We did do a couple of touristy things (Notre Dame and a night visit to Eiffel Tower is a must) but the best thing about returning to a city you have been to a few times eases the pressure to fit too much culture in.
If you are off on a weekend break to Paris then here are my food recommendations. My to-eat list on this trip did me proud, I don't think I ate a single duff course. There are still plenty of places I didn't get around to, or have been to before, but have listed them as well.
My meal here will certainly stick in my memory. For the price, the elegant yet robust food and some little clever quirks on flavour combinations, is unbeatable. My beef fondant in red wine was one of the nicest things I've eaten this year. Hence why booking is essential. Sit cheek to jowl and read the French only menus on the boards but staff are particularly helpful. Fabulous.
11 Dupin St, 75006 Paris, France
Les Cocottes de Christian Constant
This is a contemporary restaurant which celebrates the cocotte, a small, individual portion oven-proof pot. I really enjoyed dinner here, my foam bisque with langoustine ravioli was the perfect light start to the cocotte of rich veal. You must end the meal with their waffles. There is a no reservation policy and this is a very popular spot so arrive early.
135 Rue Saint-Dominique, 75007 Paris, France
Eggs & Co.
Quirky doesn't even begin to describe this place but in a city where brunch is ludicrous in price, Eggs & Co are just the ticket for a hearty breakfast to set you up for the day. As the name suggest they only do eggs, in a million guises; poached, scrambled, fried, omelette... It's fun, fresh and very well done. After a day or two of rich dining, my omelette with ham was exactly the simplicity I craved and Mr GF's egg benedict, as I would have expected, were excellent.
11 Bernard Palissy St, 75006 Paris, France
A splash of tourist maybe but Chez Janou is ideal for lunch. Fun, friendly and cosy they serve classic dishes which are really well priced. Of course I had to order the signature chocolate mousse which comes in a gigantic communal bowl and you help yourself to however much you can eat or until you are sick.
2 Roger Verlomme St, 75003 Paris, France
A Paris classic and number one spot for afternoon tea, a trip to Laudurée never gets tired. I like to go into the Bonaparte branch as they have a beautiful breakfast room which reminds me of the Brighton Pavilion. Perfect for pastries and coffee, served with real silver and pastel coloured bone china. I particularly like their gorgeously iced Religieuse cakes.
21 rue Bonaparte, 75006 Paris
Other places I've been to on previous Paris trips or have been recommended by trusted sources:
RestaurantsChez L'Ami Jean
27 Malar St, 75007 Paris, France
A restaurant celebrating the dessert. But don't expect three courses of pasty, the dishes are composed of vegetables, fruits and herbs, perfectly balanced, but swung toward sweeter notes.
Les Deux Magots
Historic and typically Parisiene. Les Deux Magots is a little on the pricey side but a very elegant pitstop.
6 place Saint-Germain-des-Prés, 75006 Paris, France
Café de Flore
Right next to Les Deux Margots and seems much of the same.
172 Boulevard Saint-Germain, 75006 Paris, France
Le Comptoir du Relais
They only serve one dish, steak frites and they do it well. Can get very busy.
9 Carrefour de l'Odéon, 75006 Paris, France
Another place from Christian Constant. This version is open all day and more affordable.139 Rue Saint-Dominique, 75007 Paris, France
A classic bistro with affordable prices.
77 rue de Richelieu - 75002 PARIS
Cheap as frites, boisterous but looks good fun. Great interior.
7 RUE DU FAUBOURG MONTMARTRE 75009 PARIS
Josephine Chez Dumonet
Highly recommended by Parisiene food blogger David Lebovitz.
117, rue Cherche-Midi
Part of the Flo chain. Good reviews and what an interior!
5-7 Rue de la Bastille, 75004 Paris, France
Le Café du Commerce
Affordable brasserie in a lovely atrium style restaurant.
51 Commerce Street, 75015 Paris, France
Ok, this brand is Belgian but sell some of my favourite chocolate. Expensive but worth it.
89 Rue de Seine, 75006 Paris, France
A trip to Paris without a macaron pilgrimage to Pierre Hermé? Unthinkable.
72 Rue Bonaparte, 75006 Paris, France
Husband and wife team. Try the baba au rhum, which comes with an extra pipette of rum so you can adjust the strength of booze to your preference.
14 Rue Rambuteau, 75004 Paris, France
Self taught chocolatier who has relocated his lab above the shop here. There is also a beautifully designed tea salon where you can enjoy classic French pastries. Go for the made-to-order mille-feuille.
133 Rue de Turenne, 75003 Paris, France
Beautiful pastries and daily small batches of mille-feuille.
51 Rue Censier, 75005 Paris, France
Jean-Paul Hévin is a Meilleur Ouvrier de France – the highest distinction an artisan can aspire to – who's primarily known for his work as a chocolatier. There is a salon du thé here.
231 Rue Saint-Honoré, 75001 Paris, France
Les Gâteaux et du Pain
A patisserie owned and run by a woman is still a rarity in Paris but Claire Damon gives the classics her own modern twists. Try her signature violet and blackcurrant Saint-Honoré.
63 Boulevard Pasteur, 75015 Paris, France
Chocolate & Zucchini blogger Clotilde Dusoulier's favourite place to eat in Paris, apparently. Service was a little rude on my last visit but loved it none the less.
46 Martyrs Street, 75009 Paris, France
The most beautiful incarnations of the Saint-Honoré. Recommended by Brighton's own macaron master Juilien Plumart.
26 Place de la Madeleine 75008 Paris
Cafe and more
One of Paris' oldest cafes dating back to 1686.
13 Ancienne Comédie St, 75006 Paris, France
A private townhouse that entertained the likes of Delacroix, Chopin and Rossini. The museum houses romantic art and there is a beautiful tea room. Go for the Egyptian style tea made with hibiscus flowers and cinnamon.
Thanks so much to everyone that suggested places via Twitter, especially Brighton fashionista What Laura Did Next who clearly is a seasoned Paris visitor.