just us two!
These days, it really requires a conscious effort for us to plan anything without the kids being involved too. They are so easy (and so much fun!) to bring with us on trips now, and so we tend to favour little jaunts all together over time spent alone. That said though, Andrew and I decided in November that we’d plan something just us two for the New Year. Our Christmas gift to each other. Sometimes it’s good to remember where it all began!
We fell in love with Paris last January when we spent a weekend there with the kiddos. The whole notion of a Winter break in general is just something that I’m evangelical about. It’s a light after Christmas, and in the dark days of Winter. A change is as good as a rest, isn’t that what they say?
We arrived late on Friday night after a lengthy delay, caught the RER from Charles de Gaulle to central Paris and found our way to the beautiful Hoxton hotel.
ooh la la!
I honestly can’t say enough good things about this place. Every single corner was so perfectly designed and, for the interiors obsessive in me, it was absolute heaven. We had booked the Shoebox room but were upgraded when we arrived, and the ‘Cosy’ totally belied how spacious and unbelievably comfortable it was. We have stayed at the Hoxton in London too and comparably rooms here were considerably larger. Perfectly luxurious!
cobbles, café au lait and foliage filled courtyards!
We spent Saturday morning sipping coffee in the beautiful covered courtyard, before venturing out in the rain to Musee D’Orsay. We had planned to visit more museums this time around, and places that perhaps might not have held as much appeal for the kids. I actually think, having visited, that our children would have really enjoyed it here. Andrew was fascinated by the scale model of the Palais Garnier, and I think Noah would have loved it too. My favourite part was the Impressionist Galleries. How amazing to see those Monet masterpieces in the flesh!
We ate lunch at Musee D’Orsay which was nice enough (if a little overpriced!) and then walked to a favourite of ours from last year, Café St Regis, close to Notre Dame. More coffee and the most delicious caramel éclair, split in two set us up for the journey back. It’s worth noting that public transport is so straightforward in the city, and if it’s too wet to walk then it is the best way to whizz around. Nowhere took us much more than fifteen minutes to reach, making everything really accessible and achievable, even in a brief weekend visit.
We had dinner in our hotel on Saturday evening and it was delicious. We headed up to Jacques bar after for drinks and found a cosy table in the window to chat and while away the evening. I’d definitely recommend calling by The Hoxton for drinks (or even a coffee!) if you are in Paris staying elsewhere. It has such a relaxed, European vibe and the staff were all so lovely too!
rainy sundays in the city…
On the recommendation of a friend we had booked Ellsworth for brunch on Sunday, and made our way here mid morning. It’s the most unobtrusive little place – blink and you’d miss it – but we quickly understood why booking is essential. Every table was filled (with a complete mix of international people!) and the food, served on small plates to share, was unbelievably good. We split the French toast, scrambled eggs and buttermilk chicken, and I’m still dreaming of it all. So very delicious!
From here we headed to the Palais Garnier, home of the Paris Opera, and famed location of the Phantom. We had been recommended the audio guide by lots of people (thank you!) and Andrew got one and happily relayed all the important details to me, ha! It is the most beautiful of buildings, opulent in every sense, and I’ve put watching something here on my bucket list for the future. (I’d love to bring our girls to a ballet. How magical would that be?)
We picked up some little gifts for the kids and then made our way to Angelina for hot chocolate (dreamy but there is always a queue. Be prepared!) before a quick stop by the Louvre. Our time was a little short so we just had look around the shopping centre and book stores of the pyramid. Leaving the museum for next time!
We headed back to our hotel, grabbed a quick glass of wine for the road and made our way back to Charles de Gaulle for our flight home. It was over in a blink, but that’s always the measure of a good weekend I think. Short but very sweet.
Au Revoir Paris. Until next time!