I have a vague memory of a brief morning spent in Paris with my family years ago...at a stroppy teenage age; picky about food (especially hidden gherkins) I didn't particularly enjoy it. I was however intrigued by the Parisian fashion so wore my favourite outfit..a dress my mum had made me from some material I'd handpicked.
So again I find myself packing my favourite clothes into my red leather holdall but this time I thoroughly enjoyed myself (except the hidden gherkins in sandwiches!). Here are a few of the highlights..
Macaroons - Pistachio for Aden, Lemon for me. Simply delicious and the perfect energy boost for sight seeing.
Eiffel Tower - Prettier at night and much more impressive when it pops up between buildings. Look out for the sparkling magical lights.
Les Clos des Gourmets - on our first night we came across this lovely restaurant. We ate a delicious and beautifully presented three course meal (35euros) with the most divine champagne. The meals were slightly variable - my main was a little plain but the desert was simply the best chocolate desert I have ever eaten. Recommend booking. 16, ave Rapp, Champ de Mars, Tour Eiffel.
Versailles - palace was packed full of tourists & student groups so we quickly escaped to the gardens to eat lunch & relax beside the lake. Plenty to do in gardens - row a boat on the lake, cycle around the park, ride pony's or simply do as we did..take a stroll, enjoy the views and the sunshine. Perhaps better visited later in the year as the statues were still covered up & the little garden areas closed off. Be prepared for queueing.
The Shakespeare and Company Book Shop - A big rustic house crammed full of old and new books, in French and English. Climb the stairs to find comfy alcoves of seating, a gorgeous old type writer and locals playing chess. 37 Rue Bûcherie, 750045 Paris (Near Saint-Michel - Notre-Dame)
The Louvre - Loved: the statues, the African exhibit, the glass of champagne in the cafe. Disliked: the Mona Lisa..beautiful but small and very crowded. Allow plenty of time.
Buddha Bar - recommended by a local. A huge Buddha dominates the room creating an exotic atmosphere. Worth a visit just for the decor - drink yummy cocktails and people watch upstairs or eat good thai/asian food downstairs. Very busy on on the weekends. 8 Rue Boissy d'Anglas
Boat trip along the Seine - I love a good boat trip and the chance to sit down to sight see after lots of walking around! I wasn't disappointed
Souvenir Shopping - I'm not much of a fan of the conventional souvenirs...the little flashing Eiffel Towers just aren't for me. Instead I brought some lovely botanical prints from the little market stalls along the river. At only 15 euros they were a bargain. For my mothers birthday I went to Fragonard perfumeur who sell beautiful toiletries in beautiful packaging and the friendly staff were happy to let me practice my French. 15 rue des Francs Bourgeois
And I can't finish without mentioning one of my favourite books which I wished I'd packed with me as I didn't happen upon any clothing gems - Parisian Chic: A Style Guide by Ines de la Fressange. Full of style and beauty tips with recommended places to visit in Paris.