Paris Photo Diary: Sunday in Paris

31 July 2018

Following on from my birthday spent in Paris, we had one extra day in the city to explore. We had a pretty late night celebrating the night before, so we treated ourselves to a leisurely morning {there's only so fast you can move when you've had a few raspberry martinis} before a day of shopping, eating and drinking...

We started off the day with a stroll down to the Trocadero, which was located an easy 10 minutes from our hotel, to take in the view of the Eiffel Tower {we couldn't come all the way to Paris and not visit!}. After a few {read: a lot} photos we regrouped and headed to Café de Flore, located south of the river, as thats where we were planning on spending the majority of the day. Café de Flore was just what we needed to soak up the martinis {the bread was divine}, and after a leisurely breakfast we headed out on a short walk to Sephora to stock up on all of the available face masks. 

Suitably shopped out, we headed to the Jardin du Luxembourg for a stroll through the gardens, some champagne by the lake and to see the original Statue of Liberty, before heading to Ralph's for a lazy Sunday lunch. 

Ralph's is located just down the road from Café du Flore, and was the perfect location for lunch. Hidden behind the Ralph Lauren flagship store, the terrace has a lovely relaxed atmosphere and the food was to die for. We started off with a Rosé cocktail to share {I'd definitely recommend if you're looking for something light and refreshing} and some bread and olives before our food arrived, which was divine. I wen't for the veggie burger sans bun and it was one of the best things that I've ever had, and judging by the noises around the table, everyone else felt the same. 

After we were done with our food and coffees at Ralph's, we headed into the Ralph Lauren store to pick up a little souvenir from the trip..I went for a white slim fit shirt that I've wanted for forever, and headed back to the Eurostar one happy lady!

xo Becky 

Outfit Details:

Unfortunately my Karen Millen dress is now sold out, but I have linked some alternatives below. 

Paris Photo Diary: A Parisian Birthday.

30 July 2018

If you've seen all of my insta-spam {sorry!} from the past week, then you'll know that I recently spent the weekend in Paris. This year was my 25th birthday and while it may not seem like a 'big birthday' to most, I'm a firm believer in celebrating every birthday in a big way. I normally throw a party, but with that comes a lot of work, preparation...and cleaning, and this year I just didn't have the time. So instead, me and the girls decided to make a weekend of it and head to Paris on the early morning Eurostar. Paris is one of my favourite cities, so it seemed like the ideal weekend! So, here's an overview of what we got up to on my actual birthday, and some of my favourite snaps from the day...

As I said, we headed out early and after a quick dash to the hotel {we stayed in Hotel Pastel} we were ready to start the weekend...already buzzing from the early morning bucks fizz. After dropping our bags off, we headed down to the Champs-Élysées to pick up some of our favourite macarons from Ladurée ready for our picnic lunch. After a little stroll and a few near death experiences trying to get a photo with the Arc de Triomphe, we headed to the Palais Royal for a well deserved coffee stop at Café Kitsuné. It was a great opportunity to take in our surroundings, test out our polaroid camera and enjoy some necessary shade {it was 30 degrees in Paris while we were there!}.

Next we headed to the Les Deux Plateaux {the black and white candy-esque pillars}, an art installation in the central courtyard of the Palais Royal. This is one of my favourite spots in Paris, it's so fun {especially in the sunshine} and it's also a great opportunity to get some fun photos. 

After finishing up at the Palais Royal, we skipped across the road to the Louvre for a few more tourist snaps....see below an example of how bad we really were at it...

By this point we were feeling pretty peckish, we had been awake since 3am after all...The original plan was to head to a local shop and pick up some more traditional french food, however our hunger got the better of us {we were hangry} so we popped into McDonald's for some french fries {french enough, right?!}. We set up camp in the Jardin des Tuileries and had our McDonald's with some champagne and our Ladurée macarons - it may not sound like the classy lunch we'd intended but it was perfect just the way it was. 

After a quick go on the swings and a walk round the gardens, we headed back to the hotel to check in for the night and get glammed up for our dinner reservations. A bottle of champagne {and a lot of hairspray} later, we headed out to Monsieur Bleu, right on the bank of the Seine, for dinner. As it was a warm night, we dined on the restaurants terrace - the atmosphere was incredible, as was the food, so I'd thoroughly recommend heading there for a special dinner if you're visiting. The raspberry martinis are also to die for...

After dinner we headed down to the bridge across the Seine just outside the restaurant to admire the twinkling lights of the eiffel tower at midnight, and squeeze a few more laughs into the day. It was the perfect end to the perfect day, and I couldn't have wished for a better birthday. Part two will be up shortly...

xo Becky

Travel Hacks: How I Find The Best Deals on Luxury Breaks

9 July 2018

Bag - Raefeather | Fragrance - Jo Malone 

When it comes to finding good deals on luxury holidays, I like to think I've perfected the art of the search. For example, in January we managed to scoop up a week in Mexico for £750 all inclusive, right on the beach, just down the road from the insta-paradise that is Tulum. I often get asked about how I find the best deals, so today I thought I'd share those secrets. 

1. Know where you want to go, but be prepared to be flexible. 

When looking for holidays, I always tend to have an idea of where I want to go (Mykonos was the dream this year!), but I'm always prepared to change my mind if something better comes up. For instance, Mykonos is extremely expensive this year because it seems to be the 'go-to' spot in Europe for the summer, however a 5* resort in Thailand was coming up as half the price. I'm lucky that I don't mind going long haul (I normally prefer to!) so this wasn't an issue for me, but being flexible on where you want to go will definitely help you find the best deal. Often if you're just looking for a beach holiday, there will be a similar (lesser known) destination which is just as fab, but for half the price. Pinterest is great for finding little spots off the beaten track. 

2. Don't be scared to stay on the outskirts of town. 

Often the 'it' destination in a particular area is super expensive, as travel agents know that tourists are willing to pay extra to be in these resorts. However, sometimes staying just down the road is exactly the same, but a lot cheaper. In Mexico we wanted to stay in Tulum but weren't keen on the £3000 price tag, so we stayed in Riviera Mayya for a third of the price and travelled into Tulum by taxi (which cost £10 each) for a day or two. That way we got the best of both worlds 👌. 

3. Where to look for deals...

Knowing where to look for the best deals is half of the battle, and this really depends on what you're looking for. If its an all inclusive beach break that you've got your heart set on, then its best to look when sites like Tui and Thompson have their sales on (their boxing day sale is particularly fab), or look out of 'school holiday' season if you can - there are some great deals if you travel in the first few months of the year. 

If you know where you want to go, there are normally some great deals on Expedia. This is where I book most of my trips, but I normally wait until they have their 'daily deal' on and watch it for a few hours as the price normally goes up and down. This is how I've booked my upcoming trip to Thailand and we managed to save £300 by waiting for the right 'daily deal'. I'd also recommend signing in as you can earn points to put towards free hotel stays...and use your Nectar Card! 

One site which I've also come across several times is Holiday Pirates. I've not booked with them personally, but a few friends have, and they have some incredible deals. I mean, who wouldn't want Miami return flights for under £300?!

4. Fly on a weekday

Like I mentioned earlier, the more flexible you can be, the better. I often find that flying on a weekday saves me a few pennies, as a lot of people book the Monday - Friday off work and want to fly on a weekend. I've always had a lot of luck with flying on a Wednesday, and sometimes have found great deals flying on a Tuesday morning as they seem to be unpopular times! 

xo Becky 

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