I almost feel as sad writing this post as I did leaving our trip. Paris marks the final instalment of my fantastic week away with We Like Travel, Visit Cote d’Azur and Visit Paris Region. The entire trip was fantastic but full on from start to finish. However tired we felt, we didn’t let it stop us from going all out in Paris! Rounding off the trip in style in the French capital.
As I mentioned in last week’s post, to get from Nice to Paris, We Like Travel teamed up with Voyages SNCF to pull out all the stops…. We made the 5 hour train journey with Voyages SNCF in a private carriage, complete with champagne, soft drinks, lunch, a DJ, a masseuse and a makeup artist!! INCREDIBLE! Never before have I travelled in my own private car of a train. I didn’t even know this was possible. After waking up from a fun night in Nice, I was feeling a little worse for wear and was dreading the 5 hour journey. However, the DJ soon perked us all up, and both the masseuse and makeup artist got me back to feeling (and looking) normal again! Big thanks to Voyages SNCF and a special shout out to Sebastien who was on board with us and a great host for the journey.
I’m sure many of you have heard of Generator Hostels before. I’ve seen them on a number of my favourite blogger’s Instagram accounts, so I was super excited to be staying in their Paris hostel. We each had our own private twin room, which was lovely to have a bit more space to spread out (and find the clothes hiding at the bottom of my suitcase that I’d forgotten about!). Unfortunately the rooms weren’t as nice as I had hoped. The bed side tables had been fixed to the wall at such an angle that anything you put on it slid off onto the floor, and it took a good 10 minutes and hard shove to be able to get the window closed. Which I needed, as my room overlooked a noisy road. My curtain didn’t meet in the middle when closed, so I was awoken at stupid o’clock by the sun streaming through and then my bathroom light went out! But I think I was just unlucky, and I suppose it’s to be expected when it’s a hostel not a hotel.
However the reception was lovely and the bar downstairs was great too. Apparently there was also a nightclub (best hostel ever!), but I was too tired to find out. Towards the back of the hostel is a large restaurant and dining area where you can purchase breakfast. The breakfast is minimal and at peak times be prepared to queue for at least 20+ minutes.
We spent our first evening at Concrete, one of Paris’ most famous nightclubs, located on a boat on the River Seine. Unfortunately I stupidly forgot to take my camera with me so didn’t get any snaps, but the club was cool. Upstairs on the deck it was a more chilled vibe, with lots of seating, food and drink available. As the night wears on, most guests move downstairs into the main club room, complete with an vintage looking photobooth. I can imagine this place getting super busy at the weekend and being a real hub for partygoers.
The next morning we were up nice and early to do a bit of exploring in the capital. Although I’ve been to Paris many times before, I was excited to head up to Montemartre again, and visit Sacre Coeur. I love this area of Paris – the architecture is beautiful and the views across the city are fantastic. It’s a little further out of the centre, but so worth it. If you haven’t been before, I’d definitely recommend making the trip next time you’re in Paris. Montemartre is also home to many cafes, restaurants, street performers and artists. It’s has a really buzzy atmosphere and is great for people watching.
After stopping for a coffee, we were back on the coach heading to FLOW, a bar and restaurant on the River Seine for lunch. Situated in front of the Grand Palais, this wonderful restaurant is the perfect spot to take a break and soak up the summer sun in Paris. With a Martini cocktail in one hand, and a cheese board in the other (literally), I could’ve sat here all day sunning myself. However, we had a very special afternoon planned – seeing the sights of Paris in a convoy of Citroen 2CVs!!! If you saw any of my Instagram Stories whilst I was away, you’ll know this was by far the best part of my whole trip.
The company behind this genius idea is 4 Roues Sous 1 Parapluie. You can rent them for as little as 120 Euroes for an hour and can fit up to 3 people in each car, so just 40 Euroes each! It’s hands down the best way to see Paris and even for a veteran like me, who has visited the city 6 or 7 times before, I was SO excited whizzing around the city streets. Not only do you get so see a lot of Paris, your driver will point out all the landmarks as you go by and give you some historical facts as you go by. Plus, on occasion they let us stand up through the open roof to take videos and generally scream at the top of our lungs with laughter! Haha. It was such a fab afternoon. Because there was about 8 of us in a convoy, it felt like we were celebs for the afternoon with passersby taking photos. We all had the best time. You must must must do it!
The cars dropped us off at Ground Control, a street food market in Paris. Here we had a couple of hours to grab some food and chill out in the sun. We happened to pick the hottest day of the trip to do this, (it was 32+ degrees), so our first stop was ice-cream! We found this little truck serving up Danish soft serve with a choice of toppings and it was deee-licious. Just what we needed to cool down.
That evening, we were taken to even more fantastic sights of Paris, experience a true Parisian night out. Our first stop was We Love Green festival, which I believe tours the world, not just Paris. Headliners included Solange, Justice and Flying Lotus. Justice were absolutely incredible. I thought I’d only recognise a couple of songs, but actually I ended up knowing more than I thought, and their laser/light show was out of this world. We had VIP tickets for the festival, so spent most of our time grabbing glasses of champagne (yes, more champagne) and dancing the night away. It was the perfect end to a fantastic trip!
But it didn’t end there, we also went to Rex Club afterwards, and ended partying until 4am!! I literally never go out normally, but there was just something about that night. I didn’t want it to end. It’s always the random nights that are the best!
The next morning I was feeling rather worse for wear again as we had to check out, but we had one more final stop of our trip before saying goodbye – brunch at L’Etoile du Nord, a gastronomic restaurant located in the heart of Gard du Nord train station. As I was feeling a little delicate, the eggs were the last thing I wanted, however, the bread, butter and jam were heavenly!! And the pastries… Well, it’s safe to say I stocked up on those for the Eurostar journey home. If there’s one thing the French know how to do, it’s pastries, bread and butter. Yum!
I’d like to thank the team at We Like Travel for the most amazing 5 days – I met some great people and had some experiences I’ll remember forever!