I could have titled this blog SO many different things as I had already tried (and failed) to write a two part series, which described 24 fantasy hours in Paris. But, this title seems more apt, as it really was ‘just’ Paris for one, glorious child-free weekend in December. 

We arrived on Friday evening and I had forgotten how crazy this time is in the city! We arrived at Opéra Garnier de Paris about 6pm and my first glimpse was like saying Bonsoir to an old friend…

We got to our Hotel in the 5th Arrondissement about 45 minutes after this. My Hubby loves to plan our trips & thankfully we have the same taste in Hotels as Hotel Le Petit Paris was perfect.

We had our own little Balcony which also gave a lovely street view. One of the first things I did when I went out there was breathe in Paris on a Friday night. It’s been a while! Those curtains were velvet which two tone green stripes (I couldn’t stop touching them!).

Hubby has great memories of this area as a good friend of his lived here, resulting in him coming to Paris on visits when I had already left. We have stayed in this area together twice now and just love it. We were right beside Panthéon and The Luxembourg Gardens. You also have Boulevard St. Michel right next door. As it was Christmas, even the Town hall of the area was putting on a show

We ate locally that evening (I was craving simple French fare) and then went for a lovely, long walk…(Ok. I got lost. As I said – It’s been a while!) 

The next day was crisp, warm and simply stunning. I was able to take a shot of our little outdoor space and the street view left, towards Place du Panthéon

Breakfast was simple and perfect (in the café at the corner) and served just in front of one of the most spectacular doors I’ve ever seen

We headed towards B’ld St Michel on this gorgeous morning, stopping by the show stopper of a Fountain at the end

When you leave the fountain and turn right you see Notre Dame de Paris but I couldn’t resist taking a little snap of the other side of the Seine before we entered Île St. Louis…

…and then. There She is.

It was such a beautiful day, we stopped at a café nearby, sat outside, took off our coats (!) and bathed in the winter sun for a while. I had stopped at the local bakery before we got here, so after coffee, we found a nice spot & shared the cutest & yummiest ‘Bûche de Noël’/Chocolate Log’ I’ve ever tasted

As my birthday is the 22nd of December, and my birthday cake has been a chocolate log for as long as I can remember, this was like a little pre-birthday cake! After all this food, we opted to take the long route down the Seine to catch a Métro to see a friend. 

You pass ‘Les Bouquinistes‘ – the enclosed book, print…etc sellers which have been selling their wares for centuries

You pass one of the most famous book stores, in Paris Shakespeare & Co. (not the original location of Sylvia Beech’s store but a Paris institution nonetheless!)

There was a cute little Christmas market in the square nearby

You pass my favourite bridge in Paris: Pont Des Arts. It seems crazy that I love probably the simplest bridge in Paris but I think that this is nearly the reason why! 

You pass one of the best museums in the world: The Musée dOrsay which used to be a train station, hence the city names seen on the building

We then hopped on the Métro to visit an old friend, in Abbesses. This is the flip-side of Montmartre. It’s your Métro for Sacré Coeur and while many walk out of the Métro and turn left to head there, I was always turning right towards where good friends lived. This area became my playground. The subteranean station is one of the most striking in the city

My friend Thierry is a master of stone, copper, metals and precious stones. He amazes me constantly. His talents are endless and he’s one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. His atelier/workshop/store is on Rue Durantin, nearby

We reminisced in a restaurant nearby on how long we had known eachother and decided not to count the years. The area has become more gentrified, since my time, according to Thierry but it was wonderful for me to see that he was still there, talking to clients and creating his magic.

When we said goodbye, we headed back down to the area not far from Opéra de Paris again, where I had to re-visit a favourite store, Fauchon (yet more food!) which was celebrating 130 years

I kid you not, I’ve been dreaming about one of these babies for about 6 months! I chose the éclair made to celebrate their illustrious birthday. I saved it for after dinner that night.

The next day was spent as I would have spent a Sunday in Paris, many a time – it was lazy, we ate lots (see a theme?), shopped for presents and had a hot chocolate and a walk in the Luxembourg Gardens. 

Spending time together was priceless and we thank the team that was put in place to look after the kids! Being a parent is the most wonderful thing in the world, and I don’t take it for granted, but sometimes it’s really nice to simply be ‘Hilda and Austin’. 

Thank you, love, for a magical weekend … and the moment I missed the kids the most? It was when I saw the magical Christmas window’s of Printemps. I wish they could have seen them. Maybe the next time we go, they may have to come with us…