Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Paris with toddlers & staying in a strangers home

If you follow my blog or any of my social media (what?! You don't?! Get clicking to your right!), you will know that last weekend, me, my husband and daughter spent the weekend in Paris with our good friends and their beautiful 8 month old daughter too.  In an attempt to not bore you with my descriptions of this very beautiful city, because let's face it, we have all seen the Eiffel Tower, I thought I would do a little round up of how we found travelling with two little ones and how I found staying in a strangers home (and no, we are not involved in some strange Parisian wife swap). 

We travelled to Paris by Eurostar which was actually brilliant. The trip seemed to be so quick and there was plenty of room for our luggage and pram / pushchairs.  So far so good.  Until that is, we arrived at the station where you needed to have a flying pram to be able to get about. I think its more commonly known as Gare du Nord. Apologies if we blatantly missed any lifts, but, after several laps of the station the only way we could get to any of the connecting platforms we needed was to carry everything down several flights of stairs. All I can say is the need to be accessible to all has clearly bypassed this station and after much huffing and puffing, we all arrived safely onto the platform, albeit minus a bag of M&S Percy Pigs that got damaged in transit.  RIP. 

Our accommodation for the weekend was a beautiful apartment we had rented from a site called Airbnb. Airbnb is a website whereby you can search properties all over the world and basically rent people's houses (they are not in them at the time!).  The houses have reviews and are rated by people who have previously stayed there.  Some of the places to rent are absolutely stunning and you can rent whole houses, studios, flats or even just a room. As someone who only ever books hotels, I was a little dubious about using this service, but it is such an amazing concept.  I guess people rent their homes who maybe have other properties or go on holidays themselves.  The apartment we rented was amazing.  It was spotless (very important to me), it had three bedrooms, two balconies and my daughter had her own little playroom!!! Whilst it was strange being in someone's house with their belongings still in, it was lovely to have a 'homely' base for the weekend right in the middle of Paris.  

The person whose apartment it was met us at the door, showed us round, had bought us a few essentials, like bread and milk and even left us a range of maps and local information. Of course I didn't do any snooping (but I could tell the owners had excellent taste with their Laura Mercier bath collection).  I would certainly use Airbnb again, in fact we are, when we travel to New York in May.  It's definitely worth a look if you are going away and want something a bit more flexible than a hotel.  For us, it worked out cheaper between us and also gave us a bit more freedom when the children went to bed so we could sit on the balcony or in the living room, whereas if you stay in a hotel you can be a little stuck in the evenings. 

We spent the weekend taking in the glorious sights of Paris and also ate our way through the delicacies.  We used a shuttle water bus to get back from the Eiffel Tower which was really nice as it transported us along the river right through the heart of Paris.  Pre-children I think we would have all managed to walk back to the apartment (maybe with a few bar stops along the way), but with hungry little ones in tow we found the boat ride perfect. It was a lovely Parisian weekend away.  

Readers of this blog maybe keen to know if I managed to befriend Kim Kardashian as it was Paris Fashion Week whilst we were there. I can confirm I did not.  I have the eyes of an eagle when it comes to any celebrities (please don't judge me)and I didn't see a single one of them. But quite frankly, who needs celebrities when you have the Eiffel Tower and a macaroon in your hand? Exactly. 

Thanks for reading, 

post signature


  1. Ooh I've not heard of Airbnb, I might have to go and have a peek as that sounds like a great idea. We struggle now with 5 of us with hotel rooms, everywhere is designed for families of 4 it seems! x

    1. Yes, I totally recommend it! But please do not hold me responsible for all of the places you will want to visit when you see their website !! :-) x

  2. What a lovely weekend, I forget the Eurostar is so close by, we should really take advantage of it! x

  3. I am sad you were unable to befriend Kim K. Sad times. I adore Paris and want to take the hub as he's never been. I have been dubious of air bnb but a few folks have stayed in gorgeous places so I might consider it now! xx