Paris is always a good idea right? The breathtaking architecture, the incredibly good restaurants, the endless shopping, the art galleries and museums, the list goes on as to what there is to do in Paris and why one can never be bored of it.
It is such a luxury to speak the language of your visiting country. There is a beauty of speaking French in Paris. Perhaps it’s because I have become so close to the city after having lived there for a few months. There is something special about the subtle elegance of the Parisians and the way they live that can’t be found elsewhere.
I visited Anna who is still living there on her year abroad, and stayed in her cosy Parisian flat in the 16tharrondissement. We walked around the charming streets and admired the characteristic brasseries for one last time before moving back to London.
It is a strange feeling returning to a city that you have become so familiar with, that it almost feels like you are going home. I visited my local bakery to pick up macaroons, went to Oh My Cream!to stock up on beauty products and Bel Airto browse the new collection; the staff in each store, recognized me, so it definitely felt like I was home.
My first night we went to a favourite restaurant of ours, Hotel Costes for dinner and a long catch up. The elegant interior, stylishly dressed hosts and hostesses and delicious food fitted with its surroundings, located on Rue Saint Honoré.
After this year, my international friend base has grown. Wherever I go, there will be someone I know also visiting or living there. Ludovica, who hosted me in Milan was in Paris with her mum, so we met for a coffee and wonder around Le Bon Marché, one of my favourite places to shop on the Rive Gauche. The buying teams there know their customers and only have the most elite and exclusive high end and high street items for purchase.
Le Dôme du Marais was always on my restaurant list when in Paris, however I hadn’t managed to dine there. As it was Anna’s preferred restaurant in Paris, we went there for dinner, later joined a friend from my university who was just starting his Erasmus year abroad. It made me very nostalgic thinking back to this time last year when I was establishing my life in Paris!
We started Saturday with our usual Starbucks fix and walked around Paris for hours stopping at Colette, Marcel for lunch and shops in the 6th arrondissement. For me, a visit to Paris isn’t complete without a re-fuel at L’Avenue for a meal. Anna hadn’t been before so it was perfect that we went to my desired restaurant before she left. Yes, it is owned by the same brothers who have Hotel Costes, which means the menu is similar, but the ambiance is different and as I have been going there for years, it is really one of my ‘locals.’ That evening we visited Selina’s apartment for the last time! Her apartment is the essence of a typical Parisian apartment. With a view of Alma Marceau and the top of the Eiffel Tower, it was her last farewell to the apartment, with drinks and music, keeping with the Parisian vibes.
Sunday’s in Paris are one of my favourite days. With no galleries and museums open, everyone seems to gather in the Marais for a late lunch, a walk around the historically beautiful Place des Vosges and an afternoon coffee break along the river.
A truly lovely short break that made me ready for my return at university. Sort of anyway.