I've had such an incredible Summer and I'm sad to see it come to an end! It concluded with a weekend in Paris; one of my best friends from university is from Paris and her family still own some properties there so three of us found a great deal on the Eurostar and decided to spend the weekend there.
7:30am - London Kings Cross St. Pancras
It was an early start so I stayed over at my boyfriend's in St. Albans, which was really handy because it's a quick 20 minute train ride to Kings Cross St. Pancras where the Eurostar goes directly to Paris from. Although there's security and stuff, you only really need to be there 45 minutes before your train so I met with one of my friends and we grabbed a smoked salmon breakfast at Benugo before heading to the train.
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8:30am - The Train
Our train left at half past 8 which we chose to make sure we had a good amount of time once we arrived on the Friday, though obviously you lose an hour going out. The Eurostar is a lot more like a European train so it's far cleaner and more spacious than British public transport. It was a pretty comfortable and smooth journey and we really should've slept on the way but we were probably too excited! The amount of time you've actually in the tunnel is minimal too.
After the quick 2-hour train journey we arrived in Paris Gare de Nord and hopped on the Metro. As we obviously weren't locals we just bought tickets - it's a flat fare so you pay around €1.50 per ticket and each will give you one journey (why TFL is incapable of doing something similar when Paris and New York can is a mystery!) I wouldn't say it's a really complicated system but the maps aren't as simple and easy to follow as on the London Underground. It took us a little under an hour to get to my friend's sister's apartment in the 16th where we were staying. It's a really cute district - very Parisian (there was such a pretty view from the top-floor window) with lots of little bakeries and high-end stores. We ditched our bags, changed into something more suitable for the 27 degree heat and headed out in search of food.
2pm - Lunch at Le Polo
My friend from Paris grew up in the area so said we could wander towards the main part of the district. It can be hard to get lunch in Paris after 2pm apparently so we decided to stop at a burger place called Le Polo. It was really nice and I had a great smoked salmon burger (yes, that is two smoked salmon meals in a row...)
We passed a pharmacy and of course I was in there immediately! There are a few bits that aren't available in the UK and even with the abysmal exchange rate most products are a little cheaper so I stocked up and convinced my friends to do the same... Then we went around the nice shops in the area - most of them aren't designer but they're a little more premium than your usual high street places. One of my friends was trying on so much stuff and buying loads so we were a little late back to the apartment to change for dinner, though we still stopped for a coffee!
This is my friend's favourite restaurant so we met there for dinner. It's such a pretty little spot with a really nice atmosphere - we were there for ages eating, drinking and talking. I do think the portion sizes are quite small in Paris so I had a seafood soup to start and a vegetarian tabbouleh and curry for my main. Both were really nice but weren't as much food as I'd expected! It was actually very reasonably priced but we did spend quite a lot on wine, which was excellent.
Afterwards we went for a few drinks in the Bastille area close to where the restaurant was, which was fun. I'm not sure how but it turned into a bit of a late one so we decided to get an Uber back.
12pm - The Eiffel Tower
We had a bit of a late start because we didn't get in until almost 3am the night before. My friend from Paris had organised to visit her grandmother so the other two of us took the opportunity to do some 'tourist stuff'. We got the Metro to the Eiffel Tower; we'd already decided we weren't going to go to the top of it but it was good to have a wander around the area and take in the view. It was quite quiet and not too crowded, which was nice. We were starting to get hungry though and there didn't seem to be anywhere around the Eiffel Tower to eat. The friend we'd met the night before is a student in Paris and gave us a few recommendations that were near the Notre Dame Cathedral so we decided to get the bus for 15-20 minutes over there. I'm so glad we did that instead of getting the Metro (though it was hard to find the right stop, Citymapper was a big help) because it meant we got to see some amazing sights on the way.
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1:30pm - Lunch at Godjo
We were recommended this Ethiopian restaurant, which is a slightly odd setting as it literally feels like you're in someone's house! You essentially order these sharing plates, so we got vegetables and fish, as well as some houmous for on the side. To soak everything up you get these sort of thin, savoury pancakes and the sharing plate is made of one and put in a dish in a basket. The salmon was so good and I loved dipping into the little bits of salad, chickpeas and roasted vegetables. Overall it was so good and just really different to anything I've tried before.
We took a walk through the city and saw the town hall, the Seine and just took in the atmosphere and beauty of the city. It was such a lovely day and it's such a nice walk to the Notre Dame from where we were.
The Cathedral emerged from behind the river and it really is an amazing sight. We took our time having a wander around the exterior and through the little park next to it. We didn't have time to go inside but we took in the impressive architecture; the level of detail, from the gargoyles to the religious figures, really is incredible.
We hopped back onto the Metro to meet our friend at the Arc de Triumph. Obviously it is in the centre of a busy roundabout so use the underpass to get to it! It really is an impressive commemoration to the First World War, showing the names of the fallen as well as honouring those who have died at war since. There's also the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier between the arch - an unidentified soldier who lost their life in the war. It really is a powerful place so we hung around for a while to take it all in.
We walked towards the Champs-Elysees and got a coffee somewhere a few minutes away (due to the restaurants and cafes on the street itself being notoriously expensive). It wasn't too busy because of the time of day but there were still a lot of people around. We stopped for some yummy macaroons at Laduree before heading on towards the gigantic Sephora of dreams, where we literally managed to spend over an hour before we had to rush back to the apartment for a super-quick change before heading back out for dinner!
8pm - Dinner at Le Petit Keller and Drinks
We got the Metro out to dinner again (there isn't much in the way of evening entertainment where the apartment is) and this time we chose a place called Le Petit Keller. It's a Franco-Japanese fusion restaurant that shouldn't work but does! The staff were really friendly and helped us out a lot with food and wine recommendations. The main thing people get at this restaurant are the small plates and I'd recommend at least 2 per person. It was mainly seafood anyway so we all shared and it was amazing! My favourites were definitely the squid, the artichoke and the salmon. I totally recommend this restaurant! The road that it's situated on has loads of bars and restaurants so we had a few cocktails afterwards, though left early enough to get the Metro back.
10:30am - Montparnasse
We made an early start to pack and tidy up the apartment. We'd toyed with the idea of the Louvre but decided we didn't really have time to do it properly (I would've liked to have done Versailles too but time constraints meant we couldn't). Instead we decided it was time to see Paris from the top and headed to Montparnasse. The Montparnasse Tower is the highest point in central Paris besides the Eiffel Tower; when you see the city from above you can tell that it's almost all on the same level until you move towards the financial district, besides the Eiffel Tower and Montparnasse Tower. There was a really lovely street art market in front of the tower which we had a wander through before heading into the tower. There wasn't really a queue and it was just €15 to go and see the views (plus once we were up there we almost had the viewing deck to ourselves at that time!) so is well worth doing. You get such an amazing panoramic view of the city and you can pick out pretty much all of the main sights. The viewing platform is a little like the Top of the Rock; it isn't cramped and you have time to walk around and take everything in.
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11:30am - A Wander Through Le Jardin du Luxembourg
The restaurant we planned to go to was on the other side of the main park in Paris so we decided to cut through to see the fountains and the beautiful Palais du Luxembourg, the seat of the French Senate. It's really pretty so definitely take a stroll through the garden if you get the chance.
12pm - Lunch at Fuxia
We headed for an early lunch at an Italian restaurant just outside the garden. We all chose the €23 set brunch menu which has a little bit of everything; pasta, pesto, mozzarella balls, smoked salmon and so on, as well as including a small cake and fruit salad, a hot drink of your choice and a freshly-squeezed orange juice. It was really nice and definitely kept us going for the rest of the day.
We had to head back to the station around 2pm after picking up our things from the apartment. Although we didn't see it all, we didn't do badly either! We saw most of the things we wanted to without it feeling rushed, we ate well and had so much fun. There was a bit of a scare at the station in Paris before we left but it didn't delay us and in a way it's a relief that the police and security services are doing their job and making sure any threats are removed safely. It was a bit of a long journey home during which I wrote this post, napped and listened to podcasts! Paris: it's been great and I look forward to seeing you again soon! I definitely won't be leaving it so long to come back next time...
Sounds like a beautiful few days - the Palais de Luxembourg looks stunning! I have a long list of things I want to do in Paris so this was so helpful! XxReplyDelete
Phoebe & Abida | phoebida.blogspot.co.uk
I love Paris! I've been there when I was really young and I hardly remember any of it! I would love to go back one day, it has a unique style this city! Need to work on my French a bit more though! xoxoReplyDelete
P.S. Kate | http://p-s-kate.blogspot.gr/
I was exactly the same! I went to Disneyland when I was about 7 and we only spent one day in the city - it's well worth experiencing it properly when you have the chance :) xxDelete
I was 14 but still I want to experience it again! So happy you had such a great time!Delete
I really want to visit Paris xReplyDelete
Heather | Of Beauty & Nothingness x
I would so love to visit Paris, it sounds like you had a fabulous time! The Ethiopian food looks and sounds delish... xReplyDelete
NINEGRANDSTUDENT: A Lifestyle Blog
This sounds like such a great trip, your photos are gorgeous!ReplyDelete
Lauren Ashleigh xx
Thank you :) xxDelete
I was just in Paris two weeks ago! Ypur post brought back so many memories.ReplyDelete
Amazing pictures by the way.
Thank you :) we must've been there around the same time! xxDelete
Sounds like you had an amazing time. I haven't been to Paris in years but your pictures make me itch to go back!ReplyDelete
Tori | www.30plusandbeautiful.com
Honestly it looks like you had such an amazing time! Everything looks so wonderful! I have never been!! Next year I will, 100%!ReplyDelete
Fix Me In Forty Five - A Beauty & Lifestyle Blog
Blog Lovin' // Instagram
The stripped dress is so cute, the food thoughReplyDelete
I love France. Ive never properly visited Paris before but it looks beautiful. I love the photo of you in front of the Eiffel Tower xReplyDelete
Thank you! It's well worth doing :) xxDelete
Amazing photos Jasmine! I started my summer in paris and absolutely loved it. I didn't get to go to Versailles either but would love to make the trip next time!ReplyDelete
Abigail Alice x
These weekend getaways is what I miss most about living in Europe (and thereabouts) the most. Your photos, like others have said, are amazing!ReplyDelete
My Mommy Years
I would love to go to Paris one day! This post is like you took us with you ^_^ReplyDelete
Laila from Townhouse Palette
I went to Paris years ago and loved it, it looks like you had a wonderful time. It's such a beautiful city! Love all your photos! xReplyDelete
You honestly had the BEST summer ever! I loved living vicariously through you and your travels haha so glad you had such a fab time, Jasmine! You deserve to relax and enjoy these great adventures for all the hard work that you do :) Paris is a beautiful city, I hope I can experience visiting someday.ReplyDelete
It was incredible and thank you Mika :) I hope you get to see Paris some day xxDelete
Sounds like you had a great time! Paris is quite good in the sense that you don't need many days to see the main sights, and you'll always a reason to go back. Versailles is still on my list to see even though I've been to Paris three times now! I just never have the time for it.ReplyDelete
Lovely city! I hope I can travel there one day :)ReplyDelete
Erin | Erin Azmir
amazing post,Paris is always a great idea,I love the photos xoReplyDelete
Thank you for your comments :) xxReplyDelete
I haven't been to Paris in around 7/8 years but I definitely plan to go back. Each time I go, I fall even more in love with it. You're so lucky to be able to get the Eurostar - it is so much more convenient than flying! We travelled that way once & loved how easy it was. I need to go back! You packed so much into your 48 hours! xxReplyDelete
Beautylymin| Kat Von D Contour Palette & brush Giveaway
Love seeing all your photos, I went to Paris earlier in the summer for a couple of days and already have plans to go back. There's so much I'd love to do, it's just impossible to get it all done in a short amount of timeReplyDelete
Emily x | emilyclairewrites.com
Oh man Paris is one of my favorite cities, so jealous you're a quick train ride away! My favorite part was probably walking around St Germain, such good food there too. My favorite view was probably up at the Sacre Coeur in Montmartre - even better early in the morning before all the tourists come around. I dream of going to the pharmacies there, Paris was the first stop on my trip last year and we had all carry on luggage so liquid accommodations did not permit :( but there will be a next time and it will be the last stop so all the buys can be thrown into checked in luggage!ReplyDelete
Beautiful photos and also congrats on 50K on BL 🙌🏼😉
Cindy | www.cindyhyue.com
I definitely want to explore St Germain - another friend of mine used to live there so maybe she can show me around :) and thank you so much! xxDelete
I'm so glad you've enjoyed your stay in Paris Jasmine! It seems like you got the best out of your weekend, and tried out lots of good food - that Ethiopian restaurant looks nice!ReplyDelete
I've been in England for a week now and I have to say, I do miss Paris haha. Would you believe it if I told you that once, a friend and I literally walked through the middle of the roundabout to reach the Arc de Triomphe? That was one of my best #thuglife moments haha. Next time, be sure to visit the Louvre (simply one of the best museums ever) and Versailles, I'm sure you'll plan to do so at some point and they really are worth it! :)
Omg I'm so glad you said that because that's what we did :') my friend left us for 5 minutes and we were running in traffic! I knew there had to be a crossing somewhere but we just couldn't find it. Then when we were over there we saw old people and people in wheelchairs who obviously hadn't run through the roundabout and then realised there was a tunnel...xxDelete
Cool blog and beautiful photography. You've got a great aesthetic.ReplyDelete