The Lot Valley | France

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Last week I spent an unbelievable week in the Lot Valley in France. Surrounded by wine country and fields of sunflowers, I joined Ben and his family for a wonderful week of relaxing and exploring the neighbouring towns.

The weather wasn’t the greatest – and I certainly didn’t pack for it – but with that aside the wine and the scenery were to die for. I arrived on the Saturday, keen to practice my French I had been studying for some weeks prior, and was immediately hit by the presence of sunflower fields. It is the one thing I will take away from the trip – the site of them on that sunny Saturday.

We explored neighbouring towns of Duraval, Puy L’évêque, Cahors, Belaye, and others. Spectacular view across the valley awaited us at every turn.

On both my flights I met so many lovely older English couples who had bought property in the area. They loved it and the small, nondescript airport spoke volumes about the quiet areas that surrounded. What a lovely part of the world to experience!

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Paris | France

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Paris for four days. How much can you really see and experience in a city like Paris in only four days?! The task seems daunting.

Yet I think we did it.

Firstly, I’d like to strongly advise to go to Paris (or any city for that matter) and skip the hotels. Skip the hostels. Go for AirBnb. Seriously. This was my first time booking my accommodation through this system and it did not disappoint. I have never felt so looked after, stayed in a more convenient location, or felt more apart of the atmosphere than I did using this system. I stayed in the cutest Parisian apartment near Pigalle metro station in Montmartre. I LOVED the creaky steps and hard wood floors, the tall French windows, the tiny spaces, and the magnificent scenery you can only get from staying with other people. I felt like I lived Paris – not just visited it.

Secondly – WALK EVERYWHERE. I realised this while living in London. The tube distracts you from the beauty of the city and its life – and on the tube you don’t realise how small a distance there really is between stations above ground. Walk. Walk. Walk.

Thirdly – Eat and drink. Not always at the bistros and cafes. One of my favourite memories of Paris with my mom was getting a small hand pizza to go and sitting on the stone walls overlooking the Seine, underneath Notre Dame. Cost us €3. Throw in a to go wine and your in heaven.

Fourth – speak to everyone you can and be gracious. I was once given the advice that you should always know four phrases in every language: hello, please, thank you, and goodbye. It says I am in your country and am trying to speak your country’s language. If you don’t, it’s more like saying my country is superior. And it’s not.

Finally, lastly, buy souvenirs that are not from tatty tourist shops (well, at least one anyways!). I brought home an adorable table runner from the cute design store Cosi Loti. It makes me feel like I brought Paris home with me so much more than the Paris plastic tray from the tourist shop (I couldn’t resist!).

We had an amazing time in Paris. I would go back in a heartbeat. X

Montmartre | Paris

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Paris – the city of lights. When I first went to Paris 4 years ago, it was the only item on my bucket list. I went with friends and stayed for four days – but I remember very little. I remember the big ticket items like the Eiffel Tower, Sacre Cœur, and Arc de Triomphe. I remember the food being good and te people being decent.

But I do not remember Montmartre.

How the hell could I have skipped over this beautiful gem in the city? It’s hills and flowered stairways and quiet squares are the most beautiful sites to be seen. It’s views above Paris are unrivalled.

Needless to say it has become my favourite area of Paris and the place I will stay in every time I return! X

12 Hours in Paris

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12 hours in France – Paris to be exact. What a whirlwind! A place as vast and beautiful as Paris deserves more then a mere few hours to discover… However, that is all we had on this cold Friday in November.

The Seine was rapid and churning, not unlike the Thames this time of year. And the skies were cloudy and yes, it did rain. But it was a lovely time filled with so much food my colleagues nearly rolled each other out of the EuroStar at the end of the trip (including myself!)

We had an incredible lunch at the place pictured above – where we ate escargot, chestnut soup, fresh fish, and chocolate tarts. Plus devine cheese puff pastries that I desperately wanted to take home.

I took home other French cheese instead.

We walked around the city stopping at the great home store Merci and grabbing fresh cheese and baguettes to take back to England. By the time we got back on the train, we were exhausted but well fed.

Did I mention I got to practice my French and was understood!

I will be returning very soon (if only just to practice my French further!) x
Merci