A few weeks ago I was taken on a surprise trip to Paris! Okay, it wasn’t a surprise in the sense that I was all of a sudden shipped off to the airport, but it was a surprise nonetheless. It was a week before our 5 year anniversary and my parter had earlier in the year told me to let him plan our anniversary and not to worry about it, so that’s what I did. I had some ideas of what I thought he might be planning, but I never actually thought he would take me abroad!
He told me a few days we were scheduled to leave the country that he was taking me to a weekend away in Paris, and that he had organised the holiday with my job and had everything planned. The reason he gave me a few days to prepare though, was to make sure I could plan in any specific things I wanted to do in Paris and get anything I might need to go abroad. I was so excited, so desperate to get away from reality for a bit, and massively looking forward to a bit of romantic quality time.
We arrived in Paris on Friday afternoon after flying from Leeds Bradford airport with Jet2.com to Paris Charles de Gaulle. We took the train into Paris and changed to the underground to take us to the closest station to our hotel which was Bir-Hakeim, right next to the Eiffel Tower. We walked from there straight to our hotel, the Novotel Paris Centre Eiffel Tower, to check in and get ready to go straight out for our dinner reservation we made at Bistrot Chez France – a restaurant in the Eiffel Tower area with great reviews. As soon as we stepped in the door of the very small restaurant, I absolutely understood why people love the place. The lady who took our booking and who met us in the door was so lovely and it felt like we were in her living room eating delicious home cooked traditional French food. I can definitely recommend this place, the only negative is perhaps that the place is quite small so you will get to know your neighbours well – but that might be a positive to some. I had onion soup for starter and steak and chips for main and it was as French as scrumptious as expected.
On the Saturday we went to the Louvre and spend a long time in there and still did not have time to see all of it – it’s massive! It’s very impressive outside as well as on the inside, the architecture and especially all the gorgeous marble was one of my highlights actually. The marble statues were amazing, I can’t get my head around what patients and skill would be needed to be able to create something so perfect.
After an amazing few hours in the Louvre admiring the artefacts and the art, including the Mona Lisa, we were exhausted and retired to the hotel to get ready for dinner. The next day, we went to explore the Sacré-Cœur (Sacred Heart) which is a beautiful cathedral at the top of a hill in the north east part of the city centre in the Montmartre area. We were very lucky with the weather and had gorgeous blue skies as a backdrop to this majestic piece of architecture.
We went inside the cathedral and encountered a Sunday mess so we quietly walked around the church and took in the atmosphere. When we came back out we saw a sign saying “Domes” and an arrow around the side of the building. Being quite curious travellers we decided to follow the signs and see if we could find out what the Domes were. It turned out to be a paid entry to access the towers of the Sacré-Cœur to reach amazing views over the city of Paris. We were very happy we decided to go ahead as after an exhausting walk up the spiral (and slightly claustrophobic) staircase up the tower we reached the top to see a gorgeous panoramic view over Paris. It was windy and cold, but the sun was out to showcase a beautiful view of the French capital.
Another highlight of our weekend away to Paris was definitely our visit up the Eiffel Tower. Even though we went up when it was very cold and windy and I couldn’t feel my feet at all, it was an amazing experience. We were not able to go all the way up to the top unfortunately because of the wind, but we’re already planning on going back in the summer so that we can experience a different, warmer Paris.
Some other highlights of the holiday was the food, especially the breakfast – we went to different bakeries each morning to sample some local pastries which were all delicious! Some macaroons were a must as well as a street crepe with Nutella. I absolutely loved our weekend away in Paris and I really can’t wait to go back.