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Eleven years ago, I saw a boy dressed in a red hat, a red hoodie and a pair of baggy blue jeans. Looking at him that day, intuition and a skip of the heart told me that there was a story to be written between us. It took some time to get going – we were friends for six years before finally the romance chapters began – but it’s a story I grow to cherish more every day. In November, we celebrated five years together, and to celebrate, that red-hatted boy surprised me with a weekend in Paris in winter. It was magical. Here’s the Paris chapter à la Instagram…
It all started very early in the morning at London Kings Cross. Despite months of almost telling me, Steve managed to keep it a surprise right until the last minute. I was ecstatic. Paris is one of our favourite cities…
…partly because of the pastries. Our friend Emily had tipped us off last time about Du Pain et des Idées, which she described as “the best bakery in Paris”. We think she may be right.
Best of all, it was super close to our house in the trendy Canal St.Martin area.
We’ve been to Paris before so we’ve seen a lot of the sights and done some Paris day trips. So this time we relaxed and did our favourite things, like drinking coffee in atmospheric cafes,
…and eating fabulous food.
We also walked around a lot, happy to simply be in Paris and delight in what we found. We had heard about the bridge that lovers have covered in padlocks, and were happy to stumble across it along our way. We, of course, added our own.
The autumn colours of the city were a gorgeous backdrop to a city we’d only ever seen in Spring or Summer.
This is Steve eating some bread that came free with our drinks. He described it as a transcendental experience.
On our second day, we went to the Paris Photo exhibition at the Grand Palais.
It was a massive fair of 136 galleries from around the world, all exhibiting collections of their chosen photos. It was overwhelmingly awe-inspiring in its range of talents. We could likely have stayed all day,
…but more cakes were calling our names.
No trip to Paris is complete without a visit to Shakespeare and Company, one of the world’s best bookshops.
This was the view from our Air BnB apartment. We could see the Sacré-Cœur.
For our anniversary meal, Steve managed to track down what is perhaps Paris’s only fine dining restaurant with a vegetarian option that matches the quality of its meat offerings. There were six exquisite courses including an amazing salsify and truffle dish. What an incredible treat. As you can see, I was delighted!
Our final day held an extra surprise. I knew Steve had tickets to see one of our favourite bands, but I didn’t know which one. It turned out to be…
…The Lumineers! Yay! The gig was amazing and provided the cherry on the top of what was already a perfect weekend.
Thank you my love. May this story continue on and on…
Useful info on Paris
The area near Canal St.Martin is a great place to stay. It’s in walking distance of Gare du Nord, and has plenty of trendy little cafes and bars. We particularly liked Ten Belles and Chez Prune for coffee. Lulu la Nantaise had great crepes, and Pink Flamingo Pizza’s menu was varied and inventive. There was also a bar opposite Lulu la Nantaise, which was great for wine and cheese in the evening (sorry I forgot the name).
We went for our anniversary meal at La Gazetta. It has a set menu and you choose between vegetarian or not. We can’t recommend this place enough, but it’s definitely pricey so best saved for a special occasion.
Du Pain et des Idées really may be the best bakery in Paris. Incredible.
Vegetarian restaurants and even vegetarian options are hard to come across in Paris. One good restaurant we found was Pousse Pousse in Pigalle, serving health food in a cute setting.