What to do with a long weekend? Our very own Marketing Assistant, Lucy Browning, headed to Paris to explore the city of love and indulge her culinary appetites. If you have just a few days to take in the most beautiful city in the world, don't worry we've got you covered.
Avenue des Champs-Elysées
Staying in a hotel in the heart of the beautiful Champs-Elysées, we were surrounded by a succession of cafés and luxurious shops, with adjoining side-streets glittering with patisseries and boutiques.
The avenue leads up to the Place de Charles de Gaulle at the centre of which the Arc de Triomphe proudly stands. The impressive monument, commissioned by Napoleon following his victory at the battle of Austerlitz, began construction in 1806 and was inaugurated in 1836, is a must-see. We continued our walk across the river towards the iconic Eiffel Tower.
It is worth noting that for EU visitors under the age of 26, admission is free or at least discounted at a variety of tourist attractions.
On our second day we ventured to Montmartre, climbing to the top of the hill, we arrived at the doors of the breath-taking Sacré-Coeur Basilica. The basilica's interior was beautiful, with ornate stained-glass windows. Whilst we were lucky that tourists were allowed inside, even during Mass, it felt rather as though we were intruding.
Montmartre is also home to the famous Moulin Rouge, and we enjoyed strolling around the area until we came across it. Another must-see on our list was 'Les 2 Moulins', the bistro featured in the popular French film, Amélie. Not only is it sought-after by fans of the film and tourists, but the food is also excellent.
One of the highlights of my trip was a day spent in Reims, in Champagne, where I was fortunate enough to take part in a Champagne cellar tour. The tour was fascinating, and we learnt all about the production and ageing process of the region's celebrated beverage. At the end, we had a delicious glass of Brut Cordon Rouge.
Refreshingly, locals in Reims for the most part did not speak English, unlike their Parisian counterparts who are generally able to converse with foreign tourists near fluently. We concluded our stay with a crepe in a little café outdoors.
Just a short train ride from Paris is the city of Versailles, home to the Château de Versailles. The Château, or Palace, is a stunning building, encircled with golden fencing, and was once the centre of political power in France. We had a wonderful time walking around the vast gardens, which are adorned with statues and fountains, with classical music playing throughout.
There are, of course, many more things to see in Paris, but I'll save them for next time! If you're interested in where to eat in Paris, here are a couple of suggestions:
Bon Appetit: Food & Dining in Paris
If you're a fan of macaroons, you will be delighted by Ladurée. Founded in 1862, the Ladurée restaurant on the Champs-Elysées serves savoury dishes as well as its world famous pastries (but it's the macaroons that tempted us!).
Situated Rue Pierre Charron, just off the Avenue des Champs-Elysées, Café Victoria is a classic French Brasserie. We sat outside and enjoyed people watching over dinner. The Duck Confit was delicious, enjoyed, of course, alongside a glass of wine.
The best way to see Paris is by wandering around and taking in the sights. Visit a Paul bakery and sample a croissant or pain au chocolat whilst exploring your surroundings, for a deliciously Parisian breakfast.
Earlier this month our friend Rosie Londoner took the same voyage to Paris for a whistle stop tour. Taking the sights in, in style Rosie carried our white Brook Street bag with her. The epitome of Parisian Chic.