19th June I woke up to a wrinkly old man… No not really just Cole who today had turnt the big 22! So as a little surprise for his birthday I thought to myself why not plan a little trip for us both rather than being stuck where I live where there are limited options of what to do I planned a trip to Paris!!
I did try to convince him that we were going for a few nights in London, but detective Cole was out and sussed that we wasn’t just going to London, however he had not quite fully guessed the Paris part. So, on the Monday morning whilst opening his present I popped in the euro star ticket and also our Moulin Rouge tickets (Yes the Moulin Rouge – don’t worry more to come on this!). We were both very excited and we were up dressed and at the train station with our passports and tickets! All Cole kept saying was he couldn’t believe he woke up in Stevenage and now was on his way to Paris and to be honest neither could I!
The journey was relatively smooth, despite delays on the train to London which caused some major travel anxiety in me and panic that we were going to miss our train to Paris!! But once we were sat on the euro star we were chilled and taking in the scenery of our quick 2 hour train and buy 3-pm we were pulling up to the Gare du Nord train station.
I had booked a boutique hotel in the 9th Arrondissement, which my friend has assured me was a good location, and she was not wrong we was not in the typical tourist areas but mixed in with the local Parisians but yet only a stones throw away from all the areas we wanted to go. The hotel was called Hotel Diva Opera and was the prefect hotel for us. Beautifully decorated, big beds, and with a very welcomed air con (which was much needed in the 37 degree heat). I would 100% recommend this hotel and was one of the cheapest hotel I had seen in Paris when I was booking the trip. The rooms were on the small side but this was expected in the city of Paris, we were in a superior room and was still relatively small, but this did not bother us as we only showered and slept there! (PS. best beds ever I slept so well!)
The hotel was only a short walk from the train station so we quickly checked in and got ready to go back out! We had tickets for the Moulin Rouge which started at 8-pm but I had read online that it can get extremely busy and seats are first come first serve for the best seats so we aimed to head there at 7-pm to ensure we had good seats.
The sun was still lovely and hot so we thought we would explore the area of Monmarte for a spot of food and too see our first sights of Paris! It was a beautiful area filled with little alley ways with houses covered in ivy and lots of spots where you can sip a drink and take in the atmosphere and views of this romantic city. However it is a different story at the bottom of the hill next to the Moulin Rouge where the street is lined with sex shops and some ‘live’ shows so very much a contrast so if you are more romantic I would head up the hill haha!
We had dinner at a cute little french restaurant called La Basilic where we had big juicy steaks with buttery Charlotte potatoes. We were the only ones in the restaurant however due to it still being very early for the french to have their dinner so it was very quick service and we were in and out of the restaurant very quickly. We went on search of an ice-cream and even better ended up with a yummy frozen yogurt!
We ate these wandering our the area and it was beautiful, streets were lined with cafes with people sitting outside, quirky shops and bars! Unfortunately we only had an hour or so to explore which was a shame (and I did not help as I left my sun glasses in the frozen yogurt place which meant we had to go back) but when I go back to Paris *wink wink* I would love to explore this area more.
Now on to the main event the Moulin Rouge! The show was amazing, it was filled with acrobats, dancers, singers, and lots of boobs! It was so entertaining and lasted around 1 hour and 30 minutes. We had brilliant seats with four other people, only two of which we spoke to who were celebrating their wedding anniversary! The tickets were not the cheapest but I would say it was worth it, especially as we got a bottle of champagne too, and I am so glad we have been to Paris and went to the Moulin Rouge, its a must! I bought the tickets through a reputable company, but you can buy tickets on the door I have seen, and there are various packages you can buy at various prices such as dinner or cruise.
After the show we thought we would have one last celebration for Cole’s birthday before heading back to the hotel. We had seen a little restaurant/bar whilst walking earlier in the day so we headed back their and Cole ordered us two white beers… yes white beers… it was a panic decision from us both when the waiter put us under pressure! And the review was it was not very nice, very peppery! So it took some effort to drink our beers but after we headed back to the hotel to rest our heads before an extremely busy day!!
Until next time,
India and Cole