With Love from Paris

As my 21st birthday present, Matt had promised me a trip to Paris, and after a ten month wait we finally made it across the channel last week. We stayed just North of the River Seine, in an area called Grande Boulevards- not the most picturesque part of the city but full of cafés, bars and restaurants, and with a metro station just around the corner from the hotel. The best restaurant we visited was called Restaurant Chartier, an authentic, chaotic and charming canteen serving traditional French food at a very reasonable price. We had pâté with French bread, followed by steak with French fries and peppercorn sauce, washed down with a bottle of house white- which was surprisingly lovely for a house wine!

The next morning we got up early for a full day of sight seeing in the city centre. Of course a trip up the Eiffel Tower was mandatory, followed by a visit to the Cathedral of Notre Dame and a walk along the Seine. En route to the Louvre, we crossed the Pont des Arts- a bridge filled with thousands upon thousands of lovers padlocks. Lovers write their names on to a padlock, lock it onto the bridge, and then throw the keys into the river to symbolise their everlasting love...ahhh. Obviously we had to fork out €5 on a padlock to add our own to the bridge :-)

On our final morning, we tried our hardest to ignore the hungover haze from hitting up the student bars in Bastille the night before, and made our way up the mountain to Montmartre for breakfast. The streets were bustling with bohemian, fashionista Parisians and a marching band provided our breakfast entertainment through the window (although being bombarded with bagpipes wasn't wholly enjoyable the morning after the night before!). After a strong coffee, we ventured out to explore the intense contrasts of this small hilltop town- from the idyllic Sacre Coeur (a pretty white church with views over the whole of Paris) surrounded by sweet little side streets full of boutiques and patisseries- to the seedy sex district, home to the Moulin Rouge, only moments away!

We had a lovely time and the trip was definitely worth the wait! Here's some holiday snaps-


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