A Weekend in Paris

There will always be a piece of my heart in Paris; my family and I used to visit every summer, in July or August, for an extended weekend, where Mum and I would go shopping, Dad would explore the city and on the Sunday (when all the shops are shut) we’d have a family day of exploring museums and Paris’ cultural side. 
After our staycation at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, last Friday mum and I took the Eurostar to Paris to celebrate her birthday.
Eiffel Tower

I was hoping to have lots of posts for you about all the museums we visited, the sights we saw, and the restaurants that we ate in. However, in light of what happened last Friday night we had a rather different weekend than we were expecting. 

Arc de Triomphe

I’m not going to dwell on what happened and what we couldn’t do, but rather on what we did manage to experience. 
After arriving and checking into the gorgeous Hotel Powers, in the 8e arrondissement we set off to explore a little. How beautiful is this birthday cake that they had left for my mum? We were both so touched by a wonderful gesture! 
La Maison du Chocolat Paris
We grabbed lunch in one of our favourite restaurants on Avenue Champs Elysées and admired the Arc de Triomphe in all her glory on a beautiful November day. 
And then, well, we did what we do best – and hit the shops! 
Avenue Champs Elysees
Avenue Montaigne, one arm of the ‘golden triangle’ of Paris, which is the area where a lot of the high end designer stores, beautiful hotels and restaurants live, is one of my favourite streets in Paris. It’s always fairly quiet, and it’s the perfect place to wander and admire the designer boutiques. 
And it was wonderful to see it all set up for Christmas!
Dior Avenue Montaigne

We stayed in the hotel on Saturday morning and watched, in shock, as events unfolded. As Hotel Powers is only round the corner from the Champs Elysées, we decided to take an afternoon stroll and find some lunch. Even though many shops had opened that morning, most were shut by the afternoon, and any that were open were enforcing security checks before you could get in.

Having seen the Christmas market on the Friday afternoon, we were hoping to have a chance to explore it, but as the state of emergency meant that all markets were shut, unfortunately, we never did. Though it looks fabulous so if you’re in Paris before Christmas it certainly looks worth a visit!

Christmas Market Paris

After a suggestion from a friend, we stopped in at Ladurée’s Bar for an exquisite, luxurious lunch. We both loved the original take on the classic Croque Monsieur; I can’t wait to share the whole lunch with you!

Eiffel Tower
Sunday is usually a quiet day in Paris; a day for visiting museums, or taking the Bateaubus down La Seine and visiting all of Paris’s famous landmarks, but last Sunday was even quieter.
After a relaxing morning in our hotel, enjoying a leisurely buffet breakfast, we set out for a long Sunday walk. We started down Avenue George V, walked along the banks of the Seine and eventually came to the Eiffel Tower. 
Even though it was shut, it was still an incredible sight – I don’t think I’ll ever not be stunned when I see its beauty! And it was wonderful to be able to see her in all her autumn glory, a sight that I had never seen before. 
Eiffel Tower

I’ve also discovered that mum isn’t a bad photographer – thanks mum!

Avenue Gustave Eiffel
We had the most relaxing weekend, and a weekend that despite events, was very enjoyable! I can’t wait to share our hotel and some of the restaurants we were able to visit next week, but I thought I’d give you this sneak peak before the weekend! 
Paris, I’ll be back!

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