Paris… The city of love (and the city I have been waiting for Frenchie to show me for so long!) Finally, it happened – and it was a wonderful trip. If you are not aware of it it yet, Frenchie has lived in Paris for many years before moving to London, so we were really happy, when we got the opportunity to visit this amazing city – and bring our lille Clara along as well!
Before we get started, I should probably say, that we spent three nights in Paris – and because the weather was amazing, and we had brought along a little explorer, our Paris trip was mostly focused on outdoor adventures (most within walking distances) and the most popular attractions in Paris. OK, here we go…
When you live in London, it is really easy getting to Paris. We jumped on the Eurostar train at St. Pancras and arrived in Paris a couple of hours later. Voila!
Travelling with Eurostar is comfortable, easy and hassle-free (with no excess baggage headaches or liquid restrictions, which is great when you plan to bring a lot of French wine home to London!). Just relax, have fun, eat some snacks and enjoy the view! We travelled on Business Premier, where you usually get a free meal and champagne.
Bonus-info: Due to the current circumstances, we had to wear masks all of the time (except from when eating and drinking) We brought our own food, but were given drinks and snacks on board. There was plenty of space, and we were seated far away from other households
Clara really enjoyed the trip. Tip: Bring books, crayons and paper, an Ipad or a few favourite toys to keep your little one entertained on the way. There are lovely changing facilities on board as well!
Bienvenue a Gare du Nord and Paris!
We went directly from Gare du Nord to Hotel Madison, which is perfectly situated in the very heart of Saint-Germain-des-Près. It took us about 15 mins in a taxi to get there
Madison is a 4-star Parisian hotel, with 50 rooms and suites…
Our stunning hotel room was facing the church of Saint-Germain, the Café Flore and the Café des Deux Magots – all much-loved destinations for Paris aficionados. Madison is also just a stone’s throw away from the main designer boutiques, Paris’ great landmarks and the capital’s main attractions. Even Frenchie was impressed – and being French, that is not an easy task!
Like the rest of us, Clara was in love with the view from our room!
Beautiful, big rooms, where only delicate, noble materials are used: printed fabrics, pearly paint, fine woods, thick carpets, and comfortable and soft bed linen…
Even though we had a very fine cot bed, this little mademoiselle knew exactly where she was going to sleep
I particularly loved the huge wardrobes with generous hanging space that also contained a minibar, refrigerator, Nespresso machine and safe, all hidden behind functional rolling panels to keep the rooms spacious and clutter-free. Clara was feeling very French already and had fun with my pink beret
The beautiful bathroom was bigger than it looked on this photo – and the toilet was placed in a seperat room. I loved the art deco style and the lovely products from Rituals… Oh, did I mention that there was a Dyson hairdryer in the room as well! Now that is what I call good taste!
Time to explore – and as mentioned earlier the very popular Café Les Deux Magots was right next to our hotel
Like its neighbour, Café Le Flore, Les Deux Magots has raised its ranks to become a Parisian legend. Situated directly on Place Saint-Germain-des-Prés, it offers an unrestricted view of one of the oldest religious buildings in the capital, the Abbaye de Saint-Germain. Since its creation in 1885, the brasserie has welcomed major artists: Paul Verlaine, Arthur Rimbaud, André Breton and Simone de Beauvoir. Today, intellectuals, national and international celebrities mingle with tourists in a traditional ambiance and decor… (We did spot a few celebs ourselves, when visiting)
Café de Flore… Where I had a lovely chat with the guy on the left – a famous book Editor, who actually offered to take a photo of all of us! So much for thinking that the French are arrogant and not big fans of tourists!
We enjoyed a glass of chilled rosé wine and a lovely selection of canapés with pork rillette and charcuterie
Happy French person with his double Espresso!
Sightseeing on The Quai Malaquais
Clara was on a mission. She was heading towards…
Erhmmm David Bowie? It must have been the bubble-gum! On the other hand, she does love dancing to “Let’s Dance”. Being a Bowie fan myself, I can only approve of her impeccable taste! That’s my girl! I think Frenchie would have preferred her choosing a French artist – maybe I should introduce her to Étienne Daho. I do like him a lot too
Bonus-info: The Bouquinistes of Paris are booksellers of used and antiquarian books who ply their trade along large sections of the banks of the Seine. The green boxes of the Bouquinistes dates back to the 16th century and the area along the Seine has since earned the prestige of being labeled a UNESCO World Heritage site
The Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Notre Dame, the Conciergerie, the Musée d’Orsay … These monuments are must-sees on a sightseeing holiday. Seeing Paris by boat gives you a different perspective and is a highly recommendable way of discovering the capital from a different angle. We will for certain set sails, when we are back again
The Louvre, or the Louvre Museum, is the world’s largest art museum and historic monument in Paris
You can not go to Paris without visiting The Louvre! It is a must-see and contains more than 380,000 objects and displays 35,000 works of art in eight curatorial departments (with more than 60,600 square metres dedicated to the permanent collection!) Impressive, right?
We decided not to go inside, as the weather was amazing, and Clara is a bit too young to appreciate pieces like one of the oldest and most influential statues in the world “The Winged Victory of Samothrace” or my favourite “Psyche reviewed by Cupid’s Kiss.” Other very important things to see at The Louvre are “ The Mona Lisa”, “The Venus de Milo”, “Liberty Leading the People”, “The Coronation of Napoleon”, “The Lamassu” and many many more!
The Louvre Pyramid is a large glass and metal pyramid designed by Chinese-American architect I. M. Pei surrounded by three smaller pyramids in the main courtyard (Cour Napoléon) of the Louvre Palace. The large pyramid serves as the main entrance to the Louvre Museum. Completed in 1989, it has become a landmark of the city of Paris
The pyramids are also great fun for little ones (and their parents too)
As always Clara loves wearing my sunglasses, shoes – and hats as well!
Louise loves Louvre!
For all fans of Serge Gainsbourg, the wall of number 5 bis Rue de Verneuil in the 7th arrondissement is a living symbol of the legendary artist. This is the address of the former mansion where Serge Gainsbourg lived from 1969 to 1991. After the artist’s death, the wall was covered with graffiti. It was then repainted white, and then again redecorated with graffiti. The wall is a chance to commemorate the artist’s life – love it!
If you are in Paris – and especially in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighbourhood, I can not recommend enough walking around by foot! There are SO many things to see around here and my camera did not have a quiet moment! Here I am in front of The Académie Française
The Ponts des Arts – a beautiful pedestrian bridge which crosses the River Seine
Bonus-info: Since late 2008, tourists have taken to attaching love locks (with their first names written or engraved on them) to the railing or the grate on the side of the bridge, then throwing the key into the Seine river below, as a romantic gesture.This gesture is said to represent a couple’s committed love. A couple of years later concern was being expressed about the possible damage the weight of the locks was doing to the structure of the bridge – and all the locks have now been removed. (According to Wikipedia over a million locks were placed, weighing approximately 45 tons in 2015) Wow!
No more locks – but still a lot of love for this stunning view of the River Seine
Good times at Les Deux Plateaux at The Palais-Royal!
They might look like giant Liquorice Allsorts – and not everyone likes them, but Les Deux Plateaux are highly popular amongst tourist and children. I mean – it is hard not to be tempted to climb up on the shorter stumps and have your picture taken (pretending that you are a famous sculpture or celebrity!) Instagram loves them and so do I
Saint-Germain-des-Prés cafes and restaurants. It was hard to choose, where to eat, as there are so many lovely places to enjoy a lovely meal
We found a cosy bistro near our hotel – and decided that it was ok for Clara to have a bit of “cartoon-time” (aka “mummy-and-daddy-are eating-in-peace-time”)
A typical French starter: Foie gras – it’s a controversial delicacy, but I love it
Me with my enormous Aperol Spritz! Santé!
Two other very French dishes: Goats cheese salad and tartar! Both were absolutely delicious. I can not recommend this place enough!
Clara was very happy eating daddy’s french fries too! Our little explorer was tired and she fell asleep the minute we came back home to the hotel
When your bed is super comfortable and you don’t want to wake up!
Nope! Je refuse!
Oh! Did you say, that they have a super cool car, that I can play with in the bar? OK, I’m coming!
Breakfast at Hotel Madison! Everything that your heart – and stomach desires! You can choose to eat in the restaurant or have your breakfast served in your room! That’s what I call amazing service!
Bonjour! How I have waited for this very moment! It has been so long, since i last saw The Eiffel Tower – and what a beauty she is!
This is one of the most “Instagrammable” places in Paris! The Trocadéro! Let me tell you, I was not the only one there – but I think, I managed to avoid the crowds and get my “Parisian Pin Up” photo without too much hustle!
If you want to get a really good impression (and photos) of The Eiffel Tower, I suggest that you start here at The Trocadéro and follow the gardens to The Eiffel Tower! This photo with Clara is one of my favourites!
Don’t miss out on a ride on the lovely carrousel! As Parisian as it gets!
More love locks! Yes, Paris certainly is “The city of love”
The Eiffel Tower – or as the French call it, La Tour Eiffel, is one of the world’s most recognisable landmarks
The tower was designed as the centerpiece of the 1889 World’s Fair in Paris and was meant to commemorate the centennial of the French Revolution and show off France’s modern mechanical prowess on a world stage. Since opening in 1889, the Tower has welcomed over 300 million people and still welcomes almost seven million visitors a year
Clara enjoyed playing around in the gardens surrounding the Eiffel Tower
Did you know that:
The Eiffel Tower was supposed to be torn down after 20 years? (Luckily engineer Gustave Eiffel had cleverly put a radio antenna and wireless telegraph transmitter in the Tower, and the government eventually decided it was too useful to demolish – Phew!)
There is a secret apartment on the top of The Eiffel Tower: Yup! When Eiffel designed his tower, he included a private apartment for himself where he hosted famous guests, like Thomas Edison. The apartment is now open for the public to tour! Maybe an idea if you are looking to propose to the one you love somewhere special?
It takes a lot of work to keep the Eiffel Tower in good shape: Every seven years, around 60 tons of paint are applied to the tower. It not only keeps the so-called Iron Lady (La dame de fer) looking good, but it also helps keep the iron from rusting.
La petite mademoiselle in front of La dame de fer
Guess where I am?
It is beautiful, is it not?
Frenchie took Clara and I to lunch in magnificent Montmartre! You probably already guessed it, as Montmartre is quite unique… This restaurant is called Le Relais Gascon and is famous for its big bowls of salads with crispy potatoes. You must go, if you are around!.
“La Vieille Dame” (Swed Oner)
Montmartre is a large hill in Paris’s 18th arrondissement! It is 130 m high and gives its name to the surrounding district, part of the Right Bank in the northern section of the city. (We took a taxi from The Eiffel Tower as it is in the other end of the city) This also gave us time to have a rest at the hotel before our “great climb”
There is a reason why Montmartre is so popular! With its cobbled streets, stunning Basilica, artists, bistros … Montmartre is full of charm!
This very famous Parisian district might have a lot of visitors but is has not lost its cosy atmosphere that appealed so much to the artists of the 19th and 20th centuries. A real melting pot of art and inspiration for the cinema, Montmartre still gives as much pleasure to those who stroll around it
I will admit it – I didn’t enjoy getting to the top a lot – and if I had known, that there are several easier ways to reach Sacré-Coeur, I would probably have decided not to walk, as there are many stairs – and it can be a challenge with a stroller! This train might have been an easier way to travel… Next time!
The Sacred Heart Basilica of Montmartre, or Sacré-Coeur, is a Roman Catholic church and a famous landmark. The Basilica has a deep and complex history as it is not only a religious monument but also a political one. The site has been around since pagan times through the Middle Ages and French Revolution. In modern days, it has become a major cultural center in a popular neighbourhood in Paris
It was a hot day – and I might have acted a bit like a diva, when I struggled to get to the top – but it was all worth it… The panoramic view of Paris from Sacré Coeur is spectacular! (Oh – and look! More love locks!)
Time for dinner… After a long day, we decided to take a walk around in our “hood” again. Frenchie lead the way through the very charming and lively Latin Quarter
We greeted Notre Dame from a distance. It made me happy to hear, that the spire of the spectacular cathedral, which was destroyed in a horrible fire last April, is being restored according to the original Gothic design
The impressive Hôtel de Ville de Paris has been the seat of the Paris City Council since 1357
Here I am in front of The Centre Pompidou, also known as the Pompidou Centre!
The Centre Pompidou, designed by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers, is a 20th-century architectural marvel, immediately recognisable by its exterior escalators and enormous coloured tubing. It is home to the National Museum of Modern Art and is internationally renowned for its 20th and 21st century art collections
Our choice of the evening – Restaurant Mabillion
Two happy ladies in Paris enjoying their drinks
What I really love about French bistros are the platters. These were huge – and the charcuterie and cheese selection was delicious. I had to cancel my main, as I was too full to eat more after my little cheese party (Oh, and we can’t forget the foie gras of course!)
This makes me happy…. This very moment!
Our last day in Paris… We decided to just wander around and perhaps do a bit of shopping! (Musée d’Orsay in the background)
Another very famous landmark… The Place de la Concorde. It is the largest square in the French capital and is situated at the end of the Champs-Elysées. Today it is famous for the Luxor Obelisk (a 3,300 year old Egyptian obelisk erected on the square in October 1836), the surrounding prestigious hotels, and the two monumental fountains (Fontaine des Mers and Fontaine des Fleuves)
Bonus-info: Created in 1772, Place de la Concorde was originally known for having been an execution site during the French Revolution. Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette (among others) were guillotined here. Between 1836 and 1846 the architect Jacques-Ignace Hittorf redesigned the square to become what it is today.
Jardin des Tuileries – a stunning public garden located between the Louvre and the Place de la Concorde (created by Catherine de’ Medici in 1564). This is a great place to have a picnic and just play around with your little ones
Place Édouard-VII – a quiet, beautiful hidden gem, where you can have a bite to eat and a enjoy cold drink
La petite Parisienne – always stealing my sunglasses!
Passing by one of Paris’s finest examples of 19th-century architecture – Palais Garnier – The Paris Opera House
We didn’t do a lot of shopping, but Galleries Lafayette is quite unique – and there was a huge sale going on. We had to wear masks all of the time – except from when eating at the cafés. Here Clara and Frenchie are enjoying a smoothie while looking at the stunning dome inside the stunning department store
Next to Galleries Lafayette you will find another amazing department store – Printemps!
Being food and wine lovers, we headed directly to the gourmet food hall and had a lot of fun looking at all the beautiful things… Like Eiffel Tower pasta!
– or an amazing wine and champagne selection!
Let’s not forget the importance of cheese!
I loved these chocolates featuring the animal version of Coco Chanel and Her Majesty the Queen!
I don’t think that I have ever taken so many photos on a trip, as I did in Paris! There are SO many beautiful places in Frenchie´s old home town… No wonder people fall in love all of the time here!
We had three amazing days in Paris – and we managed to see A LOT. It is no problem bringing a toddler to Paris. I am not sure that taking Clara inside the museums would have been the best idea, even though there are children-friendly facilities as well. It was never a problem eating at the restaurants with Clara and the waiters were warm and made fun with Clara. Our hotel was also perfect for a family! Make sure to bring a lightweight trolley, entertainment, a sunhat, sun protection cream, plenty of fluids and snacks, diapers and a changing mat – and you are good to go!
All opinions are as always my own