Friday, 26 June 2015

Parisian adventures, day 1: Notre-Dame, the Marais and the Hôtel de Ville

Oh Paris. Lovely, wonderful, beautiful Paris. You never fail to charm me.

Although I’ve visited the French capital many a time, (remember this spontaneous weekend? And this solo visit? Oh, and that quick stop-off?), the prospect of a few days back in Paz post-finals was one of the things that saw me through my exams.

As Audrey Hepburn once said: “Paris is always a good idea.”

My fabulous friend (and the sassiest gal I know), Harriet, is spending the summer in Paris (#HazInPaz), and I obviously wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to go and visit her now, was I?

I'd thought I might do one blog post for the whole trip. PAH! What was I thinking?! Paris is far too beautiful for that.

One of my fave cities of them all with one of my fave gals of them all. Allons-y!

I arrived the evening after a rainy Parisian afternoon, and all the streets had a lovely freshness about them. The clouds were clearing and Harriet and I sat outside at a typically Parisian restaurant (I love how all the cafés and restaurants have tables and chairs on the wide pavements), caught up about ERRYTHANG, people-watched, ate croque monsieur and planned the next few days.

Because if you want to make the most of a holiday, you need a plan, am I right? Organised fun ftw.

The next morning was spent wandering through the gorgeous sixth and seventh arrondissements and admiring both the beauty of the architecture and the chic-ness of the Parisians sashaying through the streets.

We may have also popped in to Ladurée to do some admiring of the goodies on offer there. Just window shopping, but everything sure looked wonderful.

Instead of spending 10€ on an éclair, we grabbed ourselves some viennoiseries in one of Paris’ many fine boulangeries and ate them on my fave bridge, Pont Neuf – it has these lovely little alcoves you can sit in and admire the view.

Haz went for a classic pain au chocolat, whilst it was a pain aux raisins that most tempted me that morning (it just managed to see off competition from a rather scrummy-looking almond croissant). Super yum.

Next up we joined the throngs of tourists outside Notre-Dame, Paris’ très famous cathedral (but I’m sure you knew that already, espesh the Disney fans amongst you.)

We took a quick few snaps and admired the building before retreating out of the hustle and bustle of the crowds. You guys, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen so many selfie sticks.

Through the Île Saint-Louis (a delightful island in the Seine in the middle of Paris) we strolled and out over the river again on the other side.

We carried on to one of my fave areas of Paris, the Marais. It's both the Jewish and gay region, and was the setting for that infamous John Galliano incident.

However it's also home to a ton of super chic shops not to mention some incredible falafel restaurants, but we'll get to them all in good time, my dears.

Haz didn't really know the Marais at all before, so we had a lovely time ambling through whilst I pretended I knew where we were going.

Realistically though, we couldn't afford anything in any of the shops, and all I was really tracking down was a certain falafel place...  Priorities, right?

There's this little area of the Marais on Rue des Rosiers that is home to a cluster of falafel shops. I've tried a couple, but L'As du Fallafel always has the longest queue, so that's where we went. 

I've harped on about this falafel before so will keep it brief: this is great falafel, warm and freshly-fried, layered up in a pitta with different veggies, sauces and houmous right in front of your eyes.

The big challenge then is walking the five minutes to beautiful Place des Vosges without devouring the whole thing. It's difficult, I tell thee, but it's worth it if you can hold out as Place des Vosges is super lovely.

Find yourself a bench under the trees and take a little while to eat, people-watch and rest your feet. Walking round Paris is exhausting, but without a doubt the best way to see the city.

We carried on exploring and stumbled upon some graffiti which I loved...

"Smile, it's free"
...not to mention the most gorgeous bouquets of pink roses outside a florist.

After a little more strolling and shopping, we got to the Hôtel de Ville.

I feel like in any other city, the Hôtel de Ville (AKA town hall) would get more attention. But in a city such as Paris which is stuffed full of crazy impressive buildings, it doesn't majorly stand out. I like it a lot though, and if you manage to keep reading this post till the end you may just see it in a whole new light. Literally.

After a spot of postcard writing in the sun, it was time to amble home for some dinner. And wine. Because, France.

Having had dinner in, we figured going out for a crêpe was totally justified. So that happened. I didn't even take a picture of it (bad blogger) because I was too keen to stuff my face with warm nutella-y, crêpe-y goodness. #sorrynotsorry

A digestive stroll was very much in order, and it was too delightful for words to walk through the city as the last traces of sunlight left the sky and darkness fell.

Oh look, it's your old friend Notre-Dame again!

Hey, pal.
We also ended up at that beaut of a town hall once more, which I think looks even better at night than in the day.

Haz showed off her mad skillz:

Did I mention she's a cheerleader? 

And let's be honest, if you could do that pose, you so would've done that too, wouldn't you?

Bonne nuit, Paris! And à demain...


  1. So jealous, I would love to go to Paris. Selfie sticks seem to be the current craze, we couldn't move in Italy for people using them or sellers trying to flog them! x

    NINEGRANDSTUDENT: A Student Lifestyle Blog

    1. Yup, I think you're right, Chloe. Hope you get to go to Paris soon! x

  2. I love that French graffiti, thanks for the translation too!

    1. My pleasure :) So cute, isn't it? x

  3. Eek, I took my eye off the ball for a couple of days thinking you'd be too busy to post and voila, two to catch up on! Gorgeous photos, I've only been to Paris briefly a couple of times and I'd love to go back and explore a bit more. This has also made me so excited to go to France with my family in August! It won't be Paris but you know, wine and all that xxx
    Lucy @ La Lingua Italy

    1. Ha ha ha, I was speedy ;) Oh yeah, deffos. France = wine = winning. Have a fabulous time! x


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
© Handbags and Cupcakes. All rights reserved.