Paris you really do hold my heart, I remember the first time I set foot in this magical city 12 years ago and although, quite shamefully, it’s been over a decade since I revisited I am thrilled to be back. Paris is truly a captivating city, perhaps it’s the size, the busy streets, cobbled stone floors, outdoor cafes, the people, the buzz – Whatever it is I feel the excitement bubbling within me as we circle around the Arc de Triomphe and towards our hotel.
We stay at the Hotel Mathis in Champs-Elysées right in the heart of Paris. A discreet, quirky, ‘romantic’ hotel that is a minutes walk from the shops and local restaurants. A 2 and half hour Eurostar train from Kings Cross to Gare du Norde followed by a 10 minute taxi drive we arrive at our destination. The whole journey seems a lot quicker than my usual morning commute to central London for work.
We approach the lobby, dimly lit, floor to ceiling mirrors grace the left side of the lobby to give the illusion that it’s much bigger than it is, albeit quite small but intimate. I catch a glimpse of my reflection in the long mirror – my hair surprisingly intact, my embarrassingly large pink suitcase packed for a 2 week holiday, not a two day stay (I blame it on all the camera equipment) and the gym kit I wore earlier that morning whilst doing my usual routine – errands before a last minute decision to come to Paris.
The furnishing is dark with warm tones and in a kind of romantic way – bold leopard print carpet, gold leaf ceiling, mustard velvet armchairs on either side of the lobby right opposite the check-in desk with palm plants gracing both sides, charming. We do the formal proceedings of checking in and take the ‘match box lift’ the cutest and tiniest lift I’ve ever taken to the 5th floor where our bedrooms awaits. It’s cute, well lit compared to the dark furnishings of the lobby. Light teal walls with a large white double bed, and the most exciting aspect of the room, the pretty view of the neighbouring buildings and street below.
I grab a can of coke from the mini bar, unzip my suitcase and begin to unpack. At first I had a list of places I wanted to revisit whilst we were here however, we decided to just explore other parts of the city to have more of an experience.
Places we ate:
Domani in Champs–Elysées
Best Pasta I’ve had to date at this beautiful and elegant Italian restaurant. It was 10pm once we left the hotel to find a place to eat and a few minutes walk down and across the street on the corner was this beautifully lit restaurant.
I tucked into Spaghetti à l’ail, tomate fraîche et basilic – Spaghetti with garlic, shrimps, fresh tomato and basil, to say it was heaven was an understatement. The flavours were bold, comforting and downright delicious washed down with wine recommended by our host, I adore red wine so I opted for something fruity and well rounded to accompany my meal.
My companion aka sisterkat @ShirleyBEniang tucked into creamy chicken and mushroom tagliatelle. For dessert we had Tiramasu the ‘Domani Way’ – rich and indulgent. It was actually my first time having Tiramsu as I tend to be quite picky when it comes to my dessert. This was incredulous, layered beautifully and sprinkled with wafers for that extra crunch. A must try.
4/5 for service and food.
Brasserie: Le Café De Monte Carlo
It reminded me of an upscale pub with plush furnishing and multi-colored chairs. We sat on the table overlooking the street, one of the things I love most about Paris is the openess, especially that of cafe’s with the overflow of tables out onto the street. I ordered classic steak frite, medium well with a Gin Fizz Cocktail whilst my sister ordered a cheese hamburger with fries. We took photos whilst we waited for our food (classic blogger thing to do) and tucked straight in before we headed back to the hotel to collect our suitcase and then to Gard du Norde for our train back to London.
Hotel Hidden – Breakfast and cocktails
We enjoyed breakfast at Hotel Hidden, a contemporary 5 star hotel just 5 minutes from Arc de Triomphe. Our host Tania, was spectacular. The staff were warm, welcoming and friendly. The hotel differs from most Parisian hotels, it’s full of character and offers a unique experience, where you forget you are in Paris the moment you step in.
We ate in the second part of the hotel a dedicated space for hot breakfast with an in-house chef making fresh omelettes on request for guests. We helped ourselves to a buffet of viennoiseries – french pastries, croissaints, pain au chocolat, pain aux raisins, brioche. I was in pastry heaven. The Charcuterie sat alongside savoury pastries like salmon tarts and quiche which I also helped myself too. One of the things I love about breakfast buffets is the option to sample foods you’ve never tried and so I did.
5/5 service and 4/5 food.
Our time in Paris was short but sweet and we’ve decided to visit again before the end of the year. Do you have any recommendations of were to visit? and places to eat on our next visit, please leave down below.