Day 1: My friend Sophie and I jetted to Paris from Perth airport. We booked with Virgin
which ended up being a Singapore Airlines flight. The flight wasn’t too bad there was an abundance of movies and the service was great. The food was influenced by the authentic side of Asian cooking so I would probably request Vegetarian next time. In Paris we decided to use Air Bnb. My friend Kristian looked for a reasonable hotel and ended up paying $400 a night so glad we only spent $120 and had extra pocket money for Parisian cuisine! At the airport there are plenty of train stops so we caught a train to our apartment. Our apartment was on Avenue Du Bruteil in the 7th Arondissement. It was a fairly quiet, tree lined street, close to the train and a short walk to the Eiffel or a longer walk to the bustle of Paris. The apartment itself was a super cute studio with beautiful views out the window and nice and quiet. There were a flew flights of stairs which added to the enormous daily cardio workout of roaming Paris. If you’re
interested you can find it under ‘Charming Studio Paris – Invalides’ with hosts Raphaelle and Dominique. They were lovely and left us to our own devices, dropping in once to make sure we found everything okay. I loved the extra touches of the yoghurt, nutella and Nespresso machine! We headed out and just started wandering, our first stop the Opera – Palais Garnier. It’s 11 Euros to walk around but I loved seeing it, the gold and meticulous detail is beautiful to see. The top item on our to-do list was French Macarons so we ventured to the famous Ladurée that has been making them since 1862. We got a couple each and a chocolate croissant and ate them in the cute park next door “Jardin des Tuileries”. It had pretty stone pathways and a carousel. Then it was time to cross of Number 2 on the essential Paris list, the Eiffel Tower (I can imagine Kristian cringing if he ever bothers to read this). We booked the Eiffel climb with Get Your Guide before hand and got it a bit cheaper. Unfortunately the weather was gross, we were
covered in sweat and laboriously applying sunscreen it was tempting to ditch the line and go back to our place but likededicated tourists we perserved! A lawyer I had a settlement conference with had spent a month living in Paris and had recommended we try ‘La Grand Cremerie’. I was sold, maybe even just for the opportunity to say the name lots of times. They had amazing platter of purely meats or purely cheeses. Not recommended for vegans. It was a simple dinner but felt very hipster Parisian eating a dinner pretty much entirely of that. We had a tomato salad with it to make it healthy. It’s a restaurant I would go back to even just for its vibe and impeccable service. Our only mistake was ordering the cheapest wine on the menu which was a Beaujolais variety. Soph and I usually pick a Shiraz and this one was more a sweet cordial-like wine probably more suited to non-wine drinkers. Nevertheless we finished it!
Day 2: The second day it was straight to the Louvre to further cement our tourist life and have the obligatory photoshoot outshoot the glass prism. We bought a Paris Museum pass
from the tourist bureau as Sophie anticipated she would be given me an educational experience at lots of museums in the time we were there. I was impressed at how big the Louvre was so many rooms we got completely lost and it took us hours to find the Mona Lisa. As everyone knows by now it is very small and there is a consistent crowd around the picture so you’re unlikely to get anything cool for you instagram. Eventually we dragged ourselves away and promised to see more another day. Right outside there are beautiful gardens so stopped at a Paul kiosk for a baguette and Danish. The Paul chain is everywhere in Paris but the quality is amazing like a home made bakery. I was surprised how different the range of sandwiches is, it’s rare to see wholegrain and more than 2 ingredients. Pretty much just ‘ham and cheese’ or ‘cheese and tomato’ at any shop I saw. We managed to fit the Notre Dame in in the afternoon as well. I was glad to see it but a long queue and even longer if you wanted to go upstairs. For dinner we were joined by 2 friends from Perth Kristian and Marcus. We decided on Boullion Rancine as we were excited to get stuck into some traditional French food. The décor is stunning and of the Belle-époque era you get transported into another world. The prices were reasonable and we went with the 3 course meal. The Crème Brulee was next level. After dinner we strolled through Paris and had a few drinks at the alfresco bars to cap off the night.
Day 3: On Tuesday we traipsed over to the 10th Arondissement. For those that don’t know Paris there are 20 Arrondissements kind of like suburbs , the 1st is a small segment around
the Louvre and they curl around in a snail formation. We had entrusted Kristian with finding a hipster coffee establishment and he had found Le Poutch, a cute little coffee shop with delicious coffee and small breakfast items. We were right near the Canal Saint Martin so walked up there. There are lots of cool hipster clothing shops and cafes around this area, it is a nice walk and also the first time I can remember seeing a ‘swing bridge’. It is a bridge for cars on a pivot that swings around to allow boats through. Then it was time to make Kristian’s childhood dream come true – a Charcuterie Board picnic in Paris. There were lots of Boulangerie’s (bakeries) and small good stores around so we collected some meats, cheeses, pastries and a bottle of Rosé and took them the Sacre Couer. There is an amazing view of most of Paris from here. That afternoon Soph and I went to see the Catacombs. The boys left us after seeing the line. It was a 37 degree day and the line was about 2 hours. There was a lot of
sunscreen applied that day! I think it was worth the wait. We grabbed an audio guide and heard the history of the 1780’s and why the catacombs started. It felt a bit spooky at the start but it’s a 45 minute walk through and by the end you’re used to the around 6 million skeletons stacked around you. Dinner that night was at Victor. It was such a good night, the bartenders were awesome and the wine was delicious. We ended up buying so many bottles of Chardonnay as it was the best we had had! Most of our dinner we booked with TheFork.com.au its really easy on there and they email/text you confirmation. Often they have discount offers and you can get 30% off at a lot of places .
Day 4: Once again we were up and attem! This time off to see the Arc De Triomphe. We
got there before it opened and once again endured the glaring heat. Never going to Paris in July again! There is a 284 step climb to the top. You could probably guess from the amount we’ve crammed in but we did a lot of steps in Paris, 30000 most days. The other notable feature of the Arc is that it’s surrounded by the craziest round about in Paris. 12 busy roads intersect it. The district around it is very fancy lots of very well dressed people. We explored the Champs Élysées which had some cool shops (we didn’t notice anywhere to eat though). The Abercrombie & Fitch store there is next level it’s like a 3 storey mansion covered in ivy with a stone path. Afterwards Sophie had to get her museum fix so we trundled off to La Conciergerie. It used to be part of the royal palace and later became a prison, famously housing Marie Antoinette. We had been living a bit decadently for the last few days so we decided to hit the Latin Quarter for dinner. We had spotted an abundance of blackboards outside
restaurants with 3 course bargains. I won’t tell you where we ate as it was terrible! For dessert we spotted an ice cream store that was incredible. We went to Amorino it had so many flavours and you could get as many as you want arranged in a flour. I had a mix of gelato and ice cream and it was one of the best I’ve ever had. Put it on your must eat list!
Day 5: Our last day in Paris and time to take off on our Dijon adventure. We hadn’t been to the restaurant next door so we dropped into ‘La Tour de Nesle’ for the ‘petit-dejeuner’. At most places in France this is a plain croissant, a coffee and an orange juice. Then it was time to carry our suitcases down 5 flights of stairs and catch the train to Dijon.