“Notice how the trees do not cling to their leaves.
Fall is about releasing the old to make way for the new”
This quote exactly sums up the magic that was in the air in Paris over the past weekend when I visited. Gold, fiery orange and burgundy red leaves were falling from the trees, the weather was perfectly pleasant and I could feel there was a change of season taking place. I had planned, dreamt and ‘google imaged’ this city thousands of times before and finally, I was able to experience first-hand. Walking along the Seine in the late afternoon towards the Eiffel Tower, after adding a lock to the love lock bridge, was one of my favourite moments of the weekend. I was in great company, had just eaten great food and was in a great city. Life was a little surreal this weekend, I am incredibly lucky.
I could write hundreds of words about my time in the Capital but I thought some I would cut it down to top 5 moments (in no particular order):
- Being a tourist
The city is filled with plenty of them so Grace and I let loose and got our tourist on! Yes, we participated in selfies and silly poses, went to all the tourist spots and waited in queues, enjoyed the tacky souvenirs that were being sold everywhere and asked many people to take a photo for us. Sometimes we even asked more than once if it wasn’t good enough the first time! It was definitely part of the fun, especially the second visit to the Eiffel Tower where I attempted jumping in front of it for a photo numerous times. Even the souvenir sellers stopped to give me advice on how high to jump!
- Our French apartment
We were incredibly lucky enough to have Grace’s friend’s apartment for the weekend while they were away on holiday. This could not have been in a better location, right opposite the Notre Dame in the 5th arrondissement. It was exactly as you would expect a central city Parisian apartment to look, absolutely tiny but so perfect. It was so nice to have a double bed each which made coming back to the spongy, slim green mattress in Les Gazelle much more difficult.
The food we ate definitely deserves its own blog post but an extra special mention must go to Ladurée on the Champs-Élysées. This is a famous tea room in Paris, the one on Champs-Élysées being the oldest and most well-known. The pastries here are rated some of the best in the world, specifically its macarons. We decided to try it out and got a table for two upstairs in a Victorian style dining room. This was such a great experience and made us feel very Parisian and sophisticated dining on the Champs-Élysées. We finally made a decision on two pastries to share:
Puff pastry, cream puff pastry, light rose petal custard cream, raspberry compote,rose-flavoured Chantilly whipped cream, rose syrup fondant, raspberries
Dacquoise cake with crushed hazelnuts, crispy praline, milk chocolate thin leaves, chocolate ganache, milk chocolate Chantilly whipped cream
These are by far the best pastries I have ever tasted!
- Pitchfork music Festival
Grace and I had booked tickets about a month back to the Friday night of Pitchfork Music Festival. We enjoyed a couple of bottles of wine and a platter beforehand in the apartment, before jumping on the metro and heading to the North East of Paris where the festival was. We saw MØ, Chvrches, St. Vincent, and Belle and Sebastian, all amazing live. The Parisian crowd was noticeably different to a Kiwi crowd where everyone chills out and enjoys the music; so no getting crazy in the moshpit for me! My favourite artists were Glasgow band Chvrches, who exceeded my expectations by far. There were two stages and even an upstairs playground with swings and twister. It was great to be able to do something a little different while in Paris and enjoy some awesome live music.
- Notre Dame
The first time we went to visit the Notre Dame, the queue was huge and it was incredibly hot so we decided to do it at a later time. It wasn’t until Sunday evening when we remembered we had forgotten to go back. Luckily on our way back to our apartment we spied a short queue and went in. Once again we got lucky and visited just as Sunday Mass was starting. The Cathedral is beautiful with ceilings that have you craning your neck right back to see the top of. While not exactly religious myself, I actually appreciated having some time listening to the hymns being sung while walking around the Church and taking it all in.
It was the perfect end to a perfect weekend.