I’m coming to the end of my time here in Paris, so I thought I’d put together a post about some of the things I’ve loved most about the city, and the things I think you should all try out!
Among all the things France is famous for, cabarets are definitely up there. I was lucky enough to go to the Lido on the Champs Elysées with the office, considered one of the most prestigious cabarets in Paris (no, the Moulin Rouge is no longer considered no.1 …). Having never previously been to see a cabaret, I didn’t really know what to expect, maybe a raunchy strip tease with a cancan at the end. But after this experience I would 100% recommend it to anyone visiting Paris who fancies treating themselves to a night of music, luxury and bling. While lapping up the champagne and foie gras (perks of the office), I watched an approx. 2-hour show that consisted of dancers, acrobats, mimes, singers, ice skaters … The nudity was also kept classy and the show was cleverly choreographed.
Tuileries and Rue de Rivoli
When I think of the Tuileries gardens, I instantly have the memory of sitting by the fountain in one of those green chairs on an early-September day, when it was still warm enough to sunbathe. I’d either go with friends while we were on a walk to somewhere else, or by myself where I could sit peacefully and read my book under the sun. Tuileries sits between the river Seine and the Rue de Rivoli.
Rue de Rivoli is a long road that stretches from the Ave. des Champs Elysées, past the Louvre, all the way to the Marais, connecting central west and east Paris together. On it is Galignani‘s, a quaint and traditional book shop that sells anything from French classics to the history of Tsarist Russia (it also has an English section which is useful for non-French readers). After a browse, I would recommend Angelina’s for brunch, where you can have a light brekkie of croissants or pastries, or something savoury like an eggs benedict or club sandwich. If you even just fancy a hot drink which is still just as filling, the famous chocolat chaud Angelina (extortionately priced at €8.20, but so worth it).
Season has to be one of the nicest brunch cafe-restaurants at which I have had the pleasure of stuffing my face. However, because it is so popular and “très chic” for non-Parisians, it means there is usually an hour waiting time and only tourists who have heard of the place are its customers. I had a huge stack of fluffy pancakes with maple syrup, walnuts and bacon, plus an amazing hot chocolate served in a huge artsy mug (I wanted to buy one I liked it so much, however I don’t think they were selling).
Tea is a big deal in Paris. Obviously, the Brits are always associated with the traditional Earl Grey and English Breakfast, however Paris has grabbed the concept of tea and run away with it entirely. Kusmi Tea is actually a Russian brand, but is a huge hit here in the city. I’ve seen teas I didn’t even know existed, like black tea infused with chocolate and orange, and green tea infused with lemon and popcorn. It’s colourful shop full of tins of tea stacked to the ceiling has you in awe when you arrive. LØV is also a tea brand, now owned by Kusmi Tea. What I love about LØV (ha) is that it’s all organic, and also a bit cheaper than Kusmi Tea, although not by a huge amount. My favourite teas: Ginger and lemon green tea and Blue Detox by Kusmi Tea and LØV green mint tea.
The Arc de Triomphe
This experience was what I considered one of those special moments you don’t expect to be that special, but really is. Free access to EU citizens under 25 (to the Brits – hurry up and do it quickly before you have to pay!) my boyfriend and I climbed up the Arc de Triomphe one evening (100s of stairs, just warning you) and the view was really amazing. I would say even better than the view from the Eiffel Tower, because from the Arc you can actually see the Eiffel Tower. A 360 view of Paris and the roads leading off the roundabout, including a stunning view of the lit-up Champs Elsyées. It was also very quiet, maybe five of us altogether at the top. If you are up it at the beginning of the hour after 6pm, you’ll also see the Eiffel Tower sparkle!
I will be adding more to this post, plus there are more posts coming soon, such as my experience wine tasting for my sister’s birthday plus a post about my time working for the Paris Tourist Office! Stay tuned.