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Anniversary trip to Paris

Anniversary trip to Paris day one


View Anniversary trip to Paris on ToonSarah's travel map.

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On the banks of the Seine

Our first trip abroad for 18 months started early in the morning, as extra Covid-related checks meant that we were required to check in 90 minutes before the Eurostar train departure at 8.01. But all went very smoothly and there was plenty of time for a coffee while waiting to board.

As this was a special trip, celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary, we had treated ourselves to an upgrade on the train. We had the luxury of more space and breakfast served at our seats – yoghurt, roll, croissant, juice and coffee.

We'd left London in cloud and at first when we from the tunnel under the Channel the weather looked much the same. But as we approached Paris the clouds broke up and we arrived in bright summer sunshine. And bang on time!

We had to queue for a while to buy Metro tickets, then caught the Metro to Pont Marie from where it was a short walk across to the Ile St Louis and our hotel in the heart of the island, the Jeu de Paume. Set in a former real tennis court, this is a building soaked in history and has been beautifully converted. We last stayed here in 2005 and found it little changed and just as lovely as we'd remembered.

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Although it was still only a little after midday our room, on the first floor, was already available, so we were able to settle in before going out to enjoy a first afternoon back in one of our favourite cities.

We had a light lunch at a brasserie at the western end of the island, by the bridge to Ile de la Cite, with a view of the Pantheon from our terrace table. We then had a walk over to the Left Bank, along the Quai past the rather underwhelming sculpture park. Still, it was good for some street photography!

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On the banks of the Seine

We then cut through to Jussieu to check out the Arenes de Lutece, but a children's football game was in progress so we didn't stay long.

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Near Jussieu

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On the Ile Saint Louis


We followed a different route back to the Ile St Louis and stopped for a delicious ice cream (the island’s Berthillon ices are rather special), before going back to our hotel room to take a break, both of us weary after the very early start.

So far it seemed that the Covid pandemic was making only a small impact on how we travelled. Masks were required on the Eurostar, the Metro and inside all public spaces in France, including the public areas of our hotel. We had downloaded the French health app, the Passe Sanitaire, and uploaded our NHS vaccination record to it. This was scanned by our waiter at our lunchtime restaurant even though we were sitting outside, but not by the cafe where we had our ice cream. Apart from this, Paris seemed unchanged, although the sight of Note Dame surrounded by scaffolding and cranes was a sad reminder that this wasn't exactly the case.

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Notre Dame under reconstruction


In the evening we enjoyed an aperitif on the terrace of the cafe where we'd had ice cream earlier and then had dinner at the small and friendly Au Vieux Paris, a little further along Rue St Louis en Ile. The well-priced menu had lots of options – I enjoyed an aubergine mousse, magret de canard and tarte takin, while Chris had a Roquefort and walnut salad and lamb chops. Then, after a short stroll to see the river after dark, we were more than ready for an early night!

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Au Vieux Paris

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From the Pont Marie at night

Posted by ToonSarah 14:07 Archived in France Tagged restaurant paris hotel river anniversary street_photography Comments (15)

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