Our third full day in Paris was my favourite of the whole trip; not only was it a truly lovely day, but it was my birthday too! I was ecstatic to be turning 23 in the City of Lights, and I had the most wonderful birthday I’ve ever had.
We started off the day with almond and chocolate croissants (heavenly!) and me excitedly opening the small pile of cards I’d packed into my suitcase. Nothing beats a birthday card! I chose my favourite outfit for the day, a beautiful blue midi skirt with an organza panel from Topshop, with a panelled white blouse.
We wandered into Le Marais, so that I could explore the vintage shops and perhaps put my birthday money to immediate use. I did find a few cute things, but didn’t buy, as almost every store didn’t feature a mirror – madness! So yes, they looked good on the hanger, but I’ve no idea if they looked good on me…
After a fruitless (but still fun!) search through the vintage stores, we wandered down on to the Rue de Rivoli, one of the most famous shopping streets in Paris. It’s full of beautiful buildings (the government building – the name escapes me – is utterly breathtaking) and Paris’s favourite shops, alongside old friends like H&M and Zara, and of course, Sephora! We kept going, as I’d decided previously that I’d quite like to go to the Tuileries gardens, and carried on walking past places like the Louvre, my favourite museum in the world. Finally, I saw the famous ferris wheel in the distance, and we got to the gates of the Tuileries.
I was just about to dash straight inside when I noticed that Lewis was talking to a pair of strangers on the pavement and introducing himself. Lewis barely talks to his own family, so I knew straightaway something was off. The next thing I knew, one of the strangers thrust a huge bouquet of flowers into my arms, and wished me a happy birthday, while the other one handed Lewis a huge paper bag and a bottle of wine. I was completely confused, until Lewis explained that his birthday present to me was a surprise picnic, there in the Tuileries! I, of course, burst into tears as we walked into the gardens, totally overwhelmed. We’ve been together for nearly five years now and he really does know how to surprise me!
We found a perfect spot in the gardens, and laid out our perfect Parisian picnic. It really was the sweetest thing – the strangers own this business and offer different packages depending on your needs, then buy everything fresh from a market on the morning of your picnic. We had delicious French bread, cured meats, cheese, pate, crisps, fruit, gorgeous ginger cake and a bottle of rose wine, and it really was the most wonderful lunch. I was still shocked the whole time we were eating, and so thrilled at my amazing birthday present, as you can see!
Once the picnic was finished up, we took a stroll through the Tuileries, and then on so that I could buy myself a birthday present to remember. I had it in my head that I wanted to buy a Chanel lipstick from the original store on Rue Cambon, and that’s exactly what I did. It was a very luxurious experience for me, and there was nothing quite like the smugness I felt at strolling around Paris, hand-in-hand with my wonderful man, arms loaded up with a Chanel shopping bag and an enormous bouquet of flowers.
We went back to our apartment for a while so I could put my flowers in water, and delve into a box of incredible profiteroles from a place called Popelini – rose, salted caramel and milk chocolate profiteroles are among the most delicious things I’ve ever tasted.
In the evening, we had decided to go for a bit of a fancy meal (my birthday appears to have been entirely dominated by food!) and got dressed up to go to Le Dome Du Marais; a beautiful restaurant with the most picturesque glass dome in the ceiling. We had a wonderful meal together, and it was well worth splashing out for. It comes highly recommended if you’re looking for a romantic restaurant with a great vibe and even better food!
Finally, the meal was over, and it was getting on for 11pm. I’m a bit of a romantic (understatement of the year) and had a longing to visit the Eiffel Tower one more time, especially on my birthday. We’d missed the boat really in terms of going up it again, but Lewis had had a better idea, and so we got onto the Metro and headed over to the Place du Trocadero. I wasn’t really sure where we were going, but as we came out of the Metro station and turned a corner, we were hit with this utterly amazing view:
It was something like the stuff of dreams for me, and just when I thought I’d couldn’t enjoy it more, the light show began, and the whole tower twinkled incessantly! I know that Parisians hate the light show, but I’m a bit of a magpie, and seeing it all lit up was spectacular. Between us, we must have taken about 100 photos! I couldn’t tear myself away, and we stayed for the entirety of the light show. When it was finally over, I admitted defeat and we headed back to the Metro to go home. But it was the most perfect way to finish off what had been a truly perfect day. A very happy birthday indeed.