Paris is by far one of my favourite cities in Europe, so I was super excited to return for 3 days just before Christmas. Little did I know it would turn out to be the best and most exciting trip of my life so far, with Matthew asking me the most important question yet! Still cannot believe I am a fiancée!
We have both wanted to stay at any of The Hoxton hotels for quite some time, they all look so stylish and cosy and the Paris hotel was right at the top of our list so we thought why not! As we were originally going to Paris for our 5 year anniversary, we wanted to stay somewhere where we could really kick back and relax, with good food and good wine!
It certainly did not disappoint. From the super stylish entrance which also doubles up as the espresso lobby bar, to the grand staircases, the comfiest bedding (which I now want!), to the best truffle fries ever, it really felt like a home away from home and we discussed going back before we already left because we loved it so much.
We stayed in a cosy garden view room, which is one up from the smallest room and plenty big enough for two people. The hotel is around a 20 min walk from Gare Du Nord and it is a super simple walk, so perfect for when you first arrive in Paris and just want to drop your bags off and freshen up. If you fancy staying at any of The Hoxton hotels you can grab 10% off any rooms here.
As self confessed foodies, we LOVE to eat all the food and had done a lot of research before we headed out to Paris. We had both settled on the fact that as we had both visited the city a few times previously, we were happy to skip the running around to see every tourist spot but instead really enjoy the food and soak in all of the atmosphere Paris has to offer.
Our first evening in Paris we headed to Frenchie wine bar for a little pre dinner wine and cheese. They knew a lot about what was on their menu here and were really helpful with pairing a red wine for Matthew and a white for me to go with the cheese. I was also surprised to see a Lincolnshire poacher cheddar being offered in Paris, as it is the county I am from. The atmosphere was so chilled here and the wine and cheese delicious.
Afterwards we headed to Biglove Caffe, about a 15 min walk from Frenchie. We had looked at going to Pink Mamma, part of the Big Mamma group in Paris, however this was quite a walk from our hotel and with most metro lines still closed due to the Paris strikes, walking was our only option to get to most places, so we decided to keep it a bit closer to our nest due to me also struggling with a horrid cold! The pizza here was honestly one of the best pizzas I had ever eaten, the first time I had ever had a truffle pizza and certainly won’t be my last! We loved the cosy atmosphere, and Matthew especially loved the tiramisu, which I also enjoyed and don’t normally like it!
One of my favourite things about The Hoxton was the little breakfast bags you get included with your room. Included is an orange juice, pot of granola yoghurt and compote as well as a banana. This was the perfect little breakfast for us before exploring, although on our second day we did actually end up having a pastry and coffee in the espresso lobby bar due to a downpour in Paris. Delicious coffee, definitely worth spending some time relaxing here if you’re staying here.
Once the downpour had subsided we headed out to the Trocadero area, which is actually where we got engaged – will link the location further down! Once the shock, crying, calling family and initial ‘I can’t believe we are engaged’ had somewhat died down, we headed out for lunch to bask in a bit more of the engagement bubble and take a moment to ourselves. Just by luck we found Café du Trocadéro, with seats both outside and in and a beautiful view of the Eiffel Tower, this was honestly a dream little lunch spot to stare at my new ring, smile from ear to ear and celebrate with a glass of wine. I only wish I had taken more pictures of the view, but the excitement definitely took over!
We had already booked to dine at the hotel restaurant, Rivié on our anniversary (walk ins at this restaurant as you can only book for six people or more, unless you are staying at the hotel), which also became the day we got engaged. This was a perfect decision as we had had a super long day walking around and letting family know and all the emotions are so overwhelming, so it was nice to get dressed up but then not have far to head out for good food, wine and of course champagne!
The food here was DIVINE. I had duck breast for main, with mashed sweet potato, broccoli and soy bean. Absolutely the best duck I had ever eaten, I opted for medium-rare and it was out of this world. Matthew had pollock curry which he really enjoyed too. We also added a side of truffle fries which were SO good, I could honestly eat these for days. Next up, dessert… I chose a white chocolate shell with what I can only describe as a posh cinnamon rice pudding inside, sounds weird but SO good. Matthew had a chocolate and vanilla finger which I tried and was again, SO good! We could not fault the food here and the service was amazing, free Dom Pérignon champagne after we were asked what we had been up to that day and mentioned we had got engaged! Would highly recommend to anyone!
And last but certainly not least, we popped to Monblue for more cheese and wine as lunch on our last day. Absolutely the best cheese we have ever had.
On the list of tourist spots seen on this trip were Musee du Louvre, Arc De Triomphe, Eiffel Tower and Sacre-Coeur. As mentioned we wanted a really chilled trip, so we spent a lot of time walking around and taking in all the other sights of Paris besides the main tourist spots (and because we had no choice but to walk) and I really enjoyed the more chilled way of seeing everything this time.
Little hidden spots which I would recommend are (click on the link to see the location on maps):
Rue de l’Universite: This is actually where Matthew proposed to me! It is quite a well known street now, so try and get here before around 10am if you want a clear street for pictures. We were there around 11.30 because of the rain, but got there just as it cleared up so not many people were there at all. People are quite patient and do let people take photos before barging in the background though!
Fotoautomat: I love a photo booth, especially when and this was just under a 10 min walk from the top of Sacre-Coeur. It costs 3 euros for a strip of 4 photos and such a great memory for your trip!
Arc De Triomphe: You can actually climb up to the top of the Arc De Triomphe with the best views of Paris. We didn’t actually do it this time as it was SO windy, but I thought I would mention it as a lot of people don’t realise and it is definitely one of my favourite spots in Paris.
Our three days in Paris were honestly magical and just the best ever. We were both so sad to have to leave our cosy little room and the most beautiful city and can’t wait to go back already. Almost one month on and I still think I am stuck in the little engagement bubble and am so excited to get planning a wedding! More on that to come when the planning starts!