I mentioned the other day that I'd visited Paris with my Mum at the end of last year. We like to make a visit on the Eurostar every year. It's a chance for us to spend some quality time together as well as indulge in a fancy lunch and some sight seeing. Paris is a city known for food, wine and art. Fortunately for my, Mum is fond of these three things just as much as I am so she leaves the planning up to me and enjoys the experience of trying something new.
We normally catch the Eurostar at 8am which brings us into Paris just in time for lunch. We hopped on a metro to City Pharma to quickly stock up on some skin care. I took Mum here last time and whilst I thought she'd hate the hoards of people she was actually quite fun of the bargain and French skin care. I had a few items on my list, as did she, plus we had to pick up a little something for my sisters.
Back on the merto for a few stops and we headed to Les Halles for lunch at Pirouette. I wrote about this modern, French bistro so have a look at my review. Spoiler, the food is amazing.
It was then time for a little sight seeing. About a 10 minute walk from the restaurant, past the Pompidou, was the Musée Picasso. This gallery had been on my list for years so it was nice to finally visit. I'm not actually a huge fan of Picasso. I don't mind his work when it's just one or two paintings in an exhibition but when I was in the museum i.e. a hotel dedicated to his art it was all a bit too much. I think it's the abstract paintings of various people that make my head start to spin after awhile.
Next up was the Maison de Victor Hugo i.e. the house Victor Hugo of Les Misérables fame lived in. The apartment is beautiful. It's full of intricate, colourful wallpaper and rich, mahogany furniture. There are a few different rooms to look around but I particularly enjoyed the Chinese themed living room with a beautiful collection of china plates.
Mum and I visited the week after the Paris terrorist attacks so we decided to pay our respects to the victims and visit the memorial at Place de la République. I've never felt so overwhelmed with sadness as we walked around the monument, thinking about the innocent people who had lost their lives. The place was covered with people mourning the loss of the family, friends and fellow Parisians. I wasn't sure if I was going to upload this picture as I sometimes feel that these things can be a little crass. But the picture made me remember that sad moment as well as reminding me that even though terrible things can happen in a city much similar to the one I live in, there is a silver lining in that these awful occurrences bring a city and a nation together to stand strong and fight for their freedom.
We headed back west to reach Frenchie on the Go just in time before it closed. Steve and I had enjoyed a wonderful meal at Frenchie Wine Bar last year so I wanted to visit their deli next door to grab a lobster roll to give to Steve. The deli sells a few different sandwiches which I'd love to try on another visit but be rest assured that the lobster roll is wonderful (it would have to be for €20 to be honest). The brioche bun is sweet and ever so slightly sticky and the lobster is meaty and succulent, it's perfect. If you're getting a sandwich to take away they wrap them up pretty well which makes it easy to transport back home on the Eurostar. We ate it super late that evening and it was heavenly.
I don't have any photos but we spent the rest of the evening wandering around Montmartre, one of my favourite areas in the city. We had crepes at Crêperie Brocéliande and enjoyed some wine in the local bistros. We walked up to the Sacré-Cœur and enjoyed the night time views over the city. It was soon time to head back to the Gare du Nord which is only a 10-15 minute walk away.
It may seem a bit full on visiting Paris for the day but if you live in London it really is doable. It was raining for most of the day which is why we didn't spend that much time wandering the streets but we did that on our previous visit so it was nice to show Mum a different area. Next time I think I'll take her to the Eiffel Tower because she has shockingly never seen it up close.
I'm keeping an eye out for some cheap Eurostar deals so we can visit this summer or autumn.