NYE in Paris- it rhymes if you pronounce it the French way. Perhaps that’s why we chose to go there.
On a whim months ago, the hubs and I booked 2 Eurostar tickets without a second thought. Little did I know, Paris doesn’t do much to celebrate the new year. No fireworks, no big show- whoops. Since we’d already visited the city and seen the major sights, we were really just looking forward to wandering around, staying out and sleeping in late, and enjoying a few French feasts, so we weren’t too bothered by the discovery. We had no expectations and made few plans, the ONLY way to go into ANY New Year’s- everyone’s favorite least favorite holiday.
Paris greeted us with the most beautiful pink sky, a testament to the unforgettable weekend we were about to have. We quickly dropped our bags and headed for the Seine to catch the sun setting. Paris is simply magical, no matter who you are or how many times you visit.
On our way back to the hotel, the dark sky festively lit with Christmas lights rivaled the water colored sunset. We were total tourists, taking selfies all over the Champs-Élysées. Paris just does that to you.
For dinner, we got all gussied up and I topped off my outfit with my new backpack (obsessed, how did I live without it) stuffed with extra sweaters and water bottles full of wine for [classy] midnight toasting. Le P’tit Troquet was cozy and quaint with exceptional food. Every course exemplified refined French cooking.
Warmed from 4 courses of deliciousness and a bottle of red, we set off to find our midnight spot. On the way, we discovered a lively little shop selling mulled wine. With front row seats to Paris’ landmark structure, we enjoyed the last hour of the year. Just before midnight, we wandered across the street and watched as the sky glittered at the start of the new year. It was so enchanting to be standing under the Eiffel Tower at midnight!
The long walk back to the hotel felt effortless in such a celebratory atmosphere. After calling family (yes, you count, Ray) to wish them a happy new year, we finally drifted off for a long winters nap.
Eleven o’clock came quickly and we set off in search for brunch. As expected, much was closed, but Francois Felix was a welcome sight and hit the spot.
Just after dark, we had circled the city and found a cafe for escargot and beers. It did not disappoint. While I’d wished we’d went for 12 rather than 6, we managed to mop of every morsel of butter with warm, fresh bread.
Café Constant was on my mind for dinner after paging through my book Where Chef’s Eat. Luck was on our side. We waited a mere 30 minutes at the local staple and were seated at the best spot in the house, upstairs, next to the floor to ceiling windows. The restaurant is tiny and it felt like we were in a converted flat with 20 tables crammed in. The food was out of this world, the ambiance cozy, and the price a mere fraction of what I what of paid for the most delicious steak I’d ever had (and I don’t even like steak much!). I loved every second of it.
Dizzy from delicious food and wine, we stopped for a night-cap and wandered around the Eiffel Tower a bit before calling it a night. We had a mission the next day and needed to rest up. The hubs was on the hunt for shoes, and me for a pharmacy stock pile of goods.
First thing Friday, we stumbled upon Les Caprices de Charlotte where the treasure hunt for breakfast ended in gold. It’s no place to go out of your way for, there are countless wonderful cafes in Paris of course, but I’d certainly go back.
Ready to add a few bags to the pile, the hubs tried on nearly every pair of shoes at Bexley. He found a few winners and has turned totally Euro with his tall leather boots- I love it.
Taking full advantage of the no liquid or bag limit on the Eurostar, I went bananas at the pharmacy. The very sweet owner helped explain the various brands of products and their different lines while I mentally wrote down every single thing she said. Face mask 1 week before every girl’s favorite time of the month, do not touch your face EVER, and be very zen with your skin care. Ugh, if only it were that easy… So I smiled and nodded, and then bought half of the store (just in case my zen is off for the rest of my life and I never go back to Paris).