My first ever weekend away with Mr M was over a decade ago; a romantic long weekend in Paris celebrating our first New Year as a couple! Many years on and I’ve just returned from a whistle stop tour of the city I fell in love with (or was it the city in which I fell in love?) all those year ago.
I have just spent 24 hours in Paris with a small group of bloggers. One whole day and one whole night to explore and create adventure -and see another side to this iconic city.
I arrive at dark o’clock on a Friday morning at Doncaster Sheffield Airport to meet my compagnons for the next 24 hours. It turns out to be three fabulous girls who from the off I know are going to be fun. We exchange memories of Paris and ideas of what we do for a day job over bacon sandwiches and hot strong coffee in the Premium Lounge. We’re looked after by ‘John’ who ensures we’re unwrapped, fed, watered and wrapped back up ready to go on time. We’ve even been given fresh pastries in paper napkins so we didn’t miss out. The lounge is well worth an add on when you compare the price to what one might spend on a standard breakfast without the service and comfort.DSA is a small but perfectly formed airport, literally 8 minutes from my door, (I’m very lucky) it’s friendly but professional and security is thorough but fast.We are all quite surprised to be pulling our bags out of Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport in time for breakfast! The flight, with Flybe, was seamless and all in all takes around 1 hour 30. Considering it’s quicker and cheaper than the Eurostar, there’s every reason to hop off for the weekend -or even just 24 hours!
Another 40 minutes and we’re checking in to our hotel in central Paris at the heart of the 2nd arrondissement. Le 123 Sebastopol is the perfect chic stay with modern interior themed around the film industry with lavish props throughout. The staff welcome us with the suggestion of coffee whilst the final preparations are made to our rooms. The rooms are named after iconic film stars and are all individual. All four of us had very different rooms each underlined with luxe comfort. Big bouncy beds, colour with spotlessness, and efficient touches meet interesting pieces; film scripts set in glass boxes for bedside tables and a vanity area made from a makeup case were features for me.
So what did we get up to in our #24hoursinParis…
First on our list was a walk to Notre dame Cathedral; a towering structure of architectural wonder. It’s free to go inside and the area surrounding it is also worth an explore where flower markets and street corners with artists and buskers have a romantic air about them.
Next, the Musee d’Orsay where each of us had our own reason for visiting. For me, as well as the astonishing renovated Victorian train station in which it’s housed, Vincent Van Gogh’s most famous work is here. Monet fans, sculpture lovers and photography enthusiasts also won’t be disappointed.
As afternoon started to turn into dusk, it was time to pop back to the hotel (told you it was central) for a change of clothes ready for our Paris by Night segway tour. I must confess, I’d never been on a Segway and was a little nervous not knowing how safe they were. Once we got to the meeting point though at Fat Tire Segway Tours, we were instantly put at ease but the experienced instructors. Victor, our guide was funny and informative and didn’t let us ride alone until we were kitted up with safety gear and well practised. The experience was utterly magic and something I’ll remember for a very long time. Out tour took us zipping along the streets passing and stopping for updates on landmarks with questions thrown in to ensure we were keeping up. Lastly, a couple of miles along the bank of the river Seine was something really special. We even stopped to get photos in front of the Eiffel Tower when the lights were at full sparkle. This is something I would definitely do again, a fun, active and interactive exploration of the city of lights. Perhaps another excuse to go back again with Mr M!
Earlier lunch was a typical Parisian cafe off a side street that was bustling with workers, rather than tourists -which I like. Société Evangelista is an unpretentious, friendly eatery where tables are sought after and the best crepes are served en masse. I’d also recommend trying the fries -with camembert and bacon -hashtag YUM! Quality ingredients at a good price. Great for a stop off in the 7th and 1st arrondissement areas.
Dinner after Segwaying needed to be somewhat substantial ahead of a good nights sleep and early morning flight back home. Our table was booked at La Terrasse du 7ème just a stroll from the Eiffel Tower. The restaurant, on two levels was bustling by now. We were shown to a table in the window and I took the lead on ordering drinks straight away (I was ready) with a nice Sancerre. Everyone joined me and found a new love for my favourite French vin. The menu had a mix of European dishes as to offer something for everyone and I chose a nice steak.
After dinner we walked back to the hotel and arrived back feeling ready to turn in after a jam packed, fun filled day. Had we been staying longer I’d have made more use of the hotel, the private cinema with popcorn machine for example!
But it was time to sleep. After a quick power shower with L’Occitane goodies, I slept really well right up to my alarm. A quick pack and down for a great buffet breakfast spread and of course another strong coffee ready to fly home in time for the weekend having spent #24hoursin Paris! How jet set, how perfect.