Bonjour! Salut! Ça va? This summer I took a magical trip to France – by road! I had the best time exploring new places, as well as eating all the food and drinking
all some of the wine! So where did I go and what did I think? Grab a glass of my new favourite wine and prepare for part one of two posts that are sure to inspire your next trip to France!
24 Hours in Paris
People who have visited the capital of France seem to generally fit into two categories: Paris Lovers and Paris Haters. As a Paris Lover, my challenge on this trip was to reverse Nathan’s Paris Hater status in 24 hours. I’m proud to say that the below itinerary did that very thing. If you’re looking to do the same I suggest you follow the below steps…
DAY ONE – Morning
First up – catch the early Eurostar train – set off early enough so that you get a cheaper fare (more to spend on eating) and can arrive in Paris in time to drop your bags at your hotel and head to brunch at Café Méricourt. Be sure to order oat flat whites, Green Eggs and Shakshuka – seriously delicious. The staff are super friendly and if you don’t speak any French then fear not – they will be happy to practice their English skills on you! Next up a stroll around the 11e arrondissement to people watch.
Make your way to the cool North Marais area and you’ll be ready for another coffee at Fondation Café – we tried Noisette’s with oat milk again (see a theme developing?!) – and follow with more people watching.
All the coffee should mean you’re ready for more walking (or the metro if you can’t face it!) – head to Galeries Lafayette, but not for shopping. Go straight to the top and you can enjoy free panoramic views of the city – c’est incroyable!
DAY ONE – Afternoon
Wander back to your hotel to check in and have a quick refresh, via French Pharmacies to pick up some amazing skincare products, bien sûr. We stayed at the Hoxton Hotel which was in the perfect location, so friendly and SO CHIC. Time for a quick glass of wine and truffle fries in the hotel courtyard to keep you going.
After this, take a Metro ride down to the Jardin des Tuileries and grab an ice cream for a scenic walk past the Louvre and then over one of the beautiful bridges to the south side of Paris. You’ll get to see views of Notre-Dame as you walk to Shakespeare and Company for a nose around thousands of books, old and new.
Time for a quick nap and refresh before your evening in the city of lights!
DAY ONE – Evening
Simple evening – head back to Le Marais and grab a cocktail if you have time before dinner. We went straight to our restaurant – Homies – where we were made killer, but amazing, spicy margaritas before we ate the most incredible array of tapas – my favourite dish was a mix of courgette and aubergine with miso and pomegranate seeds and other deliciousness.
Next up! Catch the metro and take a stroll through the always interesting Pigalle. We had mojitos and then went to see a cabaret called La Nouvelle Eve…this was a bit of an experience! Think the Moulin Rouge but on less of a budget. That being said it was good fun and there were some talented acts and dancers – I think I’d opt for paying slightly more to go to Moulin Rouge next time though.
After all of this you’ll be SO ready for bed. À demain!
DAY TWO – Morning
Before picking our hire car up at midday there were two things on the agenda to finish up the 24 hour trip. First (and most importantly) – brunch at Holybelly. If you’ve heard of Holybelly before – you’ll know it’s famous for pancakes and for long queues! Arrive at opening (no longer than 15 minutes after!) and you should be fine to get straight in on a week day. The pancakes, service and coffee were great and I would recommend to anyone – just get there early to avoid queuing!
Finally get the Metro over to the Eiffel Tower for a quick walk around the gardens to digest your brunch and get all the pictures you could want before heading to pick up your hire car to leave Paris!
Amboise & Tours
We drove from Paris to the quiet and beautiful town of Amboise and checked into a lovely little Airbnb which has views over the clock tower and the Château d’Amboise – so idyllic and peaceful.
Always straight out to explore we stumbled upon a wine shop called Galland where we were treated to an impromptu wine and cheese tasting – amazing! Three glasses of wine in, we bought a bottle and headed to a local supermarket to pick up picnic food which we enjoyed on the river bank.
We were so lucky to enjoy our first evening in Amboise on the Fête de la musique, which takes place every year on 21st June all over France. We spent the whole evening making our way around different areas of town and heard almost every type of music you can imagine. I highly recommend being in France for the Fête de la musique if you can time it right!
The second day of our trip to Amboise we drove to the nearest city, Tours, to have a coffee at Le Petit Atelier and a wander – I could definitely spend more time in that city but after our crazy time in Paris we were ready to get back to Amboise after a morning – via one of my favourite things about going to France – a big French supermarket!
We spent the afternoon in the grounds of the Château…I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves…it was beautiful.
We finished up our last evening with a cocktail by the river at Le Shaker, it was delicious but strong – but if I’d had a second I would have been on the floor!
Breakfast tradition in Amboise was pastries from L’Horloge and after that we hit the road for Bordeaux…
End of Part One/Thoughts on Airbnb
Part two of this will cover the amazing places we visited in the south of France, so I highly recommend signing up to my newsletter on the homepage so you don’t miss it!
If you’ve never used Airbnb before I really think it’s the best way of finding somewhere to stay when you’re travelling! You’ll find the most amazing places and will meet incredible hosts who can give you tips that you’d never know if you stayed in a hotel. Use my link to receive £25 worth of credit when you sign up for an account! If you have any Airbnb questions or questions about any of my trip please go ahead and ask!
Merci et à bientôt!!