Travelling on the Eurostar is definitely the way to travel between London and Paris. You only need to arrive 45 minutes before and security and customs are as calm as can be hoped for with international travel.
I took a my Italian friends booked in Le Marais. We immediately set off for coffee and sandwiches on Plas des Vosges – the oldest planned square in Paris. Followed by visits to a few art galleries.
In the evening we went to watch the famous pianist Valentina Lisitsa play at Salle Gaveau. The theatre was built by the architect Jacques Hermant in 1905. Valentina was born in Kiev, Ukraine, she started playing the piano at the age of three, performing her first solo recital at the age of four. www.valentinalisitsa.com Valentina’s performance was suburb and she played my all time favourite; The Piano soundtrack composed by Michael Nyman. Valentina returned for four encores. The theatre spilled out in the pouring rain. Finding a taxi was slightly challenging, wet, cold, hungry, tired on impractical heels.
We started the next day with a coffee and a croissant on a sidewalk cafe while the relentless rain made it’s presence felt. We walked in the direction of Avenue des Champs-Élysées stopping off at Hotel Costa, art galleries, book stores and interior design shops.
We queued to have lunch at the famous Angelina’s. www.angelina-paris.fr It was definitely worth the wait. I had the best croquet-monsieur I have ever tasted with mont blanc for dessert.
After reaching the Arc de Triomphe, we took a taxi back to Boulevard Saint Germaine where we had coffee in Cafe de Flore www.cafedeflore.fr
We explored the neighbourhood and later had dinner at Brasserie Lipp, which has been a famous Parisian restaurant for over 130 years. For starters I had pork with the best French mayonnaise and cassoulet for main course. For dessert we shared a delicious Mile-feuille.
On the way home we did window shopping, and stopped off to admire the view from Pontes Des Arts where lovers seal their undying love by adding a lock to the bridge railing.
We bid our other friends, Parisian, Pascal and her Italian partner, Andrea farewell by posing for “le selfie” on Pont du Carrousel.
The following day saying good bye to Giovanni and Stefano was hard but knowing I would see them again in August made it slightly easier.