My Favourite Things To Do In Paris, pt. 2

6. Enjoy some Parisian serenity. Stop by a patisserie, fromagerie and boulangerie, collect a few supplies for a picnic and spend a divine hour sitting in the Jardin des Tuileries, the Jardin du Luxembourg or the beautifully manicured courtyard of the Place des Vosges, whiling away the afternoon amidst the perfect people-watching.

7. Embrace your inner child. Make like Amelie and enjoy the simple, playful pleasures Paris has to offer. Stop for a peach sorbet at Berthillion (Île Saint-Louis) and skip down to the banks of the Seine to join the tango dancers at sunset, or buy a ticket to ride one of the city’s big old ferris wheels or carousels (I love the one near the Louvre for the most glorious views). Because you’re never too old to be playful and fun!

 8. Hunt for vintage treasures. The vintage in Paris is legendary, and rightly so for vintage boutiques are dotted all over the city (my favourite is Les Trois Marches de Catherine B). Or if you have half a day to spare, head to one of the incredible flea markets and go scouting for treasures; Marche aux Puces de Montreuil (best for jewellery and vintage fashion from the ’30s onwards), Marche aux Puces de St-Ouen (Europe’s largest flea market – great for everything from homewares to Art Deco prints) or Marche aux Puces de la Porte de Vanves (eclectic treasures, antique toys and French furniture).

9. Stroll the streets at midnight. Though I might secretly fantasise about living in a Woody Allen film, there is something so enchanting about those grand streets after dark once the daily buzz has quietened and the tourist have dispersed. I love the sound of echoing footsteps on the pavement as I get lost in the teeny, warren streets of Le Marais district, or wander the grand boulevards beneath the shadow of gilded architecture from the glory days.

10. Kiss below a sparkling Eiffel Tower after dark. It’s a big fat cliche, but oh so fun! The Tower is lit up once the sun goes down, but every hour on the hour the lights twinkle and glitter and it’s hard not to feel giddy with excitement when standing beneath it. Head there with a loved one for a smooch as the clock strikes the hour. Oh la la!

Have you been to Paris? I’d love to hear your favourite things to do there!

Love, Miss B xx

Souvenirs de Paris

Heavenly scented treasures from Diptyque and Annick Goutal; the obligatory mini Eiffel Towers (which I will dot around the house beside candles and atop books)

Today is an enforced lazy day (as in; breakfast at 11, a refusal to leave the house all day, and lounging around in silk pyjamas with endless pots of tea), so I’m delighting in finally unpacking my souvenirs from Paris. After a trip, it always seems to take me a full week to unpack – partly out of busyness, but also because I want to delay the gratification of having brought home new treasures from my journey abroad.

Even though I was only in Paris for a long weekend, and I didn’t set aside any time specifically for shopping, I still managed to sneak plenty of wonderful souvenirs into my Lulu Guinness case. Here are a few of my favourite Parisian momentos:

Fleur d’Oranger candle (I will re-use the porcelain holder afterwards), Marie Antoinette tea and a jewel-like box of macarons from Laduree; vintage postcard and a menu from Cafe de Flore (which I may have snuck into my bag in exchange for a large tip)

French perfumes, beauty and gorgeous scented candles: I love the beauty hall at Le Bon Marche or the tiny perfumeries around Le Marais district (I always make a point to stop by Diptyque, Annick Goutal and L’Artisan Parfumeur when I’m here). Don’t forget to visit a French pharmacy for excellent beauty products that are mostly unavailable (or significantly more expensive) elsewhere.

Gourmand delights: A trip by Laduree (for a box of macarons, a coffret of tea and a scented candle), Pierre Herme (heavenly artisanal desserts, wonderfully adventurous macaron flavours, and gorgeous jams), and the department store food halls (I always stock up on chocolate and tins of orange blossom pastilles) is a must.

Vintage treasures: Rummage around the Parisian flea markets (Le Puces is the best) or the little stalls that line the Left Bank of the Seine. This time, I collected turn of the century hand-coloured postcards (I determinedly hunt these down in each of my favourite cities), old books at Shakespeare & Co, and a vintage Chanel military badge and early No. 5 bottle.

French fashions: Most of my favourite French brands (Carven, Sandro, Maje, Isabel Marant, Petite Bateau) are naturally much cheaper  in Paris. But I also love discovering new (to me) French designers that are yet to arrive across the Channel. This time, I learned of Claudie Pierlot – an old French house that is now being led by the sisters who design for Sandro and Maje respectively. I love the French coquette -meets-each chic vibe, and picked up an adorable ivory silk peplum-waisted top which I can’t wait to wear. I also love to buy French silk lingerie (Chantal Thomass, Princesse Tam Tam and Mimi Holliday are fun), a tiny jewel (usually a brooch) from Chanel to add to my collection, and a copy of Vogue Paris at the Eurostar terminal (the funnest way to use up my Euros).

Vintage treasures, Chanel brooch, Claudie Pierlot sillk bow top and beautiful silk lingerie

What do you love to souvenir when you travel? Do you have any favourite Parisian treats?

Love, Miss B xx