Friday, 29 July 2011

Je veux demeurer dans Paris xxx

I've had a hectic few weeks for one reason or another but I knew everything would be super as I was venturing off to my second favourite place which of course is France.  I was off to the fashion capital of the world Paris. 

My boyfriend and I made a deal that we could shop, site see all day, followed by copious amounts of drinking and eating, If  we watched the last part of the tour de France.  Men in lycra? Oh alright then... if I must! That was the plan.


We decided after walking all day the day earlier, we'd get the 'hop on hop off' boat.  A perfect way to locate all the hot spots in Paris  and travel in a calmer style.  Trust me Paris underground is a little tricky to navigate around! We even finished one journey coming up to street level in a Harry Potter style lift!



I decided that I'd try and look not too much of a tourist and opted for flats or sandals, however I must admit I wore trainers to climb the stairs to the top.  Queues were absolutely crazy for the lifts, I felt like saying to all those in the stupidly long line to quit being lazy and do some exercise up the stairs!  it was cheaper too!
Nice bit of fun when we got to the second level of the Eiffel Tower. 
After the delights of site seeing everywhere we finally got a chance to shop along the Champs Eylees. Ladies, if you have never been to Paris and been shopping you're royally missing out.  Its utterly divine and oozing full of delicious designer shops.  
 
Including Louis Vuitton mother ship!

A rollercoaster of bags... yes please
Louis Vuitton was just amazing drooling over the shoes and the bags and also their store down the road from my hotel in Saint Germain. Their footwear this season is something to watch out for..
I did do something I usually throw a paddy at which was queuing, but to go into Abercrombie and Fitch.  Not because I'm overly keen on their range but the grounds it was on were rather elaborate so I just had to see inside! 
Like a palace!



Obviously whilst having a wonder, crowds were starting to gather for the Tour De France final.  I'd never admit it to the other half but I was a touch excited, however I did start to question my excitement after standing waiting for 6 hours. As a thank you I taken to Dior and the boutique shops near Cafe De Flore.  
One main thing I learnt about watching the French sporting event of the year, was that I couldn't get over how fast the cyclists go.  I think it was 8 laps around before the finish.
After watching the races we decided to head back over to Saint Germain for some food. The area around Hotel Bel Ami is full of unique places to go shopping and interesting places to see. 

"Rooms and Suites casual chic, Spa by Esthederm, B.A bar with Live music and art exhibitions."

You may notice the photo above of Blake Lively, well this hotel can be seen in Gossip Girl when the cast visit Paris in one of their episodes.  The hotel is a adorable in so many ways and only when you enter do you realise it is worth every penny.  

The Look

The hotel is tucked away along a Parisian backstreet where quaint art galleries and jazz cafes are neighbours.  When you look at the hotel from the outside, even though it is slightly hidden into the row of buildings when you enter it makes a everything fall into place. 
 

Staff & Service
 On entering I knew we'd be looked after as we were immediately greeted with a smile from the reception staff.  They offered to take our bags to our rooms at no extra charge which was very kind.  The problem we did find was the hotel bar was rather expensive even just for a standard coffee, the problem was that the price didn't justify itself because you didn't even pay for the view as it was at the back of the hotel.

Rooms
The standard bedrooms were rather 'snug' but the sleek decoration and compact design really worked for the hotel.  The rooms were small but it was worth every penny because of the location and the unique charm.  It didn't bother us as we weren't wanting to spend days in the hotel, like many others staying there we wanted to see Paris.  The view was overlooking the wonderful street and to our surprise wasn't noisy like you'd expect. 
 

The area
 Along the street where the hotel was were two superb restaurants (renowned globally for the best steak) and of course the famous Cafe De Flore.  


Saint Germain is known as being a more of a locals area to live.  It's full of jazz cafes, boutique clothing and art galleries.  We made friends with an amazing Jazz band whilst enjoying a bit of a cheeky cocktail at happy hour. The band filled the street when playing 'Puttin' on the Ritz' which resulted in many people singing and dancing along. 

Overall 
With its friendly and serene atmosphere I will certainly be staying at the hotel again.  I found that Saint Germain is real Paris and provides the traditional France many of us seek.  The beauty of Saint Germain is that it takes approximately ten minutes to walk from the hotel to the centre of Paris, but in return for the walk you get a spectacular area to stay.   If you're looking for large and contemporary this is not for you, but if you're looking for boutique in Paris then you must take a look at Hotel Bel Ami.
 
I tried to dress customize my outfits as best as I could, keeping in mind I only had hand luggage size to bring with me (10kg) and that meant no tweezers, nail scissors etc... It was like traveling torture!  All in all it was a wonderful trip which, has resulted in myself and the boy going back in November for some of the Christmas markets.  I highly recommend going. 


Une belles vacances. Une ville tel, romantique et à la mode. 
Au revoir lecteurs,

xoxo


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