It was the last days of the British Summer. I hadn't been lucky enough to jet away to somewhere exotic and I was desperate for a change of scene. With limited funds and only a weekend to spare, I roped in a mate to book tickets for a day trip to Paris. Eurostar have a fantastic little break package that is perfect to setting off on a mini adventure without the major price. So much so that I was able to treat my niece and bring her along too! I am officially the best auntie in the world.
On Saturday the 29th of August, the 09:25 train took us to Gare du Nord and immediately I felt like a lemon, having not practiced French since my GCSEs. "Bonjour! er.. how do we get to.. zee Eiffel tower?" (Yes that's how bad my French is). Thankfully, the guys at the information point took pity and directed us to the capital's notorious landmark. They also clued us to a day metro pass; giving us access to all stations so that we could travel as freely as we liked. Tickets in hand, we boarded the metro and was on our way.
Queuing for entry to the tower was a fair stretch, and this is to be expected. It reminded me of when I was a kid, waiting anxiously to board an Alton Tower ride and hoping I'd make the minimum height. I was so excited to experience the Eiffel tower and after 30 minutes of queuing we were finally on our way up. The views from the top of the tower are exquisite, truly amazing. It was quite something to see.
Back on the metro we rode till we arrived at Chaussée d'Antin, home to one of Paris' picturesque shopping district and the department store Galeries Lafayette. There was so much to look at and so much to desire! I found myself pining after all the pretty displays of cosmetics and handbags but I managed to resist the temptation to splurge. Inside the department store, you could be mistaken for thinking it was an ornate museum or a theatre. Featuring elegant gilt and ornately decorated, it was breathtaking to look at.
Ah, time does fly when you're having fun - we found ourselves racing against time to visit all the boutique and high street shops nearby before heading back to catch the Eurostar back to London. In the nick of time, we boarded at Gare du Nord and settled into chit chat, over a complimentary glass of rosé with a late night bite and the latest issue of Tatler (UK edition).
The trip was amazing and there was so much more that I'd have liked to do; wander the Marché des Enfants Rouges market or check out the Musée Galliera but these are destinations at the top of my list for another visit. The good news is that with prices for a mini break starting at just £59 return for two people, you can afford to take plenty of short stop trips without burning a whole in your pocket.
For more information and to book your mini break visit: www.eurostar.com