As I mentioned in Friday's post, after Christmas my mum and I were lucky enough to be sent off to Paris with La Redoute and it was definitely well needed after a pretty tough year. My mum had never visited Paris before so it was the perfect getaway for us and we did it in style. We started off the trip with business class Eurostar tickets (which I will never get over the novelty of - little old me in business class!) and arrived in Paris totally chilled out after being treated like Queens, complete with little face cloths being handed to us and a three course meal.
Before I get onto what we actually got up to, let me tell you a bit about where we stayed. We were in the stunning La Maison Favart Hotel right in the centre of Paris and it was simply wonderful. It's a small hotel with cosy rooms with balconies, marble bathrooms (blogger dream right there), comfy beds and lavish, luxurious decor - it truly captures the personality and the feel of Paris and out of the three times I've been to the city, this has been my favourite stay. The staff can't do enough for you, getting us tea on our arrival, coming to show us how to use the coffee machine in our room when me and my mum were stood for 15 minutes trying to work it out and giving us directions and recommendations about where to go.
The hotel also has a really cute spa area with a small pool, a sauna, gym and a water massage bed which was the weirdest/best thing I've ever experienced in my life. Kinda want one in my house now I'll admit. I don't think there's any other way to finish off a long, cold day of walking in the city than with a chilled out evening in a quiet spa, complete with fluffy robes and towels, do you?!
This was my third trip to Paris but as my mum had never been before I decided to take her to all of the classic Parisian sightseeing spots, starting off with the Eiffel Tower of course. I did try to get her to go up the tower but she point blank refused (being the nervous and stressy traveller that she is) so I took her to the Arc de Triumph, a view of the city which I prefer to be honest. I love how calm it is up there with beautiful views of the famous Champs Elysees, the Eiffel Tower in the skyline and the beautiful architecture fading into the distance. We also went to my one of my favourite little cafes, Carette for my macaroons and tea and although it is pretty pricey, it's worth it for a real Parisian experience. I love their raspberry macaroons and every time I'm in Paris I just find myself going back for more!
So the main reason we were in Paris was to visit the Christmas markets and after a festive season of not feeling very festive, it was exactly what I needed. The markets were beautiful, packed full of little trinkets, hand knitted hats, hot wine and hot chocolate, lights stringing through the trees and the sky and even a cute little dog wearing a hat. Pretty sure my entire year peaked the moment I got to pet said dog. Anyway there was Christmas music playing as you walked down with so much to look at and winter delights. There was a small ice rink and me and my mum ended up on a very strange Micheael Jackson/Zombie/Christmas ghost train which was not something I was expecting to experience!
I'd love to go somewhere next Christmas (I know, I know, I'm thinking way ahead here) and visit some more Christmas markets around Europe before the big day arrives as it was such a lovely feeling walking through all of the stalls and seeing all of the lights. The atmosphere of the markets is incredible and I can't imagine how fun it would be to go perhaps at the very beginning of December!
Have you ever been to any Christmas markets?