Paris in Winter

Paris is one of those cities which is beautiful no matter what time of year you visit.

Having been lucky enough to have visited a few times now my ‘must see’ list was actually quite short this time around, which meant there was tons of room for flexibility – useful, considering how unpredictable the weather was!

We hopped on the Eurostar on a Thursday night, arriving in Paris well after the sun had set. Knowing we had an early start the next morning and not feeling up to wrestling luggage onto the Metro, we hopped in a cab and made our way to our hotel, right on the edge of the Tuileries Gardens.

After checking in, we wound our way through the maze of hallways to our room…

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….which had quite the view!

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We managed to arrive just as the hour changed and the Eiffel Tower lit up with sparkles. I raced to grab my camera only to find that our windows actually only opened about 2 inches wide. Thus followed a comical scene of Graham and I both trying to squeeze a hand through the tiny gap in the window to take an unobstructed picture, while also trying not to drop anyone’s phone on the balcony or on to the street below. Thankfully we were successful!

Though we had an early start ahead of us the next morning I couldn’t resist dragging Graham out of the hotel because we were (literally) a stone’s throw from the Louvre. (Though, really, you shouldn’t throw stones at the Louvre. All that glass!)

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We were out for less than half an hour and I still managed to lose the hotel room key (#skillz) but thankfully we brought a backup and were soon safely tucked in, ready to dream about the day ahead.

The next morning we were up and out very early because we had a very important date….

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At Disney! I don’t care how old you are, it’s called the ‘Happiest Place on Earth’ for a reason.

We spent the whole day reliving our childhoods, going on all of the rides and enjoying the relative quiet of the park (thank you November + gross, rainy weather!)

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I highly recommend going to Disney in November – it’s technically the ‘off’ season so it’s a lot quieter than normal but it’s also all jazzed up for Christmas!

We stayed as long as we could but eventually found ourselves back in the real world. We were two very tired but very happy campers on the train ride back to Paris.

The next morning was a calmer start – breakfast at the hotel and then a leisurely walk across the Tuileries Gardens and the Seine to the Musee d’Orsay. Though it’s one of Paris’s most famous museums we had never been so thought it was finally time to see what the fuss is about. Though there was a long line at the entrance we had bought our tickets in advance so walked straight inside without any delays.

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From the Musee we had planned to wander over to the Luxembourg Gardens…but then the skies opened up and we had to amend plans.

After a brief detour back to the hotel to change into weather-appropriate gear and grab umbrellas we went in search of indoor entertainment and found ourselves at Sainte-Chapelle. Having never seen inside before we bought tickets for the Chapel and the neighbouring Conciergerie and spent some time exploring the stained glass masterpiece and former prison to Marie Antoinette.

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We grabbed lunch nearby and managed to say all the wrong things to the waiter when he sat us so spent the rest of the meal trying to win him over and prove we weren’t jerk tourists. He actually told us to ‘have a good day’ when we left with what looked like the shadow of a smile so I’d call that a success!

Keen to make the most of the break in the rain, we hopped on the metro over to the Arc de Triomph and climbed the winding steps to the top to admire the view.

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With the sun starting to set we made our way down the Champs-Élysées back to the hotel (again – thank goodness it was central!) to change for dinner at Monsieur Bleu…at a table with an epic view.

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After a delicious dinner we popped across the road to catch the hourly light show at the Eiffel Tower. We only had to wait about 10 minutes but I swear I nearly froze to death! I couldn’t feel my fingers or toes by the time we hopped in a cab but was glad we caught the picture perfect moment.

Waking up on our third day in Paris we were pleasantly surprised to find clear skies and *gasp* sunlight!

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We bundled up and headed towards the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, which is currently celebrating the 70th anniversary of the creation of the House of Dior with a special exhibition – Christian Dior, Couturier du Rêve.

I knew it was going to be a fantastic exhibition…but I had no idea just how incredible it would be!

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^ My absolute favourite!

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^ Jennifer Lawrence’s Oscar dress (the one she tripped up the stairs in when going to accept her Best Actress award)

I honestly could have stayed ALL DAY but after a few hours Graham’s hunger pains were audible and it seemed only fair to reward his patience with some lunch.

We grabbed burgers at a little place nearby and then decided to head up to Montmartre to wander and enjoy the sunshine.

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As the sun started to set we made our way back towards the Seine, grabbing a late night snack at Ladurée and taking in the Parisian lights.

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Our last day in Paris started early as Graham had work meetings to get to and we wanted to see the Eiffel Tower up close once more. Handily, the shorter days meant we arrived just in time to watch the sun come up over the city.

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From the Eiffel Tower, Graham headed off to work and I set out with a general destination in mind (Notre Dame) but no clear plan of how to get there. It was great! I wandered down quiet side streets, walked past one of Monaco’s royals arguing with her ex in the street (well hellooooo Charlotte Casiraghi!), and stopped for snacks and hot chocolate on the way.

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Once Graham had finished with the work portion of his ‘business’ trip, we met up at The Louvre to spend our final few hours in Paris taking in just a bit more culture.

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Having visited Mona, we made our way back to Gare du Nord to catch the Eurostar home. A short but packed trip and the perfect weekend getaway in the lead-up to Christmas!

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