Sunday, 5 July 2015

Pregnant in Paris! Shopping, Sightseeing and EATING!

Ok so I haven't posted in ages due to a pre-occupation with being pregnant and feeling very sorry for myself with some of the symptoms, but it hasn't stopped us taking lots of short breaks and as usual making the most of living on Europe's doorstep! 

However we did sadly have to cancel our trip to New Zealand which fell at the height of the worst of my morning sickness phase, I honestly felt like I was falling apart, I felt so ill, boo hoo...

Our recent little trip to Paris via the Eurostar was a fantastic little break for taking it easy, eating great food, going shopping, and of course taking in some typically famous sights. Some of the highlights are below...

Shopping: Galleries La Fayette and Printemps 

The flagship of the department store Galleries La Fayette is a stunningly opulent place to wander around even if shopping is not on your main agenda. The stained glass domed ceiling casts a lovely light over the central shopping area and the surrounding arched galleries house the various prestigious brands to at least be appreciated and coveted if not bought!

Not far from Galleries La Fayette is the equally wonderful department store Printemps. A fun place for lunch in Printemps after a hard day shopping is Deli-cieux with its rooftop views of Paris, hot and cold meals, and yummy desserts - canteen-style, with indoors and outdoors seating.

Shopping: Les Quatre Temps, La Defense

The trip out of the centre to see the futuristic and sleek Grande Arche at La Defense can be paired well with a shopping trip to the adjacent shopping mall Les Quatre Temps. The affordable high-street French and international shops, and various delicious cafes are a great indoor pasttime for those occasions when Paris may offer its visitors a rainy day or two, and you're already cultured-out by a visit to the stunning and unbelievably vast Louvre.

My favourite purchase is actually a really fantasic value bottle of cold-pressed argan oil from the Auchan supermarket, also housed within the mall! Where else in the world is half a supermarket taken up by the beauty department...bliss!

Sight-Seeing: Sacre Coeur

A grand 1800s religious building is always something to take a photo of in France, but the Sacre Coeur is especially lovely on its hill overlooking the city. There is a funicular railway which can be used with the metro travel cards, but it is only a few steps up the hill in the vibrant neighbourhood of Montmartre which is fun to wander around anyway - we emerged ftom the depths of the subway into sunshine in Montmartre and I honestly felt like I had been transported to an entirely different Paris! 

Sightseeing: View from the Arc de Triomphe

The walk down the beautifully wide and leafy Champs-Elysees gave Richard an opportunity to ogle the magnificent car showrooms, and me to do the same outside the large designer flagship stores such as Louis Vuitton, but the main purpose was to reach the famous and historic Arc de Triomphe. The view from the top is breathtaking, as it is from the Eiffel Tower. Also like the Eiffel Tower, the climb to the top is pretty hefty but we were luckily able to use the lift due to my being pregnant. Needs must.

Dinner Cruise on the Seine River

A real treat is a cruise on the river to see the sights whilst enjoying a gourmet lunch or dinner. The dinner cruise we chose was an early dinner starting at 6pm, including wine and great choices from a three course menu, and leaving from the docks just across the road from the Eiffel Tower. The cruise was around 69 euros each but the one later in the evening is 30 euros more. Book a few days in advance if you want a guarranteed window table which is more expensive, but to be honest sitting away from the window means you can see alot more on both sides of the river.

A great way to waste (and enjoy wasting) money, is to purchase one of the professional photographs being taken on the boat. The photographers in our experience were very placid and didn't push it if people didn't want it. However we did, which surprised me as Richard is usually immune to blantant money spinners! We chose our photo at the end and felt it was a lovely souvenir of one of the last times we would be out together for a special evening just the two of us... 

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