31 Rue Cambon, Australian Masterchef, breakfast, Chanel, Coco Chanel, Croissants, Du Pain et Des Idées, Jardin du Luxembourg, La Belle Juliette, Le Hotel Bristol Paris, Paris, Parisian, Place de la Republique, Saint Germain, Seine
So it’s been a while since I wrote a post and what better way to restart my journey than to share my reflections on Paris with you!
To be honest, I’ve never been a big fan of Paris. I never saw the charm about this city that everyone else keeps mentioning. However, my recent trip opened my eyes to what this city has to offer and I actually came to like it…a lot!
Maybe it had something to do with the fact that I normally stay at hotels on the right bank and this time I was in the St Germain quarter which is located on the left bank. Coming from a hotel background I’m quite skilled when it comes to this business and having worked within the field of Revenue Management I can say that I understand pricing of hotel rooms quite well too. People usually complain about hotel rates in Stockholm as they find them way too expensive compared to other cities in Europe…well…I say…go to Paris and then you’ll be of a completely different opinion. The rates in Paris are beyond words, I stayed at a small 4-star boutique hotel called La Belle Juliette located in the St Germain area and they charge around 400 EUR per night for a Superior room (approx 15 sqm) excluding breakfast. Not to mention one of my absolut favourite 5-star hotels in Paris “Le Bristol” that online offered the humble rate of 1200 EUR per night for a normal room during these dates…excl. breakfast of course. Nonetheless, La Belle Juliette was a very cute and nice hotel, perfect choice for a couple travelling to Paris for a romantic weekend. The only thing I would complain about was the fact that it was located next to a construction site which they failed to mention anything about on their website when I made the reservation. So the mornings were quite noisy and God knows I enjoy my late mornings…So if you’re planning a trip to Paris and like the looks of this hotel, wait until Summer 2014 when the constructions will be over and done with.
I arrived in Paris early afternoon and decided to just walk around for a bit as the weather was absolutely magnificent! Late October and people were walking around in shorts and t-shirts. Strolling around in the Jardin du Luxembourg where everyone else seemed to have the same idea as me, just enjoying a perfect Autumn day in Paris, already gave me another view of this city. I enjoyed an early dinner in form of a salmon salad at a restaurant named Da Rosa located on the famous Rue du Seine in the heart of the wonderful St. Germain area. Exhausted from all the strolling around I hit the bed early that night.
Woken up quite early by the contraction workers drilling somewhere very close to my head, I went out to have a Parisian breakfast…coffee and croissant! While watching Australian Masterchef a while ago, I learned where the best croissants in Paris are to be found and that’s where I was headed. A busy place de la Republique and a few side streets later I arrived at croissant heaven…Du Pain et Des Idées. A place where they still handroll every single croissant each and every morning. So now picture the most perfect croissant in the world and now imagine my disappointment when they were sold out at 10:30 in the morning. But my disappointment didn’t last long as I was told another batch was on it’s way in about 30 mins. Was it worth waiting for? YES!
The rest of the day was spent walking around the whole city (and I literarily mean the whole city) trying to get rid of the 2000 calories I just ate for breakfast. When I realised that this wasn’t really doable as I was starting to get hungry again, I stilled my hunger with the only proven method I know works…shopping…and where else to go in Paris, but to visit the fashion imperium of Chanel on 31 Rue Cambon, where Coco Chanel used to keep her apartment. If you have about 2 hours to spare (that’s how long it takes when wanting to make a purchase at this incredibly busy store) when visiting Paris and feel like being robbed of your savings then this is a perfect pit stop on your way.
Somewhere on my afternoon walk along the Seine with my shopping bags, I forgot about my aching feet and consumed calories while breathing in the (polluted) Parisian air and started to realise the true charm of Paris…I do get what everyone is talking about and I am already looking forward to my next encounter with the city of lights and love.