Paris – you were short, you were sweet, you were beautiful! Paris in June, or Paris at any time really, is magical. This post is more of a photo diary; a combination of iPhone and Lumix pictures from our trip. Different styles, different colours, inconsistent. It wouldn’t be a post by me if it didn’t have all of those things. The summer has been a bit of a whirlwind, and June and July passed in the blink of an eye, so it makes sense I’m only getting to this now. In September. Probably.
So, Paris. We went mid-June to celebrate one year together. Mushy! We think we might do it every anniversary, more craic than presents. I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking, but before I do, I’ll mention that we spent three full days in Paris; one in the city and two at Disney – one at Disneyland, one at Walt Disney Studios.
We booked with lastminute.com and got an amazing deal for our flight and hotel, and after some research, I found Isango had the best Disney tickets. If you’re thinking of Disneyland Paris, look no further! Isango is the only way to go. The tickets were great value and it was the most hassle free service I have ever used. Before you enter the park, you scan the printout and boom, Disney passes printed. No messing around. You have your tickets sorted in a quiet area – no queues, no issues. The whole trip was easy breezy; a quick flight, amazing hotel (more on that in a moment) and Disney entry in seconds. Aside from that, most of our expenses were travel and food, bouncing around the metro and the RER to Disney.
I wanted a hotel with a fairly direct line to Disney, and central too. I picked the Best Western Plus 61 Hotel. Close to Nation station to get the RER direct to Disney, and in an area of Paris where you can get the metro to the other side of the city, and as you walk back toward the hotel, you pass all the main landmarks and attractions on the way.
Actually, as I type this I realise that I really miss that hotel, it was near an amazing street lined with beautiful cafes and the area was so quiet. The best part was the breakfast – anything and everything your heart could ever want was served up daily at that buffet breakfast. Meats, cheeses, pancakes, crepes, eggs, sausages, fruit, yoghurt, pastries, coffee, tea, juices, Nutella, jams, divine French butter…everything. They even had the most delicious and dense fudge brownies and muffins all wrapped up in plastic so you could take them with you, which we did one morning for a park snack. 61 Hotel, I’ll be back.
We started our first day with lunch at the amazing Bel Air cafe near our hotel, which was hard to top. Delicious champagne, amazing food, and a lovely atmosphere. We sat outside, watching the world go by.
Later that day, we went to the Arc de Triomphe, then to the Eiffel Tower (we went to Trocadero for the best views) and sat on the grass for a few hours, relaxing in the sun, taking in the views. Views and more people watching. It’s good to have a creep. Paris was really hot that day – I ended up collecting new freckles everywhere we went.
We walked along the Seine for a while before heading to Saint Germain to see Cafe de Flore and Les Deux Magots, which was a real pinch-me moment. It was really something to see places where so many literary greats hung out; spending their time writing, socialising and of course, getting drunk. Places I had only read about in Hemingway’s novels. Just as we were passing Les Deux Magots, we saw the actress Léa Seydoux too. A memorable evening to say the least.
We had drinks in Saint Germain during golden hour (which of course made it all the more picturesque) stopping along the way during the day in other parts of Paris, chatting, laughing, getting a little tipsy and sharing foie gras. The perfect afternoon.
Day two and three we were up bright and early for our favourite breakfast (marry me!) and the Disney parks. Day one was spent in Disneyland, going on everything multiple times. We started at the Haunted Mansion, which is something I’ve always done at all my fortunate years at Disney parks. It seems to be a family tradition to start the map there. We then went to Indiana Jones, on the Space Mountain twice (which has now been Star Wars-ised) Thunder Mountain Railroad, Peter Pan, Snow White, Star Tours, so on and so forth.
We ate hot dogs at Casey’s, went to every single shop on Main Street U.S.A., and I wore my ears proudly (they are actually my Florida 2015 ones, they’re getting a good run. Minnie would be proud! The Disney corporation, not so much) We went from the park to the Disney Village that night to enjoy the grown up side of Disney, drinking at King Ludwig’s Castle (restaurant and pub) soaking up the music and the village atmosphere. I never wanted to leave! The drinks in the Disney Village were cheaper than some parts of Paris which was a very pleasant surprise. A giant glass of rosé was just €5. How’d that happen?!
Day 3 we went to Walt Disney Studios, the day of our actual anniversary. We went on Rockin’ Rollercoaster (who doesn’t love roller coasters and Aerosmith combined) Tower of Terror (one of my favourites, it never gets old) Crush’s Coaster, Studio Tram Tour and lots of animation shows.
We booked a table at Remy’s Bistro in the Ratatouille (the best Pixar movie!) area of the park where we found ourselves once again on the streets of Paris. When you enter the bistro you feel tiny; surprise! You’re now a rat. Everything in the restaurant is giant all around you, and you sit on a champagne cork chairs. The decor is done really well, and the back of the restaurant is where you exit the Ratatouille ride.
We celebrated our 1 year together as vermin (good looking vermin all the same) letting Remy the Rat cook us something special. We agreed on the Emile menu with wine pairings, but there are lots of different menus according to taste and budget. We started with delicious crispy baguette with creamy French butter and a salad of artichoke, beetroot, sundried tomatoes, and cheese tossed in oil and vinaigrette. Our first course was served with a glass of rosé.
For our main, we both chose the steak. It was tender, juicy and perfectly cooked, served with a choice of mustard and tarragon, brie or béarnaise sauce. It was accompanied with a glass of red wine, and a cute little bowl of Ratatouille.
Dessert was sweet or savoury. Iñaki ordered the brie with peach jelly, and I had the chocolate cake and custard. Dessert was served with a glass of champagne, so of course, we toasted to our wonderful trip and our special day.
For the price of the menu and wine pairings (€54.99 each), I was really impressed. The quality of the food was excellent, and I was afraid we’d have to be rolled out of there.
Fortunately, by that time of the day, we were done with upside-down roller coasters.
A wonderful trip full of wonderful memories.
♥ ♥ ♥