Sunday, 4 September 2016

Here, There and Everywhere, Paris

Our full day in Paris certainly consisted of us flitting to here, there and everywhere in a typical tourist fashion. All the Parisian bucketlist clichés were ticked off the list: from an Eiffel Tower picnic in the sun to meandering around the Jardin Des Tuileries. So without further ado, let's take a tour around the heart of Paris...

I snapped this little gem in the Zara sale for an incredible price of £10 just before we left London. This simple, white shirt dress with a cutout back was the perfect sartorial choice for exploring a city in thirty-seven degree heat. Who knew Paris got this hot!

I slipped on the dress and peeped my head out the window to welcome in that glorious morning sunshine, sneakily gazing in at the beautiful apartments positioned opposite.

We headed to a cool, local coffee shop that we walked past the day before, named Cuillier. Cafés that you might find in New York, London or Stockholm are scarce in Paris, so this rare little find is quite the hidden gem. Cuillier is making it its mission to get people in Paris as excited and concerned about coffee as everything else they eat and drink (i.e wine and cheese!). A few locals and hip regulars have caught on to the craze already, but do expect to find the odd tourist or two in the mix.

Cuillier's extensive menu will take quite the time to decipher if vous parlez très petits français (my A-Level in French has not stuck with me, clearly), but whatever you order will be delicious. My friends and I scoffed up quite an array of delights - I opted for the pistachio cake, while Sarah and Paige chose a quintessentially French breakfast of a pain au chocolat.

A true neighbourhood treat in the heart of Montmartre, you can find Cuillier located on Faubourg Saint-Honoré (and two other spots in Paris too).

Fuelled up for another day of exploring, we said our thankyous and strolled out into Paris.

A métro later and we arrived at the corner of the Jardin des Tuilieries as the streets bathed in a golden light, topped with that unmistakable Parisian blue.

I love the Tuileries gardens. These are the equivalent to London's Hyde Park and New York's Central Park, but more peaceful and contemplative. Especially at this time of year. The whole of Paris was relatively quiet and less crowded as all of the Parisians swap their city for other French locations like Cannes or St Tropez. Yet, there wasn't hoards of selfie-sticked tourists either. It was perfect, and we lapped up every minute.

August is probably one of the best times to visit this city for those very reasons. Less crowds, smaller, shorter queues, little traffic and beautiful, guaranteed weather. Of course, there truly isn't anything like Paris in the springtime, and I would definitely love to visit in autumn. But to see Paris at its peak in June or July is something I will probably give a miss.

I'm wearing:
Dress - Zara
Shoes - New Look
Bag - Cath Kidston
Sunglasses - Ray-Ban

With the Eiffel Tower looming in front of our eyes in the distance, we could wait no longer. We grabbed a panini from Paul's, hopped back on the métro and dashed in and out of the shade towards the tower.

Our original plans were to sit facing the Eiffel Tower, picnic blanket underneath and a bottle of something fancy at hand. But we were much too hot and flustered so flung ourselves on the nearest shady bench. It was still very beautiful and très parisienne.

Back on the train (told, there and everywhere), and we found ourselves along the Champs Élysées, and at the foot of my favourite monument in Pairs, the Arc de Triomphe.

For most, the moment the Eiffel Tower meets the eye they know they are in Paris. For me, it truly is the Arc de Triomphe, although the Sacré Coeur is a close second. There's something about it that I cannot quite describe, a certain je ne sais quoi if you will. Perhaps its the architecture, the arc shape or its symbol of freedom. Either way, we of course took way too many photos.

Back to the métro (I'm not even kidding), to return to our hotel to refresh for dinner.

We headed to our usual 'strip' in Abessess (this is a inside joke of ours - most girls holiday strips consists of clubs and bars on a party island...ours was restaurants and shops in Paris!). Le Nazir, just on the corner from Rue Lepic called our names with its black and white exterior.

When I’m in Paris I generally like to eat as much French food as humanly possible. If it comes in garlic butter, is served with a basket of bread and a glass of wine, I’m sold. But, we rather naughtily devoured Italian spaghetti dishes with endless jugs of water (it was too hot!), so it was not very French but it sure was delicious.

We finished the day by jumping in to bed to rest our weary legs after one hectically beautiful day.

Paris, please never stop surprising me and wooing me with your magic.

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