Ahhh Paris! The city of love! This was my 3rd visit to Paris. The first time I didn’t like it at all. I was there at Christmas time and it was cold, bleak and soul-less. Everyone had left for warmer waters and my dreams of this amazingly romantic city were dashed.
The next time I visited was by pure chance although I didn’t think so at the time. We were just finishing a 3 week trip around Europe before leaving the UK to move back to Australia. We had caught the train from the South of France all the way up to Gard De Nord train station in Paris and trying to get the next Eurostar back to London. Unfortunately we couldn’t get a ticket and had to spend the night in Paris. I wasn’t overly excited about it after my last experience. But we made the most of it and ended up booking two nights at a hotel near the train station.
It was Autumn this time and there were still some beautiful flowers around and a lovely atmosphere in the air. I fell in love with this beautiful city and all that is has to offer. I could finally see what everyone was talking about.
So what was my opinion of it this time, 8 years later…..
This time we were there are the end of Winter and the very beginning of Spring. The cherry blossoms were just starting to flower around the city. It was still fairly cold but not bitterly and there were a lot of people out and about which always makes for a nice atmosphere.
After catching the train from Munich in Germany to Gard De Nord in Paris we jumped in a taxi that took us to our accommodation. We were spending four nights in a luxury loft style apartment in the heart of Paris. I don’t know how we scored this place so cheaply but it was awesome. It was huge with wooden floors, all the modern appliances and the most comfortable bed. It was so nice to spend four days this way rather than in a hotel as it felt like we were experiencing what it is like to actually live in Paris.
After settling into our fancy new apartment we were off to the Eiffel Tower for sunset. We caught the Metro from the hip Grands Boulevard Station (a one minute walk from our apartment) to Trocadero which gives you the most beautiful views across the Seine River to the Eiffel Tower.
It was so nice to be in a city that we had visited before and could remember our way around. It was late afternoon and we just soaked up the atmosphere and the beautiful views. Sunset didn’t really do much so we hung round to do some night photography. The Eiffel Tower was lit up in the colours of Brussells in memory of the people that died in the terrorist attack the week before.
We had dinner at THE best burger place Mamie Burger Saint-Fiacre which was in the same street as our apartment.
The next morning we were up early for sunrise back at the Eiffel Tower in a spot that I have wanted to capture for a long time. Unfortunately the sky wasn’t being very nice and it was grey and overcast.
It was still nice as we were literally the only ones there which is a rare occurrence at the Eiffel Tower.
Then it was off to have pastries for breakfast and work out what we were going to do for the rest of the day.
Jardin De Tuileries
I wanted to visit Jardin De Tuileries which is a public garden located between the Louvre Museum and the Place de la Concorde. This was one of my favourite parts of Paris from the last trip. It was still as pretty as I remembered it and even more so because all the spring flowers were blooming.
After spending some time exploring the garden and taking in the romantic old world charm of this place I wanted to visit the Musée d’Orsay. There is a gigantic clock in the building that overlooks the Siene River.
The Musée d’Orsay is a museum in Paris that is housed in a Beaux Arts railway station that was built in 1898. The architecture of this place is absolutely stunning. The museum mainly holds French Art including pieces from Monet, Sisley, Gauguin and Van Gogh. I found the sculptures the most impressive. But the views from the clock are priceless.
Sunset that afternoon was another dud so we went back to our burger place for dinner again and just chilled in our apartment.
Soaking up the Parisian atmosphere
The next morning we decided to sleep in as the previous 3 weeks of racing all over Europe was starting to catch up with us. It was so nice just to relax in this amazing apartment in the middle of Paris and I didn’t want to take one minute of it for granted.
I loved just sitting on the window sill and watching people going about there business on the street below.
After a leisurely breakfast that consisted on pastries, yoghurt and fruit we headed off to check out the Louvre. The last time I was in Paris I literally ran into the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa and left again. This time I wanted to have a good look around.
It is quite impressive with amazing paintings on the roof and walls that rivalled the Sistine Chapel in Rome and beautiful sculptures. I didn’t even bother trying to get a picture of the Mona Lisa as the crowd around it was 100 people deep.
High Tea at The Peninsula Hotel
That afternoon I was very excited to attend my first ever high tea. This was not just any high tea. This was high tea at one of the poshest restaurants in Paris. The Peninsula. This is one of the most opulent places I have ever been too. We had a five course dessert high tea that was absolutely amazing and I was so full afterwards. It was a really fun thing to experience and I highly recommend that you try it if you get the chance. Hey, when else do you get the chance to feel like an over wealthy Parisian?
After stuffing our faces with as many desserts as we could and washing it down with some delightful tea we had to run to meet some friends for a drink and sunset. I met Steph and Audrey through Instagram and I was really excited to finally meet them in person after they finished work in Paris.
We went for a drink and a chat before heading to the Pont Alexandre III bridge to capture the sunset. Finally we had some nice cloud and a little bit of colour. Steph and Audrey were so friendly and lovely and Im really glad I got the chance to meet them.
Pont Alexandre III Bridge
I think this bridge is one of the prettiest I have ever seen with its beautiful ornate street lights and big statues with gold trimmings. The bridge spans the Seine River and connect the Champs-Eylsées quarter with those of the Invalides and Eiffel Tower. The bridge is widely regarded as the most ornate, extravagent bridge in the city.
After Steph and Audrey headed home we hung around to do some night photography around the Champs-Elysées and the Arc De Triomphe.
Arc De Triomphe
Paris is such a vibrant city at night with loads of people out on the streets or enjoying a meal in the restaurants. It’s really a fun place to be.
The Arc De Triomphe is one of the most famous monuments in Paris. It stands in the centre of the Place Charles de Gaulle, at the western end of the Champs-Elysées.
The Arc De Triomphe honours those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and the Napoleonic Wars. Beneath it lies the Tome of the Unknown Soldier from World War 1.
You can climb the stairs for stunning 360 degree views over Paris from the top of the Arc De Triomphe too.
The Louvre at night
I wanted to get some night shots of The Louvre so we headed over there before we went back to our apartment. It was so beautiful all lit up at night and there was a girl playing a harp at the end of the courtyard that made the atmosphere so romantic!
The next day we headed to Notre Dame as I heard that there were some beautiful cherry blossom trees in flower. There was only one tree flowering but it was nice just walking around this beautiful neighbourhood. I also had a croque monsieur from one of the street vendors. I had been really looking forward to having a croque monsieur even since I had one eight years ago. If you don’t know what a croque monsieur is – it is a fried or grilled ham and cheese sandwich. The best part about it is they grill cheese on the outside of the sandwich. YUM!!
Notre-Dame de Paris is a medieval Catholic cathedral in the fourth arrondissement of Paris. The cathedral is widely considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture, and is among the largest and most well-known church buildings in the world. It houses a fragment of the True Cross, and one of the Holy Nails.
We didn’t go into Notre Dame this time as I had seen it 8 years ago. I do remember it being very impressive and one of the most beautiful churches I had ever seen. So we decided to go for a walk through the streets of Montmartre.
Montmartre is a large hill in Paris’s 18th arrondissement. It is famous for the white-domed Basilica of the Sacré-Cœur on its summit and as a nightclub district. Montmartre has also long been known as the premier artist’s enclave in the city. Famous artists Edgar Degas, Henri Matisse, Toulouse-Lautrec, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Pablo Picasso, just to name a few have resided there.
As a designated historic area, little development is allowed in Montmartre so, thankfully, it has retained much of it’s character and village-like charm.
You may have noticed that I took a lot of photos of carousels while I was in Paris and that’s because they are so freaking beautiful. Where else in the world has ornate carousels like this. There was one more that I had to see before we left Paris. It was at Hotel De Ville and it was the prettiest of them all.
After a massive day of exploring Paris it was time for dinner and I was keen as anything to try frog legs and snails even though the thought of it absolutely grossed me out. The only restaurant that we could find that served these dishes was all booked out but we did manage to find another restaurant that served French food. I had the Coq au Vin which was absolutely amazing. I think I should have been French because there idea of food is my idea of heaven. Creamy, comforting and so tasty.
The next day it was time to say goodbye to Paris and continue to our next destination: London.
So what did I think of Paris this time?
After eight years in between visits I still found Paris as charming as ever. Even though I’m more of a nature girl these days, you still have to appreciate the history and amazing architecture of this extraordinary city.
I dare say this won’t be my last trip to Paris. I hope there will be many more to come and I am pretty sure I will still be in love with Paris every other time that I visit. How could you not? It’s the city of love after all.
Big thanks to The Peninsula for providing the extravagant high tea. If you would like to book a room or a high tea click on the link below.
19 Avenue Kléber, 75116 Paris, France
Phone: +33 1 58 12 28 88
Have you been to Paris? What was your experience like? I would love to know, so leave a comment below.