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Wednesday 9 January 2013

3BM in Paris: Day one...

As I'm sure by now you are all aware our favourite times are when all three Mice are reunited! However one of our least favourite times has to be New Year's Eve ... crowded London, overpriced clubs, someone drunken crying at midnight and then a 4 hour wait for a taxi - never a great way to bring in the New Year! Usually we organise a group house in the country with friends but this year what with crazy work schedules and manic pre-Chrimbo nights out all in between blogging and present buying, there was no time for planning of that degree! Instead we decided to escape the City and head to Paris for a sister mousey adventure!

We set off on 29th December after an evening of red wine and game playing with family friends had run into the early hours of the morning, we had a painful crack of dawn wake-up with our alarms set for 5am! Not ideal when all three Mice were feeling poorly anyway and a red wine headache wasn't doing us any favours at all. With our plan for Champagne on the Eurostar well and truly out the window, we lugged our bulging cases to Daddy Mouse's car to embark upon our journey!

Two and half hours later after a few snoozes we pulled up into Paris Gare du Nord, we'd officially arrived and with it being my first ever trip to Paris, I was beyond excited!

We stayed at Le Citizen Hotel which is located in the Canal St Martin area in North East Paris. Not your typical tourist spot, known more as a trendy area drawing in bobo types and students with it's shabby chic bars and bistros littering the canal side. Quirky street art, chic boutiques and known as the place that "serves as Paris' runway outside of Fashion Week". Le Citizen is a sweet little boutique hotel with 12 rooms, affordable rates, friendly staff and the softest bed linen ever! I won't go into too much detail here as we loved the hotel so much we thought it deserved it's own write up...keep your eyes peeled!

As we couldn't check in until at least 1pm off we trotted with our sunglasses, fedora hat and new Paris map (courtesy of our new hotel friends) in hand! As we hadn't yet eaten our first stop was Angelina to refuel for our jam packed day ahead!

If you aren't familiar this the patisserie that Carrie visits in the sixth season of SATC where she feeds cake to the dog next to her! And after sampling the Parisian delights I can safely say what a lucky little dog!

Image via

There are a number of these little patisseries dotted around Paris but we visited the one located under the arches of Rue di Rivoli. You're greeted by a snaking queue and the amazing aroma of buttery pastries, macaroons and some serious hot chocolate! It is beautifully decadent inside with huge wall paintings, ornate ceilings, marble topped tables and impeccably dressed staff. We opted for three different delights to share ... an eclair, a Paris-New York (Almond choux pastry, crunchy almond and pecan praline and pecan praline butter cream - MY FAV!) and their speciality Choc Mont-Blanc. We also couldn't resist ordering up the famous hot chocolate which is literally like drinking a little cup of cream laden heaven..!

Beware you have to summon all your will power to walk on past the cabinets carefully laid out with the most incredible pastries resembling true works of art. Although after rich hot choc and my fair share of three cakes I was happily full to my fedora brim!!

226 Rue Rivoli
75001 Paris
+33 1 42 60 82 00

Suitably dosed up on all things tasty and with a renewed sugary spring to our step, we decided to hit up Colette. A three floor store which is literally Paris' mecca to fashion ... on the lower level you will find the water Bar which sells over a hundred brands of water, on the first floor you will find leverything from quirky toys, iPhone covers, trainers, CDs, techie gadgets to coffee table books all amongst Colette tees and sweats ... AKA the perfect drop off point for the boy before heading on up to the top floor. This is where the girlie swooning begins! Jam packed full of well known and unusual designers where you can browse for hours through the incredible dresses, leather skirts, boxy jackets, quirky (and astoundingly pricey) jewellery and beautiful bags - oh and not to forget the cosmetic and perfume corner ... if only I had won that National Lottery millionaire raffle!

213 Rue Saint-Honore
75001 Paris
+33 1 55 35 33 90

Having well and truly woken up the shopping bug, off we went in search for Le Marais' cobbled boutique heaven. HK mouse suggested giving the Metro a miss as it was such a beautiful day and instead we walked along the river. This worked out perfectly as I was able to see all the sights en route...

The Tuileries Garden...

The Louvre...

The 'Love Lock' Bridge...

I had heard mixed opinions about Paris over the years ... friends have said that its tacky, touristy and dirty and that the people are incredibly rude ... well after only a few hours, I couldn't have agreed less, I'd totally fallen head over in heels for the City. So beautiful! The buildings are just incredible and the atmosphere, despite being busy with tourists, is amazing, there is literally something to see or do on every street corner and down every teeny passageway. Just writing this post makes me want to hop straight back onto the Eurostar website and get my next trip booked!

Anyway eventually after a leisurely walk, we located Le Marais, a quaint beautiful shoppers heaven made up of lots of little cobbled streets. Bursting with culture, food, shopping, art - you name it Le Marais has it! Many hours could be whiled away browsing the massive array of boutiques ... some well known like Sandro, Maje and Kooples, mixed in with unusual French brands, top designers and amazing vintage treasure troves like Free 'P' Star

8 Rue Sainte Croix de la Bretonnerie
75004 Paris
+33 1 42 76 03 72

Swinging our new purchases we suddenly realised the time and with a hop, skip and a speedy Metro ride we were back at Canal St Martin. Over the next three hours we explored our new room, lounged around in our cosy robes and slippers, consumed complimentary wine and canapes, relaxed in steaming hot baths to warm up, picked out Paris suitable outfits and off we trotted back in search for our first restaurant reservation ... the utterly delectable La Pérouse.

La Pérouse is one of Paris' first eateries dating back to 1766, overlooking the Seine and housed in the most beautiful building - it is pretty tricky not to fall in love at first sight! We arrived just in time for our 9pm reservation however the waitress offered us a drink in the bar before dinner which we of course gladly accepted out of pure curiosity! 

Although clearly a nice restaurant you feel immediately comfortable in the bar - dimly lit yet cosy with candles on every table, creating a warm glow against the mirrored interior. The decor was cleverly designed to hark back to 18th Century Paris but with a more modern twist. It felt luxurious yet dramatic without being tacky, with sweeping curtains, a shiny black piano and oversized mirrors. There was an upbeat and buzzy atmosphere with a mixture of both older and young groups, perfect for a pre-dinner drink or even cocktails to start or end a more civilised night. 

By comparison the restaurant upstairs takes a more traditional stance with ornate gilded frames, art lining the walls, brocade wallpaper, fringed lamps and antiques chairs. It had a very different atmosphere to the bar, a lot quieter and more formal but gives you the chance to sit back and soak up the beauty surrounding you. You can also opt for private dining rooms at an extra cost, however we personally prefer to be amongst the action!

The food was simply to die for, we feasted on the likes of tuna tartar and cauliflower and ham soup (that was just the amuse bouche), duck terrine and lamb smoked with lemon thyme, goats cheese curd and chorizo. By the end, we were so full that with heavy hearts we pushed away the pudding menu, but if the petits fours were anything to go by, we seriously missed out!   

A little pricey at around £120 per person, however this did include two courses, wine and a glass of champagne which really was ALL scrumdiddlyumptious! 

La Pérouse
51 Quai des Grands Augustins
75006 Paris
+33 1 43 26 68 04

Not yet ready to call it a night, we had a few options shortlisted ... beware if you go to Paris in late December into the New Year as a lot of places close until early January so forward planning is a necessity! However we eventually narrowed it down and decided on new bar, Titty Twister

This is an underground NY meets LA bar slap bang in the middle of the Champs Elysee (well off a side road however do not let this put you off). The concept is based on a mythical Mexican bar called Titty Twister and the interior is inspired by the Pulp Fiction set. If you love quirky East London bars then you'll love this one, a dimly lit bar/club full to the brim of super cool Parisian types. 

The exposed brickwork walls are emblazoned with neon tongue in cheek one liners and stag heads, chesterfields are scattered everywhere and there's even a smoking room complete with a pool table! The music on the night we went was a mix of current chart and old school fun like Justin Timberlake - I literally felt like I was back to the good old uni days! Everyone knows everyone, so go with some friends and be prepared to people watch to the max, it is fascinating! Just make sure you dress up as the doorman gives everyone a look up and down but once you're in it's a really fun night!     

5 Rue de Berri
75008 Paris
+33 1 45 62 50 23

At 3am we were disco done (early by Paris standards) but our 5am start was stating to take its toll. A quick cab ride and before you could say 'French kiss' we were tucked up in our huge, ridiculously comfortable Le Citizen beds!

All in all, a perfect first day in Paris I would say!

I have to finish with my favourite photo from day one - Melissa and her brand new Parisian giraffe friend in Le Marais....

P.S. If the above gets you in the Paris mood then we have a little secret to share with you ... Eurostar is currently offering an unmissable deal on return trips to Paris for £59! Be quick though as this offer ends on 14th Jan. We're really tempted ourselves for round two! Check it out here.

Stay tuned for day two of our 3BM Paris adventure!


  1. I love reading your blog! More please! xx

    1. Thanks Emma! So sweet of you :) Paris day 2 is up today if you want more x

  2. This is a fabulous account of what to do in Paris - totally inspiring and I am in awe that you found so many out of the ordinary "lieux"...Particularly as I live in there!
    Thank you for your exciting account I will be sure to share with all future visitors! x

    1. Thanks so much for your kind note, we have 3 more days of Paris amazingness to share so keep your eyes peeled :) x