Paris Stories is my journey through Paris, a visual and sensory discovery of Paris, its restaurants, café’s and places to see, join me….
My daughter Zoe and I were full of excitement and anticipation as we set off for our girly trip to Paris. This trip was as much a present for Zoe for finishing her exams as well as a part collaboration with the hotel we were staying at – a mini work trip/holiday.
We had a fairly “late” Eurostar train. Normally I’m on the train by at least 8:30-9:00am as I want to make the most of my time in Paris when I’m only there for 24 hours however, Zoe and I had nearly three days in Paris as we were staying for two nights. This meant we could afford a slightly later train so we wouldn’t have to be up at the crack of dawn. St Pancras was quite busy even past rush-hour and then I remembered it was the start of the summer holidays for many children especially in the private sector.
We had a pleasant train trip, no need to trudge up to the on-board café although it is nice to buy a cheeky bottle of champagne as Mr A always does when we go to Paris together. This time we bought some sandwiches from Pret a Manger at St Pancras and enjoyed those on the train. I was by now a dab hand at this I thought to myself; I usually get quite nervous travelling to new places “on my own” especially somewhere out of my comfort zone. But I have done Paris with my two teens before and I have been to Paris on my own in January which was my first solo trip. Knowing I have to travel to Paris regularly for my blog, it’s something I know I have to get used to. My second solo trip is in two weeks time on 6/7th November, Paris is like a second home to me now. We arrived at the other end at Gare du Nord on a very warm and sunny day in Paris at 2:50pm local time.
The Hotel Le Six
The Winter Garden at the Hotel Le Six
Our hotel was in the Left Bank of Paris, my favourite neighbourhood. I actually thought we were more in the Latin Quarter end but in fact, closer to the Jardin du Luxembourg Montparnasse neighbourhood. It would mean a longer walk to get to some of the places I wanted to visit but Paris is very much a “walking city”, it’s the only way to see Paris but try telling a teen that! The hotel I was collaborating with was the Hotel le Six on rue Stanislas not far from Boulevard Raspail where the Lutetia Hotel is located (sister hotel to the Café Royal in London where I got married). Major ambition to stay at the Lutetia one day for a special occasion.
We arrived at the hotel in good time, the hotel was lovely, cool, modern and sophisticated, I could see Zoe was impressed because she likes all the modern touches. Whenever I’ve come to Paris with my daughter and son and they’ve accompanied me twice so far in December 2016 and October 2017, we’ve only stayed in 3* hotels. That’s ok because Paris has some fine budget hotels, I’ve even stayed at a 2* hotel with Mr A, the Chopin Hotel in the Grands Boulevards and it was lovely, comfortable and clean. I really want to do a post on some of Paris’ budget hotels but while I am still re-searching these hotels, that will have to wait a little while longer.
The Superior Rooms.
We were shown around our room which was sleek and contemporary with lots of modern touches, read a little bit more about the Hotel Le Six. After taking the obligatory photos of our room and the hotel, we made our way to the Boulevard Saint-Germain-des-Pres. First stop for a very quick bite to eat at Zoe’s favourite, the Café de Flore. It really was a very warm day, probably 25-26 degrees but when you visit Café de Flore, you come for one thing, their unctuous rich hot chocolate. I was comforted to know that we weren’t the only idiots ordering hot chocolate on a warm day; this is how good hot chocolate is in Paris especially at Café de Flore.
It’s such an iconic café frequented by the literary world of the past like Hemingway, Truman Capote and painter Pablo Picasso. One thing to note, no matter what the weather is like, this café is always busy. The front terrace overlooking the Boulevard Saint-Germain-des-Pres right opposite Brasserie Lipp is always a sought-after spot and you’ll be lucky to get a table here however we were so lucky to secure a table on the side terrace which sits on the rue Saint-Benoit.
Zoe was peckish so we ordered an omelette too, a word of warning, the café de Flore is expensive, two omelette’s and two hot chocolate’s set us back nearly 50 euros, but it was worth every penny. Both the Café de Flore and the Deux Magots which sits on the next corner right by Place-des-Saint-Germain are probably Paris’ most café’s and there’s just nothing better than to sit here on a lovely warm day and do what all Parisian’s do, watch the world go by. With Mr A, we can sit here for hours but I knew that Zoe was eager to get up and walk around and see more of Paris and I wanted to show her parts we didn’t see the last time she was here.
Paris make the best omelettes!
We made our way down the rue Bonaparte, home to macaron king, Pierre Hermé. If you take a left turning here, you approach Place Saint-Sulpice where the Église Saint-Sulpice is located and with Zoe wanting to visit as many churches as possible, it was only natural we should go in. On this pretty square is a beautiful fountain, the focal point of the Place Saint-Sulpice, its beautiful especially on a sunny warm day like we were enjoying in Paris today. We stopped to admire the fountain before visiting the church.
The fountain at the Place Saint-Sulpice.
Église Saint-Sulpice is an ecclesiastical gem, it’s simply breath-taking to see. Now that the Notre Dame is inaccessible since the fire and restoration works currently going on, this church seemed the obvious choice.
It was getting late and we needed to get back to the hotel to unpack and get ready for dinner. I had booked the bistro Chez Georges, a restaurant made famous by the chef Julia Child of the film Julie and Julia. It’s a traditional bistro with check tablecloths, slightly grubby looking, tables packed close together and amazing food, it’s been around since 1964. The food lived up to our expectations, but we had to share a starter and dessert because we were still a little bit full from our late lunch. Got back to the hotel tired after the Eurostar journey and our full-on first day….
Follow me through Paris in Paris Stories, day two coming soon. Love Helen XxX