Apart from Central London (which is half an hour from us) we haven’t done many cities as a family. We’ve been much more comfortable on a beach, or in a country cottage, where we can roam free a little and take things at out own pace. But last month, our day trip to Amsterdam, while we were on holiday in The Netherlands gave me a taste for city life as a family. It was hectic and hot but it was also fun.
So when we were invited to go to Paris for a couple of nights last week, I set aside all worries and fears about going to a busy city on my own with the five-year-old (Mr P couldn’t join us because of work) and I said YES.
The trip was arranged by HomeAway, which is a great holiday rentals company, offering apartments, country cottages, seaside stopovers and more. They put us up in a fantastic apartment in Le Marais – such a beautiful part of Paris. We arrived in the city, by Eurostar (“Are we in France yet?” x 100) and jumped in a taxi to our apartment. It felt weird to be going through one of those huge wooden doors you see on Parisian streets – the ones you know lead to apartments and where French people live. Our door led into a gorgeous courtyard, with a gallery on one side and our building on the other.
Once inside, we explored our small but perfectly formed apartment – it was 9pm but the evening sun was still streaming through the windows, giving the place a golden magical feel. We shut the shutters (so French!) to make it darker and I tucked the five year old into bed. The apartment had a bedroom with double bed, and also a sofa bed in the living room. I decided that we’d just share the double bed, rather than faff around with the sofa bed (although that did result in a small meltdown with the five year old wailing “I want to sleep in the sofa bed!” before I explained that a sofa bed really isn’t something to get excited about.)
It felt lovely to have so much space, compared with a hotel room, and once the five year old was in bed, I could still sit in the living room and catch up on a bit of work (on the free wifi). After a restless night (note to self: never share a bed again with a child who likes to thrash around, punch and kick in her sleep…) we woke to a beautiful Parisien morning! We opened the shutters and early morning sunlight glinted through the windows….