For my birthday earlier this month, George treated me to an unforgettable mini-break in Paris. For one whole day and night, we were baby free and it felt incredible to get out of London for a hot minute. I love Paris: the energy, the people, the pace of life and not forgetting the food!
It’s easy to forget how quick a trip to the French capital can be. But thanks to the Eurostar, we’d left our home in South London and were happily roaming the streets within just a few hours.
I’ve been to Paris more times than I can count, but I always discover something new when I’m there. First up: Hôtel Adèle & Jules, a gorgeous 19th-century hotel on the ninth arrondissement, a short stroll away from the Grand Boulevards. You know you’re in safe hands with Mr & Mrs Smith and this was the perfect overnight stay. Think Soho House meets Anthropologie and you’re on the right track.
After we’d dropped our bags, we headed straight out on some Velib bikes to explore the city. It felt great to be a tourist for the day and simply enjoy the sights: Notre-Dame, Panthéon and Centre Pompidou. It was sad to see the Notre-Dame under reconstruction following the fire last year, but was a powerful reminder of how strong the world is.
Needless to say after all that cycling, we were absolutely ravenous. I was excited to head back to Clamato – one of my all time favourite restaurants for lunch. Clamato is a walk-ins only seafood restaurant run by the folks behind Septime: Bertrand Grébaut and Théo Pourriat. Known and loved by Parisians for its considered sea-centric sharing menu, Clamato produces the sort of food that if the stomach permitted, you could easily order one of everything. Knowing we had dinner booked for later, we were relatively conversative opting for Strawberries, Cabbage and Cod, Aubergine, Sardines, Taramasalata. All of which was totally delicious. Take me back!
We had the most amazing, sunny afternoon in the Botanical Gardens. We cycled through the city to the gardens which are stunning with wonderful ponds, lush flower beds, elegant green houses and even a zoo! We walked and talked, it reminded us of Battersea Park with lots of hidden statues and waterfalls around each bend. Definitely worth a visit if the weather is good and if you have time to stroll and take it all in.
For dinner, I went back to one of my favourite places: Jones Cafe. I love the menu offering which is made up of small plates. They also have a great wine list which together didn’t disappoint. We had a delicious selection of fresh Oysters, Croquettes, Buratta, Cacio Pepe, Mackerel, Watermelon Salad and Crab – a proper birthday feast. If you’re looking for somewhere relaxed and understated but elegant, I’d thoroughly recommend it.
After all the cycling and incredible meals, we finished the night with a couple of cocktails and headed to the hotel for a delicious sleep! We jumped back on the 7am Eurostar to London which perfectly ended our Paris mini-break.