‘This is not England! This is not England!’ we shrieked as we scarpered back along the zebra crossing onto the pavement, indeed, when there are cars approaching a zebra crossing in Paris – do not cross. They will not stop and wait for you to cross. Especially by the infested tourist magnets – places such as Le Tricolore, where one goes to take a photograph with the Eiffel.
A whirlwind 48 hours in Paris, not really long enough but long enough to reaffirm a love for a city. Staying at Mandarin Oriental, Paris helped – of course – the stunning hotel is on rue Saint Honore, a stones throw away from the Tuilleries garden, the Louvre and Orangerie and the shopping district.
Without a doubt the best way to nip across the channel is via the Eurostar, departing at 16.10 we were at Gare du Nord in time for cocktails at the glamorous Hotel Costes – where one must be seen – and drinks cost through the roof but nonetheless – great vibe, chic people and music. Three drinks will set you back EUR 100.
For supper, we skipped eating and headed to a little bar called Lizard Lounge not to far away which had great music and good service, a little more hipster than the palace experience we had been accustomed to.
With so little time on this business trip and with a travelling companion whose only aim was to get a picture by the Eiffel tower, we had little time to lose and lots of iconic landmarks to hit.
- Angelina’s – the hot chocolate really is worth the hype. We had the mille fuielle which was worth every calary
- the louvre and tuillery gardens are always glorious to walk through – personally I’d rather spend time in the Orangerie and sit infront of Monet’s Lily ponds rather than check out the big sister down the other end – but be prepared to wait an hour in the queue regardless
- Bar 8 is a great place to grab a drink in the evening. Mandarin Oriental, Paris is only 5 mins away from Concorde metro and they put together some great blends – with glitter if you ask nicely! They also offer a tapas menu with bites by Thierry Marx.
- Champeaux – Alain Ducasse’s newest restaurant in the Forum. The Forum really is quite a strange building but kind of works. Breakfast at the restaurant was great, we ate homemade granola, pastries, juice and ab fab coffee – a complete winner and will be devine when the development next to it is complete
- Hotel Castille – offers a lovely setting for supper. The hotel’s location couldn’t be more impressive, right next to Chanel – obviously we gawped into the window to look at the famous mirror-lined staircase. The Italian restaurant offers great cuisine
Getting around by cab is easy but try and learn some French or at least have an address to hand. Getting round the city by metro is definitely the cheapest and most time efficient way, even if the rackety metro doesn’t feel as steady as the tube.