A chaotic city with so many districts can seem overwhelming at first, but we stuck to our lane (that being St Germain des Près) and had an a rather eye-opening and educational time. I think everyone wants to love Paris, everyone wants to feel the magical of this crazy historical city; and while it’s charm, and ancient heritage wormed it’s way into our hearts… I could not help to feel a touch relieved once we left. Don’t get me wrong it was powerful, bustling, classical and modern all rolled up into one, but for a small city girl from Cape Town it was a slight sensory overload. I think my low-lying claustrophobia may have been heightened due to the sheer number of people in the city for summer, filled to the brim of young-somethings clutching for a life in the the light. Personally I don’t feel like I know this vast space well enough to give you any ‘hot spots’ but I was lucky enough to receive so many amazing recommendations from friends that we got to try out some stellar spots!
In terms of a French update, people are way kinder than they are made out to be, with French locals helping us while we stared blankly at the metro maps. We also got let in on a widely key secret…. the croissants most Boulangeries sell in Paris come frozen from a huge French supplier. So if you are looking for that quality crisp make sure to try a stand alone bakery or one just out of the city. We also learnt that traditionally Boulangeries make bread, so if your Boulangerie has both bread and sweet desserts, cakes and macarons then they are bought in. And the same goes for the Patisserie which traditionally makes the sugary cakes and dessert-type things so if they have bread in the store it’s bought in and not made in the back. There is no need to be snobby as it all does taste great.. but if you are after that authentic Fresh flavour best you head out of the city to a smaller more quaint environment. We ate super well, with my stand out dish being boef aux carottes (usually made only at home, but we stumbled across it at a restaurant one evening) and all the French fries of my dreams. They also are big on fresh fruit in the streets, so we had a box of cherries with us always! If I can recommedn anything.. lets go with an umbrella. The weather is more temperamental then Joburg during the summer, be prepared else you end up like a hobo under a tiny shelter with 25 panicked Asians waiting for the rain the stop.
One of our most treasured experiences in Paris was definitely the Picasso museum, a true ode to his work and life. Also the building that houses the permanent exhibition was so beautiful and we wondered around for ages. So much to see and so much do, but for us Paris was a stop over before the south of France. So until next time jusqu’à la prochaine fois.
Black glasses – Gucci at Sunglass Hut
Dress – Freepeople
Gladiator sandals – Topshop
Black bag – Witchery
Grey tee + blue dress – H&M
Leather sneakers – Camper
Black bag – Witchery