We took the eurostar from Waterloo at 9am giving us plenty of time to arrive in Paris, check in & then get ready for lunch!
Our hotel is excellently situated in the 1st Arrondisement, close to the Louvre & walkable to Centre Pompidou & other central tourist areas, like Champs Elysees & also Rue St.Honore where lots of designer shops & boutiques can be found.
After lunch in a great square, just off Rue St. Honore at a place I can't recall... We walked along St. Honore & found the fantastic shop Colette, full of designer clothes, great coffee table books on fashion, street culture etc. They even have their own cds & a wall of Ipods loaded up so you can listen to their compilations.
Later that night we wandered into the Marais district that was busier & more 'local' feeling than our more touristy neighbourhood. We found a bar called La Pearl which had been recommended by a Parisian friend. The Mojitos made it worth tracking down! Dinner there was fabulous too but too much Red wine means I can't remember the name, only the great food - which seems to be pretty standard in all places in Paris!
Today we crossed the bridge into the St.Germain district, approx a 20 minute walk from our hotel on St. Therese. It's a nice stroll & on the approach the St. Germain (which runs sort of parallel to the river) you pass lots of interesting antique & interior design shops.
On St.Germain itself, a huge wide street with multitude of shops, there is something for everyone. Lots of great fashion shops, designer & mid-range, plus famous cafes like Lex Deux Magots, great places to soak up the atmosphere.
After tracking down the Diptyque shop & getting some great candles, we went to have a fantastic picnic lunch, (food bought in a farmer's market nearby) at Jardins de luxembourg (picture). It's a huge park with fountains, intersting shaded areas with small ponds, metal seats etc. A fantastic place to go read a book or snooze in the sun for a few hours.
Finally we made our way back to our hotel area (1st) and stopped at Willies Wine bar for a quick drink. This place had great reviews & we weren't dissapointed. Outside a Jazz band strolled past as we were enjoying our pino-albino grape white (just liked the name!).
That night we ate at one of the numerous great Sushi bars around our hotel area - seems to be a boom in Sushi places in Paris of late, most of them were busy...
This is the view (albeit with a bent neck!) from the top floor of the pompidou centre. Is a fantastic view & I think worth going in just to take the elavator - which unusually runs on the outside of the building - to take in the city views.
The Eiffel tower & Montmartre was clearly visible. Stepping inside you can see various modern art displays & there is a great museum shop too where you can pictures from the shows. It's a bit like Covent Garden market in London outside with lots of small crowds gathering to see various street performers.
After some lunch we looked at the garden displays outside the town hall - there was a double decker bus covered in grass & flowers & even an armchair made of lush green grass that was tempting. It was like a display of urban gardens with various flowers & forms - lots of people seemed to enjoy it.