HELLO and welcome back to me, rambling, on wearwhatworks! So this past week, (or maybe two weeks, but who’s counting) I have been sitting looking out at the d i r e weather in Edinburgh dreaming of my recent trip to the City of love, Paris! & yes, it sure was dreamy.
Every Easter, family tradition and all that, me and my fam-bam hop on a plane on Good Friday to escape the normality of everyday life (read: to run from Irish drinking laws over Easter). As we are all living in different cities just now, we look forward to a weekend of catch ups and slagging and take pride in discovering the best spots for dinner and in this case, the best way to fly around a new city taking in all the beautiful, must-see landmarks, in record time 😉
This, what has now become a tradition, all started a few years back when, unfortunately, we lost our beautiful mama to cancer. We decided we needed something to look forward to and couldn’t face another big occasion at home forcing ourselves to get on with ‘normality’ when in reality, nothing was normal anymore! (On that note, does any one even have a ‘normal’?) Fast forward eight years, things are a lot easier but the annual Easter trip away for a G&T or five is a highlight of the Mc Monagle social calendar.
So, with that little bit of background over and done with, lets talk Paris! As Audrey Hepburn once said, ‘Paris is always a good idea!’ and how right she was. A lazy Sunday morning back home singing with a rendition of ‘Be Our Guest’ whilst prepping breakfast confirmed that Paris was the location of choice. Needless to say, of course we paid Micky and Minnie and visit – you are never too old, but we’ll get onto that!
So finishing work on Thursday I headed home to get packed and organised for my flight on Friday morning stopping in at Primark on the way to pick up some super comfies for travelling the next day, and obviously I left with the largest carrier bag available… what do we even buy in Primark? I’m not sure I have much to show for it, but hey ho, pay day was looming…
Have a scroll, as I outline our very quick way of seeing Paris and have a fabulous four days in the French capital.
I squeezed a gym session in on friday morning and met my sissy at the airport just before lunch time, we had enough cases and bags between us to potentially travel the world for at the very least, six months, I kid you not. Sure, it meant we were prepared for all eventualities, every cloud and all that.
We met my daddy and brother in CDG airport, Paris and bounded for the poor man who had our name written on a plaque, the holiday had finally begun. It was just late afternoon by the time we got checked into our super cute hotel and found a friendly bar across the street which was perfect for that first holiday beer, and cheese board… when in France, right?
Sometimes I find it difficult when you arrive in a new city, and haven’t had a chance to get your bearings, to know exactly where you are or to find somewhere to eat, even after scrolling through a list of ‘the 50 best restaurants in Paris‘. I mean at this stage, we didn’t so much as know where the Eiffel Tower was let alone find the ‘home of rich French cuisine’ which was showing up as a 20 minute walk… no thanks! So despite this, we got all dressed up and found a fabulous restaurant just a five minutes from our hotel which served up some of the best food I’ve ever had but o m g, the dessert was something else, lets just say homemade butterscotch sauce poured from a hot saucepan, at your table!! Its making me hungry even thinking about it. This, for me, was the beauty of Paris, fantastic food and even better wine in amazing restaurants on literally every street corner.
8am came very early the next morning and before I could say Bonjour, we were on the train departing from the Gare De Lyon eating croissants from Pret a Manger, cultured? I think so. DISNEYLAND was next on the agenda! My brother had never, as in ever ever, been on a roller coaster before so this was a pretty big deal for an adreniline junkie like me. As you might of guessed he did not get off lightly. After waving dramatically to Buzzlightyear (can those characters even see?), squealing our heads off on every coaster available and marvelling at the amazing parade, we found ourselves lost in the magic of the Disneyland Hotel when the day came to an end. Can life always be this carefree, please?
Home just in time for a quick turn around, we ventured to a beautiful restaurant and the highlight of the meal? Snails! Who would have guessed. In terms of sightseeing, as a day in Paris itself had been lost, we discussed how we would like to see the city the following day and, of course, my daddy had a plan, as always – superman! We just had to wait and see.
Easter Sunday came & we stumbled upon a gorgeous old church where we paid a very short visit. Breakfast then followed in the form of coffee and chocolate cookies because, Easter, why not! All my shopping dreams came true as we visited the Galeries Lafayette, and after swooning over every designer (and macaroon counter) on offer, we dandered back through the streets, we arrived at our hotel where 4 motorbikes and drivers were waiting for us. HELLO! We laughed, squealed and I had a mini panic attack when the helmet was plonked on my head but, wow, what a way to see the city! Swerving through buses and zooming past any traffic, we swung by all the famous landmarks before being dropped off at The Ritz 60 minutes later. Did I low-key feel like a celeb? The answer is yes. Did that pass when I realised a gin and tonic was £30… the answer is also yes. Honestly though, I cannot recommend this way of seeing the city enough, it was super quick but such an amazing experience and saves your little feet from walking. Get on it, it’s a guaranteed way to feel Paris chic!
Sunday night ended the trip with another amazing dinner at a seafood restaurant we stumble across earlier that day in a small area called Saint Michel. I mean it must be pretty snazzy because standing at traffic lights, Chris Martin and his wife Gwyneth Paltrow were stood beside us and note to self, do not assume everyone speaks French and comment on their trainers, she may too speak english… nice work Caoilfhionn. Good job I’m not trying to make it in Hollywood anytime soon.
Lessons learned for the ultimate city break:
- Bring a warm coat or layer up, something that will compliment daytime and nighttime outfits. Although it was warmer than Edinburgh, it still isn’t summer yet so it was pretty breezy!
- Wear comfortable shoes. Fashion is fabulous until your walking a cobbled street not sure where the final destination is, not ideal.
- Hang onto your belongings, my daddy always said, ‘only take out what you can afford to loose’. This means more now than ever, who wants to be stranded in a foreign country with no phone, money or worse, passport?! GET ME HOME!
- Do research, find out about things you want to see and places you want to go. Find out about the best brunch spots or most fun ways to get about. Motorbikes were super fun but cycling can also be good! I’ve found that Instagram can be the best for doing this.
- Don’t eat and drink in restaurants/bars within close proximity to the popular tourist destinations, chances are the food will be average and the drinks very expensive.
- Do nosey and have a drink at the super fancy hotels, why the hell not (just don’t stay there too long)!
- Always pay for a metro ticket, even if the locals don’t look to be. I discovered this a few years ago, the hard way. I would have liked to keep the €250 I was fined come to think of it…
- Go with people you love and who have the same interests as you.
- Eat all the food, drink all the wine. You are only on holiday for a short time, enjoy it!
- HAVE FUN!
Easter weekend away with my family is something I always look forward to. Before I left I had e v e r y outfit planned, right down to what socks I would wear and how I would get the most perfect pictures for the ‘gram but, truth? When I got there, I didn’t care (and my family got fed up with my ‘photo op’s’). I was more interested in having the best time and making memories with family because thats what life is all about, right? Whether its your gal pals, your boyfriend/girlfriend, family or school friends, don’t forget to stop and take it all in!
So yep, this post is less fashion orientated but its just me and fashion wasn’t the first thing in my little brain that weekend, unless you count the £3 Primark ‘Bonjour’ jumper which is completely fasHUN.
Chat soon queens, and until then, wearwhatworks!