My trip to France started with a Eurostar experience…but let me tell you the whole story which is quite unbelievable [see travel tips at the bottom of the page and on my instagram @im.nowhere for stories and highlights]
My mum recently turned 60 and I promised her that when she came to visit me in London I would have taken her to the south of England (to Brighton precisely). Bear in mind she speaks little to no English (let alone French) and didn’t really know where Brighton was. She arrived on a Friday afternoon and I told her I had found this bargain ticket to Brighton by train which involved a stop/change of train after 2 hours but that the overall journey would have taken just under 3 hours. I advised to pack the essentials for 2-3 days and to bring her passport because of new enforced ‘’Brexit controls’’ for non-UK-citizens (this way I hoped she would not get suspicious at the border but only when we got on the train).
Well, I was wrong….She did not realise AT ALL that we had jumped on the train to Paris. Not even when we actually got to Paris. Not until we walked all the way from Gare du Nord to Le Louvre. As you can see from these pictures she was busy reading magazines, checking her phone, enjoying the breakfast served and taking a short nap. And before she knew she was in a different European capital without even realising. Travelling with Eurostar from central London was so fast and comfortable that in just over 2 hours we were in a different country, in another European capital.
WHERE TO STAY
Treat yourself in central Paris, walking distance to major tourist attractions in a boutique hotel, Hotel Chavanel (15 minutes walk to Le Louvre). Have you ever stayed in a boutique hotel? It is an experience to live, especially when in Paris. Treat your loved ones and yourself!
WHERE TO EAT
Best value for money whilst merging with locals is undoubtedly this traditional chain, Buillon, you can find in a few areas of Paris. I recommend going to the one in Pigalle after watching the sunset from Montmartre.
Le Petit Canard
If you fancy an authentic French place specialised in duck dishes, also around Pigalle area, head to Le Petite Canard. A petite family-ran business also offering a great selection of local house wines and cheeses. Make sure to try their duck salads, duck breast and/or go for the set menu. Either way I can assure you, you will LOVE it.
Michelin-listed restaurant, Le Roch Restaurant inside the Hotel&Spa offers UNBELIEVABLE set menu lunches. It was honestly one of the best lunches I have ever had. The quality of the food, as well as the overall atmosphere created, was just one of a kind.
WHAT TO EAT
Onion soup |Foie gras, onion chutney |Bœuf bourguignon (beef stew) | Tartare de bœuf (beef tartare)| Escargots (snails) | canard (duck)
Where to get that Instagram Spot
When in Paris, you cannot miss out on this beautiful (and colourful) spot in Rue Crémieux.
And just underneath Montmartre where you can see the infamous ”sinking house”
WHERE TO GET THE BEST VIEW OF NOTRE DAME
Personally, I think that there is an under-rated square in Paris, mostly known by locals where you can actually appreciate the best view of Notre Dame, away from the crowds. This is from the Square René Viviani.
WHERE TO GET THE BEST MACARONS
I have tried many macarons in my trips to France but THIS time I have introduced to the best Macarons by a local Parisienne @cassandreangeli. The Pierre Hermé ones are simply THE best ones in the market! I recommend a mixed box for the experience (box of 7 for 19 EUR). Follow your heart. They are ALL delicious really.
WHERE TO GET THE BEST ICE CREAM
One of the most-go places is Île Saint–Louis which one of two natural islands in the Seine river. Here you can find the most delicious ice cream produced in France/Paris. Berthillon re-sellers are everywhere on this island so you can not miss it. However, if you want to go to the main shop go to number 31.
HOW TO TRAVEL AROUND PARIS
Best way to move across Paris, from one area to another (especially the flat ones) is by trottinette (electric scooters). They are literally EVERYWHERE and costs as little as 3.25 EUR for every 30 minutes. See more info here. Alternatively, the Metro of Paris works by purchasing single tickets. I recommend getting the pack of 10 as comes as the cheapest option than buying single tickets every time.
Direct message me @im.nowhere for more info 🙂