Here it is Paris – part II! Yesterday’s post (part I) was pretty full and I hope you enjoyed the read, but here are a few extras I missed out. And these are definitely worth a mention. There are some usual suspects, but also a few off-the-beaten-track type things. I enjoyed everything we did in Paris, but the ‘activities’ in this post were some of my absolute faves.
So here it is, and at the bottom is a little video I put together. It’s my first, but it sums up our amazing trip quite well!
Arc de Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe is pretty special. I’d seen, and heard less about this monument, but we decided to go and have a look. It was a glorious day but decided not to waste time in a queue waiting to walk around on top of it (how many ariel views of one city do you actually need to see?!) It’s big and stone, and just watching the traffic make it’s way around, like some sort of dance is entertaining in itself! I also saw the first of my ‘fake’ brides at the Arc de Triomphe. I so wish I could get my hands on some of those photos!
This was our main, away from a tourist spot activity. I’d read about Vernaison, a huge flea market in one of the many many articles I had read before heading to Paris. I didn’t really know what to expect and as we made our way – a relatively long metro journey (it’s in zone 2) and a 15-minute walk from the stop I just really hoped it wasn’t a glorified car boot sale!
This part of Paris felt very different to zone 1, but as soon as we hit the flea market area it was incredible. The shops are like warehouses full of treats. There was so much gold and marble – it’s Liberace’s dream. We decided that when we buy a house, we will be returning to buy some wonderful wares from Vernaison for sure.
There was a shop FULL of ornament letter, made of brass, steel and enamel. I played around with all the different types and could have bought them all!
If you’re making to trip to Paris, and also decorating a house or just looking small updates you should check out Vernaison. This place is a treasure trove of furniture, light fixtures, door knobs, light switches, upholstered furniture, shabby chic shutters… You get the gist and it’s incredible.
Paris – small shops
One of my birthday presents from Dan was a very cool ‘Paris: Small Shops Guide‘. The map itself is beautiful and it’s jam-packed with quirky eclectic shops hidden around the streets of Paris. I loved walking around and ‘getting lost’ and then happening upon a shop full of treats.
There are 40 shops listed in total, all varying in what they offer – food, stationery, haberdashery’s for example, and some of them have been around for hundreds of years.
My favourite shop we visited had to be Galerie Chardon a weird and wonderful taxidermy gallery. The shop was in the middle of packing everything away, in order to refurbish. There were boxes and boxes full of all the incredible animals. The dressed-up ducks, along with the flamingo were of course, my favourite!
Pep’s Parapluie took us to a beautiful passageway – Paris is full of them and you can see a few on my Instagram account (@bonjourbride). This shop is full to the brim of beautiful umbrellas, and they are probably most famous for fashioning an Eiffel Tower brolly.
Macarons are amazing, but when we passed the original Laudree on the Champs de Lysee, well it would have been rude not to go in. We decided not to have a sit-down meal in the restaurant bit, even though it looked super fancy. We chose a box of macarons (the pistachio and raspberry were like angel marshmallow in my mouth) and a cake each.
I don’t think anything could taste bad, and if we hadn’t just eaten a plate full of cheese I would have indulged some more. I mean just look at all the sweet pretty!
On our way to Paris, we watched The Travel Man to swot up on the things we could potentially get up to. One of the free things he mentioned was a street art walk. We didn’t download the app or plan to see so much street art – it was just all around us! Montmartre has some of the best street art going. I think from some very well known people, but of course, I didn’t know any of the artists! Despite this, it was nice to see the art celebrated, and there were definitely some amazing pieces of work about.
A little video
And here it is in motion picture… We had the best time and I’m already not so secretly planning a return trip!