The City Of Light on 35mm Film

I want to preface this blog post by stating that I am certainly not a professional photographer, I’ve always had a real interest for photography, but I am by no means the best! As long as I can remember I’ve been trying my best to get the best photos – even buying an old Polaroid off eBay when I was 16 (which I still have, covered in dust FYI) – and my photography skills are still something I’m working at.

I also don’t have the best photography kit right now, but I like what I have. I often find my best pictures are taken on my trusty old iPhone, but my ultimate #1 is obviously the Olympus Pen E-PL7, and even my first generation Go Pro can produce some nice gorgeous photos. You’d think with all this I wouldn’t need to try another camera, BUT this gal decided to give 35mm film a go.

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It’s something I’ve been toying with for a while, and a recent foray into the second-hand-buying app, Depop, introduced me to online shops that had really cheap (and tried-and-tested) film cameras. I decided to take the plunge and buy a beaten-up old Concord Neon camera. Worried that it was more style over substance, I asked for some tech advice from the shop’s owner, and they were happy to help. I would definitely recommend trying a cheaper model for your first go – no point splashing out a few hundreds for a hobby that might not work out!

Anyway, I brought the film camera away with me to Paris to experiment, and below are the shots I had in return… Like I said, they are certainly not perfect, but I love how their non-perfectness makes them look. The photos below are largely #nofilter pictures, but some have been edited slightly using Snapseed, where exposure on the original shot has occasionally been too dark!

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I think it’s safe to say that I’ve learnt with film that my camera works best in daylight, or with it’s flash. I took these two photos around the Eiffel Tower, just as the sun was setting, so technically in ‘golden hour’. I love that even though they’re slightly fuzzy you can still see the effects of the sunlight on the building, or the little fairy lights underneath the restaurant sign.

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That expression on my boyfriends face translates to “oh she’s got that camera out again”… but I have to say he certainly looks pretty cool in all of these pictures! Also, the above shot of the Louvre certainly isn’t great – but I love the lense flare thanks to me pointing the camera essentially directly at the sun.

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The different a camera can make!

The different a camera can make eh? Like I said, I’m still a beginner with film so I probably could’ve set up the above shot better, but you can really see the different when you cmopare it with my Olympus Pen E-PL7, Either way, the of-the-moment, not-sure-what-it’ll-look-like fashion of a film camera is part of the excitement. Half of them might be blurry or over-exposed, but that’s the fun of it!

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Speaking of differences between cameras – not a shot on my iPhone or Olympus Pen could pick up the Eiffel Tower in the background, but there it is on my film shot! This is shot #2 of George looking v cool, and luckily he took a nice one of me too!

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I wasn’t actually going to include the above, but I think with film it’s always best to include the best and the worst of the bunch! Above are a few shots taken on our walk along the River Seine, on a crisp and sunny day (the best kind, am I right?). You can barely see the actual river in the first shot, and the tunnel shot could’ve definitely been better, but it’s part of the fun of experimenting with new cameras I guess!

Anyway, that’s a round up of my film pictures from Paris – it’s a shame I didn’t take anymore! But now I know the camera works, and what I should and shouldn’t do, I feel more confident to bring the camera along on future trips to take more snaps.

Hopefully my next film post will be about Lisbon – watch this space!

Thanks for reading x

The Staycation Series: Brighton

In a bid to combat the constant battle I have of being a travel blogger who rarely can get on a flight somewhere sunny as much as I’d like (as I have a full-time job and limited holiday allowance to play with) I have decided to kick start a new series on Staycations in the UK. Not all holidays involve jetting off to the Caribbean and our tiny country has a lot to offer if you’d rather stay put, only have a small budget or just have a little bit of time to play with.

I’m kicking this series off with one of my favourite areas of the UK – Brighton, and it’s linked to my love of English seaside towns. It’s not often I rave about growing up in Kent, but one of the definite advantages of living there when I was a child is that we were very close to the sea. This ultimately meant trips to the beach any time the sun was even slightly promised to make an appearance, and meant I have a lot of happy memories at the English coastal beaches in Summer, freezing cold dips into the English channel and all. Not only that but every summer we would go ‘up North’ to stay with my Nan, and that brought with it hours of fun at Morecambe beach, spending all our pocket money at the arcades, and overloading on ice cream (favourite flavour is Raspberry Ripple, FYI).

We would visit Whitstable and Deal (still my favourites and would recommend if you’re visiting Kent), and Margate and Hastings, but the absolute pinnacle of all the beach-trips, was a trip to Brighton. All these years later and I still have a soft spot for Brighton, with its big stretches of beach, shopping opportunities around The Lanes, and plenty of places to stop for something to eat. We went back to Brighton recently as a little staycation for our anniversary and we had the perfect weekend, so I wanted to jot down a few things to do if you’re heading to the beach side town yourself…

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Visit the Pier

Brighton Pier is the town’s most iconic landmark, along with its burnt-down older sister situated further down the beach. It’s topped with a fairground, plenty of arcade games and lots of sugary concession stands that waft out the smell of fried doughnuts and candy floss to entice you.

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If you grew up near a seaside town or spent any summer’s at one, you’ll remember the absolute thrill of going to the arcade and spending all your pocket money trying to get as many tickets you could to possibly win the chance of trading them in for a bag of Haribo, or something equally as not-worth-it. I still remember working out with my sister the best games at the arcade that would give you the most tickets for your money, #hustlers I know.

Even if arcade games aren’t your thing, it’s fun to walk around the pier and take in the view of Brighton from the sea. If you’re peckish you can grab a multitude of sickly sweet snacks, or a drink in the sun.

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Explore the lanes

The Lanes are another of Brighton’s well-known gems if you’re visiting, and they’re get for a peruse. You can lose a good few hours exploring the vintage shops, independent cafes, or just ogling at the chocolate masterpieces in ChoccyWoccyDoodah.

For vintage shops my favourites were Waiste Vintage and Starfish Vintage and for little independent shops, Silverado for jewellery and Our Daily Edit for high-end shopping (if you’ve been saving up your pennies..). Don’t forget to stop off in Photomatic for a keepsake of your weekend, and then for a tipple at one of the local coffee shops or pubs, for a rest and a spot of people-watching.

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Take a Walk down the Beach

Obviously this is an absolute must when visiting a sea side town, but Brighton beach is really lovely for a walk (weather permitting of course). The beach itself is lined with bars and restaurants, and also little shops to explore as you do so. If you’re brave/stupid enough, take a dip in the English channel, and then sunbathe on the beach afterwards.

Obviously, traditional beach food is your standard fish and chips, but there’s plenty of little cafes an restaurants down the beach strip with a variety of options, which brings me on to…

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Stop For Something To Eat

One of my favourite parts of Brighton is the extensive range of spots to eat. We passed so many spots in the lanes and along the beach that turned our heads, but we ultimately settled on the following two, and I would heartily recommend..

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A gorgeous menu with Instagram-able presentation, a dreamy decorated space and even a beautiful toilet for a toilet selfie – Cowshed toiletries included. The menu was huge, and had a range of options for brunch that were a little different to the usual. All of this and it didn’t come with London-prices that we’re used to, so we used this opportunity to treat ourselves to Bellinis and waffles topped with maple bacon, black pudding, bacon jam, egg and APPLE – pictured below.

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Lucky Beach Cafe

I am a big advocate for Fish & Chips when you’re at the seaside, but considering we had that the evening before, we ended up at Lucky Beach for their incredible burgers. Not only were the burgers really gorgeous, but they also come with hauuuge G&Ts, in addition to Lobster-topped-fries (I know).

I would heartily recommend Lucky Beach as I’ve been before for the calamari tacos, and can confirm they’re an absolute treat as well. There’s seating inside, but if the weather is good then don’t miss the opportunity to sit on their beach seating area and enjoy the view.

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Fancy a Snack?

If you’re not looking for a big meal, stop by The Croque Shop, for homemade food that smells absolutely gorgeous. Their window is filled with delights, with incredible sausage roll fillings and vegan pies too. There’s nowhere to sit though, so it’s more of a takeaway treat – and I’ve just discovered they do home delivery if you order through their website, so excuse me whilst I go and order 10 sausage rolls…

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I’m sure I’ve missed plenty of recommendations for this gorgeous seaside town, so please let me know if you have any in the comments. In the meantime though, check out my Instagram at GrundyTravels for more travel snaps.

If you’d like me to write a guide on any other British staycations, please let me know! Thanks for reading x

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How to Find Great Accommodation on a Budget

Following on from my last post about how I find cheap flights, I wanted to follow it up with another post all about the steps I take to find the best budget accommodation, and without limiting my options.

I think it does go without saying that if you’re used to luxury, then this post might not be for you. I’ve followed these rules for finding accommodation in the past, and have always stayed in places I’ve found to be brilliant and for great value. Although I want to caveat it by saying if you’re on a budget, occasionally you might have to forego a bigger bedroom or the most central location in your search. However, if you are happy to pick somewhere without a few of those aspects, you can still have the best stay – for a fraction of the price.

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Setting Out Your Priorities

When planning a holiday, before looking at anything else, it’s best to join with whoever you’re travelling with – even if you’re going on your own – and set out what is a must and what is a definite no for you when it comes to where you can stay. This can change from holiday to holiday, depending on who you’re going with and where you’re travelling to, but it’s best to set your boundaries before you start looking.

A lot of cheap hotels offer shared bathrooms instead of privates ones, which might be fine for some, but can also is a no for others. A really gorgeous hotel with a pool might be top of your list – but might not be very central in some cities, so is it something you’re willing to prioritise over being closer to the main areas of a city?

They may seem like small things in the overall picture, but they can make or break your holiday. It also makes it important to talk to whoever you’re travelling with, as what might be a priority for you could be a deal breaker for your travel partner, so you might need to compromise.

Personally I’ve learnt that when I’m travelling, I don’t mind not being in the centre of the city – if a city break – as I don’t mind walking around to get the best of my surroundings. However I now know – from travelling in Australia last year – that given the choice, I’d chose a private bathroom over a shared option, as sometimes when you’re so far away from home, it’s nice to have some space to yourself.

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Researching The Area

Sounds like the most obvious thing I’ve ever written, but it’s great to scout out the best areas of any place you’re heading to to see if they have what you want. If you’re looking for a city break, you might somewhere closer – or further away – to the big attractions. Or if you’re looking for a beach holiday, you might want somewhere closer to the beach, or maybe further away from the party areas?

One of the best ways I do this – other than reading around all my favourite travel blogs – is to check out Suitcase, Time Out Travel or Telegraph Travel, as they all have extensive guides on areas to stay in various cities. Without these websites I wouldn’t have found our gorgeous area of Ammoudi in Zakynthos, or known about what a nice area Montmarte can be to stay in Paris.

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Hotel Comparison Websites

Whenever I start looking for accommodation for a trip I always look to Booking.com. I know there are plenty of hotel comparison websites out there, but there are several aspects that always bring me back to this website.

Firstly, I love that you’re able to filter your hotel options by review score and price, or depending on review scores from different travellers – couples, families, solo travellers etc. It’s the best way to find little known hotels that other travellers have found to be amazing, and highlights little known hotels that might not pop up in your standard holiday guide.

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These little known gems might not pop up at the beginning of your search, because they’re not big chain hotels, but if you look at the top hotels with best review scores, and filter by what type of traveller you are, you might find a few cheap options that will work perfectly for what you need.

Secondly, I love this site because you can filter out what you do and don’t want – and you can always use the map view to find spots in the area you’re looking at. It sounds pretty simple, but I’ve found the user interface of this website to be the best to use when I’m using accommodation finding sites.

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Another great option is Airbnb, which I really love as an alternative option to accommodation when staying away. In some cities it can be a huge help in affording accommodation, but it’s always good to get a look in whilst you’re considering where to stay, to see if an Airbnb would be of better value. For example, when planning my trip to Paris recently I assumed we’d pick an Airbnb, but I was struck by just how many hotels there were – and how cheap their prices were as well.

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When looking for an upcoming trip to Lisbon, I found that so many Airbnbs looked even better than the hotel options, and they were so much cheaper, and in the really lovely areas of the city. On a recent trip to Worthing, in the UK we stayed in a gorgeous studio flat right on the front of the beach, with a really friendly host and a gorgeous little flat. This flat turned out to be the best option for us, staying in Worthing as the hotels nearby just didn’t seem as nice.

Sometimes if you just don’t know where to go on holiday, the best option is to go on Airbnb and explore the weird and wonderful flats you can stay in, and let that inspire your trip. You never know, you might end up travelling to a destination you had never thought of…! If you are looking at using Airbnb for your next trip, you can use my discount code for £25 off

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I hope the above helps if any of you are looking for some cheap accommodation for an upcoming trip, or even if you just fancy a peruse through Airbnb. If you think I might have missed out a vital tip, or if there are any other websites you could recommend, let me know in the comments!

In the meantime, follow me on Instagram @GrundyTravels for all my latest travel photos! Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Restaurants to Visit in Paris

What do you think of when you think of Paris? Love? Lights? Cheese? Macarons? Have I made you feel hungry now? Sorry…

The French capital has a lot to offer for food and drink, and when I went to Paris last month, even though only for a weekend, I still managed to fit in a lot of eating and drinking – all in the name of research of course…

I’ve listed all the places we visited and the pros and cons of each place, it’s a little different to my usual style of posts, but I hope it gets across the general feel for each place, and whether I would recommend. If there’s anywhere quintessentially Parisian that I have missed off the list, please let me know in the comments!

SO, without further ado please find below my round up of the restaurants, bars, shops and stops I visited during my time in Paris, and would recommend if you’re planning on visiting the city of love/light/cheese anytime soon.

Le-Malakoff

Where? 6 Place du Trocadéro et du 11 Novembre, 75116 Paris, France (i.e right next to the Eiffel Tower)

Best Bits: Location, outdoor/greenhouse area, which has the warmth of indoor heaters, but huge glass windows so you can people watch. Great menu full of classic French dishes, and can confirm their Croque-Madame was delicious.

Not-so-best Bits: Look up the phrase ‘Daylight Robbery’ in any dictionary, and it will state ‘a waiter charging you 8 euros for a bottle of EVIAN water’. Seriously, specify that you want tap water, or you’ll be charged 8 EUROS. FOR WATER. Quelle horreur.

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Le Boullion Chartier

Where? 7 Rue du Faubourg Montmartre, 75009 Paris, France

Best Bits: Proper french-feeling restaurant, where there is traditional french cuisine on the menu. It’s very reasonably priced. The service is great, the waiters write your order on the table and are very polite when your French pronunciation isn’t great. The interior decor is really nice, and has a train-carriage vibe. The steak frites were great, and the garlic snails were as great as I can imagine snails can be… Seems like real Parisians were eating amongst us so that’s always a good sign.

Not-so-best Bits: Could be seen as a ‘best bits’ thing if you like but you get put on a table with strangers, and depending on how you’re feeling and who you’re with you can have a good chat, but otherwise can be slightly awkward. Also there was quite a big queue when we left (which is also a good sign) but maybe make sure you’re a bit earlier than usual so you don’t have to wait.

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Milord 

Where? 69 Rue Lepic, 75018 Paris, France (Montmarte)

Best Bits: Interior decor/coziness, great service, the servings of prosecco are larger than I’ve ever even poured myself, jazzy toilet decoration and complimentary charcuterie.

Not-so-best Bits: Prices are quite high, but it is a wine bar so you’re getting quality wine for your euros. If you don’t like walking up a hill, or aren’t able to, then the location might not be ideal.

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Le Jardin d’en Face

Where? 29 Rue des Trois Frères, 75018 Paris, France (Montmarte)

Best Bits: Food is absolutely delicious, and very rich. Service is great, and you get the sense that this little restaurant is cute and cosy, and the food seems all handmade. I had duck potato gratin, and I’m still dreaming about it right now.

Not-so-best Bits: Nothing really, other than there were unspecified walnuts in my dinner, which isn’t great if you’re allergic.

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Chez Eugene

Where? 17 Place du Tertre, 75018 Paris, France (Next to the Sacré-Cœur)

Best Bits: Location is great, especially to sit outside in good weather and people watch as people have their portraits drawn by the artists in the square. The decoration of the place is also quite cool, as it’s all in red, white and blue which really makes it stand out. Oh, and they actually served a normal cup of English Breakfast tea which was hard to come by in Paris.

Not-so-best Bits: Quite pricey, but as with everywhere in Paris you do spend a lot in popular areas with a good view. Overall I think it’s worth it.

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Pierre Herme

Where? Shops all over Paris!

Best Bits: To be fair it’s not a restaurant, but it has a huge range of macarons, and the few that we picked up really were delicious. They’re dotted all around Paris, so you can pop in and pick up a few (dozen) if you wish.

Not-so-best Bits: You can’t actually sit inside and eat your macarons, it’s essentially a take-away macaron shop. But maybe you can eat them and walk at the same time, burning off the calories before they’ve even entered your system…

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Le Refuge des Fondus

Where? 17 Rue des Trois Frères, 75018 Paris, France

Best Bits: Lots and lots of cheese. If you’re a chatty person and don’t mind sitting among other people, it’s a great way to meet other tourists (we met three fun girls from America) and get chatting. The cheese fondue is very good, but very, very rich. They have two long tables going down the length of the restaurant which means if you’re finished but the 10 people either side of you aren’t they help you climb over the table, which is fun but maybe not if you’ve eaten so much cheese you’re worried the table might collapse.

Not-so-best Bits: They serve their wine in baby bottles (apparently to get around the glass tax in the city) which is novel but also really weird. The service isn’t that great to be honest, but it’s a very busy restaurant with few staff so they’re probably overrun. They did forget about us for a bit, and when I asked the difference between the cheese and meat fondue the answer was “well, what do you think?”. Charming.

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Le Brebant

Where? 32 Boulevard Poissonnière, 75009 Paris, France

Best Bits: Gorgeous interiors, with beautiful wallpaper, plants everywhere and a proper old-timey bar. Kind and helpful staff dressed in proper bow-tie attire. Aperol Spritz’s served the size of your head. The ‘outside’ bit is a green-house area with large windows and heaters, where you can sit and drink and watch the world go by.

Not-so-best Bits: Quite pricey for drinks, but the Aperol Spritz was truly, truly massive.

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Galeries Lafayette

Where? 40 Boulevard Haussmann, 75009 Paris, France

Best Bits: The view! My mantra (as you can read here) is why not have a great view with a glass of wine in hand? And this place definitely delivers. It’s great to sit and grab a coffee, a glass of bubbly or something to eat if you wish.

Not-so-best Bits: Pricey! But you are on a rooftop bar on the French equivalent of Selfridges, so it comes with the territory. Personally I believe it’s worth it, and definitely worth doing if you don’t fancy paying to go up to a viewpoint.

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Le Pepiniere

Where? 6 Place Saint-Augustin, 75008 Paris, France

Best Bits: The interior is gorgeous – velvet chairs, velvet curtains. Has an outdoor area with heat lamps if you want to sit outside and enjoy the weather. Great service and a really good-looking menu. I had croquet madame whereas my boyfriend had the foie gras and truffle croquet Monsieur, which is the most indulgent thing I’ve ever heard of. You also get a LOT of fries with your order, which gets an A* in my books.

Not-so-best Bits: Pricey! But as it’s relatively close to the Champs Eleyees it’s not unexpected. The main menu is quite expensive but the ‘snacks’ section (or ‘lunch menu’ to you and I) isn’t too badly priced.

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Has that post left you feeling hungry? Because it has with me to be honest, so need to go and find myself a snack… I hope this helps any of you who might be going to Paris and would like to know where is good to eat/drink/pick up some macarons.

If I’ve left somewhere VITAL off this list please let me know in the comments. And in the meantime – and for more travel AND food pics – you can follow me on Instagram @ GrundyTravels.

Until next time, Au Revoir!

How to Spend 48 Hours in Paris

Bonjour, mon amis. Ca Va?

You can really tell that Dualingo French is paying off can’t you? I’ve just dropped back into London after a whirlwind 48 hours in Paris, and I can 100% say I had the BEST time. I would wholeheartedly recommend doing everything we did this weekend, and so I wanted to write a little guide on how to spend 48 hours in the city of Love/Lights.

This guide below is what to do if you want to see the big sights, and I am obviously no expert, so if you think I’ve left something important off the guide, let me know in the comments!

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The Basics:

How To Get There: The Eurostar is an incredible way to travel to Paris (from London especially), and if you book far enough in advance tickets can be as low as £33 one way. It’s quicker and takes less faff than travelling via plane – as both London St Pancras and Paris Gare Du Nord are slap bang in the middle of their respective cities, unlike airports which usually add on extra travel time to-and-from.

Unlike with planes you don’t have to limit your luggage weight, or worry about taking more than 100ml of your favourite foundation, so it’s perfect if you’re an over-packer like myself. If you’re lucky enough to get access to The Business Lounge then even better, as you can stock up on free breakfast and G&Ts to pass the time before boarding.

Where To Stay: Everyone will say there are better places to stay in any city, but Montmarte really is a gorgeous area of Paris, as it’s not too far away from the centre, and it’s relatively cheaper than anywhere else you might find. Check out The Hotel Rendez-Vous if you’re after somewhere with gorgeous interiors, helpful staff, Clarins toiletries, velvet blue curtains and really good prices.

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With the basics out the way, let’s do this, 48 hours in Paris!

Day 1 Daytime: After your 2 hour Eurostar journey, step off into Paris Gare Du Nord and pick yourself up a book of 10 Subway/Tram/Bus tickets (€14,90 for 10 – so saves money from one-off purchases) to help you around during your stay. Once you’ve dropped off your bags at your respective hotel, head out down to Trocadero station to see the big lady herself, The Eiffel Tower.

Stop for some lunch in one of the restaurants/cafes around the area (may be quite pricey, but it’s your first day so treat yourself). I saw a lot of recommendations for Carette, but we ate lunch at Le-Malakoff where we both enjoyed Croque Madame’s and a bottle of wine for a reasonable price, but MAKE SURE YOU SPECIFY TAP WATER OR YOU WILL BE ROBBED IN BROAD DAYLIGHT.

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Post-lunch, head over to The Eiffel Tower, to take a look at her in all her (hopefully sunny) glory. If you want to, buy your tickets and head up to either the first or second floor, depending how high you can take heights. If you’re feeling extra fancy you can buy a glass of champagne at the top, but if you don’t want to spend €14 , wait ‘til your back down and pop for a drink in any of the bars nearby. If you don’t go up the Eiffel Tower, still explore the streets around it as the view of the tower is really gorgeous when it’s among the Parisian streets.

Whether by tube or even by walking – head over to the Champs-Elysees to walk up the famous road and visit the Arc De Triomphe. Stop off along the walk for either a pop in a French pharmacy (my favourite shopping when in France) or to pick up some Parisian treats, such as Macarons or Eclairs. Take the subway walkway to the Arc De Triomphe and visit the site, and if you wish you can buy a ticket to visit the top, to get a view just in time for the sunset.

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Day 1 Evening: Head back to your hotel for a freshen up, and head out into Montmarte for the evening. You can walk up to the Sacré-Cœur for a great view of the Eiffel Tower, which does a light show every hour for 5 minutes.

Stop by Milord bar – a gorgeous wine bar which served HAUUGE glasses of prosecco with complimentary charcuterie. There are lots of lovely little restaurants around this area – especially on the Rue des Trois Freres. I can recommend Le Jardin d’en Face for delicious homemade French cuisine – if you’re a meat eater try the Potatoes Gratin with Duck Bacon, it’s the actual definition for ‘melt in the mouth’.

If you’re hungry enough, try Le Refuge des Fondus, for either meat or cheese fondue, and wine serve in baby bottles (odd, but apparently to avoid glass tax). Service is a bit rushed and blunt, and you are quite squidged in with everyone else – they actually help you climb over the tables once you’re finished with your meal – so be prepared!

If you’re still in the mood for drinks, walk down the hill and stop by any of the bars with outdoor seating (and thankfully heating lamps) to watch the world go by. I would recommend Little Italy near Place-Des-Clichy for a carafe of wine, some jazzy music and a good spot for people watching.

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Day 2 Morning: Shake off your cheese hangover and head out to see the Sacré-Cœur in the morning. Reward yourself for the climb up the hill with a croissant or two in the Place du Tertre Square – such as Chez Eugene – and people watch as people have their portraits drawn by the plethora of street artists who set up shop for the day. Walk down the Square Louise Michael and take in the view of Parisian rooftops in the daytime. If you don’t fancy a walk, use one of tube tickets as next stop is The Louvre!

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Whether by tube or walking, head down to The Louvre (and enter if you wish) or walk down to the Tuileries Garden and take a walk around the park. Café Angelina is nearby if you fancy one of their famous hot chocolates, or just to pick up some macarons. If you’re just after some treats to take away for later I would recommend Pierre Herme as a great place to pick up a few treats for later. In the plan for today there’s plans for a late lunch, so nothing wrong with a few extra eclairs in between.

Next head to the River Seine to walk down the river towards the Notre Dame whilst taking in the view. Once you get to the Notre Dame, you can visit for free and tour around the inside – and even visit the top.

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Day 2 Afternoon: For your late lunch, head back up in the centre of Paris to visit Le Boullion Chartier. They fit you in on tables next to other guests, and the layout is somewhat similar to a train carriage. The menu is very reasonable, and also entirely in French, so make sure you know your basics. The waiters are no-nonsense, and they write your orders on your table cloth. Try garlic snails, or foi grais, or tuck in to some steak frites and a glass of wine. If you still fancy some more to drink after (before catching your train home) then head next door to Le Brebant, for a bar with gorgeous interiors, and Aperol Spritz’s the size of your head.

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If you fancy some shopping time there is the L’Appartement Sézane nearby, which is a French brand I really love, and their apartment store here is really gorgeous. There’s also a free photo booth in store if you haven’t managed to get a photo souvenir yet.

If you have even more time to spare, and it’s a particularly gorgeous day, you can head up to the free rooftop terrace at the Galeries Lafayette for a view of the Paris skyline. They have a bar up there if you fancy stopping for a coffee, or something.. fizzier.

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With all the walking/exploring, you should be well enough exhausted enough to sleep on your Eurostar home. Head to Paris Gar Du Nord to catch the train back to London (with good time – as the queues can be quite long on Sunday evenings), or if you have entry to the business lounge, settle back with a complimentary drink and magazine!

After all that it’s a pretty big and busy weekend, but it’s definitely worth all of it if you only have 48 hours in Paris. To make things a bit easier I’ve embedded the Google Map I made before my trip with all the recommendations I was given.

If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read, or if you think I’ve missed anything out please let me know in the comments below! In the meantime I am on Instagram as Grundy Travels if you ever fancy daily travel pictures in your feed!

Until next time, Au Revoir!