Well folks, the time has come. Yesterday I left Paris. As horrifically cheesy as it sounds, words cannot begin to describe the year I’ve had. I’ve had some once in a lifetime experience, overcome hurdles I never even imagined attempting and have grown an incredible amount, obviously as a person not physically.
My last month was one of the best, it involved a lot of good food and multiple spectacular days out so here you go, my last monthly favourites from my Parisian adventure.
1. Ground control
Ground Control is a kind of food hall to the west of Paris. On of my friends had been banging on about how great it is for weeks so we decided to go for dinner one Friday night. The queue was rather long, which I suppose is a good sign, and once inside there’s a nice variety of food stalls and a really lovely outdoor seating area all lit up with twinkly fairy lights. Very much my aesthetic. I opted for a Lebanese chicken wrap and, of course, some good old white wine.
The month started out as well as it could have with a weekend trip to Amsterdam. I’ve been once before but the January cold hindered us a little so it was great to go again in the warmth. It’ll probably be the last trip we all take together so we went all out and had an insane time. As always I made a lil travel blog about the weekend so go on over and have a read here.
3. Salsa by the Seine
Along the banks of the Seine just up pst the Notre Dame there are a couple of little amphitheatres where they hold partner dance classes, like salsa and tango etc. You can go and sit with a bottle of wine and watch the dancers from around 6pm to midnight, something I have done more than once this month. The atmosphere is bustling and there are some questionable dance moves which are worth a watch.
4. Pull and Bear top
I went to multiple different Pull and Bear shops on multiple occasions to try and find this top before finally managing to get it online after an email alert told me it was back in stock in my size. It’s pretty and lacy and I’ll be wearing it to death this summer.
5. Pierre Hermé
After this year I like to think of myself as somewhat of a macaron connoisseur. I’ve consumed a fair amount. Pierre Hermé macarons are rather pricey but a friend and I bit the bullet and bought a selection of 7 one wild Friday night (we sat in a park and ate macarons while watching the sunset). Aside from being physically stunning the macarons tasted literally incredible, I never thought anything could rival La Durée for me but this is a strong contender. I’ve got some to take home for my sister so we’ll see what she thinks.
6. IFP School Graduation
I did an epic ‘she doesn’t even go here’ and went to the school graduation this month. Technically I was working for part of it so it wasn’t a full on intrusion. After the ceremony, at which I handed out the fancy medals, the evening took place on a boat which did a tour of the Seine, had a free buffet and bar and played some epic throwback music. What can I say, I love any chance to get dressed up.
7. Grandpa’s visit
My lovely little grandpa visited me this month on his way home from his caravanning holiday in the south, the man is a real jet setter. We went for a lovely lunch, had a much needed catch up and he was kind enough to take the majority of my things home so I didn’t need to take them on the plane. Minus him getting pick-pocketed it was a wonderful day.
8. Birthday Surprise
I didn’t have my birthday in Paris as it’s in a couple of days, but nonetheless my fantastic friends did a little something to celebrate. I received a text mid toilet clean that my friend needed help with something, went up to his room and found my friends there with a cake for me. The cake contained more chocolate than anyone should consume in a lifetime but oh my was it good.
Now I am not really a spontaneous person but one Tuesday night a friend and I bought tickets at 23:30 to go to Disney the following day. I know right, who even am I. As a proper Disney kid I always find the parks magical, although the queues were a lot longer than you would expect for a Wednesday. The firework and light show in the evening was honestly stunning, you have to see it if you ever get the chance.
10. Le Meurice
One afternoon the woman I work with surprised me by arriving with two pastries from what has been voted the best patisserie in the whole world. I can confirm they were pretty spectacular. The strawberry on the left was made of white chocolate and filled with a delicious strawberry coulis and cream and definitely my favourite of the two.
11. Fête de la musique
The annual french Fête de la musique took place across the city mid June. The atmosphere everywhere was amazing and there were events of all styles happening everywhere. A group of friends and I went to Rosa Bonheur, a pretty little outdoor bar on the banks of the Seine who had a seriously questionable DJ, and danced the night away under a pink sky.
12. Fat Tire Bike tour
The final thing on my Paris bucket list, which you can have a look at here, was to do a bike tour. I’ve seen all the things the tour covered but never with a guide so I thought it would be interesting to do so, and a bike is more fun than walking. We used Fat Tire Bike Tours and it was excellent, our guide was amazing, the route was beautiful and it was highly informative without being a simple overload of facts.
To add another edible item to this list, here’s Berthillon ice cream. There are a few shops around Paris and they’re incredibly popular, I had been recommended it multiple times. I opted for the salted caramel, I cannot describe how delicious this was, and an unknown flavour which we concluded was potentially fig, also very yummy.
14. Walking up the Champs-Élysées
Now the Champs-Élysées is not a short walk but it is one worth doing. You can stand in the Jardin des Tuileries and look up it to see the Arc de Triomphe aaaaaall the way up the other end. My favourite time to walk up the Champs-Élysées is in the evening, it’s not quite as busy, a little cooler and the buildings look beautiful in the setting sun.
15. Leaving gifts
I was entirely spoiled by my boss and colleagues when I left my job in Paris this week. They surprised me with a little leaving party, at which they gave me the most beautiful bracelet and necklace, a scarf and a card with really lovely messages from many staff members. My boss had baked me a cake which was delicious and I must admit it was a little emotional to think of what I am leaving behind.
16. Final picnic
I had a picnic by the Eiffel Tower on my first weekend in Paris so I figured that would be the perfect way to end a spectacular 10 months. My friends and I bought too much food, some good cheap wine and headed to the Champ de Mars for the evening. As always the tower looked amazing in the sunset and I can’t imagine a more perfect evening, despite my looming departure the next morning.
As I said it’s been a great month, but also a very strange one. As devastated as I was to leave I reckon it was time. My real life has been on pause this year making way for the dream that was my year abroad, I’m ready to get stuck back into uni and get on with things. I also miss prawn cocktail crisps a lot.
Best wishes from someone at home who already misses Paris x