I have just returned from an amazing weekend in Paris which has restored my love affair with the City after many years of absence from my heart.
Always fly on a Thursday never a Friday to beat the crowds, although it is beautifully quiet right now. We flew as I live close to Terminal 5 , so maximising time on a quick trip is essential . Plus i love starting my trip with the luxury retail and brunches at this fabulous terminal.
Forget the large fancy £1000 per night hotels and opt for a chic boutique hotel, many do not have restaurants but you won’t want to be eating in the hotel when there is so much exploring to do. You will spend little time in the hotel. We opted for the very french ADELE and JULES Hotel in the 9th Arrondissement centrally located between Montmartre and the Eiffel Tower. Located in a wonderful non touristy area with great bars and cafes. The Hotel was situated in a very quiet gated courtyard a major plus in a very noisy city.
Dumped the bags and headed off to explore on foot. The best way to immerse yourself in a City. Stopped for “cafe and a patisserie” on route.
By the time you get to your fifties most people have seen the sites of Paris so we opted not to queue with the tourists for the Eiffel Tower or to catch a glimpse of the Mona Lisa at The Louvre. Instead we came across a Parisien in a golf cart that promised us a whistle stop tour of iconic Paris in an hour. (50 euros)This totally delivered although pretty scary going up the Champs Elysse and around the very busy Arc de Triomphe in a golf cart . We felt like the Flintstones. This was definitely worth it especially along the pretty french boulevards and a great way of discovering great places to eat and drink. Finished the evening off on the Pont Alexandre lll my favourite bridge in the world.
Well today was my birthday so the morning was spent opening presents , (a Bottega Veneta bag if you are interested) and drinking champagne in bed.
BIRTHDAY LUNCH at THE ROYAL MONCEAU RAFFLES Hotel a menu of asian inspired fusion food. Magnifique, excellente, parfait and any other french superlative I can think of. A fabulous place for a special occasion. The footballer Lionel Messi also was at my birthday lunch, oh ok well he was on the next table !
After lunch we hotfooted it to the RAPHAEL Hotel opposite where we had heard they had a superb roof terrace, and it really was ! A bottle of Chablis with a view of the Eiffel Tower. Elegant staff in elegant surroundings. Formidable (okay , no more french superlatives i promise !)
Headed back to the hotel with a small detour to a bar by the hotel that by the end of our trip the mad frenchman Giles of La Comete had become a family member. Great Bar, tapas , food etc and heaps of ambiance.
Wanting to get maximum extraction of enjoyment for my birthday after a quick freshen up back at the hotel we decided on a riverboat trip down the River Seine and grabbed an Uber it to the Bateaux Mouches.
Our final day so we head up to the Montmartre and the Place Des artistes and its bohemian vibe. We stopped by the SACRE COEUR and took in a morning service. Before deciding on a lovely lunch in the myriad of fabulous places to eat. Moules and frites seem to be the staple diet here.
You have to get your portrait done by one of the many artists 50 euros is the standard rate. We both got our portraits done. Mine was with a lovely artist called Marina who declared her undying love for Nigel Farage ! We met so many interesting characters here certainly the place to sit with a Lillet or Pastis and people watch.
On the return journey we got caught up in the Liberte demonstrations so exited the Uber and joined in the march. What fun !
We were sad to return home the following day so popped back into the Comete to have some drinks and dinner at La Comete with our mad friend Gilles.
Sad to leave this City now my love for it had been restored and the fondness for my new Parisian friends we made at our regular haunts around the hotel. Parisiens tend to get a bad press but once you crack through their tough exterior you can feel the love they have for the English after all …………..
BON VOYAGE !!
MWAH MWAH xxxxx
JOJOS STYLELIST TIP: IT IS TIME TO DO PARIS THE JOJO WAY. APPROACH IT FROM A DIFFERENT ANGLE AND THINK LIKE A PARISIEN X