Back in September I was invited to go and judge at the prestigious Beauty Challenger Awards, part of Cosmeeting Beyond Beauty in Paris. Taking place the week after my birthday, this was a perfect opportunity for a few days away and a mini break in the capital of romance! I love Paris, but Mr BB is not so smitten (“it’s like London but with lots of French people in it”! I think was his sentiment) but nevertheless I twisted his arm and off we went up, up and away on a airplane. Not my usual or preferred mode of transport choice to Paris, but the cheapest as I’d left it too late to book a Eurostar at a good price.
I spent the first day of our visit examining and assessing the awards entries, which was no mean feat but thoroughly enjoyable. There were 10s of products to consider, and I wanted to be thorough in my judgement. Day two was spent looking around the show, spotting the latest beauty trends and making contacts with brands I might want to bring to the UK or launch on my US site. So it wasn’t really until our second evening that we got to do anything non-work related in gay Paris. We decided that we would go to our favourite falafel place, Chez Marianne in Le Marais, the Jewish quarter.
Le Marais is one of the trendiest areas in Paris at the moment, which besides all the boutiques and designer shops that weren’t there on our last visit, was also apparent from all the regeneration going on as well as the street art. Being on a strict budget we ate ours on the curb close to the restaurant, where we watched the world go by as well as the al fresco diners at Chez Marianne. Another reason that we ate outside was that Mr BB seemed to remember the one time he did eat in he was disappointed with the platter served up with the falafel on a plate, and that the wrap was more to his liking.
The next day we caught up with one of Mr BB’s friends for lunch followed by an afternoon stroll and tea around central Paris. Our walk took in a good cake shop, the kind that you wouldn’t know was any good unless you were a local. It looked like a cheap chain-type joint but was surprisingly delicious. When it was time for Vincent to leave us we were rather close to Galeries Lafayette for an obligatory glance at the most impressive glass dome.
And the opulent, ornate and rather staggering fixtures and fascias.
Gotta love the portrait of Karl watching over the Chanel area.
There seemed to be more street art than ever before in Paris, and that’s saying something. I spotted this on our walk around the centre. Not really sure how I feel about this one though, sides of buildings are one thing but on a monument is a different matter entirely IMO.
We’ve kind of “done” the typical Paris tourist sites apart from one another, before we met. I’ve still never been inside La Louvre and would like to one day, although from what I’ve heard it gets horrendously crowded so I would have to time my trip wisely. I much prefer galleries and museums when they are sparsely populated. Nevertheless I don’t think any trip to Paris is complete without a wander around Notre Dame. We chose to take this in at night time, so stunning!
After taking in the sites of Notre Dame we walked along the Seine for quite some time, through Paris St Germain de Pres and then crossing over the river to see Le Louvre lit up at night. At one point we were hopeful to make it to the Eiffel Tower to see it lit up and twinkling, however Mr BB had put out his hip and it started to play up so we headed back to our hotel.
And there ends our mini jaunt to Paris, for we flew back home on Friday daytime. Had we a little more money we would have stayed a few days longer and enjoyed a bit more of Paris, perhaps fitting in my visit to Le Louvre and a trip to Colette but beggars can’t be choosers! I definitely would have visited Montmatre too as I love that area of Paris, partially due to my fondness of the French film Amelie.
What are your favourite Parisian hotspots? Please share in the comments below so that I can check them out on our next visit!