Saturday, August 20, 2016


We boarded the Eurostar in London and arrived in Gare du Nord Paris around lunch time.

We found our way to the Gare du Nord metro station where we had to queue for ages for a ticket.

There were a large number of young student types with vests milling around providing advice and travel information. The last interaction I had with Paris metro staff was receiving a fine so this was a nice change.

As we made our way onto the platform the smell of pee hit me. Ah yes, so that aspect of French public transport hadn't changed in the least apparently. Neither was the incredibly short amount of time they give you to let other passengers off and get on yourself. I got majorly squished in the doors and barely made it out with all my limbs intact.

Our hotel was near the Ecole Militaire. It was absolutely darling, but the room was absolutely teeny tiny. Bonjour Paris, indeed. Seriously guys, what you see is basically it. Plus a teeny tiny bathroom.

We decided to do the most French thing I could think of for lunch, which was to gather some picnic supplies and eat them in front of the Eiffel Tower.

So fine, it's not super gourmet. But the Boursin is like twice the size it is in Australia and I ate THE WHOLE THING. Viva la France!

After the Eiffel Tower, we made our way through the strangely deserted avenues towards the Arc de Triomphe. Now either all the Parisiens have deserted the city for summer holidays, or the tourist hoards have been scared off by recent events. The last time I was here, I just remember there being crowds and crowds of people to deal with but it was rather lovely to wind my way through the city with lots of room to wander.

We made a circle around the Arc de Triomphe and then slowly moseyed down the Champs Elysees. We stopped at an alfresco cafe for a satisfying (albeit overpriced) drink.

The weather turned on us on the way home, but we made it back to the hotel before we got too drizzled on.

For dinner I had made reservations at a very special restaurant. We took a long walk through the sunset drenched streets of Paris to the Quai Malaquais, opposite the Louvre. The below is not the Louvre obviously...

My bistro of choice for the night - Bateaux Le Calife.

Now, I know generally the 'dinner cruise' is regarded with horror by all self-respecting travellers. A tourist trap for those who don't know any better.

However, when I was searching for restaurants 'with a view' in Paris, this one actually came up on top a few times. We boarded, and were shown to our table. While we got used to the gentle rocking we were served champagne and some aperitifs (cheesy puffs).

The courses that followed were a delicious culinary adventure.

Salmon Tartare...

Smoked duck breast, with fois gras 'gourmet' salad. 

Seam bass, roasted vegetables and wild rice.

Guinea fowl in mushroom sauce with apples and baked potatoes. - Seriously, to die for. 

And dessert to finish: safe choice of creme brulee...

and chocolate cake with gingerbread icecream.

The staff were very friendly, and patient with my broken french and there were even a few French speaking parties which I found encouraging.

And as for the view...well it was great, as expected.

Especially the Captain's well-timed finale.

Dinner finished at the very European time of 11 o'clock.

We decided to hop onto the closest metro and take ourselves straight home for some much needed Z's.

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