I went to Paris last weekend with my mum and little sister, a lovely treat from my mum! I’d only been once before and that was for a couple of nights in February (yes for Valentine’s Day, with an ex), it was freezing and we spent one day in Disneyland making time to see the city very limited. So in many ways this felt like my first real experience of Paris, and I loved it.
We were staying on the edge of the business district, La Defense. We had a really good value hotel and were able to get the metro into the city each day. We didn’t go with much of a plan, I’d done the Eiffel Tower and The Louvre before but I had some shops I wanted to find and I was keen to do a gallery of some sort. We saw all the sites and ended up doing much more than I expected. We walked a lot!
Some of what we did:
• We went to the Musee Marmottan Monet, a small museum full of Monet and other impressionists. I love Monet, I remember studying him for months for my A-level art coursework, so it was wonderful to see some of his paintings up close. I love his prints but I went for the cheap option, I bought a pretty postcard and then back home bought an old photo frame from a charity shop for less than £1.
• The only thing my little sister couldn’t leave without seeing was Jim Morrison’s grave in the Père Lachaise Cemetery on the edge of Paris. If, like me, you’re not rock ‘n roll enough to know Morrison’s biography, he was lead singer of The Doors and died in Paris in 1971 aged 27. Going to the cemetery was definitely a highlight of my trip. I’ve always found cemeteries interesting anyway, but this one was unlike any I’ve ever seen. It was full of huge tombstones and little chapel buildings almost. Oscar Wilde was there too, he had an odd Egyptian looking monument in his memory.
• We nosed around the shops. I wanted to find Merci which had been heralded by Time Out as a cool shop full of clothing, jewellery, homeware, books and ethical bits and pieces. Well worth a visit, it had a cafe area too. Lots of things I could have bought but I managed to restrain myself.
• We had the most amazing hot chocolate at Angelina’s tearooms. Housed opposite the Louvre, Angelina’s was founded in 1903 as a patisserie and tearooms in a beautiful old building. The hot chocolate tasted just like melted chocolate, with a pot of cream on the side. The management probably won’t be happy with me for sharing this but we were visited by three little mice while we sat at our table. They ran out from the skirting board looking for crumbs. We found it quite entering and oh-so very French.