Three Days in Paris | The Best Eating, Shopping & Sights

Three Days in Paris | The Best Eating, Shopping & Sights

So I’ve been back from Paris for a week now and I still can’t stop thinking about the dreamy three days I spent there with my friend Maisie. This was probably the least ‘touristy’ holiday I’ve ever had and I felt like I experienced local life as much as was possible in three days. We spent most of our time eating, shopping and going to different exhibitions and found so many gems, so I thought I’d share what we got up to here, ranking the things we did categorically! I’m not going to talk about where we stayed because, honestly, that was probably the worst part of the trip. We stayed in an apartment just outside of Montmartre, the location was fine but not as central to Montmartre as we would have liked, that had no real bed (we slept in a mattress on the floor) and a fridge that either made a loud buzzing noise or leaked. Our accommodation by no means ruined our experience though as we spent barely any time there. So anyway onto the recommendations! Oh and just a heads up, I’m vegan so all the places we ate at are either vegan or vegan friendly.

SHOPPING

     1.Shakespeare & Co

This shopping recommendation is the only one that isn’t fashion-based but it has to be my number one because I loved everything about this bookshop. It’s been a dream of mine to go here for some time as an avid book-lover and it did not disappoint. The location right next to the Seine is dreamy, with second-hand books for sale outside and the interiors are even better- they even have a resident cat! They stamp any books you buy with a ‘Shakespeare & Co’ stamp which was such a nice touch and they also had really beautiful copies of all the books you could conjure up. If you’re a reader, or even if you’re not, you have to go here.

2. Killiwatch 

I found Killiwatch on the premise that it was a vintage clothing store but it’s even better. Not only does it have an amazing, curated selection of vintage clothing but it also stocks clothing by independent Parisian designers. When I visited there was construction work going on inside the store which, I must admit, tarnished the experience a little bit. But not so much as it’s still sat at number 2 on my list purely because the amount and the quality of the clothing in there. I ended up picking a vintage scarf that I’m using as a hair scarf and a jacket by an independent brand, Tinsels, that is 100% linen & cotton- what a dream. If you follow me on Instagram you’ve probably already seen them but if not I’ve posted a photo of them here.

3. The Frankie Shop

Number three on my list was a close competitor with Killiwatch but I’ve decided to rank it lower because of the price points of The Frankie Shop, which I couldn’t really afford. The Frankie Shop stocks designer clothes plus some of it’s own-brand clothing and 100% of the pieces in there are beautiful. The prices are reasonable (eg. around the €130 mark for a good quality jumper) but were out of my price range on this trip. However I did end up picking up a perfume which has such a unique smell to it for only €35 which was a bit of a bargain. If you have money to spend on good quality, beautifully designed clothes then definitely head to the Frankie Shop but, if not, it’s still worth visiting as it’s a beautiful store.

4. Merci

Merci really does have it all. I would probably design it as a concept store but it has everything from furniture, to clothing to a half cafe/half vintage bookstore. I didn’t buy anything here but it was a lot of fun to walk around and we did sit outside to have one of their homemade lemonades as well.

5. Sézane

Sezane is a French brand that sells clothes for the Parisian woman and everyone who aspires to be like her. The clothing is beautiful, classic and it’s all made sustainably. The Sézane Apartment in Paris is seriously beautifully designed and, with citrus infused water available as you walk in, it’s definitely an enjoyable and relaxed shopping experience. I didn’t buy anything, not because of lack of want but lack of money, but, as they’ve opened their first UK store in London, I definitely hope to in the future. The only think I didn’t enjoy about this shopping experience is the fact that I did think the staff there were a little bit contemptuous, but maybe this was just a bad experience on my behalf.

6. Mona Market

Finally for my shopping recommendations is Mona Market. This is in the same area as The Frankie Shop and Merci and we actually just stumbled across it. It’s a concept store stocking furniture and trinkets that are basically what my interior dreams are made of. It was wicker heaven and I’d honestly trust the visual merchandisers of this store to design my perfect home with no guidance.

SIGHTS

  1. L’Atelier des Lumières

Three Days In Paris | The Best Eating, Shopping & Sights

This is known as Paris’ first digital art museum and it is an incredible experience. Artwork from various different artists, modern and classical, is projected all over the ceilings, walls and floors of a warehouse-like room. It’s a completely immersive experience and something that I’d 100% recommend doing if you’re in Pairs.

2. ‘Les Magasins Des Petits Exploratuers’ Exhibition at the Quai Branly Museum

This exhibition is all about the post-colonial idea of ‘the other’ and after studying this in depth during my first year of university I found it so interesting. It looked at literature, film and other ways in which the Western world has presented the Eastern world as ‘other’, especially for children, and the effect this has had. Whether you’ve heard of this concept before or not it’s a really educational and interesting exhibition. Plus the exteriors of the Quai Branly are incredible as they have planted an immense amount of greenery all around the museum.

3. The Louvre

A visit to the Louvre was probably the most ‘tourist-y’ thing we did and the best thing about it for me was the architecture of the Louvre itself, as I’m not a big fan of classical art. I’m glad I went but the tickets were pricey so unless you’re particularly interested in classical art or you’d like to see what the pyramids look like from the inside, I wouldn’t insist that you go to the Louvre.

FOOD

  1. Brassiere 2eme Art (Janine Loves Sundays)

Three Days in Paris | A Mini Guide

Three Days in Paris | A Mini GuideI’d heard amazing things about this little vegan cafe and was highly anticipating eating there and it did not disappoint one bit. Everything from the aesthetic to the food was incredible! It had a typical French cafe feel and we sat outside in the sunshine to eat. I went for the Nutella waffles with a vanilla milkshake which completely satisfied my sweet tooth and Maisie had the pizza, which I also had a slice of and I can quite confidently say that it was the nicest vegan pizza/cheese I’ve tried. It’s also super close to lots of the shops I talk about (Killiwatch, Sezane and more) so it’s the perfect place to eat lunch in between shops.

2. Le Pain Quotidien

Three Days in Paris | The Best Eating, Shopping & Sights

I’m told that this is a chain that has branches in London too but this little bakery/cafe felt so very Parisian. Plus they have great vegan options! They have branches all over Paris but we stumbled across the one in Montmartre for some afternoon fuel in the form of cake. I had their vegan blueberry muffin which was delicious.

        3. Hank Burger

Three Days in Paris | The Best Eating, Shopping & Sights

This vegan burger place is really relaxed, kind of like a nicer version of a fast food place and fairly affordable. The vegan burger I had was really good and they even had vegan mayo on tap (I’m not a big mayonnaise fan but if you are this is probably a good place for you). They also have a bakery and I sampled one of their cookies which was also delicious.

        4. Cook n’ Saj

Three Days in Paris | The Best Eating, Shopping & Sights

This little cafe serves middle eastern food, has great interiors and very friendly staff. Maisie and I both had falafel wraps which were really nice and filling. It was really chilled out in the cafe itself and this is a great place to go if you’re looking for a guaranteed good meal in the middle or at the end of a busy day.

I really hope you’ve enjoyed this post and have found some useful recommendations. I created my own Google Map for our trip with all the places we visited and some others that we didn’t quite make it to, which also might come in handy for you if you’re visiting Paris too. You can take a look at it here. Let me know in the comments if you’ve been to Paris before and if you have any other recommendations, as I’m looking for any excuse to go back, or let me know, if you do end up going to any of these places, what you think of them!

Three Days In Edinburgh (A Mini Guide)

At the end of March, Sam and I spent 3 days in Edinburgh as part of my birthday present and I absolutely adored the city. So, I want to share with you the places we stayed, ate, shopped and everything else that we got up to! This post is coming to you a month after the trip because I was originally planning on doing this post with the photos I took on my film camera during the trip however that roll of film unfortunately came back blank (*sob*) due to issues with my camera. So instead, I’m including this video from the trip of some clips that I took on my camera whilst I was there and have put together. I hope this video makes up for the lost photos, despite the combination of quality that isn’t the best and my shaky hand,and that you find some recommendations from this post if you’re planning a trip to Edinburgh- I’d thoroughly suggest going!

Where We Stayed

Hotel Motel One Edinburgh-Royal: This hotel was in the perfect location. Sam actually picked the hotel and he couldn’t have done a better job. It was right in between Princes Street and the Royal Mile, the areas of Edinburgh where we spent most of our time. We didn’t eat at the hotel as we wanted to make the most of some of the amazing restaurants in Edinburgh (as you’ll see in the next section) but the rooms were really clean and comfortable and we had a great view of Princes Street and the Scott Monument, which was lovely (FYI, though, you do have to request a room with a view).

Where We Ate

Loudons: We stopped here for brunch when we first arrived and WOW did it make a good first impression. I had the most incredible vegan pancakes I’ve ever had covered in chocolate sauce which I’m still thinking about a month later. It was the furthest restaurant from the centre out of all the ones we went to but it was SO worth a little bit of an extra walk. FYI: They cater for meat-eaters, veggies and vegans- something that is necessary for Sam and I as he eats meat and I am vegan, so this applies for most of the cafes and restaurants we visited.

Illegal Jacks: After an early morning and a long day on our first night, we turned to Deliveroo and ordered from this Mexican. It’s similar to Barburitto but they provide a lot more veggie/vegan options including vegan cheese and vegan ‘mince’. It was really satisfying and affordable (although they did mess up my order a little bit, which was a bit of a shame!)

Pumpkin Brown: This was the only totally vegan place that we ate at and it was so good. They aim to provide healthier options which Sam and I were both craving after eating so much ‘junk food’ the day before. We both had their acai bowl which was absolutely delicious and so well-presented!

Dishoom: Don’t even get me started on this restaurant. I wouldn’t stop talking about it for weeks after returning home. It’s serves food originating from Bombay, so is basically a very specific type of Indian. I’m not one for Indian food- it’s probably my least favourite type of cuisine- but the food here was unique to anything I’ve ever tasted and our waitress, Louise, was incredibly helpful. They have a few locations around the UK, mostly in London obviously, and I can’t recommend trying it out enough if you get the chance to do so.

Hendersons: This vegetarian cafe has various locations around Edinburgh. I tried it out for some breakfast, picking up a vegan hot cross bun, which was delicious. We then headed back there later in the day to share a vegan brownie which wasn’t the best- it tasted a little bit too much like it was trying to be healthy, which is just not what I was in the mood for. However, I would have really liked to try out more of the food and I definitely think it’s worth a visit for veggies.

Urban Angel: This cafe is located near Princes Street and I had some delicious soup and a smoothie here on our last day. Although the food was good and the interiors are nice and cozy, I do remember this being *slightly* overpriced compared to some of the other places we ate at. Plus, I think the breakfast options looked better than the lunch so maybe stop here for breakfast if you do at all.

What We Did

Sights and Museums:

Edinburgh Castle: This was the first place we went when we arrived in Edinburgh, after eating obviously, and it’s kind of something you just have to do when you visit. If you’re interested in Scottish history you’ll probably find it really interesting but, to be honest, it didn’t blow me away, especially considering that our tickets combined cost almost £40. However the views are really amazing from the castle and it’s nice to walk round and, like I said, something I feel like you almost have to do on your inaugural visit to Edinburgh.

Calton Hill: We didn’t quite make it up Arthur’s Seat, due to time and weather constraints. So, instead, we opted for Calton Hill, which still provides a really beautiful view of Edinburgh and is really easy to walk to and ‘climb’ (I put climb in inverted commas because there really isn’t any climbing involved).

Scottish National Gallery: I actually headed here alone because Sam wasn’t feeling well and I really enjoyed it. I, unfortunately, often feel very unable to appreciate art as much as some other people and so I’m always sceptical about art museums. But this one had some really beautiful pieces as well as incredible interior design, which I very much am able to appreciate.

Camera Obscura: We weren’t sure whether we were going to enjoy visiting this museum of optical illusions but, personally, I thought it was so much fun! It provided lots of funny moments (like the mirror maze and the moment when a man put his middle finger up at the street cameras they have installed for museum-goers to see). And there were also really interesting parts, such as a ‘virtual’ tour of Edinburgh through the mirror the museum has on a pole out of its roof- I’ve explained that terribly but I would recommend it, especially if you’re trying to escape the rain like we were.

The Writer’s Museum: As a lover of literature, I was a little bit underwhelmed by this. It was kind of just celebrating three Scottish authors, which I guess I should have guessed would have been the case from its name, but I was hoping it would have been more of a celebration of Scottish literature in general. It was still really interesting though and would be especially so if you are interested in the authors it is commemorating.

Shopping:

Jenners: Jenners is a huge department store on Princes Street that looks really beautiful from the outside, which is what led us to go inside. If you’ve got a lot of money to spend, this is the place for you. If not, just do what I did and browse all the designer clothes like you can afford them and enjoy wandering around.

Anthropolige: This was the first time I’d ever been to an Anthropologie store as they don’t have any near where I live and it was a beautiful experience. They have such an amazing accumulation of things and I ended up picking up a sausage-dog printed tea-towel for my brother’s birthday present. If you haven’t been to Anthropologie before and are in Edinburgh, definitely go in, their price-range is really wide and there’s something for everyone and even if you don’t want to buy anything, I could have spent hours just browsing the store (to Sam’s annoyance).

PI-KU COLLECTIVE: This tiny little shop sells an extremely curated selection of truly amazing second-hand clothing. I visited after reading about it on Liv Purvis’ guide to Edinburgh. I could have tried on everything in the shop but we unfortunately didn’t have time for that and the clothes I did try on didn’t fit. But if I ever go to Edinburgh I’ll definitely go back because it really was an amazing curation of clothing.

Armstrong’s: This was hands down the best vintage shop I’ve ever been in. We spent ages in here (sorry Sam) and I could have bought much more than I did. I ended up buying a pair of Yves Saint Laurent jeans for £20 (!!!) which I featured in my post about the stigma surrounding blogging.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about what I got up to in Edinburgh and that it’s encouraged you to book a trip to Edinburgh! It’s one of my favourite cities I’ve ever been to and I’m hoping to back in the near future, maybe to the Edinburgh Fringe this time. Let me know in the comments if you have any other recommendations for Edinburgh, have been to any of the places I went or have any questions about them!

If you’d like to see what I wore in Edinburgh you can click here for day one or here for day three (the outfit from the 2nd day didn’t quite make it to the blog).