It captures tiny parts of my heart every time. Walking the streets I feel my eyes prick with tears, my nose sting with emotion that’s ready to bubble over. The romance of it all awakens something so full and beautiful inside me. Like a fog has been lifted and everything is crystal clear.
Paris – I think, is what my happiness feels like.
I’d never visited until Jamie whisked me away on my first trip three years ago, and we’ve been back each year since. I suppose it’s become ‘our’ place – and I guess that’s why I love it so much.
We’ve just celebrated our third anniversary with three days in the city. It was the first time I’d been there having already exhausted all of the site-seeing. We had zero plans and it was absolutely glorious.
So with that being said, I thought I’d share a sightly less touristy guide, keeping it simple with a few places we love to eat, sleep and shop!
WHERE WE STAYED
The Hoxton is one of my favourite hotel chains in London, so with the knowledge that it had just opened a new one in Paris I was all for checking it out and it certainly didn’t disappoint.
Situated centrally it’s a stones throw from pretty much everything with a metro station right on its doorstep.
It was quiet and peaceful, tucked away on a little side street away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The decor was beyond stunning, we literally felt like royalty just walking through the doors.
With an outdoor dining area, large restaurant and coffee bar complete with cakes and snacks you’d be hard fixed to actually venture out of the hotel. We found it very relaxing and spent one of our afternoons reading in the greenhouse area, which was super lovely.
Okay guys, Angelina’s. I’m sure this won’t be news to many of you – but if for some crazy reason you haven’t been, I’m here for you.
It’s always our treat when we visit Paris, to have breakfast at Angelina’s one morning. We go for the full breakfast, which includes fruit, croissants, breads, eggs (whichever way you like) and a choice of tea, coffee or their unreal hot chocolate, which is quite literally, melted chocolate. It’s a Wes Anderson dream inside, the service is stunning and the food, is just utterly beautiful. Even if you just pop by to grab a hot chocolate and cake, I promise you will love it.
COFFEE / BRUNCH
Fragments is my little hidden gem. One of my friends recommended we visit – it wasn’t all that close to where we were staying but we wanted to explore and I’m so glad we did. I’d say there’s around twenty seats inside, so it’s never overrun or too busy which is a rarity for nice places in Paris. The menu is small, but seriously delicious – with avocado on toast (obviously) and salads or granola. Displayed on the counter are an array of baked goods: including the best goddamn cinnamon bun you will ever taste.
It wasn’t super cheap, but it was very relaxing, the staff were wonderful and the food was A+.
Pink Mamma. So, a LOT of people recommended we visit here and browsing their website it seemed right up our street. Italian (our favourite), with a selection of meats, fish, pizza and pasta.
Now, I’m going to be honest here, because the experience certainly won’t be for everyone.
They don’t take reservations and it’s quite possibly the busiest restaurant I’ve ever been to. I’m pretty sure people arrive bang on the dot of the doors opening and will get in line to get a table. Lots of people were leaving and then coming back – so I assume they’d popped their names on a list to come back in ‘x’ amount of time, or something like that.
We arrived at around 8.30pm and the hostess told us there wouldn’t be a table until 10pm, which was way too late for us English fuddy-duddies. She did say however, that we could have a table on the bar that overlooks the chefs cooking and that was fine with us.
The aesthetics are breathtaking, and I think a lot of people would rather wait for a table where they can get a great photo / truly enjoy the interior – but we just wanted to try the food and oh, my. If you have the stamina to wait, please go. The food was truly beautiful and really a lot cheaper than I was anticipating. There isn’t an English menu though, so make sure you’ve got Google Translate to hand, just in case 😉 It was so tasty we went back for lunch a few days later – magnifique!
I’m trying to be good with money and so shopping wasn’t high on our agenda this time – but I am really enjoying shopping vintage lately and so we stopped in at Kiliwatch, a gorgeous vintage store, not to be missed. They have some pretty pricey, but amazing re-worked vintage but towards the back of the store is a haven of all things purely vintage. I picked up a striped shirt for €20 and a leather bag for €30, both featured in this post and in pristine condition. Some things are a little over-priced, but if you’re willing to hunt you’re guaranteed to find something magical.