Honeymooning down by the Seine

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Way back when (well, in November 2004), Mark and I were sat outside the Cercle cafe opposite the Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris drinking wine. This was during the months I spent as a student in Paris, Mark was over to visit and so we’d gone for a bit of an evening out. A friend of mine lived just around the corner, so we used to frequent this area and this cafe in particular because it did nice soupe à l’oignon with tons of bread and cheese for a reasonable price.

As we sat there, an american lady walked past, turned to us, and said, loudly and excitedly, “ARE YOU HONEYMOONERS?!”. No, we replied. But ever since that day, we agreed that in the event we were ever honeymooners, we would go and sit outside the Cercle again, drink wine, and see if she walked past again.

And so, almost 12 years later, there we were. Sadly, the lady did not reappear, but we nevertheless had a nice glass of wine.

Otherwise, Paris was its usual marvellous self for the one and a half days we stayed there. I have spent more time in Paris and know it better than most cities in the UK, so it’s always nice to be back. We arrived on rather a wet Sunday night, but the Bistrot du Peintre, just up the road from our regular hotel, kept us warm and fed and well wined, before a break in the rain just long enough for a walk down the Seine to Notre Dame.

Monday began with much better weather, and we headed over to my favourite cafe in a backstreet in the Marais for a croissant, coffee and an orange juice. Some ambling around Rue des Rosiers and Place des Vosges was followed by falafel for lunch, a metro trip and some more ambling around the Latin Quarter, Boulevard St Germain and the aforementioned Jardins du Luxembourg. I bought Poirot novels in French for 50 cents, which some days later into the honeymoon turned out to be a good call when I almost ran out of books.

In the evening, we returned to one of my all time favourite places to eat in the whole world, Chez Imogène, for galettes and crêpes, followed by a trip to the Eiffel Tower, where we sat on the grass and watched the sun set and the lights twinkle. A trip to the bright lights of Montmartre and Pigalle followed that, before we realised the time, remembered we had to be up at 6am the next day for our flight to Italy, and sensibly retired to our bed!

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