[dropcap]I[/dropcap]‘m really getting into these longer post titles. The more chatty types. Much better than ‘5 Things To Do In Paris’ because who can actually write a list like that. Here’s the capital of France but only five things – you have to make up the rest yourself. Trust me, I’m a Paris expert.
I’m not into those kind of posts, and I’ve definitely mentioned why before. I don’t know. I’m not going to dwell on it. Maybe my blog views would be a lot higher if I did them.
I don’t have any immediate plans to head back to Paris. I was going to go at the end of summer, probably about now to be honest, but I can’t really face it at the moment. As I said before, I’m going to wait until it’s a little more rose-tinted in my mind. Hopefully this will help me a little with it. That and the fact that I have no money and Paris is hella expensive.
When I do pluck up the courage to head back – probably some point in November? Timetable permitting – there are five things right at the top of my list of things to do. Five things that probably won’t appeal to you at all. Five things that I did when I lived there that I just can’t wait to do again.
1. VISIT THE PLACE MONGE MARKET ON A SUNDAY MORNING
Every Sunday, without fail, I’d wake up around 9, fill the kettle, thrown on some comfy clothes and head up the road to the Place Monge market. Living on the Rue Monge was an absolute gift. 5 minutes from the Pantheon and Jardin des Plantes, and thirty seconds from my favourite market of all time. It’s nothing special. Street food and local produce, vegetables, meat and fish. Breads, sweet treats, a few little pretty things, and two excellent fresh flower stalls. Sometimes the one in the centre had the perfect bunch of pink peonies, other times the one in the far corner had the most beautiful roses. Either way I’d walk back to my freshly boiled kettle a happy gal – with maybe a croissant or two in hand as well…
2. DROP BY MY FRIENDS AND CATCH UP OVER A CHOCOLAT CHAUD
I miss my Parisian friends a lot. A lot, a lot, a lot. My absolute first port of call would be to drop them a message, find them, and have a massive catch up. I’d also pester them constantly about when they’re going to come visit London.
3. GRAB A BOWL OF BO BUN LITERALLY ANYWHERE
Vietnamese food is my favourite food ever. I eat it at least once a week, whether homemade or from the numerous little Vietnamese places around London. I do, however, only ever choose one dish: Bo Bun. I first had this little bowl of excellence on a three-week trip to Vietnam back in 2012 (a bloody long time ago…) and I’ve been obsessed ever since. Vietnamese food in Paris is second only to Vietnam so I was incredibly lucky. Either venture down into the 13th for a traditional bowl, or head to any of the restaurants scattered around wherever you are. My favourite is Foyer Vietnam, a non-profit restaurant with cheap, delicious food. Everything is absolutely amazing, and right up the road from my flat!
4. WRAP UP WARM AND SIT OUTSIDE A CAFÉ AT PLACE DE LA CONTRESCARPE
Another one local to me. I told you, I rarely crossed the river from the Latin Quarter. I lived in the 5th and studied in the 6th, and just didn’t need to go anywhere else. Left bank living is the way forward. The Place De La Contrescarpe was right behind my flat and was one of my favourite evening spots in Paris. The drinks are a little pricey, granted, but that’s okay. It’s worth it for the bustle of the Rue Mouffetard and the gorgeous little twinkly Christmas lights in winter. Throw on a scarf, take a seat under a glowing heater, and watch the evening go by.
5. A NIGHT TIME RUN ALONG THE ÎLE SAINT-LOUIS TOWARDS NOTRE DAME
I used to be big on running. Really big on running. I used to run a 10k every night and smash life. Things have changed in the last few years, but sometimes I find myself, in my hugely unfit state, drifting back to an evening jog. My favourite route in Paris was down to the river and along the banks of the Île Saint-Louis, towards Notre Dame, then looping back round. All in all I could snatch a 5k with such a simple route, and a few little wobbles, and it was bliss. There’s nothing like Paris at night. The cooling air, the gorgeous street lamps, and the classic Parisian vibes. Heaven. Sweaty heaven.