48 Hours in Paris
This spring, I took myself for a solo trip and spent just 48 hours in the beautiful city of Paris. I know its not the obvious choice of somewhere to go on my own, being the city of love, but it's what I did and it was the perfect place to explore on my own. I had two intentions whilst there - to familiarise myself with the city and get through a long list of flagged emails that I had been struggling to manage whilst at home!
I arrived late in the evening and checked in to the gorgeous Le Pigalle Hotel, a moment from the iconic Moulin Rouge, on a street lined with popular bars and a cabaret or two. The hotel itself has a bar and restaurant downstairs but I was eager to wander and so I ventured out to find something to eat, returning 20 minutes later with a poke bowl in hand.
My morning started slowly, I let myself enjoy a morning without an alarm, and then took my time to get up and shower, making use of the gorgeous products in the hotel room of course, while listening to a podcast. And then I wandered downstairs with my journal for breakfast - a delicious a la carte (or rather a la newspaper menu) selection with options to tickle most morning fancies. I chose the granola bowl and the avocado, mango and ginger salad, an idea that I can't believe I have never seen before... an interpretation of which you can expect to hit my blog in the summer months I'm sure! I told myself that if I got through some my emails in the morning, I could take myself for a wander before checking back in in the afternoon. Emails managed, I set off for an hour or so, anticipating a lunch time return and an afternoon yoga class. But I set off at 11.30 and didn't return til 8pm! I just walked and walked, totally enthralled by the magic of the city on a beautiful day with gorgeous blue skies. I couldn't stop thinking how lucky I was to be spending the day this way. And I kept telling myself it too.
I strolled without purpose and yet managed to stumble upon spot after spot of picturesque views, architecture and culture. My favourite thing became spotting tourists take photos at landmarks, pairs of friends and travel companions trying to get the perfect positioning and angle as they pointed to the top of the Louvre.
I walked several miles along the Seine, eventually ending up at the Shakespeare book shop. Despite my usual aversion to highly touristic spots, I popped in to pick up a book (Sally Rooney, Normal People) which they stamped with their stamp to prove I bought it there (I’d have rathered sans-stamp but bid them “merci et au revoir” with a smile and found a sunny spot to sit opposite the Notre Dame to read the first few pages.
Over my stay I found myself with no shortage of appealing options for food, but was able to narrow my options down by the limited vegan options on lots of the menus. I went to my favourite gluten-free bakery, Chambelland and sat in the sunshine nibbling on a stick of gluten-free bread (well two, one sweet and one savoury) from before heading to see the Light and Noise exhibition hosted by my friends at TOMS.
Wild and The Moon was a good ‘health food’ spot, with cold-pressed juices, beetroot lattes, and salads to go. They also made sandwiches in that delicious Chambelland bread which of course was my pick…. when in France, right?
I didn’t manage to get to many of the recommendations that were shared with me, but I thought it would be helpful to pass them on in case you are planning a visit:
Noglu - gluten-free bakery & patisserie
M la vie - vegetarian, local, bio lunch spot with takeaway options
OTIVM - Organic vegan & vegetarian restaurant
Of course, I found a yoga studio while on my travels, opting to the comfort of an anglophone class rather than fumbling through with french. The gorgeous little studio was friendly and welcoming and I had a lovely class. It felt so good after all my walking the previous day and was a good stop off en route to the airport for my trip home!