I went out to Paris again to bring in the New Year with my best pal Ellen. My visit wasn’t as fleeting as last time because of the bank holiday so we managed to fit a lot more in! But, as usual when visiting my friends on their year abroad, it’s much more about seeing and spending time with them than packing in the sightseeing.
We went for a lovely walk along the Coulée Verte – very similar to the High Line in NYC. We got a great view of areas of Paris I’d never been before and it was nice to see some greenery in a big city.
Literally my favourite thing to do when visiting a city is to just wander with no goal destination in mind. It’s not often in daily life that we get the opportunity to do this because we’re all in such a rush to get everywhere and pack in as much as we can into the day. But in doing this, we often miss out on enjoying the journey. Sometimes, it’s important to slow life down and walk without purpose. It’s at times like this when you can have more difficult or intense conversations, be with your own mind and thoughts, and generally just observe the world.
We attempted to revisit a restaurant I mentioned in my last Paris blog post – Janine Loves Sunday – for the most unforgettable Pad Thai which I honestly still think about at least once a week. However, we were devastated to find it closed for the holidays so we settled with another Pad Thai place which was decent but not remarkable. I’ll have to come back again before Ellen moves back to the UK in March, or get her to bring me some back on the plane!
For New Years Eve, we booked ourselves a table at a fancy restaurant near to Ellen’s apartment called Le Café du Commerce. The setting was absolutely beautiful and the atmosphere was perfect. We started with cocktails and then went onto a bottle of rosé so by the end of the night we were giggling away as I was trying to encourage her to leave her number for the “tasty” waiter.
One notable thing I LOVE about France is how you can rely on having good bread on the table. It’s niche but as a vegan it’s a brilliant safety net to ensure you never go hungry, especially in a country known for its cheese and meats. Also, I just bloody love bread.
We finished up with our meal at around 11:30 and headed back to Ellen’s apartment to watch the fireworks from her balcony, because she has a perfect view of the Eiffel Tower. We were planning on going back out afterwards but after popping open a bottle of Champagne at midnight, we decided to just stay in, pop on our PJs, listen to some tunes and chat.
The next day, we dragged ourselves out of bed to head over to Montparnasse to get “the best crêpes in Paris” (Pickett, 2019) at Le Petit Josselin which, I can confirm, did live up to her hype. Then, it was back to Charles de Gaulle for me and back to the daily grind, new year new me and all that.
Thanks again for having me Ellen, and as always, you were a wonderful host! Lots of love.