UK Beauty, Fashion & Lifestyle

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Travel Diary: Paris

I spent the beginning of this week visiting one of my oldest and bestest friends who is currently living and studying in France's capital. I was beyond excited to spend time with her, eat some crepes and drink large glasses of wine. Only fair, right?

Apologies if this diary seems a little like "look at these pictures", but we really did intend to fill two days with as many sights as we could. I'll try and make it slightly useful, but seriously, Paris is just extremely lovely to look at. 
funky flooring along Rue de la Paix

 To begin with, it's pretty sweet when the view from student halls is this good. On the first morning we were given some sun, so drank tea on the terrace under a big blue sky.

We spent our morning wandering around the Notre Dame and visiting Shakespeare & Company, an independent book store that has housed many famous writers and controversial books over the past century. It's such a quirky little place to explore: low ceilings and beams full to the brim with books...
"I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being" - Hafiz
We then took a wander to l'Arc de Triomphe, which to my surprise, you can visit the top of! If you're not afraid of heights/cold wind, I'd definitely recommend it. Be prepared for a Lemony-Snicket-esque staircase and an amazing view...
We then did a spot of shopping (visit Maison Georges Larnicol because everything I've ever tried there tastes amazing) and then made a beeline for the Monet at Le Musée de l'Orangerie.
macarons in tow
On the second day we managed to fit into our morning the beautiful Jardin du Luxembourg and the Musée d'Orsay with its glorious golden-flower ceiling. It used to be a train station, it's filled with art and the hot chocolate on the top floor cafe is essentially pure liquid cocoa. So many good things rolled into one!
Jardin du Luxembourg
beautiful Musée d'Orsay
The afternoon saw us perusing the (crazily ornate) department stores and finally making the uphill climb to the Sacré-Cœur. It's extremely beautiful inside, but I nearly passed out (ice tea was needed) and forgot how to function so apologies for no pictures. But just look at those macarons!
beauty department in Galeries Lafayette
yes please
view from Printemps' terrace
tropical tower view
We'd all done the Eiffel tower before, so didn't feel as though we were missing out by avoiding it, and to be honest I reckon Paris looks a lot better outside of it. It's a beautiful city to explore - I was constantly looking up - and I don't think you need to be really high in a tourist trap to realise that. It sure does look pretty lit up at night though!
And I haven't even discussed food yet. We had delicious meals at Le Brasserie Gaîté, Cafe Hugo on the Place des Vosges (my fave) and Le Creperie Bretonne, pretty much all of which included crepes and wine. Consistency in these fields is key.

Things to do:
  1. Try and speak some French. The French like it and it's good for you. 
  2. Get up high, but it doesn't have to be via the Eiffel Tower.
  3. The Metro was pretty complicated, and if I visited again minus an expert I'd have very little sense of direction. It is however a really easy and cheap way to get about, so get a map and read up a little if you're going it alone. And take a ride on a double decker train, because they're never not going to be fun.
  4. Rue de la Paix is the perfect place for window shopping. Chanel, Tiffany and gigantic chocolate eggs at Les Marquis de Ladurée. 
  5. Eat crepes and macaroons and drink hot chocolate because when else?  
even the metro is pretty
savoury galettes at Le Brasserie Gaîté
giant chocolate eggs in Les Marquis de Ladurée on Rue de la Paix
one of many - quick stop at La Fregate on Rue du Bac
Hope you enjoyed this slightly rambling travel diary and got a taste for the city.

Thanks for reading... xo

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