Where to Eat in Paris

30 November 2016


For me, food is a big part of travel. It allows you to experience new cultures and meet the locals if you do it right, and being a fussy eater at the best of times, I like to have a few places scoped out before I arrive. I was only in Paris for three days, but we managed to find some great little places so I thought it would be worth sharing. I've also added in a little map to the bottom of this post with all of the details, hopefully it helps if you're planning a trip to Paris!

Time for Tea


Angelina

If you find yourself in Paris, you must visit Angelina for one of their famous hot chocolates and cakes. Angelina was first founded in 1903 by Antoine Rumpelmayer and quickly became the place to be among the Parisian aristocracy and Coco Chanel herself. If you only try one thing, make it their African Hot Chocolate. The famous african hot chocolate is composed of three carefully selected kinds of African cocoa sourced from Niger, Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire, and is unlike anything I've ever tasted. While you're sipping on your hot chocolate, you'll also *need* a pastry to go with it. The Mont-Blanc is Angelina's most famous pastry combining meringue, light whipped cream and chestnut paste vermicelli - a unique and unrivalled recipes since 1903. 


Pierre Hermé

Pierre Hermé is the home of the macaroon - a must for any parisian stroll. Pierre Hermé is a french pastry chef and chocolatier, who created his own brand in 1998. Heir to four generations of alsatian baker and pastry-making tradition, Pierre Hermé began his career at the age of 14 as an apprentice to Gaston Lenôtre, so it's fair to say he knows his stuff. Since then, he's been awarded the title of World's Best Pastry Chef and fourth most influential French person in the world. His stores are scattered across the city, so you're bound to stumble across one on your walks. 


Ladurée

When in Paris, tea and cake at Ladurée is a must. The recipe for the Ladurée macaron hasn't changed since the middle of the 20th century, and with good reason - it's delicious. The restaurant on the Champs Elysées is simply stunning - sit and let the world go by as you enjoy one of the worlds most famous macarons, in one of the worlds prettiest restaurants. 

Lunch and Dinner

La Bocca Della Verita

If you're craving italian food whilst you're in Paris (honestly, I'm always craving italian food!), then La Bocca Della Verita is a must. The menu is pretty small, but they've perfected everything they serve. Their hazelnut and rocket pesto pasta is to die for, and the cocktails aren't to be missed either!


A La Cloche d'Or

If you're wanting to try traditional french food, then A La Cloche d'Or is perfect for you. The baked camembert is the best I've ever had, and the staff are all super friendly. The restaurant serves food until midnight, and I'd say the best time to go is around 10pm. You can also book this restaurant online here to guarantee a space and it's in the perfect location right next to the Moulin Rouge!

Frog Hop House

The Frog Hop House has been brewing beer in Paris since 1993 (the year all the best things were born haha) and has since opened up their own bar/restaurant right by Rue Cambon. It's perfect if you want American-French food (their halloumi burger is great) and a cocktail or two. They also serve a great breakfast and the atmosphere is laid back, so perfect for an easy dinner. 

Light Bites:


Bistrot Valois

Located right across the street from the Palais Royal (a.k.a my fave spot in Paris), Bistrot Valois is perfect for grabbing a bite to eat and a glass of bubbly. We stopped off for just that to beat the cold before heading back to the hotel - I'd really recommend the cheese and meats board. 

Café de Flore

The Café de Flore is one of the oldest coffeehouses in Paris. Located at the corner of Boulevard Saint-Germain and Rue Saint-Benoît, in Saint-Germain-des-Prés in the 6th arrondissement, it is celebrated for its famous clientele.

Postcards from Paris - Day 1

29 November 2016


Thomas Jefferson famously said 'a walk in Paris will provide lessons in history, beauty, and in the point of life'. Desperate to experience this for ourselves, we booked a short break in the much-loved French capital city. Having lived in London for a while now, it's a wonder as to why I've not made Paris my second home. It's so close to London, yet so far from what London is...indescribable differences that make these cities incomparable, yet beautiful in their own ways. I've said it time and time again, whilst I love London, spending too much time there can wear you down...Paris on the other hand, is the city to visit when you want to feel alive

Even emerging from a railway station, you're surrounded by the beauty of the city. Take the Gare D'Orsay for example, you're instantly hit by a view of the Seine and it's many wonderful bridges, the Louvre, Notre Dame, the beginning of the Champs Elysees, I could go on....there really is nothing like it on earth. 

Anyway, I digress, today I wanted to share with you my first day in Paris, and how I instantly fell in love with the city. Our flight left London Heathrow bright and early, so we were lucky enough to catch the morning light in Paris by 8am. The first part of our morning was filled with the necessary admin tasks that come with landing in a new city - finding the hotel, checking in, and of course caffeinating for the day ahead. Unfortunately, Air France lost our suitcase, so a lot of our day was spent on the phone to their (somewhat useless) customer service team trying to locate our belongings, with little success.

Determined not to let the small issue of a missing case ruin our mini-break, we hopped on the metro to the Grand Palais for a quick look, we were pretty behind schedule at this point so we didn't have time to go inside, and then a wander down the Champs Elysées to the Arc De Triomphe. We found that the best way to see Paris was to walk, theres so much beauty in the architecture and the quaint little shops and cafes that you'll miss if you're on the metro - so it was definitely worth the extra steps to walk everywhere on day one.


As I said, the architecture in Paris is something to behold, and the Champs Elysées is just stunning. The Avenue des Champs-Elysées is probably the most famous avenue in the world. The impressive street stretches from the Place de la Concorde (the famous fountain where Anne Hathaway throws her Blackberry away in the Devil Wears Prada a.k.a my fave film ever) to the Place Charles de Gaulle, or the site of the Arc De Triomphe.

Determined to make it to the Arc De Triomphe before it got too dark to enjoy the view, we strolled down the Champs Elysées without stopping in any of the shops (serious will power was required), only stopping to take a few snaps of the beautiful buildings.


When we finally made it to the Arc De Triomphe we spent some time exploring the beautiful details of the statue and paying our respects to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It's often easy to forget that the Arc De Triomphe is more than just a beautiful statue, but a monument to honour those who fought and dies for France in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. The monument has the names of all French victories and generals inscribed on its inner and outer pillars, and beneath the monument lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from WW1, marked by the first eternal flame in Europe since the Vestal Virgins' fire was extinguished in the fourth century. It can be quite a solemn experience, but something I'd definitely recommend visiting if you're into your history like me.

After we'd taken it all in underneath the monument, we headed inside to purchase our tickets and hop in the lift to the top. It turns out that a visit to the top is actually free if you're under 25, so remember to take your ID with you and you can save yourself a few euros! We then quickly discovered that the lift was out of service for maintenance and that we'd have to climb all the way to the top...this wouldn't normally be a problem but I was suffering with the flu and trust me, it's not easy to climb when you can barely breathe! After we'd finally made it to the top (after multiple little breaks) we were amazed by the view. From the top of the Arc De Triomphe you can see pretty much the whole of Paris - everything from the Sacre Coeur to the Eiffel Tower and all of the pretty buildings in between. It was a pretty misty day when we visited, but luckily we were still able to enjoy the breathtaking view.


After we'd made it safely back down the Arc De Triomphe, we decided to rest our legs and do the typical girls weekend thing of going for tea and cake at Ladurée. The Ladurée restaurant on the Champs Elysées is simply stunning, it's typical parisian ornate decor was everything I'd ever dreamed of and the treats were to die for. I had the hot chocolate with chantilly cream and it was honestly like nothing I'd ever tasted - simply amazing. Between us we managed to try one of their chocolate delights, a cheesecake and their famous Ispahan, all of which were so tasty. As I go through my three days in Paris, I'm sure you'll start to notice a theme...hot chocolate and cake!



After we'd finished up at Ladurée and felt we were ready to brave the cold, we hopped on the metro and took a quick train to the Louvre. We didn't spend long here as it was getting dark, and we'd all been before, but it was still lovely to have a quick walk around and grab some photos next to the famous art gallery. It was already dusk by this point, so there wasn't too much more sightseeing we could fit into the day, however we did quickly cross the road to admire the Palais Royal - one of my favourite places in Paris. As it was getting dark quickly, we made the decision to revisit the Palais Royal another day, as we wanted to admire it's beauty during daylight.


As it had been quite a long day (especially with losing all of our belongings - thanks Air France!) we decided to treat ourselves to some bubbles and some traditional french snacks (french bread, french cheese and french cold meats) at Bistrot Valois, located right next to the Palais Royal. The Bistro was a traditional french cafe, complete with european festive decorations - it was the perfect way to get cosy before heading back to the hotel.


After we'd drank our way through a bottle of french champagne, we headed back to the hotel to prepare for dinner - although there wasn't much we could do as we didn't have our outfits and makeup with us! For dinner, we headed to La Bocca Della Verita - a quaint little italian restaurant recommended to me by Jenny from Margo & Me (she's your go-to girl on all things Paris!). If your craving italian food, then this place is to die for - their rocket and hazelnut pasta is divine.

Exploring Shoreditch

19 November 2016





This weekend, we decided to take a trip east and explore more of the city we live in. I've always lived to the west of London, and whilst I love living in west London, it can sometimes leave you feeling a little disconnected from the city. 

First we took a trip to Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium, London's infamous cat café, for some tea and cate - and our course cats, but more on that later. After we'd spent enough time with the cats, we decided to take a walk around the local area and spend some time exploring Shoreditch. It's pretty far from where we live, so it was nice to be able to take some time to explore. 

Shoreditch is the latest 'hipster' area of London, and is full of quirky stores, street food and of course street art. I loved walking down all of the cobbled streets and taking a look at some of the amazing art on show. I'm not normally one for graffiti, but some of the designs on the walls around Shoreditch are simply stunning - not your average 'sam was ere 2k16'. 

Whilst we were over that way, we decided to stop into Beigel Bite to try one of their famous 'Rainbow Bagels' - honestly, they were a little disappointing, they pretty much taste like a regular bagel, but they look like they were crafted from play dough. It's worth trying once to say you have, but I don't think I'll be having them for breakfast every day!

After we'd stopped off at Beigel Bite, we headed over to Spitafields Market to do a little shopping, as it's only a 12 minute walk away. If you're looking for something quirky, or something that you won't see on everyone (Zara, I'm looking at you!), then definitely head down to Spitafields Market. 

If you're looking for a quirky place to eat or drink and cool streets to wander, then Shoreditch is the place for you. 

Travel Gifts You Need This Christmas!

15 November 2016

I'll be the first to admit that travelling isn't cheap, in fact, my travel budget pretty much only extends as far as to cover my flight, accommodation and a little spending money for whilst I'm away - so luxury travel accessories are definitely out of the question! I was recently asked by some family members what I'd like for Christmas and the only thing I could think of were some bits and bobs to make my travels a little more glam. In fact, last year my parents bought me a Samsonite luggage set and it's been a godsend, so if you know of someone who likes to travel like myself, then one of these may be the perfect holiday gift! 

1. Beats by Dre in Rose Gold - Long haul flights are the worst, but having a good pair of headphones can make the world of difference. I find that Beats by Dre are great at blocking out that whirring airplane noise and make it so you can actually hear your film without the volume being at deafening heights - plus, who can resist this pretty rose gold colour, right?!

2. Smythson Luggage Tag - I'm such a paranoid travellers, especially when it comes to leaving my bags in the hold, so a luggage tag is essential. I was gifted a luxury luggage tag once, and whilst it may seem like an unnecessary item, it always makes me think of that person whenever I'm travelling. Plus, when an airline lost my bags, it ensured their safe return!

3. Cath Kidston Cosmetic Roll Case - I like to be organised when I travel, and a cosmetic roll case can be a complete lifesaver. Not only does it conserve space and allow me to organise my beauty bits, but it's a pretty gift too!

4. Kate Spade Water Bottle - The liquid rule at airports can be a pain, but most airports now offer you a place to fill up your bottle after security, so having a bottle with you is super handy. I love these bottles by Kate Spade, as the glass and silicone combination helps to keep drinks cool whilst your on the go.

5. One Truffle Travel Pouch - I first saw these travel pouches in this post, and thought to myself what a great idea they are! They come in all different sizes, so they're perfect for carrying your travel essentials (passport, boarding card, phone charger) and your beauty bits that need to be kept in clear plastic bags.

6. Go Pro - A Go Pro is the ultimate travel accessory. I always think that travelling is half being there in the moment, and half the memories you take with you - and I think a Go Pro is the perfect way to capture those memories and take them home with you. I recently filmed a trip aboard and it was so lovely to relive the trip when I got home through my camera.

7. Kate Spade Passport Holder - A chic passport holder is the perfect travel companion, and it doesn't get much cuter than this bunny wallet from Kate Spade! I always think this would be a lovely gift, as the person you gift this to will always think of you when they're travelling overseas.

8. Gray Malin Carry-On Cocktail Kit - Travelling should be a fun experience in my opinion, and this sprinkle cocktail kit is perfect for that very reason! The carry-on cocktail kit is suitable for air travel as it complies with the liquids rule, and it's something fun to pass the time on board.

9. Globetrotter Luggage - If you're looking to really splurge this Christmas, then Globetrotter Luggage is the only way to go. It's definitely pricey, but you'll never look more stylish - I've had my eye on the safari collection for years now!

Happy Holidays!

Hand-Luggage Beauty Essentials

9 November 2016



More often than not, I'm travelling hand-luggage only. It tends to decrease the price a little, and if I'm only going away for a few days, then I really don't need to pack all that much. Over the past few years I've gotten really good at reducing the amount of clothes I take, and really good at recycling outfits when on vacation, but the one thing I always struggle with is downsizing my beauty bag. I can't be the only one out there who struggles with this, so today I thought I'd share with you my hand-luggage beauty essentials, and pretty much the only things I travel with on short trips. 

Obviously there are those items that you can't live without such as your toothbrush, so I won't touch on them today (and I definitely don't recommend leaving your toothbrush at home!). However, makeup is a whole different story. Time and time again I've packed enough makeup to paint an army of faces, and still only stuck to one or two products, so now when I'm packing for trips, I'm much harder on myself when it comes to choosing which makeup items to bring, and I find making a list really helps me with this. I've managed to downsize my once bursting-at-the-seams makeup bag to a small pouch only containing my tinted moisturiser, eyebrow pencil, powder, blush, lipstick and mascara. If I'm travelling to a hot country, I really don't need more than this...I find that the sun does most of the work and anything else will just melt away in the heat! 

Makeup aside, it's also really important that you're safe when travelling, and yes, beauty has a big part to play in this. Often exciting places can be rough on our skin, especially if you're planning on spending a lot of time outdoors. Whilst I love the sun (and I'm guessing you probably do as well!), the sun doesn't love us...make sure you pack your sun protection, and not just your suncream. Sunblock, moisturizer, and lip balm are your allies in harsh weather conditions - as well as your sunblock, be sure to pack a lip balm with a high SPF...It won't take up much room in your hand luggage but it'll save you from a world of pain! These items won't take up much room in your hand luggage either if you're smart about buying travel-sized items, so there really is no excuse for leaving them behind!

If you do struggle to pack light like I once did, be sure to make a list of the essentials for your trip before you pack. Before I started using my travel essentials list, I'd throw in unnecessary items (which often lead to me being over the weight limit!) or forget the little things like lip balm and paracetamol, so the list has really helped me to stay organised. I like to keep my list pretty small with only the bare necessities so that I have more room in my bag for any last minute souvenirs! 



Rainy Days at Borough Market, London

8 November 2016







If you're a foodie visiting London, then you need to take a trip down to Borough Market a.k.a foodie's paradise. Borough Market is London's most renowned food and drink market, and for good reason. I had the day off work today, so I decided to take a little trip across London to see what all of the fuss was about...

Located right next to London Bridge Station, the market is made up from 70 stalls all selling gourmet food from across the globe. Before you enter the market, you're greeted with hundreds of buzzing tourists and Londoners eating, chatting and snapping the odd photograph, which makes for such an exciting atmosphere - the whole place was buzzing. 

Borough Market is quite a loud place, and it's definitely very busy (especially around lunch time - abound the 12pm rush if you can!), so it's not one for the faint hearted...but then again, I wouldn't say London is for those who prefer a quiet life! There's so much to see, eat and do at Borough Market, it's really worth planning to spend half a day looking around the stalls so that you can see everything. I ended up staying for around 3 hours, just wandering through all of the stalls and sampling the culinary delights...everything from scallops to donuts, but the cheese stalls were definitely my favourite (and of course the prosecco spritzers!). 

With so much on offer, it's easy to get overwhelmed and go for the first stall you see. However, my top tip would be to take a walk around the whole market first before deciding what you want to eat..there's nothing worse than settling for the first thing you see then getting major food envy right after...and definitely go with an empty stomach! 

If you've traveled all the way over to Southwark to see the market, it's worth planning in some time to explore the surrounding area. London Bridge area is alive with history, so it's definitely worth planning in one of the Jack the Ripper tours...if you can handle a fright!

Bon Appétit!

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