B R E A K F A S T   B Y   T H E   W I N D O W .

At 9am on the dot, on our second full day in the city, a knock on our door signalled the arrival of my very favourite thing in all the world- a breakfast tray! Or, in this case, a breakfast table!

We filled ourselves up on fruit, toast (thick with salted butter + liberal amounts of Bonne Maman), yoghurt, eggs, and, of course, a pot of strong coffee, before heading out for a new day of exploring.

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Since neither Jo or I had ever spent any proper time in the city before, we decided to make the obligatory pilgrimage to the Eiffel Tower. We hopped on the Metro at the station just outside our hotel, and only got lost twice on our way over to the Champ de Mars station!

A sidetone, whilst we’re on the topic of transport- we found that getting around in Paris was much cheaper than in London. Taking the Parisian equivalent of a black cab cost about the same as an Uber would in London, and the Metro was only a couple of euros for a return journey.

It made London prices seem pretty eye-watering!

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The area around the Eiffel Tower was crowded and pretty touristy, so after snapping a few photos, we jumped back on the train and headed North, to our main destination for the day- Montmartre!

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Montmartre was quaint and picturesque- a muddle of wide boulevards and tiny alleyways, ornate ironwork and panelled doorways.

We decided to stop at a little restaurant down in the village for a ‘quick bite to eat’, before tackling the steps up to the Sacre Coeur. But that quick bite turned into a lengthy two hour dissection of our lives, accompanied by several courses, an almost revolting quantity of cheese, and a glass of wine to boot!

But if you can’t linger over lunch in France, when can you?


The Sacre Coeur was the most spectacular sight. It’s set high on a hill overlooking the whole of the city, with the village of Montmartre sprawling out from its feet.

I kept turning round as we climbed higher and higher up the steps, thinking ‘The view can’t get any better than this, surely!’, and yet as we reached the top, sure enough, the view beat all all.

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 ^^ Isn’t it something? ^^

I couldn’t get over quite how far into the distance we could see- all of Paris’ distinctive grey roofs blurring into a haze.

We stood and watched as the sky grew darker and thick grey clouds rolled in, and ducked inside the church just as the first few drops of rain began to fall.

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The church itself was the most incredible sight- well worth a visit, if you’re planning a visit to Paris and are in two minds as to whether or not to go.

The architecture is stunning, and the windows inside are worth a visit all of their own. There’s a strict ‘no photography’ rule inside, so you’ll just have to take my word for it, I’m afraid :)


We came out to a Paris that’d been refreshed by its brief showering, and was left bright and warm once again.

With our final hours in the city ticking away, we hopped into a cab to head back to the Renaissance for a pre-dinner freshen up. Angelina caught us on the way through though, because for goodness *sake*, if any of you have the ability to walk past an urn of molten chocolate ready to be taken away and drunk through straws, then you’re a stronger person than either Jo or I!

That hot chocolate is something special though, truly. It’s kind of like liquid praline, and I’m pretty sure it’s possible to hear angels singing whist you drink it. Like 99% certain.

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That evening dinner was eaten, wine was drunk, long, life-arrirming discussions had (the type that put the world to rights but also manage to be completely ridiculous at the same time), and very early the following morning, two sleepy but contented travellers caught a flight back home to a shockingly cold England.

Paris? You were magic. I’ll be back soon…


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T H E   S T U M B L E D   U P O N   S Q U A R E .

I’d been to Paris on a day trip with my Mum a few years previously (I think maybe before Jason and I even got together, so that really is a long time ago!), and one of my strongest memories from that day was of the Place Vendome.

I remember that we’d walked our way down through the city from the Gare de Nord, stopped for lunch outside the Opera House (and popped inside to marvel at the huge mirrored ballroom, and the grand central staircase) and then slowly made our way down towards the Tuileries gardens.

As we walked, our haphazard path took us through the Place Vendome, a part of the city my teenage self (on her first ever trip to Paris!) had never come across in photographs before. I remember marvelling at the wide expanse of neat square paving stones, and the cloistered shop fronts with their glittering window displays.

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And history repeated itself on this particular trip! Jo and I had been on our way back to the hotel in a taxi, but when we found ourselves driving through the centre of the Place Vendome, stopped the cab early and hopped out to explore the square.

It was every bit as beautiful as it’d been to my younger self. Peaceful in its own bustling sort of way, vast and airy, and with the same feeling of understated glamour that makes Paris so very special.

That day, I wore a feminine A-line skirt and a soft, Peter Pan collar blouse in the same navy and white colour scheme that (quite unintentionally) become my uniform for the trip. All I needed was for the red on my nails to be just a shade or two brighter, and I’d have been about as French as it gets…;)

Pea coat || Collar blouse || Spotty skirt {similar shape, & pattern} || Patent loafers.

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4   R U E   D U   M O N T   T H A B O R .

Our flight from London was an early one.

We didn’t mind a bit though, because (and I don’t know about you) I always kind of revel in early morning flights. Shutting the front door as quietly as I can behind me and stepping out into the dark with my case trundling along by my side- there’s something about it that makes my stomach fluttery with excitement.

We left London a little after 8am, and after a short skip across the channel, Jo and I were safely installed in our beautiful sunlit hotel room, throwing down suitcases and applying concealer by the bucket load to try and fix the bags under our eyes.

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Our hotel, the Renaissance Paris Vendome, was set just one street back from the Rue de Rivoli, which runs along the Northern edge of the Jardin des Tuileries. It turned out to be the most perfect spot to explore from- a stone’s throw from so many incredible sights!

With guidance from the hotel’s concierge team (who helped us with everything from picking which museum to visit, to where to head for a quick bite for lunch), we set about making a plan for our first day in the city, then armed ourselves with cameras and the obligatory paper map, and headed out!

(P.s. Jo and I remembered, whilst using an old-school paper map for navigation during this trip, why it is we both love Google Maps quite so much. Turns out, when you’ve not got a little blue dot telling you where exactly you are, map-reading becomes a lot more tricky! ;)

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D E J E U N E R.

Our first port of call was Le Castiglione, a little restaurant tucked round the back of our hotel serving French-Italian fayre.

The restaurant was as quintessentially Parisian in style as you could hope to find- with tables set on the pavement underneath an awning, and sharply dressed waiters on hand to recommend a wine to go with our lunch.


Our lunch was tasty (a burrata and tomato salad for me, and a classic Croque Madame for Jo), but the real standout of the meal was that glorious basket of bread and butter up there!

There’s nothing better than French bread and butter, and even the most mediocre is still better than the contents of most bread baskets back home, but even so, those chewy rolls and the little pat of Buerre d’Isigny stood out by a country mile.

The butter was rich and salty and creamy, and so very flavoursome I could quite happily have just sat there all afternoon long eating my way through baskets of the stuff!


I N   S E A R C H   O F   M A C A R O N S . . .

With our meal over and done with, we made our way down towards the gardens, both complaining about how we’d eaten far too much of that delicious bread and butter at lunch.

‘I couldn’t eat another bite!’, I remember us both saying.

And yet, as we walked past Les Marquis de Laduree, and the beautifully arranged macarons with their crisp edges and ganache-filled centres inside the windows called out to us as we passed, we couldn’t help but about turn and head inside…

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The shop was a dream- polished glass counters filled with glossy chocolates, cocoa-dusted truffles, and, of course, row upon row of candy coloured macarons. And the flavours! White chocolate and passionfruit, pistachio, raspberry and dark chocolate…it was heaven.

It would’ve been rude to walk out without buying any, wouldn’t it? Well, that’s what we told ourselves at least, and so bought up a little selection of flavours to sustain us on the walk down to l’Orangerie..

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I N   T H E   G A R D E N S

With only a couple of days to explore in the city, we decided (taking heed of the advice given to us by the team at the Renaissance) to forgo visiting a larger museum and instead head to l’Orangerie for a pint-sized dose of culture.

The ‘musée’ is set on the far Western tip of the Tuileries garden, right on the banks of the Seine. The building alone is worth a visit, with its glass ceilings flooding the whole place with light, and the contrast between the modernity of the smooth, concrete inner walls and the century-old art displayed within.

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On display at l’Orangerie are paintings from Monet’s Water Lilies collection, in two great oval rooms that lead on one from the next.

The paintings wrap around the entirety of each room, and the way they can be viewed and appreciated is said to change throughout the course of the day, as the light streaming through the glass ceiling alters and changes from sunrise to sunset.

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I do love a gallery visit, but since I’m pretty clueless when it comes to art I usually tend not to have the longest attention span for it all. My dream would be to visit a gallery with an art expert, who could explain each painting in detail to me so that I could really *get* it!

But with l’Orangerie being both compact and ultra-focused (exhibiting only paintings from the Water Lilies collection), it was just perfect!

I’d really recommend it to anyone who, like me, prefers to take their art in small, easy to swallow doses ;)

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^ Oh hi there, Eiffel tower! ^

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T O   T H E    M A R A I S > >

After a brief stop to admire the Eiffel tower and Arc du Triomph in the distance, we hopped on the Metro and headed over to the Marais in search of a cold drink and a wander through the city’s shopping district.

The Marais area was probably one of my favourite places we visited in Paris- a maze of tiny streets flanked with a mixture of small, understated boutiques, chic higher end brands (Maje caught my attention…), and of course, an array of awning-covered cafes and restaurants.

We took up seats outside one of the tiny cafes, ordered ourselves a couple of ice cold beers, and sat back to enjoy a burst of Parisian sunshine.

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A   D E S S E R T   S T O P . . .

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Our final stop of the day was fuelled by a sugar-low, caused by eating a few too many macarons in the afternoon.

Angelina, a patisserie I’d heard so very much about ahead of our trip, was located just one street in front of our hotel. Dangerously close, some might say, especially since we found ourselves popping in there more times than was strictly good for us during our stay…

We stopped by on our way back to the hotel to get ready for dinner, bought ourselves a couple of treats to take away with us, and then squirrelled them away in our room as the evening’s dessert.

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And I’ll tell you, sitting in my pyjamas later that night, sharing a selection of French patisserie with my very best friend in the plushest hotel bed I’ve ever stayed in?

Well, it was pretty magic! Oh, and if you happen to be nearby Angelina any time soon? Stop by and order a ‘Pompadour’ {pictured above}. You can thank me later…


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P A R I S   I N   T H E   A U T U M N .

If you’ve read this blog for a while, you’ll know that I do like a bit of celebration for the sake of celebration! Making something out of nothing is kind of my speciality ;) I’d say at least once a month Jason asks me ‘What’s this particular meal/party/BBQ/get together in aid of?’ and I’ve always, *always* got an answer for him.

‘It’s the anniversary of the day you proposed!’ I’ll tell him whilst making him sit in my car with his hands over his eyes as I drive us to the beautiful local hotel for a surprise cocktail evening, or ‘It’s midsummer’s eve, so of course we have to celebrate!’, or ‘Don’t you remember, I told you ages ago that we’re having a ‘cocktails and tapas’ night at Mum’s in honour of it being Grandma’s birthday!’

He’s learnt over the years that just coming along with me during these plans and schemes is that best course of action, and I can say that without fear of disagreement because he hardly ever reads my blog! ;)


One of countless fabulous things about my best friend Jo (who you’ll remember from the wedding!), is that she’s just as fond of (some might say excessive…) celebrating as I am.

When we realised that this September would mark 10 years since we first met and became friends at school, all young and fresh faced and wearing our hideous green striped uniforms with giant brown shoes, we decided that of *course* a celebration was in order!

And so to Paris we went, for our ten year ‘Friendiversary’!


We spent the second half of last week exploring a crisply autumnal Paris, and it was an absolute dream.

I’ve got approximately five thousand photos to share with you over the coming days, but first, to my current favourite outfit combination…


A crisp white shirt, paired with dark skinnies and my favourite navy pea coat from last winter, is the outfit combination I’m reaching for time and again at the moment.

It’s warm enough to fight off those chilling autumn winds, easy to pare down when the sun shines brightly, and, if you ask me, nothing makes you feel quite so put together as a freshly ironed bright white oxford shirt.


Navy pea coat || White shirt || Dark grey skinnies || Grey ankle boots || Handbag || Watch


Stay tuned for more from Paris…

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