I adore Paris. It’s my second favourite city, after New York (my undeniable spiritual home), and I try and visit once a year. Because croissants.
One of my favourite galpals (and all-round good egg) Joanna lives in Paris at the moment, so I took the opportunity to visit her for a long weekend at the start of August. We’ve actually done Paris together before, for my eighteenth birthday, where we trundled around the Eiffel Tower and Champs Elysees like the tourists we were: however, now a Parisian native (ish), Jo took me round some lesser-known spots you just have to try…
Salsa on the Seine
Possibly one of the most magical moments of my life so far, salsa on the Seine was my favourite activity from the whole trip. We took a bottle of wine and some bread and cheese down to the Seine at nighttime, where music played and total strangers danced with each other, whilst the Bateaux Mouches passed by. You’ll be asked to dance and you have to do it (I did, I was crap, I didn’t care) and it’s the most French fabulous thing ever.
Pink Flamingo Pizza
I’m a massive sucker for an adorable marketing ploy, so Pink Flamingo Pizza (located by Canal Saint-Martin) was right up my street. Firstly, it’s pink: secondly, it serves pizza. Most importantly, however, is the fact that after you order, you’re given a pink balloon so the delivery guy can spot you when you’re perched along the canal – Domino’s, take note.
The Jewish Quarter
In Le Marais lies the Jewish Quarter of Paris, which is one of the most true-to-history locations we saw during the weekend. The streets are cobbled and smell amazing (all the Jewish food looked AMAZING), and it’s got a seriously historical, old-time feel. Super cute, and super Instagrammable, with a whole dollop of heritage behind it.
Wearing a skirt to trek up the steps to the Sacre Couer was probably a mistake, but worth it for the relatively short walk to this OMG restaurant. If you like proper, fuss-free French food, go here: I ate fois gras, blue steak and chocolate fondant, washed down with ice-cold rose, for about twenty five euros. Bonus points for the adorable dog-in-residence.
Boating on Canal de l’Ourq
Get some friends together and rent a boat on Canal de l’Ourq – it’s the very definition of travelling in style. We forgot snacks and music, so bring an iPod (and some wine) to really feel like the Queen you are.
So, the majority of these places are food based: don’t judge me. El Nopal looks like a hole in the wall, which it is, but from this window you’re given absolutely delicious freshly-made burritos and Mexican food. We ate ours with our legs dangling into the canal at sunset, with beer in plastic cups next to us: bliss. (PS: the spicy sauce is spicy. Watch out.)