Since being back home in the UK, one of the main things I have missed has to be French food. Our taxi driver told us during our trip from the airport to our hotel, that I would come home and be asking Alex to make French food because I would miss it so much. He was right. I practically consumed my body weight in crepes and waffles during our visit. I found myself leaving one restaurant, then trying to find a creperie less than ten minutes later...
For the most part of the trip, we tried to find cafes on side streets and away from the busier stretches of Paris. They felt a little more..authentic? However, we did fall a little in love with a chain of restaurants, named Bagelstein. The name is a bit of a giveaway, but they made the most amazing bagels - I went back a few times for the 'Isidore' - made with pesto, mozzarella, cream cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, red & green peppers, all inside an olive bagel. SO, SO good. The decor was lovely too, with 'quirky' family tree photos to show how Bagelstein came about, and with quotes from celebrities scattered over the walls. Even writing this is making me hungry. Send help and bagels.
Lastly, I thought I would sign out with a few Parisian hacks, which will hopefully help if any of you are planning a visit in the near future.
- When travelling from the airport to your destination, it is probably a better idea to arrange your transfer before arriving in Paris. We opted for the first 'taxi' that we saw after landing, and during the drive, we noticed that the driver did not have a meter displayed on his dashboard. The driver did not appear to be a registered taxi driver, and we were charged 90 euros for a 20-30 minute journey, BAD MOVE.
- Paris is split up into 20 districts. To find out which district you are in, you will find a street sign on the last building of any street. The district will be shown on there, along with the street name - this helped us a lot with navigating as our map missed quite a few of the smaller streets along the way.
- Keep your bags close to you and carry as little as possible during day trips. There are a lot of pick-pockets, and we were targeted on quite a few occasions as we were noticeably tourists in the area. A lot of pick-pockets approach tourists with clipboards, representing 'charities' - it is best not to get into conversation and to move on swiftly.
- This may sound like an obvious tip, but it is best to learn a few French phrases before visiting. Especially for ordering in restaurants, or requesting a taxi - a little goes a long way and it is a sign of respect.
- VISIT THE CHAMPS ELYSÉES SEPHORA - it is HUGE and any beauty bloggers' dream. Along with this, be sure to visit the French pharmicies for cheaper beauty products. They're impossible to miss, just look out for the illuminated green '+' signs.
- Roads can be crazy to cross in Paris. Despite the green man being lit on the traffic lights, motorcyclists will go through the zebra crossings if they feel that a pedestrian is not trying to cross. I felt lucky every time I survived crossing a road.
- The Louvre is worth a visit, especially if you are on a budget. Admission is free for visitors under the age of 25, however, the descriptions for the artefacts are in French and do not have English translations beneath. It might be worth paying for an audio guide if you are keen to know more about each attraction. Also, the audio guides are on Nintendo DS' - tell me I'm not the only person that finds this cool?
I hope you have all enjoyed the trio of Parisian photo diaries!