“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, dreamed and ‘Google imaged’ this city thousands of times before and finally, I was able to experience it first-hand. Walking along the Seine towards the Eiffel Tower in the late afternoon sun (after adding a lock to the love lock bridge) was one of my favourite moments of the weekend. I was in fabulous company, had just eaten fabulous food and was in a fabulous 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 I would cut it down to my 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 strangers to take photos for us. If it wasn’t a good snap, we would ask twice. It was definitely part of the fun, especially the second visit to the Eiffel Tower, where I attempted a photo jumping in front of it 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 friends’ 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 very chic. We even had a double bed each, which made coming back to the thin, 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 fancy 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 were to die for!
- Pitchfork music Festival
Grace and I had booked tickets about a month back to the Pitchfork Music Festival. We enjoyed a couple of bottles of wine at the apartment beforehand and then jumped on the metro and headed North East. We saw MØ, Chvrches, St. Vincent, and Belle and Sebastian, all amazing live. The Parisian crowd was a lot different to a Kiwi crowd. Everybody was chilling out enjoying the music; so no getting crazy in the moshpit for me! My favourite artists were Glasgow band Chvrches. 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.
- 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 visit 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. Luck struck twice as we visited just as Sunday Mass was starting. The Cathedral is insanely beautiful. You’ll get a stiff neck from craning to look at the intricate patterns on the ceilings. While not exactly religious myself, I actually appreciated having some time listening to the hymns while walking around the Church and taking it all in.
It was the perfect end to a perfect weekend.