnie and I had “croque monsieurs”, which were nuked, not toasted, and very poor quality. At that point, I would gladly have eaten a scabby dog, so we ate ours, Vicky returned hers for a refund. Altogether more “crook monsieurs” methinks.

We walked from Gare du Nord to Opera, it was such a lovely afternoon, and arrived at the hotel, to be offered free wine and cocktails whilst we waited an hour for the rooms. And then straight out for more coffee, and tourist bus tickets. Hopped on the bus, and enjoyed Paris in 29 degree heat, round to the Eiffel Tower, where we hopped off and waited for Lin, who was joining us from Cardiff. I love the architecture in Paris, I sat atop the bus, looking up. Sadly, I left my camera on charge in the kitchen at home, so had to make do with my phone camera, which still irks me. But the bus cuts through The Louvre, and the Pyramide, around Place Vendome, Notre Dame, the Grand Palais, Along the Champs Elysees to the Arc, Les Invalides, Musee D’Orsay and The National Assembly, and many more. I would also have liked to discover more of the non-central Parisian areas, but there’s only so much you can do….

Lin bounced up, found us quite easily, no mean feat, given the crowds, and we jumped abour the Seine River boat. Now this is a lovely trip. You see everything, the lover’s bridge with all the padlocks, the artists along the quayside, Parisiens munching their snacks and drinking wine along the river, as well as getting a very different perspective on the city’s landmarks. A lovely trip. Under £30 for the cruise and 2 days on the bus is a real bargain.

Lin found a really lovely typical Parisian bistro for us, Le Chennin. I plumped for steak frites, you simply can’t go wrong with that! The food really was good, and the wine well-chosen. The 2 chaps running it, Sam and Rico were both lovely, spoke English and were flirty n fun. Vicky took exception to the bread, and the fact that French restaurants serve a lot of beef dishes, but we thoroughly enjoyed it. Complimentary Calvados and group photos behind the bar before we left. And Sam clearly had a soft spot for Dawnie! I had a soft spot for the crème brulee! Cocktails before bedtime, and I fancy we all slept rather well!


Saturday blessed us with a nother warm, sunny day. Lin and I strolled out for breakfast close to the hotel, and I should mention Opera. It’s a very upmarket area, but the Opera house itself is just stunning, I fell in love with it. Live music is played outside in the evening, and people sit on the steps to listen. Dawnie joined us, and Vicky eventually caught up with us as we left for Le Marais. We walked all the way, stopped en route for coffee and admired the views as we strolled in the sunshine.

The Marais is one of the hippest parts of the city, packed with modish hotels, vintage boutiques, restaurants and bars. Plenty of eye candy, and lots to shop. We found some of the vintage places, however, tiny tiny tiny clothes! And certainly NOT a bargain, we are far more blessed in London!

In the evening we decided to head off to Monmatre, and again, Lin found a cracking restaurant – Le Cave Gourmand. As you’d guess, typically French and with some interesting artwork on the walls. Had a delish crab and beetroot salad, followed by veal, and again, Lin picked a lovely wine, and the meal wasn’t expensive. Vicky was disappointed by the quantity of beef on the menu, but that really is standard for France. The service was spot on, even though it was incredibly busy.


We completely forgot to go to Sacre Coeur afterwards, which I’m kicking myself for, but had a wander down the big hill back to our hotel, and via a couple of cocktails in our breakfast restaurant. I was up for a big night out (ain’t I always) but the others, save Dawnie, weren’t.

Sunday, Lin had to leave early for her Cradiff flight, us 3 had a vile breakfast in a very overpriced café, and instantly wished we hadn’t. Paris is mostly closed shops-wise on Sunday, but we ambled down to Tiffany’s on the Champs Elysees, I was going to buy boo a ring, but nothing appealed. But we all made up for it in Sephora! And then back to Marais, wher we stopped for lunch at a superb perchance restaurant. We all plumped for the five mini-burger selection, and it was spot on – chicken, steak, scallop, salmon and burger, all delicately dressed. All 3 of us ate every scrap, and we also managed to knock back 2 jugs of very strong sangria

Further wandering, more shopping. The Marais has also long been the focus of the Jewish community: amble along and the air fills with the scent of falafels and sizzling shawarmas, and the shops are full of both tradional and Jewish frou frous. . I came away with some jewellery We all adored that area, and felt sad to leave, I think we could’ve easily done another few hours there. I’ll be back for sure.

Come home, do some washing, make up to the cats, and it’s back on the hamster wheel again!


Call me Madam

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