Dear Elgin Avenue readers,
A very happy Monday to you all, I do hope that you all had a lovely weekend,
I must admit that my weekend was quite a special affair...Friday evening saw Mr.G and I nip off to St Pancras international (my favorite of all stations!) and embark on a mini-excursion to Paris for our three year anniversary! From the moment I knew that we were destined for belle à Paris my heart was beating faster in anticipation! Mr.G and I have visited Paris once before on a previous anniversary and it is truly a City which lives up to all of its stylish, romantic and exciting promises.
Having stayed at the gorgeous Hotel Saint-Jacques in the Latin Quarter previously, we chose to revisit. I was duly informed that the Latin Quarter was popular with Americans in the 1920’s, I can only imagine how wonderful it must have been to have stayed there when it was awash with flapper dresses and dandy gents galore! This area is particularly lovely though in contemporary times for its beautiful architecture, easy accessibility across the City, and its ability to retain its feeling of authenticity as opposed to being overrun with tourists. Our feet were our main mode of transport and as such we were able to discover a whole array of shops, restaurants and fascinating buildings, as well as a boulangerie or two! As I am sure most girls will empathise with, on knowing that I was headed to Paris, I was struck by a need to find a new dress! I found my ideal Parisienne piece in Mary Portas's Living and Giving store on Westbourne Grove. For those of you who have not ventured in to one of Portas's stores previously, Living & Giving is the charity concept that was developed for Save the Children following the 2009 series Mary Queen of Charity Shops. With regular deliveries from very generous donors and department stores including Harvey Nichols, you can always find incredible designer pieces at a snip of the normal price! The dress I am pictured in below caught my eye for it's unusual lace detail and lovely use of colour, a dress fit for Paris indeed!
Blazer: Zara, Belt: Vintage, Hat: M&S Menswear, Chelsea Boots: ASOS, Floral Dress: Mary Portas Living&Giving, Turquoise Ring: Soon to be launched The Editor's Letter, Clutch: Vintage, Sunglasses M&S
The Parisienne side streets were definitely the places to head to for the best traditional French food - you wont get better! A restaurant tucked along the narrowest of side streets proved to be one of the best Mr.G and I found - the chicken was phenomenal! As my French is incredibly poor we largely went on the advice of the waiter/waitress - it proved an effective technique!
Mr.G and I were lucky enough to have a good friend of ours Charlotte living in Paris at the time we visited. Charlotte and I go way back and we were just lucky enough to catch her in the French capital as she is spending a year abroad studying, you can have a peep at more of Charlotte's Parisienne experiences on her blog ParisCatch. Being shown around by someone who has already figured much of the City out certainly has its perks - especially when you are shown to the best creperie in town!
Of course Paris would not be Paris if we were not to indulge in some retail therapy, and so as not to offend, cough cough, we certainly managed some pretty good shopping!
First up Mr.G and I headed down past the Latin Quarter further South for a browse around some lovely boutiques as well an assortment of great French high street stores inc. The Kooples, Sephora (which I miss in the UK so badly!) and Comptoir des Cotonniers amongst others. On a side note The Kooples has always been a store which has fascinated me, its branding niche of following real couples really irks to that interest we all have at knowing about other peoples' relationships. They now have videos up on their website too - check out the still from Jonas and Venus's story below and click on the link to see the whole video. The clothes are completely lust-worthy too!
Apart form the great array of high-street stores, Paris is also famous for its rambling flea markets. Mr.G and I travelled North to the famous Les Puces de Saint-Ouen in Porte de Clignancourt to have a peruse the fascinating stores.
There were so many incredible market stalls to take in at the Marche de Saint-Ouen, it was fortunate that there were a couple of delicious cafes dotted around for respite! I have to say that the clothes on offer at Sain-Ouen were absolutely breathtaking - gorgeous Vintage Chanel bags nestled in against cute dress-jackets, and the range of vintage boots and bags was astonishing! There was as much womenswear as there was mens, with prices ranging from €10 - €2,500! Of course the cost of a quilted 2.55 was a drop in the ocean compared to some of the true antiques on display, it was like meandering in a amongst a host of miniature palaces! Such a treat!
And so, having mentally furnished my dream house and dream wardrobe (of course!), eaten enough crepes to feed the whole of Paris, and walked my chelsea boots into the ground, Mr.G and I packed our bags once again to hop on the Eurostar back to St.Pancras.
A beautiful trip with the best company I could ever ask for.
Have a wonderful evening all,
Love, MB x
P.S. As I mentioned in my post here I am now writing for another great website called 50andnifty.com. I am really excited about this new venture and will be working closely with them in the future. The site is aimed at 50+ year old women which is a wonderful niche and you can read my very first article on Winter Coats here.
Passez une bonne soirée! x