As I write this, I’m sat on a Eurostar train from Paris to London. I’ve spent the weekend visiting my friend Tammy, who’s been working on a project out there this month. It’s a very cool project as it happens as she works for the government. I’m not going to explain it more than that because it makes her sound like a female James Bond and I know she’ll love that.
When I booked this trip, I naively failed to realise that it was in fact the opening weekend of the Euro Cup and ended up being the only person on the Eurostar not sporting a football shirt. Unlike my fellow travellers, I was also the only one to be stone cold sober. Lemme tell you, football chants and boozed up men do NOT make for a restful journey.
I stayed with Tammy in her aparthotel near the Hausmann-Saint Lazare Metro station, right next to the Printemps department store and the opera house, the Palais Garnier, conveniently just one stop on from Gare de Nord. I can’t tell you how much it cost because I wasn’t paying (thanks TamTam!) but I can tell you that it was extremely comfortable, clean and conveniently located if you’re looking to visit all the sights.
I’ve really struggled with dealing with stress this year (something I’ll dive into deeper in a later post) and one of my biggest learnings from that is how restorative a getaway can be, even if just for a day trip or weekend. New surroundings, spending time with good friends and being able to truly switch off from day-to-day life – yes, yes, YES! It’s one of the biggest reasons why I’ve made so many things on my 30 things before 30 list are travel based. One of the other reasons why I love getting away at the moment is that it’s giving me even more of an excuse to get my big camera out and take some pictures. I’m currently enrolled in one of Emily Quinton’s Makelight online photography courses, which is totally getting me back in to photography. It’s something I’ve always loved to do but by starting this blog and booking in time away, it’s giving me the drive to really go for it. Anyway, I digress. Back to Paris.
The first time I went to Paris was on my 7th birthday as a surprise trip to visit the Musee D’Orsay because I was OBSESSED with Monet and the impressionists – pretty epic right?! I’ve been back a number of times since but only returned last year as a “proper” grown up and loved it so much that I’ve been back 3 times since then. I’m very much rediscovering the city and thought I’d share just a few of my favourite hot spots. Would LOVE to hear your recommendations for the city for my next trip – throw ’em my way please! I’ve thrown in some extra snaps too just so you can ooh and ahh over them and y’anno, makes great Pinterest fodder and all that! Enjoy!
A couple of people had recommended this place to me for Sunday brunch and you definitely need to reserve a table unless you get there mega early. It’s a set menu at either 26 euros without booze or 32 euros with. Sounds like a lot but the amount of food you get is unreal. First there was coffee (of course), then a choice of juices, then a DELICIOUS pastry basket, then a choice of “main” (I went for Eggs Benedict) and then a choice of pancakes, a chocolate tart or fruit salad. Serious food fest. The staff were lovely and the library room at the back where we sat was like Instagram heaven.
I’ve spotted this on Instagram feeds more times than I can count and never really thought the pastries would love up to the hype of the exterior but trust me, it really does…and more! There’s a pistachio + chocolate swirl which is out of this world. I’m salivating just typing it. If you want a taste of a bloody good Parisian boulangerie, this is the place for you!
Ok so this is one of my favourite breakfast spots in New York but I was desperate to try the original in Paris and it was even better than I had hoped. Tammy even went as far as saying it was the best breakfast she’s ever had…ever! We both opted for the very indulgent waffle sandwich, which was the perfect mix of savoury and sweet. The interiors are super charming and if you don’t speak French, all the staff speak fluent English! Winner.
This is THE most charming book shop on Paris’ Left Bank. I could’ve easily spent hours browsing through the shelves in here. I wasn’t allowed to take photos inside and there was a sea of Chinese tourists outside the front but I managed to grab a side view shot where their cafe is. They also have this happy cactus mosaic, which is potentially one of my favourite finds of the trip.
I hadn’t been up here since a school trip when I was about 12 years old and forgot how beautiful it is. It’s a bit of a walk up but there’s a funicular for those who don’t want to work off their cheese, wine + bread diet or who are carting kids or invalids. The building itself is mesmerizing but you feel like you’re sat on top of the city when you’re up there. Definitely worth a visit!
Someone recommended this to me on Twitter but if you head up to the top floor of the Printemps department store in Opera, you get the most amazing view across the city for FREE! There’s a cafe up there if you need refreshment but it’s become one of my favourite things to do in Paris.
The Best of The Rest
I loved these blue doors in Place Vendôme. This square houses the Ministry of Justice as well as a lot of high end luxury brands. I didn’t even have to pay this all-blue guy to walk past but it was perfect timing!
I love the green chairs throughout the Tuileries Gardens and Luxembourg Gardens in Paris. I literally took a thousand photos of them!
I mean – the detail on this building….out of this world.
Couldn’t help but burst in to song when I stood outside this place. It’s actually in Paris’ red light district in Pigalles.
Those striped blinds outside The Conran Shop in Paris are beautiful.
Pavillon Sully building next to La Louvre.
Totally cliche but you can’t beat a proper French macaron.