Finding hidden gems in Paris

You will not be stuck for satisfying breakfast choices in the bustling, lively city of Paris. Dotted on just about every street corner are a handful of bakeries. They sell all kinds of goodies from freshly baked, soft, baguettes with a crispy crust, to warm pain au chocolats. Not to mention the eclectic choice of colourful, flavoursome and delicious pastries. There are Strawberry glazed tarts on sweet short crust, chocolate tarts with a nutty oozy rich centre and eclairs in every flavour imaginable with a creamy middle. These are just a few of the numerous choices. Be sure to browse all the pastry shops and sample as many as you can manage.

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After setting yourself up for the day with a freshly baked breakfast you can make your way over to Montmartre. This small region used to be an artistic central hub in the 19th century. Currently, the creatively talented have left the area but what remains is a physically attractive region. It lies on a steep hill – giving you the chance to work breakfast off and be treated with some fantastic city scape views at the top. Stop by at the vineyards admiring the neat rows of vines. Wonder down small alleys, cobble streets and up narrow stairways. Keep an eye out for funky street art. Be sure not to miss the colourful houses lined up on the quiet streets.

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Roaming around with no destination in mind you will discover different hidden gems. We found a quiet Park with vine covered columns. We sat beneath the stunning structure, tucking into another tasty pastry, listening to birds sing in the trees above us. Just in front of where we were sitting we could see across Paris. There are several parks scattered around Montemerte, by simply aimlessly walking you are bound to find a few. It is impossible to miss Sacre – coeur, the huge, elaborate church juts out in the landscape. The best view is from the gardens below. It’s spectacular architecture will have you gasping up at it for quiet some time.

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After you have finished exploring Montemerte, browsing the cute little cheese, delis, boutiques and tea shops you can make your way over to gallery Lafayette. This is within walking distance and gives you the chance to see some more Parasian streets and culture on the way. Gallery lafayet is a magnificent department store hosting high end stores. It is a grand six story building with an unique, exquisite and charming stain glass window roof. Hop in the lift, get to the top floor and peer down all the floors.

In the evening I highly recommend going to listen to some free live music at Le Caveau des Oubliettes. This is not just any old bar but it is in fact an underground wine cellar blues bar. Sit upstairs enjoying a drink before you can enter the mysterious basement at 10pm. You will enter through a heavy standard looking door, take some narrow stone stairs down and enter a magical cavern. This small intimate basement venue is a highlight in Paris. Sit and listen to some phenomenal trombone, sax, base, keyboard and drums. The musicians take it in turns solo improvising into the night. I cannot describe how talented these folk were and how incredible the evening was. You will have to go for yourself to hear the delights of jazz players jam away. Go to metro Maubert and walk to 52 rue Galande 75005. There are also some other cool bars in this area, so if you are early you can stop by another one too. Prepare yourself for expensive drinks but listening to the music itself was free.

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