{Self Care Sunday #2} A British Girl in Paris

This week my dad and I escaped to Paris for two and a half glorious days of de-stressing. I can’t tell you how much it was needed, essays and life has really been getting to me lately and I’ve found myself feeling more and more run down – the trip couldn’t have come at a better time. I handed in an essay at uni on Monday and then walked over to Kings Cross in the beautiful London sunshine to meet dad for a spot of lunch before hopping on the Eurostar… (Be prepared to be bombarded with photos in this post)

We arrived in Paris about 6pm and after bumbling about in the rain for a while we eventually found our hotel, pretty much back where we started… Oops. We stayed at the Hotel du Mont Blanc, simple, good location – did the trick.

hotel du mont blanc parisA pretty awesome view from my window…

After sorting our bags and a quick change we headed out in search of dinner. Something that I particularly love about Paris is how everything extends onto the street – shops, restaurants and cafés, even something the kitchens themselves…

fish paris

We found a beautiful restaurant that annoyingly I didn’t look at the name of. It was full of old beams, traditional wooden furniture and lots of chandeliers…

restaurant paris

Of course champagne was necessary. When is champagne ever a bad idea?

champagne paris

It was rather a meaty meal for me which, admittedly, is my ideal. I started with a platter of hams, salamis, etc. and followed this with some honey duck which was pretty bloody awesome. Then we ambled back to the hotel and promptly fell asleep. I think I slept for 10 hours?!

meat platter paris

duck paris

The next day was just amazing. We walked everywhere as we were in no rush… We wandered through the Latin Quarter where the shops spill out onto the pavement, full of smelly French cheeses, meats, fresh handmade pasta and lots and lots of oranges…

cheese paris

meat paris

fresh pasta paris

oranges paris

We ended up at the Notre Dame for which I was pretty excited as I’d never been in or up it (the last time I was in Paris I was dog sitting and I don’t believe it’s acceptable to take dogs up Cathedrals..). Inside it was absolutely stunning, it truly is HUGE. And it was obviously looking its best getting ready for Christmas time. There’s something pretty magical being in such a huge space, so full of people yet it being almost silent…

Notre Dame

Inside Notre Dame

Notre Dame window

Then I made us queue to go to the top (the queue was wayy smaller than when I’ve seen it in summer, just a tip for you!). It was 100% worth it…

Notre Dame view

Notre Dame view 2

Notre Dame view 3

Notre Dame view 4

Our wandering then led us along the river to the Champs Élysées where we found the biggest Christmas market I think I’ve ever seen… Complete with Santa’s sleigh ready and waiting on his zip wire for a night time show. Totally normal.

Champs Élysées Christmas Market

Most of the market stalls were pretty commercial but there was a lovely Artisanal section with people selling goods that they had made, or even making them right in front of you…

Champs Élysées Christmas Market 2

Then, as the sun was setting we crossed the river and walked back through the narrow streets of the Left Bank peering into shop windows full of stunning antiques and furniture that I definitely couldn’t afford…

Paris sunset

Next came dinner. This dinner was epic. Like seriously epic. Dad decided that we should have a treat Christmas dinner whilst in Paris and I certainly wasn’t one to object. We headed to Germain, very much a different style to where we had eaten the night before with a modern art/design theme. Yet, it still somehow felt lovely and cosy. I seemed to go for a tartare theme for my meal… I started with a salmon tartare which was lovely and the my first ever beef tartare which they grilled very lightly. The beef tartare was just wow. WOW. WOW. Yeah, it was good. All washed down with some red wine, when in Rome Paris.

Salmon tartare Germain

Beef tartare Germain

Matchstick chips GermainWith a side of ‘matchstick fries’, I barely made a dent in these I was too busy falling in love with my beef…

Steak GermainDad didn’t want to be left out so he took a picture of his steak too 🙂

After dinner I had the excellent idea of going to one of the many crêperies further down the street for pudding. Holy moly. I think I got a bit over excited with my ordering…

crêpe

Good job I had dad with me to help me out, poor guy ended up eating his crêpe, half of mine and finishing my drink that I didn’t like. Sorry dad…

Then all of a sudden it was our final day. We started with a perfect Parisian breakfast at La salle a manger, again in the Latin Quarter not too far from our hotel. Fresh French breads, croissant, a variety of different spreads and unlimited tea/coffee. Oh yes. (Yes, I did eat gluten on this trip, no my body didn’t like me much for it but my soul bloody loved me.)

la salle a manger

la salle a manger 2

The rest of the day was very much a shopping day, although in hindsight I don’t think we actually bought that much! My favourite places were this huge vintage shop (who knew vintage clothing was so much cheaper in Paris?) and of course Galleries Lafayette, which was full of festive Christmas decorations…

vintage shop paris

Galleries Lafayette

Such festive and happy trip 🙂 it may not be possible to run away to Paris every time you need a break (bummer) but taking time out to look after yourself and your soul is 100% necessary. Head on over to Ange’s blog for some more self care this Sunday, and have a wonderful weekend!

Have you been to Paris? What’s your favourite way to take time out?

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16 thoughts on “{Self Care Sunday #2} A British Girl in Paris

  1. Can I say JEAL. OUS. Ha everything looks so good! And for once, I don’t just mean the food! If there’s one city to get glutened, it’s Paris. I totally agree, taking time out is VITAL – I plan to use the next week for precisely this 😉

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