A Postcard from Paris
Last month I returned from the dreamiest trip to Paris. It was genuinely the best few days I've had in a long time, and the happiest at that too. I've seen an awful lot of people have been travelling to the city of lights, love and the BEST PASTRIES YOU EVER WILL EAT (genuinely, I think about those Pain Aux Raisins more than I'd care to admit) too and so I thought I'd share some pics and my Paris Do's and Don'ts.
We flew from Edinburgh because the flights were cheap. A bit of a trek from Aberdeen (but where isn't a trek from Aberdeen tbf?) and luckily for us airport parking was reasonable. My boyfriend made us leave over five hours before our flight and so we sat in the airport Wetherspoons drinking gin and tonics for three and a half hours to keep things extra classy, followed by drinks on the flight, obvs.
Pizza. Because when we arrived at our Air B&B I was convinced the area we were staying in was dodgy (it most definitely was not) and we had not a clue where we actually were and so, like the intrepid explorers we are, ordered a Deliveroo straight to our apartment which turned out to be one of the best pizzas I've ever eaten. It may not look like anything special, but trust me here.
The Louvre. The next day we set off early(ish) after spending the morning sitting in a Patisserie eating pastries for breakfast and people watching and done this every morning too. We started walking from said patisserie in the direction we believed to be into central Paris, until about fifteen minutes later in total bumbling, touristy, fashion. we accidentally stumbled across the Louvre.
Notre Dame - Definitely worth a visit, it was beautiful, incredibly peaceful and the views from the top were actually worth the climb - although, not one for the claustrophobic, those stairways are tiiiight.
Scallop and Truffle Risotto at restaurant we ended up in that night, which turned out to be a totally overpriced tourist trap.
How can Paris still look SO pretty in the gloomiest, most overcast of days I do not know.
We queued for over an hour to get up the Eiffel Tower but it was well worth the views, even for a total wimp like me.
Smiling through the fear and clinging onto that handrail for dear life
Lunches were spent at whatever resturaunt we stumbled upon eating crepes and croque monsieur's and drinking wine under a patio heater and pretending it was really that warm. This one wasn't far from the Eiffel Tower but, surprisingly, wasn't overly touristy or expensive.
Another must see, The Sacre Coeur. The views from the top of the city were beautiful too and there were musicians all around and it was just so peaceful and lovely. A definite must if you're visiting.
Angelina for the most luxurious of brunches. The decor is to die for and our food (eggs benne and quiche) was delicious. Obviously, trying their famous hot chocolate was a must and whilst it was so sweet I could only handle about a third of it (defos one for sharing) it was dreamy. Like drinking a molten, chocolate dessert.
Last stop was Lauduree. I've visited the Covent Garden branch several times before so of course, a trip to Paris wouldn't be complete without. We went to the one just along from Angelina and stocked up on boxes to take home to family. The most insta-worthy place.
1) Air B&B - ours was slightly cheaper than a hotel (not actually by much though) but was perfect for what we needed it for (mainly to sleep) and felt super cosy and cute with exposed brick walls and wooden beam ceilings. It was also less than a two minute walk to the metro (I'll get onto that) and there were restaurants, bars, patisseries everywhere. Our host also arranged a driver to pick us up from the airport which, although seemed like a pricey option at first, was cheaper than a taxi and meant we were dropped right to the door and our driver helped us in.
2) The Metro - it took us a few attempts to get it right (we accidentally purchased a ticket to take us to the very edge of the Paris region which was about four times the price of a normal ticket) but it's so cheap and so fast.
3) Hop on, Hop Off buses - We got one on our first day and it's such a good way to the see the city, go from landmark to landmark, and, if you want to get into full tourist mode, listen to the guided tour as you go.
4) All the sights if it's your first time. I'd visited once as a child but highly recommend The Eiffel Tour, Notre Dame, Arc de Triomphe and Sacre Coeur for ariel views all over the city. Next time, I want to re-visit The Louvre.
5) Sephora on the Champs Elysees. Don't bother with any of the other Sephora's in Europe as they have mostly just the same brands we have here, but the Champs-Elysées branch is the only one outside of the US to stock American brands that we can't as easily get our hands on, or see in person, here. I just about had heart palpitations when I walked in, there's Fenty Beauty, Anastasia, Marc Jacobs. Becca, Huda Beauty, By Terry, Zoeva... I only had about fifteen minutes in there and so grabbed a few things supermarket sweep style, but defos worth a visit (and saving a bit of space in your luggage for)
1) Avoid tourist trap restaurants. We fell victim to this on our first night and had such a disappointing meal in the most uncomfortable atmosphere and spent the most money we've probably ever spent on a meal that it makes me feel a bit sick to think about. The place had very hit or miss reviews but we decided to give it a go anyway and would not recommend. Our next night though we went to a New York style burger restaurant that had the best burgers, more cocktails than you could shake a furry stick at and super friendly waiters, so every cloud.
2) Decide where you are going to eat that morning (or even before you leave if you're super organised) to save scrambling around trying to find places to eat that might not be that great.
3) Prioritise what you want to do and what you want to see etc. We both took a very laid-back approach and didn't want to rush around anyway, but definitely bear in mind that you probably won't see everything so prioritise your "must-see's".
I hope this helps anyone who's travelling the Paris! I'd go back in heartbeat x