Lots of Debate & Deliberation about this post nearly meant that it never got written & I certainly didn’t want that to happen. It was just so hard! I mean, when people ask me “So, Hilda, what should we do/where should we eat in Paris?” – how do I reply? There is quite simply so much to do & eat {!} in my old home, it’s difficult to know where to start, but, you have to start somewhere so that’s what I did.

This post is my dream post about what I would do if I went to Paris for 24 hours, on my own. Hey, please don’t get me wrong – the next time we go, it will be en famille and that will be simply wonderful but this is a fantasy post. This is what Hilda by Design would do if I had 24 hours in the city of lights.

1. Get the most direct flight to Roissy: Charles De Gaulle Airport

And why do I say that? Because, I live in Dublin & the most common flight to get to Paris is actually to Beauvais, Picardy where you must then take a coach to the city which takes about an hour and a half. That’s an hour and a half I wouldn’t want to loose if I was only in Paris for 24 hours. So, by taking the more direct flight, I would then take a taxi or the bus to the city centre and arrive at Opéra Garnier {75009}  in the centre of the city and which is a stones throw from where I worked and ended up living for the last 2 years I was there – which leads me nicely to…

2. Coffee and THE best éclair in the world at FAUCHON, place de la Madeleine

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Image Via http://www.fauchon.com

This was my ‘treat place’ and was at the end of my road {Rue Vignon}. Even just take time to look at their spectacular windows. I would look forward to their Christmas windows every year, in particular. A little known fact though, is that the café in the basement has quite reasonably priced coffee especially for this part of town, which is super chi-chi.  You could always get a take away {à emporter in French} éclair and go and sit at the nearby steps of the Église {church} de la Madeleine – this is a pretty spectacular view. You will be facing Place de la Concorde with the Assemblé Nationale at the end of this amazing vista. Just be aware of pick pockets and general weirdo’s whenever you sit in a major public place! Coffee and Éclair drunk + eaten, my next stop would be…

3. A visit to what is probably the most interesting Interiors store for me in Paris: Merci

Now, this is where my 24 hours in the city would be sorely tested as, I have never been to this store but it’s been on my #wishlist for years quite some time! So, basically, what I’m saying is I could most happily stay the whole afternoon in this store but remember! The whole of Paris is out there waiting for me so I would have to put a limit of a few hours to this visit! I would most likely have lunch here also. Well, why wouldn’t you…?

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Images Via http://www.merci-merci.com

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Which leads me nicely to…

4. L’heure de l’apéro

This could be loosely translated as ‘Cocktail Hour’ and I’ve also used the more familiar term of L’heure de l’apéritif’ – this is engrained in Parisian life! It can be a sneaky glass of wine in a café before heading home after work or a glass of something more special before the night starts. In my case, on my fantasy 24 hours: it would be the latter!

Again, there are SO many spots where you could do this, but for me, as I still have some friends in Paris, it would be a chance to catch up with a few over a glass of something sparkly. My choice would have to be Au Caveau Montpensier which is owned by an old friend, Jeb Bruner. When I first came to Paris, this was an Irish Bar, so, er, of course I had to test out it’s authenticity…but then Jeb took it over and completely re-vamped it.

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Image via https://m.facebook.com/AuCaveauMontpensier

And that’s Bleu, the dalmatian, who is nearly as famous as the bar itself!

And then on to dinner! Where to go? There’s quite a choice, as you can imagine but in Part Deux I’ll share where I would dine, stay & how I would spend the rest of my time in the city which still holds my heart.

I really hope you’ve enjoyed my Parisian Tips. Do you have any you’d like to share? Have you visited any of the spots I’ve mentioned? And especially if you do, in the future, I’d love to hear from you.

A Bientôt xxxx

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