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My little Paris getaway - Maggie Hitchins

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Paris had been somewhat tarnished for me after a disastrous visit with a former boyfriend so, when I booked tickets for a close friend and I to travel there for a mini-break in September, I approached the city with some trepidation.

Little did I know that the city of love was best enjoyed with your most cherished friend, and I challenge anyone who maintains it is a city made for lovers.

We stayed in a little Air B’n’b flat near the Opera Garnier, and intentionally arrived in the city with no reservations, recommendations or itinerary. This would be three days of going exactly where the mood took us, an antidote to our hectic lives in London with stuffed diaries and no down time.

We spent hours putting the world to rights in smoky, jazz filled bars in the Marais, people watched to our hearts content on the banks of the achingly cool Canal Saint Martin and climbed the steps of Montmarte late at night pausing to sit on the steps marvelling at the twinkling Eiffel Tower (garish to the Parisians, charming to us Brits).

I had visited Paris many times before but this trip - full of comfortable silences, conversations that lingered early into the morning and some of the most unexpected, but charming, encounters I’ve ever enjoyed with the French - was like balm for the soul. And, best of all, made me fall back in love with my favourite city in the world.

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