Quite a daunting task to organise a trip to Paris for a group of fabulous women in a day, but a day was all we needed to inspire future visits.
Most had encountered her charms before, for others it was the first time, so it was a challenge to create an itinerary to accommodate all tastes, in a few short hours, a taster so to speak, of the French capital.
Catching the Eurostar at Six Fifteen from London meant an early rise. The train trip alone was fabulous and I am a great fan of Eurostar. So a little of what we did in a day:
- Arrived 9.40 am at Gare du Nord. Always find it a little disappointing after St. Pancras and there seems to be more and more beggars about every time I go. Not the greatest first impression.
- The Uber thing. To the Opera with her golden tinged statues and incredible architecture – with time being of the essence, the Metro meant a change and Uber is ideal.
- The Wow factor, done. More than that, it was time to discover a time old favourite of mine, a place where my Grandmother took my mother, my mother me and me, my children – it was for coffee and croissants at the famous Cafe de la Paix. Grand on a grand scale.
- A short walk to the beautiful Madeline. No, we shall shop at Fragonard at some other time, this is for now and you need to see her. The Madeline Cathedral is one of my favourites, a place of sanctuary and stillness. To light candles for those we love, as I do everytime I visit.
Close by, was the once Madeline cemetery, original burial place of Louis and Marie Antoinette.
- The Rue Royal. From the steps of the Madeline one gets the most amazing view towards the Concorde and Les Invalides in the background, her Golden dome glinting in the sunshine. Surrounded by gorgeous shops such as Maille, Laduree and Fouchon, we stop to chat about Maxims, a lovely Art Deco style Brasserie once favoured by Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Maurice Chevallier and Edward XVII.
- Place de la Concorde. The heart of Paris. Upwards a view of the Arch de Triompe, in the distance the Eiffel Tower, and a lovely walk in the gardens of the Tulleries. Place of many executions per favour of Le Guillotine.
- Ambling through the Tulleries is important and perhaps, as I show them, a visit, next time to L’Orangerie, to view the magnificent works of Monet’s waterlilies.
- The Louvre. Of course, the Louvre, largest art gallery in the world, place of Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, The Nike of Samothrace and many others. The Pyramid of glass, the immense, overwhelming feeling of culture and art.
- Lunch is away from the crowds. We to view the Notre Dame and to the island of St. Louis to my favourite restaurant for Onion Soup and fresh baguettes.
- A short walk to the Left Bank, stopping at Shakespeare and Co. which sadly is now so popular the crowds line up outside to enter. Hemingway would not have approved.
- The left bank is for the Sorbonne, the Luxembourg Gardens and all the beauties of St. Germain des Pres.
Sadly, it was too soon before we had to return to the station and rail our way back to London – it has been a long day, up before sparrows and home after dark, but the hours in-between were wistful, wondrous and taste of Paris in her Autumn splendour. Till next time xxx
Contact me at [email protected] if you should want to experience a day in Paris too!