It was so nice to visit Paris after 10 years. All my previous visits seemed so hectic and this one was very relaxed and enjoyable.
We stayed in Montmartre, in a hotel that looked great on the website but turned out pretty grotesque. The location was excellent though. We promptly left our room and went to get a bite to eat.
Our first lunch was at Un Zebre a Montmartre which was busy with locals and the food was delicious.
Afterward we hiked up the hill to the Sacre Coeur basilica where the view of Paris was spectacular.
Next was a lovely cafe, Cafe Les Deux Moulins, in Rue Lepic for a cup of hot chocolate followed with wine to warm up, the first day of our visit was freezing cold. The cafe was buzzing with young trendy crowd and it didn’t take us long to realise it was the cafe Amelie Poulain works at in the film (Amelie reminders are scattered all over the place).
The whole Montmartre is full of patisseries, boulangeries, fromageries, great food shops, sea food stalls and proper butchers.
I would recommend Les Petits Mitrons on 26 Rue Lepic and Patisserie Arnaud Delmontel in 39 Rue des Martyrs. The first one specializes in fruit cakes, pastries and quiches, and the second one in cakes, macarons and bakery goods.
Day 2 started with a trip to Louvre where I did have a quick look at Mona Lisa because I have never seen the painting before but it is so far and covered with so much glass it’s very difficult to see it properly. We very quickly moved away from the crowd and went to see the Dutch and Flemish paintings which we both love. It was just my luck that one of the two Vermeers was on a loan to US, the other one called The Lacemaker was stunning though. There was an amazing collection of Rembrands and one very good Frans Hals as well as a tiny picture by Bruegel called The Cripples. The place is truly overwhelming and one would need numerous visits to take it all in just like with Del Prado in Madrid or The National Gallery in London.
Next stop was Marais, stroll down the streets, Place des Vosges and a tasty lunch at Au Petit fer a Cheval on Rue Vielle du Temple where I had confit de canard which is the first proper piece of meat I have had in 2 years. M had steak frites and we both shared the best creme brulee ever.
Marais is full of fashion shops I love however Euro is so strong it is cheaper in London so sadly I left empty handed.
Fantastic vintage shops:
Shop which name I have forgotten…
Milk, best haberdashery shop ever
Being very greedy we managed to have eclairs at a local patisserie and few drinks on our way back to Montmartre.
Day 3 started with a Parisian breakfast in Montmartre.
Followed with a walk down the river bank to Musee d’Orsay. The day was beautiful.
View of Montmartre from d’Orsay.
The museum was as overwhelming as Louvre, too many wonderful pictures from the permanent collection to take in as well as an a couple of exhibitions.
After a good couple of hours of art we headed to Rue Bonaparte to Pierre Herme for some mouth watering macarons. I am so glad they deliver to England. The cakes look incredible too. I could probably eat there every day.
Our last dinner was at Le Petit Parisien in Montmartr where yet another scrumptious meal was consumed. The service was very poor though.
We had few hours yesterday to kill before the train home so we headed to Musee d’Art Moderne, we also managed to visit a nearby food market which made me so jealous of all European markets. It’s all about seasonal food and high quality. My farmers market is so sad in comparison. I bought some sweet chestnuts and they were delicious. The mushrooms were the most impressive though.
Every single greengrocer had this standard of food.
We ended up buying some jams, cheese and cakes before heading off to Gare du Nord and saying goodbye to Paris.