Tag Archives: romantic getaway

Eiffel in love with {Paris}

Roses are red, 

Violets are blue,

That weekend in Paris,

*Eiffel* for you!

Before dinner on our last in Paris, all dolled up, we dashed the few minutes up the street to one of the prettiest spots to view the Eiffel Tower!Unlike the space beneath the Eiffel Tower (which is concrete, sits next to the road, and is bustling with tourists), the spot where we snapped some shots is tranquil and relatively serene! The garden-like walkway is sporadically furnished with benches and rose bushes. And, set back slightly from the road that runs beside the iconic monument, it’s close but quiet!

After strutting our stuff an almost unacceptable amount, we perched on the benches the have one last long look at the River Seine.

White blazer – Topshop

Navy dress – Paris souvenir

Heels – Asos

Watch – Gift

Taking a little time to literally smell the roses…Before trotting (or should I say *legging* it?) back up the street to an eatery close to where we live, that was recommended pretty highly!Not your traditional ‘last meal in Paris’ kind of eatery – we decided to dine in Okito. A Japanese Sushi restaurant with fresh fish to devour after the heat of the day! 

Check out their menu, here, for the fairly extensive range of food and the not untypical types of Japanese cuisine.A genuinely tasty miso soup starter – miso hungry!We were a little greedy and ordered a portion of very satisfying Gyoza to share before our main came out.With cocktails at the ready, this mighty boat of sushi and sashimi arrived for us to feast on in celebration of our time in Paris!Armed from port to starboard with the freshly prepared delicacies, the little wooden Bateau (boat) we ordered comes with: 2 rice,
20 various sashimi, 4 sushi, 6 maki.

The little raft of food is also accompanied by: 8 skewers : 2 chicken wings, 2 chicken ball, 2 beef with cheese, 2 beef.We made a challenge of the delicious spread. We ate. Every. Single. Bite!

And with that, we were done! We headed back to our apartment, packed a little and went to sleep. The next morning involved packing up a few more items and skipping up the road to catch the metro and RER back to the airport to fly back to Britain!And all too quickly, I must wave au revoir to Paris! But with so much more to explore – I guarantee this is not the last I’ve seen of the city!


Solariums and Rooftop Pools in {Paris}

Not just a regular pool – this glorious little clear water spring is on the rooftop of one of the tallest apartment blocks in Paris! And this just so happens to where we stayed while on our trip!If you haven’t discovered the marvel of Airbnb yet, you’re seriously missing out on some potentially amazing places to stay on your next adventure! (Click here to begin planning your next stay on Airbnb!)There are plenty of fantastic spots available all over Paris, but we decided to commit to the relatively small studio apartment that we stayed in so that we could take advantage of the rooftop pool and solariums (especially when we were only 5 minutes walk from the Eiffel Tower)!If you want to investigate the apartment we stayed in, and/or book it for yourself – you can check out Julia’s page on Airbnb, here!Most evenings, before heading out for dinner, we took the elevator the 30+ floors to the top of the building and just hung out and enjoyed the view.And on more than one occasion, the heatwave that hit while we were visiting the capital city, we took a midday dip in the open air pool! A much needed swim in the cool water helped fight off the feeling of fatigue that strong heat and sunshine can sometimes cause!I experienced a sever #facepalm moment the day before we left to travel the Paris – realising I had not packed a swimsuit! Luckily, a quick trip to the closest T K Maxx snagged me this easygoing palm print number by Banana Moon (the epitome of California surfing and swimwear)!Shop their stuff here!On our last night in the Parisian city, we ran back up to the rooftop and tried to capture some snaps of how amazing the view is!The camera couldn’t quite do the Solariums justice…But back inside the viewing rooms; the sunset view across the city just about did it!When a sea of colours is painted across a foreign cities skyline, it’s hard not to appreciate where you are! Combined with the warmth of the evening, capturing this sunset was a crowning jewel in the Paris experience!

Montmartre and La Taverne {Paris}

If you’re looking for the traditionalist street views of the idyllic Parisian lifestyle – head to the Sacre Coeur in Montmartre. Simple!Situated on the edge of the city of Paris; the 18th arrondissement is famed for the iconic Moulin Rouge, but also houses the beautiful monument of the Sacre Coeur. And it is the steep cobbled streets spiralling down from the impressive structure that will offer you a truly memorable Parisian experience!After a day at the Paris Flea Markets (which trust me – you need all day for) which is generally thought to be the biggest flea market in the world (I will definitely be making time for another visit in the future), we were only a stone’s throw from Montmartre!

(If you want more info on the particular French flea market that we journeyed to, check out a detailed review with tips, here!)

So we made a swift change in the metro and emerged into the evening light of the 18th arrondissement, to explore and find dinner!Sacre Coeur sits proudly atop the highest point in the Paris area, and for good reason! The immense building is a must-see on any Paris goers list!

The structure sitting atop the ‘Mount of Martyrs’, which has been considered a place of worship from the Druids of ancient Gaul, through the proceeding religions to the Sacre Coeur that stands today. The ‘Sacred Heart of Christ’ can be thought of as more than its religious appropriation and move of an over encapsulating symbol overlooking Paris from its highest point.The views are spectacular, and incredibly satisfying if you’ve been dashing around the city for a couple of day already and can spot areas and landmarks you know!After getting our fill of the view at Sacre Coeur, and had enough of the other tourists taking photos, we headed back down to the uneven streets of Montmartre…This is the look that I sported for the day of extreme walking, and lots of sunshine! The awkward moment when you are wearing more clothing items belonging to your other half than of your own? (Including; sunnies, top and shoes!)

Top – Zara Men

Jeans – Cheap Monday

Shoes – Boyfriends (brand unknown)

Sunglasses – Polaroid

Bag – Asos

Here is where the evening became particularly special; I came to Paris roughly two years prior, and was lucky enough to stay in the Montmartre area during my visit. On one of the nights, at the end of my visit, we went to a small eatery that I have not stopped thinking about since that visit.

Without maps, or google, I was able to navigate us directly to the restaurant. Solely on memory of good food, and amazing rustic atmosphere – two year later – we arrived at the door of La Taverne de Montmartre!We were a little early for the opening (it’s doors open at 6:00pm, but food isn’t ready to start serving until 6:30pm), and so popped to the open bar next door to grab some red wine before dinner.When at any restaurants and eateries in Paris (or any city you’re travelling to) try and sit outside. Most of the time the weather is pleasurable, and taking in your surroundings helps you appreciate truly where you are!Once we were seated in La Taverne I explained that we would definitely be choosing the set menu for 20euro.

(There is also an option for a 15euro set menu, as well as general items you can pick and choose like any other restaurant.)The 20euro set menu includes; aperitif, starter, main, cheese board and dessert! 

I explained to my other half, that it really does not matter what you pick from the menu – anything you could possibly chose would be delicious!For our starters we chose the soup of the day (which happened to be an delicious fish soup) and a portion of the escargot (snails!), which anyone who listens to French stereotypes will know is a must!For our mains we chose another fish dish, and I knew I had to have the same lamb rump that I had been lucky enough to feast on upon my first visit! (Our desserts were the chocolate brownie. We’re stubborn and don’t like to share.)

For the second time in two years, everything was divine!La Taverne de Montmartre is a must visit in my opinion. And I know that I will make the metro journey over to Montmartre again just so I can eat at this joint!If you need more convincing – remember that the area itself is beautiful to wander around, and of course you can visit the surrounding small eateries around the Sacre Coeur for snacks during daytime wanderings. Plus; this same area is extremely close for anyone who wants to visit the Moulin Rouge!

Wined and Dined on the Seine {Paris}

Let’s do dinner. In Paris. At night. All evening. On the River Seine!After a long day wandering the sunny streets of Paris, we decided to splurge a truly Parisian dinner!

You’ll be able to spot signs, all around the bridge that sits at the base of the Eiffel Tower, that advertise the different boats and times to dine upon!We called before leaving our apartment, and booked two seats for the 8:30pm cruise. Check their other meal options and tours, here.

Running late, we dashed along the streets lining the Seine, and managed to arrive just in time for our check-in! We received our tickets and were ushered to our table, just before doors closed and safety checks began.The boats feature beautiful glass ceilings and walls along the entire vessel! (There is a pretty substantial price difference for those that wish to sit in the window – so we opted for seating that is one over, and is situated along the centre of the boat.) No matter what seating you chose, you will have incredible views of the monuments lining the Parisian river!

And so, menus in hand, we began selecting choices from the five-courses of delicacies we were to have over the glorious few hours aboard the glass topped vessel!We were particularly lucky to have the lovely weather continue through the evening.

We received aperitifs as the lounge singer stuck up their first cords and the engines started their soft, low purr to pull us through the water, and through the city.Our visit to Paris was scheduled just outside of tourist season, so the boat was not overly full – this meant, less crowded surroundings, and less obstructed views!

(Below) A quick snapshot as we passed La Musee d’Orsay. When you know what you’re seeing as you gracefully glide past it, you really feel privileged by the perspective view!Before our next wine and starter arrived, we dashed onto one of the side viewing decks.It was quite breath taking (honestly the most breath taking part of this visit to Paris) to move along the river at this time of day, and not be surrounded by plastic seating or plastic windows.We ran to the back of the boat to stand in a larger area and watch the sunset! It is a wonderful view, and viewing experience at your leisure (especially knowing you can pop back inside and have a meal waiting on your table).

Jacket blazer – Topshop

White top – Nastygal

Jeans – Cheap Monday

Heels – Asos

We hung out on the deck for a little while, happily alone as other people sat at their tables, unwilling to miss the arrival of their first course.Once we went back inside, we enjoyed a delicious starter, main, cheese board, desserts, coffees and as much free win as we could handle.

Our evening was spent on the boat until late into the evening, and we departed after dark. We walked home beneath the glowing structure of the Eiffel Tower, lit up and glittering!

If you don’t have the time to sit for multiple hours on a cruising boat along the River Seine, then you can always dine in the stationary dock bistro that sits just beneath the Eiffel Tower – a similar experience on your schedule!

Breakfast at Pierre Hermé {Paris}

Welcome to Pierre Hermé – known as “The Picasso of Pastry”! What better way to spend a lazy Sunday morning in Paris (the world capital of pastries), than a trip to one of the most famous patisseries in the city itself – Pierre Hermé?

(If you want to know about the pastry chef himself – check out a video about the masterful work of the Pierre Hermé, here.)If you look it up online, you’ll be able to find ‘chocolate crawls’ or ‘chocolate tours’ of Paris. (Some are paid tours, and some you can note down and do yourself for free!) These strategically walk you around the 6th arrondissement, where there is situated a cluster of roughly 15 world class chocolatiers and pastry shops.

The first stop on the list is the fabulously famous, and absolutely delicious (is that a spoiler or could you tell I was going to spend this whole blogpost raving out the sweet treats from sale here?) Pierre Hermé. We were lucky enough to not have to queue outside of the shop because we had departed on our adventure on a Sunday – most of the surrounding establishments were closed (as well as a majority of places that featured on the ‘chocolate tours’ – these are best for week days).Part of the beauty of these little pastry boutiques are the presentation. Rustic, delicious food is hard to beat – but when the tiny desserts are individual little works of art – you have to agree that they are on a level of their own!Each hand crafted delight is topped with a tiny mark of PH, which is a developed form of the cherry-on-top.On selecting your pastries (be warned there may be a line, this place is popular for a reason!) the staff of the patisserie handle the edible artworks incredibly delicately and box them up individually to take away.

Part of what you pay for is the presentation; both inside and outside the box.Pierre Hermé is most famous for his macaroons. Plain and simple. Unlike said macaroons! You have probably heard of Ladureé macaroons, but they don’t compare to the options of the variety and experimental combinations of flavours that Pierre Hermé has on offer to buy! From passionfruit, to white truffle hazelnut – these are the ones to try!

(And if you’re lucky enough to live in France instead of just visiting on a short trip like me – then check out the Pierre Hermé website, here, where you can have pastries and macaroons shipped to your door in just 24 hours!)We trotted round the corner to sit on a bench next to Saint-Sulpice and got ready to chow down on our belated, but fancy, breakfast.The box and the bag were as decorative as the tasty eats inside!I was looking for my coffee fix (above) and couldn’t help picking this little cappuccino tart, and the other cake we picked up (below) was a rich, dark chocolate square!

We took turns taking bites of each others pastry to mix the coffee and chocolate flavours which compliment each other so well!The patisserie did issue us forks and spoons along with our desserts, but I am greedy and easily frustrated by cutlery not being man enough to deal with my food. So I descended to using my hands like an animal – the tart was too good to regret anything, though!Because we were spending the day outside touring the city, and our plans were just to wander where we chose, I went for an airy outfit that still maintained a little of the tailored style chic that everyone appreciates!

Shirt dress – Urban Outfitters

Levi shorts – Vintage shop (near the Pompidou)

Shoes – Zara

Bag – Asos

Sunglasses – Thrifted

Not-so-pompous at the Pompidou {Paris}

This was my second visit to Paris, and top of my list was a trip to the Centre George Pompidou!Situated in the centre of Paris city, and the 4th arrondissement, this enormous modern art gallery is a prime location to spend an entire day whether you’re a history buff with art knowledge of not!

The architectural structure is obviously not the expected traditional Parisian style of many other art galleries across the city. Instead the outside can be likened to building scaffolding mixed with a child playpark jungle-gym!Buy your tickets (if you’re under 18 years, they are free!) and head up the external escalator scaling the outside of the huge structure.

We got there in the late afternoon after looking around the pretty kick-ass shopping spots in the area. Even though it was after four o’clock we still had multiple hours to trawl the slightly emptier halls of the art gallery!The top floor spans from start to finish in artistic chronological order of the modern art period. After two years of studying History of Art this was a totally new experience with knowledge from studies.

There is so much to see, and a great deal of variety! Take your time or rush through – regardless, you’ll enjoy just about everything on display.And finding stripes was an extra bonus… I love camouflaging into the artworks! 

T-shirt dress – Missguided

Shoes – Zara

Bag – Asos

Sunglasses – Thrifted

When you’ve had your fill of the glorious collection of modern art (with big names to boast – remember) you can head down to the floor below to dive into the contemporary art!It’s notable that the collection and pieces on loan that are on display change. Over two years since I visited the Pompidou previously, and the entire floor were filled with pieces I hadn’t seen before!

Some abstract and intriguing artworks sprawl the gallery, and other pieces take up entire rooms. On installation in one of the main rooms was an artwork called ‘Cafe Little Boy’. Jean-Luc Vilmouth designed a room composed of green painted walls, tables and stools using the same paint as school boards; the installation invites visitors to writes, draw and express themselves with chalk on any surface in the room, in any way they please.The room is very controlled and has a maximum of five people at a time – which was no problem for the quite nature of the gallery in the early evening.

This artwork is a development from a previous work entitled ‘Little Boy Coffee’ from 2002. The work was originated in the history of the primary school Fukuromachi in Hiroshima which was destroyed by the explosion of the atomic bomb (nicknamed ‘Little Boy’). Only one wall remained standing of the building, carrying a lone chalk-board, on which survivors wrote messages to their loved ones.We each separated to privately write personal messages on sections of the walls. We found useable pieces of the small stubs of chalk that were strewn around the room, and wrote messages to our loved ones and our lost ones.Before leaving the peacefully quite room, I found a blank painted stool and left a different kind of message…


It’s hard to photograph the diverse range of contemporary pieces on display, but you can definitely see a change in scale from the modern art based floor above.

Large lights, and objects suspended from the ceilings and huge painted walls that spread across over 30m are just a handful of the pieces we marvelled at. We spent at least three hours wandering through the open rooms of the two floors, and didn’t even progress the floors below, specialised exhibition (these change even more frequently than the artworks on display) or the options in the cinema – a second revisit might have to be on the cards!

Siam Water Park

Day three of adventuring in Tenerife and we finally began to make a stab at exploring the sights away from the coastline pedestrian walkways! On this very sunny day, we took the free bus that drove past our hotel to Siam Park. The #1 water park in Europe and #3 in world – we’d picked up a disposable camera to document the experience!

We arrived, clambered off the bus and only had a short line of people to wait behind before buying our tickets and entering the park. The entire park is influenced by Asian themes and deserves the title of Water Kingdom! The entrance opens out to see an enormous clear water pool where beneath the surface you can catch glimpses of Sea Lions playing and swimming. We followed the pedestrian walkways up and around to a raised set of wooden shacks that housed shops and locker spaces, known as the Floating Marketplace. We deposited everything we’d brought with us and dashed off to the nearest water feature that happened to be the lazy river…Careful not to get the camera completely submerged in the water (it wasn’t a waterproof model), we sat ourselves in the yellow rubber rings and allowed ourselves to be swept into the currents of the huge Mai Tai River that winds under walkways and by paths all around the entire park!After sunning ourselves in the warmth and splashing in the cool waters of the controlled currents, we applied sunscreen and made the trek across the park to begin the momentous effort of riding the huge array of rides the park has to offer!

Sadly no snaps from the actual rides, we weren’t able to take the camera with us. But (below) here is a snap of Dan cooling his feet in a little shower installation that stands just outside the steps of one of the bigger and fastest raft slide rides! (As the day gets hotter, the concrete paths begin to get very hot beneath your feet, so sandals – you don’t mind leaving on the chairs at the bottom of rides – are a must!)Hot-dog it was nice weather!

After trying out a portion of the waterslide style rides across the park, we decided to take our break on the sandy beaches of the wave pool and have drinks and lunch from the Beach Bar. I was very proud to be as white as my new Zara bikini and the sand surrounding me! (#whitepeopleproblems) We kept everything we needed to carry around in a very (un)stylish bumbag (above).The last time I was in Tenerife, the enormous wave pool, known as The Wave Palace, and sand beach were closed for renovations. So it was very exciting to finally get to see an attraction that is as big as the rest of the park put together! Looking off into the distance you can see different mountains and foliage of the rest of the island that blend into the edges of Siam Park to create a real tropical paradise! Once we’d had our fill of the sunny lounging lifestyle, we went back across the park the complete the last of the rides we hadn’t covered yet!

This (above) is the Tower of Power! This high-up vertical drop slide is one of the most iconic features in the park. The vertical drop is a 28 meter free fall which shoots you through the shark aquarium (which the Mai Tai River Rapids also run through) and out into the huge open drop pool!

Waiting on the viewers stand, I was able to snap a photo of Dan coming down the slide and another just after landing in the pool!To finish our day we returned to another round of the lazy river and the comfy position of lounging in florescent yellow rubber rings (plus we wanted to take a few more photos on the disposable camera)!Lounging…And holding hands so we didn’t lose each other through the currents was a lovely end to the day.And once we’d made our way through the extension of the River Rapids, Dan waited in the tube that ran through the shark aquarium to get some shots of the fish swimming and a (blurry photograph) of me next to one of the divers cleaning the shark tank!Out of the rapids and back to the lazy river, we finished our day drying off in the sun, before collecting our things and heading back to the hotel for a rest, and then dinner! Hope this post made a splash with you – and you lovely readers are encouraged to take advantage of water parks this Summer!