Départ pour Orléans - Gare d’Austerlitz © Sebastien Pittau

1 hour to escape
from Paris !

Escape: verb. Flee, furtively run off from a place where one is locked away or retained.

A little exaggerated? ...

Oh no, not at all! My week had been chaotic... I was literally submerged by a pile of files to work on.Just imagine the scene, and the state I was in! So, on Friday, I suggested to my co-worker Anne – she's a lovely girl Anne – that we escape for the weekend. A 100% girly, 100% relaxing weekend. Yes please... At 5pm, as we were preparing to leave the office, we made a few clicks on Google to find the ideal destination – not too far away and easily accessible by train. Our idea was to get away, straight away, without wasting a second! To find a departure that very evening. To be impulsive. To be wild!

So I keyed in 'Where to spend a weekend near Paris'. Several towns were winking an eye at me, including Orléans, just a short hour from Paris by train. So off we went!A quick dash round to my apartment to grab some clothes, then I jumped on a 'Velib' city cycle and at precisely 7.26pm, we left the Gare d'Austerlitz train station in Paris to head for Orléans. Perfect!

On our way, we wondered where we would stay - well yes, this was a last minute weekend :-). We opted for a small apartment near the River Loire. The perfect cosy nest for our well-being weekend.

 

Fin de semaine à Paris © Sebastien Pittau

Fin de semaine à Paris © Sebastien Pittau

Fin de semaine à Paris © Sebastien Pittau

Fin de semaine à Paris © Sebastien Pittau

Fin de semaine à Paris © Sebastien Pittau

Fin de semaine à Paris © Sebastien Pittau

Fin de semaine à Paris © Sebastien Pittau

Fin de semaine à Paris © Sebastien Pittau

Départ pour Orléans - Gare d’Austerlitz ©

Départ pour Orléans - Gare d’Austerlitz ©

Arrivée à Orléans © Sebastien Pittau

Arrivée à Orléans © Sebastien Pittau

My weekend in Loiret

Marché d’Orléans © M.Perreau - CRT CVDL
Marché d’Orléans © M.Perreau - CRT CVDL

We enjoyed a (not so) long lie. Time for the Loire quaysides and Orléans' biggest market.

After spending the evening chatting, then a deliciously relaxing night's sleep, we set off to discover the Saturday morning market on the Loire quayside. I am particularly fond of meeting with producers, discovering new products, revelling in the array of colours and the different fragrances that punctuate the market stands. And I was not disappointed! This market welcomes over 130 traders and producers.

 

We also loved the flea market and the small vintage boutiques

One of the local producers advised that we continue our stroll as far as the flea market. We finally reached Boulevard Alexandre Martin at 11.30. We had walked a bit but it was well worth it. I rummaged around and finally unearthed a lovely little sun-shaped mirror, at an equally adorable price.
I simply loved the vintage boutiques in Orléans' historic centre:

The Loup'Ange à l'Elégance second-hand clothes shop As they say themselves, 'A retro second-hand clothes store and a Mecca for noble materials'. In a nutshell!

The Recycollections boutique The Recycollections boutique is run by an association whose aim is to encourage innovative valorisation of waste products. The store is home to second-hand goods and creative experiments.

Brocante © Francis Peyrat
Brocante © Francis Peyrat
Centre historique Orléans © C. Mouton- CRT CVDL
Centre historique Orléans © C. Mouton- CRT CVDL

Then a mojito, a margarita... or two? Oh dear, I can't quite remember! Just a typical evening in Rue de Bourgogne!

The historic town centre is extremely appealing with its stone-built or half-timbered Renaissance style houses.

But Rue de Bourgogne was the one we loved most. And apparently the locals agree. Rue de Bourgogne is Orléans' liveliest street. Restaurants rub shoulders with small boutiques and friendly bars, in a festive atmosphere in the very heart of the town!

 

Sunday morning: let's have brunch!

Given our occupations the previous evening, as you can imagine, we were hardly early birds... me in particular. And since long lie rimes with brunch...! I was used to having brunch every Sunday morning in Paris, but I wasn't sure I would find what I was looking for in Orléans. After a short search, we found a dozen or so places to fit the bill. We finally went for 'La Pause', a restaurant that serves copious brunches with seasonal produce for just €16.

Here are a few other addresses in Orléans which, of course, we didn't have time to test: Le Lip, La Bonne Pioche, L'Empreinte, Les Fils à Maman, L'Antidote, L’Hôtel Abeille.

Brunch du dimanche matin à Orléans
Brunch du dimanche matin à Orléans

Let's end our weekend on a high note

Before leaving, we decided to opt for a cultural visit at the Musée des Beaux Art (Fine Arts Museum). It is one of the finest and the oldest in France. Surprise! Our tour was a genuine journey through time, from the 15th to the 21st century. We could admire some 700 works of art: paintings, sculptures, objets d'art. I particularly liked the basement where some magnificent contemporary works are displayed!

 

A PLACE TO SLEEP

A PLACE TO SLEEP in Orléans

Hotels Campsites Guest House

When, how much and where?

- by car: A10, A71, N20, N60

- by train: allow 1 hour to 1 hour and a half from the Gare d'Austerlitz station in Paris.

Please note that there are two railway stations in Orléans: Orléans centre and Orléans-Les Aubrais (with a tram link to the town centre)

 

HOW TO BOOK

Tourisme Loiret
02 38 78 04 04