A surprise weekend in Paris

Last updated on January 11, 2024

Locks on love lock bridge paris

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…

Eurostar sign

It all started very early, on a blurry 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…

Du pain et des idees

…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.

Victoria eating Pan au raisin, Paris

Best of all, it was super close to our house in the trendy Canal St.Martin area.

Steve drinking coffee in Paris

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,

crepe in paris

…and eating fabulous food.

Lock bridge paris

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.

Victoria on lock bridge

The autumn colours of the city were a gorgeous backdrop to a city we’d only ever seen in Spring or Summer.

Steve eating bread

This is Steve eating some bread that came free with our drinks. He described it as a transcendental experience.

Roog of royal palace, Paris

On our second day, we went to the Paris Photo exhibition at the Grand Palais.

Photography exhibition paris

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,

Paris desserts

…but more cakes were calling our names.

Shakespeare and Company

No trip to Paris is complete without a visit to Shakespeare and Company, one of the world’s best bookshops.

View from our apartment in paris

This was the view from our Air BnB apartment. We could see the Sacré-Cœur.

Victoria at La Gazetta

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!

Steve at Pizza Pink Flamingo, paris

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…

Lumineers in Paris

…The Lumineers! Yay! The gig was amazing and provided the cherry on the top of what was already a perfect weekend.

Victoria and Steve on love lock bridge

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). See this post for more about the best areas to stay in Paris.

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.

13 thoughts on “A surprise weekend in Paris”

  1. Awww this sounds like a wonderful anniversary! We’re heading to Paris on Monday and although I’ve been there before as well, my BF has not and we are also celebrating 6 years together on top of being there at Xmas & NY so we are SOOO excited. This post just got me more excited! And the food looks fab. I can’t wait! We’re staying a stone’s throw away from the Sacré-Cœur as well 🙂

  2. What an amazing weekend!! Steve sounds like such a thoughtful and sweet guy. Cheers to many chapters ahead in your story together!

  3. I’ve never been to Paris and this just made me want to go even more. The pictures of the food had me dribbling, its looks delicious.

  4. Well tell Steve thanks for making the rest of us men look a bit rubbish 😉 Might return that ironing board now I had got Kellie for Christmas…

    Amazing stuff, lovely pics, great choice of band, looks like a perfect trip to me!

  5. Anniversary weekend or not, what a fabulous trip you two had! It’s been way too long since I’ve last been in Paris, and your photos definitely made me wistful for the city (the pastry! the architecture! the art! the cheese!). Very envious that for you Brits (and so many other Europeans), Paris is just a quick train ride away.

    And how awesome that you got to see The Lumineers! They were actually my soundtrack band while we were in Indonesia, so I suppose on my end, it only seems fitting that you guys would like them too since I so strongly associate you with that country.

  6. WoW! Fantastic new about Paris. I really love it. And will to go there for some days. Your information will help me a LOT.

    Blog PHOTOS is excellent too …………..


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