Paris went by in a blur. We had caught the Eurostar (I’d take train travel over planes any day) early in the morning on the Saturday right into Gare de Nord station where a taxi whipped us away to our hotel.
We were staying in the Pavillon de Lettres for two nights until Monday morning and the room was already ready for us. A lovely hotel, it has touches of literature throughout, such as a bookcase along one wall as you enter the hotel from the reception right into the dining area.
There are 26 rooms in total within the hotel which are not numbered and instead named with a letter belonging to a famous author. We were staying in Tolstoii. A lovely, clean minimalist room. Quite small, but with big windows and Juliet balconies overlooking the street below. The bathroom was large for the room with an incredibly deep bath and sparkling finishes. Quotes were inscribed over the head board and the glass for the bathroom, to intertwine the theme.
When we’d dumped our bags and washed away the journey and early start from our faces we set off towards Galeries Lafayette for a spot of lunch and some shopping. After getting distracted by Zara along the way (which turned out to have nothing exciting in it) we were really hungry by the time we reached the beautiful shopping centre.
Me, being a hawk eye spotted ‘roof terrace’ so we climbed the hundreds of escalators to the very top where the hallway suddenly opened out into the most stunning open space. Waiters and waitresses glided about in cream chinos and baby blue polo shirts, with straw trilby’s on their heads to keep out the heat of the day.
We settled ourselves at a table by the edge of the terrace overlooking the most incredible view of Paris below lit up by the sunshine with the blue sky painted in fluffy white clouds. Ben ordered us a delicious spread of meats and dips along with a couple of cocktails as we sizzled in the suns beating rays. Relaxing right back into our chairs as others around us did the same enjoying the heat of the mid-day.
After indulging in more than our fair share of sunshine and feeling notably pink, we called it a day and head back into the depths of the shopping centre, only to be spat back out into the street right in front of some of my favourite stores. We managed to drag our feet through only three before feeling well and truly exhausted and ready to head back to the hotel.
We walked back through the streets, hand in hand, stopping to take photos every-so-often.
When we arrived back to our room, we both climbed into our dressing gowns and passed out in a mixture of heat stroke and exhaustion. Waking up a few hours later, there was no way we were going to leave that hotel room that night and get dressed up for supper. Instead, Ben ran me a delicious bubble bath and popped to the nearest supermarket to get a selection of quiche, cheese, meats and fruit for us to snack on. We picnicked in our hotel room with a bottle of champagne and watched French TV until we fell asleep still in our dressing gowns.
I woke up to the sound of bird song mixed with traffic from the street below as Ben flung open the windows revealing beautiful blue skies and sunshine once more. We had ordered room service and at 8.30am, the steaming trays were brought into the room. With no space to put the mountains of food that we ordered, one tray was put on the table and the rest on the bed.
We ate as much as we could before throwing on some clothes and heading out towards the beautiful Arc de Triomphe. It seems we were the only ones to not be in Paris for the Tour De France, a lot of roads were closed so we had to walk all the way around the Arc, being complete tourists and taking numerous snaps.
Before long, time was getting away from us and we made our way to my favourite hotel in the world; The Peninsula in Paris where we were booked in for lunch at their roof top restaurant L’Oiseau Blanc.
The Peninsula is my favourite hotel for a number of reasons. I love the contrast of the old and new. Bold pieces of art placed in the middle of hallways and rooms set against beautiful classic staircases accented by giant plant pots. The hotel is just stunning and all white only made more relaxing and airy by the natural light that streams in from every side of the hotel. We were last here for Afternoon Tea last year, just after we got engaged and managed to look around one of their incredible rooms.
Being back in summer, the hotel had completely transformed but was just as beautiful. We were early for our booking, but the waiter sat us down anyway and we started off with their suggestion of a glass of pink Veuve bubbles. Every time we’ve visited Paris, we haven’t seen much point in visiting the top of the Eiffel tower. After all, Paris is definitely not as iconic without it. In my opinion, the best way to admire it is from somewhere high where you can see it nestled against the rest of the skyline. L’Oiseau Blanc is exactly that place. A room made of glass on three sides with white table cloths, pink flowers and beautiful gold spot lights, it’s the most perfect combination.
The food does not let it down either. With a menu that listed only fish choices, the waiter immediately liaised with the chef to rustle something up for Ben (who’s allergic to fish). Ben was more than ecstatic, when the chef offered Foie Gras for his starter – it also stopped him being so jealous of my Iberian Ham and sautéed red mullet with blackberries, watermelon, strawberries and pomegranate gazpacho with olive oil and of Cedric Casanova.
Each course was like a theatrical masterpiece as our lovely waiter placed the plates in front of us followed by the soups that covered my delightful dishes.
When we’d finished our starters, he offered us our second wine pairing. A white chardonnay for me and a red for Ben. Now Chardonnay in the UK isn’t considered one of our finest wines, but this was beautifully crisp and cold and went delightfully with my Crispy Cod with Monkfish cheek.
For pudding, I chose the classic – L’Envol as the hotel has only been around for 2 years it’s not a ridiculous feat, but as the menu changes every week, to have this pudding stay on the menu from the very start is a miracle in itself. You can see why though, After you crack through the chocolate outer-layer the inside cake, ice cream and mousse is all revealed to you. A delicious combination of flavours that melt together in your mouth.
We also had the Hazelnut – Iced Zabiaone with lime and mango, light cream and Jivara Chocolate. I say we, because we have to share food or I get extreme food envy.
Following our pudding, we each had an espresso martini before finally leaving at around 3.30pm (we arrived at 12pm) which was the perfect end to our lunch date. Afterwards, we decided on a lovely walk to the Eiffel Tower to walk off the incredible food.
When we’d walked to our hearts content, we opted out of walking all the way back to the hotel and instead caught an Uber. The concierge very kindly booked us a table at a restaurant recommended to us and we jumped in the shower before doing some work in our dressing gowns for the rest of the afternoon then getting ready for dinner and spending the evening not working and just being.
What are your favourite things to do in Paris?