January 26, 2017

Memoirs: Passport to Paris

Early last November, I headed to Paris for 48 hours of fun, sightseeing and debauchery in one of my favourite European cities. The original plan was to see Fifth Harmony in concert but they re-scheduled their dates, meaning I couldn’t change my train or hotel stay. Typical eh… 

I went with a few friends, who were flying into Paris where I’d meet them at our hotel – the race was on to see who would get there first. For ease, I decided to take the Eurostar instead of faff about at an airport for a 45 minute flight and I do not regret it. The Eurostar was a quick, easy journey where I was able to eat my Pret breakfast, write some blog posts and stare longingly out the window as though I was in a movie. I’d done a little snooping and handily booked my seat in Coach 11 because it had plug sockets (Coach 5 does too), meaning I could be fully charged by the time I reached Gard du Nord. If you’re wondering, I arrived feeling tired, which appears to be my middle name these days.
If you’re not familiar with Paris, Gard du Nord is the Parisian equivalent to London’s St. Pancras station; a busy station with too many signs and a little too easy to get lost. As soon as I exited the station, I did what I did best an ordered an Uber to my hotel because I’m a little lazy and I couldn’t be bothered to faff about with the Metro. One tip for ordering Ubers in European cities is to order an UberPOOL instead of your usual UberX. It’s cheaper and most of the time no one gets in, especially if it’s mid-week and during the daytime. I’ve also realised from compiling my travels on this blog that I spend WAY too much money on Ubers…
We were staying at the Novotel Tour Eiffel hotel which was roughly a 10 minute walk from the Eiffel Tower itself and Champ De Mars station. For some reason when booking, we were struggling to find a hotel we both agreed on, but it was a no brainer when it came to this one. The room was a generous size with all the amenities you could need for a one night stay in Paris. Mainly in this city, you only find the very small boutique hotels, but the Novotel Tour Eiffel is along the lines of a typical NYC hotel with the views to match.
Even though my friend’s flight was earlier than my train, I arrived at the hotel before them (I WON), so I checked in, chilled out in my room whilst they travelled in from Charles de Gaulle airport.
When they arrived, we all quickly freshened up and headed out to do some sightseeing. Luckily it wasn’t raining but it was very cold, I’d say around 5C or 6C, so if visiting in November, do wrap up warm. Having been to Paris four times (including this one), I was excited to see some parts of the city I hadn’t managed to like the Louvre, Notre Dame and the red light district
The only negative about the trip was how expensive everything was, the sh*tty Sterling to Euro exchange rate thanks to good old Brexit didn’t help either. I also found that some of the restaurants ripped us off. Example – they placed garlic bread on the table whilst we perused the menu, we assumed it was free, but of course not and it was added to the bill. A whole 7 Euros for garlic bread, my heart hurts typing this. When you’re hungry you just wanna eat without being mugged off. I’ll know for next time to do a little more research, not to eat near major landmarks nor the first place we see.
In a whole, I don’t know if 48 hours is ever enough in Paris or anywhere to be honest. To get to grips with a city, you really need at least 2 nights/3 days. If you’re based in the UK, Paris is only a stone’s throw away with some of the best coffee, pastries and food in the world. With a crepe stand on every corner, old Parisian buildings and some of the most luxury shopping in the world, this city is enchanting to say the least.
img_3963-1 img_3569-1 img_3701
What I did enjoy in Paris was when I left my friends who were flying back to London and had a few hours to explore the city on my own. I sat in a coffee shop and watched the world go by, found an area that resembled Brick Lane and gave myself some time to think. If it’s one thing I do treasure my alone time, sometimes so much I switch myself. Whether this is a good or bad thing I don’t know. But it reminded me of my solo trip to Milan where I had time to challenge myself without relying on nobody but myself. I gladly got myself back to London in one piece stuffed with macaroons (as you do) and hastily booked another trip.  If you’re ever considering going to Paris, the Eurostar is super cheap (I paid around £52 return) and booked a cheap hotel too for my next stay (£120 for two nights).
Despite a few negatives – I still love Paris and the City of Light will always brighten a place in my dark cold heart (SO DRAMATIC I KNOW).  
Do you have any recommendations of bars, clubs, places to eat and hidden gems in Paris? I’m keen to find some before I go this weekend
Char xo
Please note – all photos in this post were taken by me on my iPhone 7. 

16 responses to “Memoirs: Passport to Paris”

  1. Such stunning photos! I went to Paris a very long time ago on a school trip but I definitely want to explore it with friends, like yourself 🙂

    Fatima x http://www.fatima-writes.blogspot.co.uk

  2. Natasha says:

    I miss Paris I want to go back so bad! I know what you mean about gard du nord I got lost 5 minutes in 🤦‍♀️

    Tasha x


  3. […] similar to Paris, is a beautiful city enriched with history, amazing food and lots to learn. You can read about my […]

  4. Margeaux says:

    I love this blog! It really inspires me to pick u my bags and just travel the world! Keep it up

  5. […] Paris is one of the places outside of America I’ve visited the most. […]

  6. […] more than just getting from A to B, this handy app gives you options according to how you want to travel whether it be by bus, train, bicycle, walking or […]

  7. […] Over the past couple of years I’ve somehow managed to go to: Barcelona, Dominican Republic, Barbados, Paris, Tunisia, Dubai, Las Vegas, Rome, Brighton (LOL), New York, Milan, Majorca, LA, Las Vegas again, Paris again, Cape Verde and Paris again. […]

  8. Musings: Home | Memoirs & Musings says:

    […] to follow a similar pattern to those around me. Maybe I don’t want my life to be defined by bricks and mortar, but the imprints I leave in the memories of those around me. For me, in London – the only […]

  9. Musings: Oh La La – Memoirs & Musings says:

    […] hotels like the Hotel Ares Eiffel to pure luxury like the Shangri La. I personally recommend the Novotel by the Eiffel Tower or the boutique Rudyard Kipling hotel in the Moulin Rouge area. […]

  10. […] to follow a similar pattern to those around me. Maybe I don’t want my life to be defined by bricks and mortar, but the imprints I leave in the memories of those around me. For me, in London – the only […]

  11. Ruth says:

    Loved the images you produced and It was a great read I defo need to go Paris

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About Me

Welcome to my little space on the internet, known as Memoirs and Musings. I’m Char, short for Charlotte and my blog/website/diary is dedicated to documenting my Memoirs and Musings, hence the name. I wouldn’t say I was your ‘typical’ blogger either. I don’t care about getting the perfect flatlay or feeling bad for not posting, I just enjoy writing. If you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading. Anyway, I love to travel, indulge in a glass of white wine, when plans are cancelled and purchase overpriced make up.  I guess that’s me in a nutshell, trying to figure out this thing called life, have fun and never lose sight.