Hi Everyone! I hope you are having a wonderful week so far. I am really excited to share with you my adventures in Paris for a day. You are probably wondering why would I possibly want to just spend several hours in Paris when there is so much to see? Well this is because I bought a return Eurostar ticket for £60!!
My colleague/amazing friend introduced me to Snap Eurostar. You can book for 1 to 4 passengers, and currently, able to book between 29 August and 19 September. Destinations include Brussels, Lille and Paris! I highly recommend it, if you are either staying in London for a couple of days and thinking of a day trip; or just in the mood to get out of London. This is the best way to do it! The only catch is, you don’t know the time of your train until a few days before, but it is guaranteed that you leave in the morning and return in the evening. Check it out and do let me know if you go on an adventure!
I must admit that it has taken me a while to enjoy Paris. I went when I was younger and don’t have much recollection from my childhood. However, I have been twice in 2017 and I am absolutely in love. Maybe because I can appreciate the architecture and the culture? Not sure but for whatever reason I am now completely smitten by Paris.
The day started at London St. Pancras at 8:30am to catch the 9:24 train to Paris Nord. I live very close to Kings Cross St. Pancras, so the Eurostar really is a no brainer for me. Being able to travel to Paris in 2.5 hours, door to door, is an absolute dream! Given that my friend and I had visited Paris before, we didn’t want to do the major sightseeing spots. Instead we wanted to enjoy a super chilled Sunday – filled with food and great company. This is pretty much how I would like to spend my Sundays in London.
First stop: Canal Saint-Martin
I have always wanted to see the Canal Saint-Martin, as it is suggested in every blog about Paris. Sundays in a European city is always quiet and tranquil, especially when compared to London. A short walk from Jacques Bonsergent (Line 5) metro station and we were there! The sun was shining and a wonderful breeze was blowing. First thing we see is the infamous bridge as featured in the movie Amélie. Yes, it is only a bridge, but it is really beautiful and from the top, you have this wonderful view of this wide and straight canal (see photos above). On the day, there were small groups sitting by the canal, chatting away with a drink or just sunbathing with a book. It felt so serene. I am going to have to wander around London to see if there is anywhere similar to this!
Second stop: Lunch at Cafe Charlot
We walked towards le République stopped for a few snaps and then meandered our way to Marché des Enfants Rouges. This is one of the oldest covered markets in Paris where inside there are stalls selling various cheeses and meats. There are also two restaurants – one specialising in Italian cuisine and the other, North African cuisine. Though we tried to get a table it proved impossible! Instead we headed out and just over street was the most typical Parisienne café – Café Charlot (because it is located on Rue Charlot), with the weaved chairs and super small tables. We managed to find a table out in the sun. After squeezing our way onto the tiny terrace to our tables and me knocking several people’s head with my camera, we were seated. Everyone around us was chatting away with a glass of wine, basking in the summer sun. This is the life!
After a very substantial lunch (sorry forgot to take photos, I basically inhaled my omelette) and getting a nice tan, we started our adventures again wandering down Rue Charlot (which is the cutest street in Paris) and the Marais area.
Shopping in Marais
Having walked up Rue Charlot, we u-turned and back down Rue de Turenne and passed Jacques Genin. We were just window shopping but this is probably the fanciest chocolate shop EVER!! I slightly regret not going in, but whoever does get a chance to visit, please stop and have a look!! We continued to stroll down to Rue Vielle du Temple and found the cutest shop, called Nice Things. If the name was not a giveaway, when we walked in, I just fell in love with all their cutest prints and knitwear, and as always, I got distracted by shoes! I ended up buying a suede pair of grey Chelsea boots (photos to come!), which I can’t wait to wear this autumn.
As all great girlfriends do – I don’t shop alone, so of course, my friend ended up buying red suede heeled loafers too! It was not my intention to go on a shopping spree in Paris, but if you are in this area, it is hard not to fall in love with the Paris style. (I do not want to bore you with my shopping adventures, I did end up buying a raincoat from Petit Bateau as well, before making our way back to London.)
Obviously, after all the hard work exerted from shopping, one must treat oneself to something sweet. This is when we stopped at Creperie Suzette on Rue des Francs Bourgeois, which is the main shopping street of Marais. We made use of the summer sun and ate our delicious crepes outside next to a wonderful french couple, who had a heated debate the whole time we sat there!
Dessert: Photos & Berthillon Ice Cream
We continued to wander around and soak in the Paris vibes. There were artists selling their work on the streets, ranging from beautiful ceramics, paintings, and photos. I ended up buying two photos from a photographer travelling the world with a working Rolleiflex camera. The photos I chose happen to be from Northern India up in the Himalayas (a yak and a shepherd). The photographer was telling us that he was preparing for their next trip back out to Southern India for 6 months. Clearly our contributions were helping a great cause haha! It is really inspiring though, hopefully, next time I visit, he will be there so I can buy more of his pictures.
As we wandered the streets, it was nearly time we had to make our way back to Gare du Nord. We didn’t have enough time for dinner, so we stopped at a cafe to have the famous Berthillon Ice Cream, which you must try! My favourite Yogurt with Yuzu. TRUST ME – this will be one of the greatest things you have EVER tasted 🙂
We left will a full stomach and a very satisfying day, we slowly made our way back to London. Paris je t’aime! Until next time….
With Sweet and Sour Love,
Pineapple Chicken x