Heroine in Heels

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Travelling Alone In Paris

Angelina Paris (1)

After yesterdays scheduled work in Paris for the 6 friends theory, I woke up the next day and found myself alone in Paris. 

Dan was due to join me around 11pm that evening because of work, so until then I was a lone traveller in Paris.

Before I went, I found the prospect of being alone in Paris rather daunting. What would I do with mself? How would I get around? I don't speak the language? What if I was lonely? I had as million questions in my head about being alone in a foreign city. Yet strangely enough, I took to the city like a duck to water- I loved it. And I loved being alone here. 

Paris is the most beautiful, elegant, peaceful city and perfect for lone travellers to just wander the streets and soak up the atmosphere. No staged photos of me to detract from what really matters, Paris itself. 

But first, every traveller knows they need their strength, so I bounced out of bed and headed to Angelina.

Angelina Paris (15)

I studied hard before Paris, of where I should eat, as obviously this is one of my main concerns. Angelina came up again and again, and was reaffirmed by Lisa, a Parisian from the marketing agency that it was a must do for breakfast. Well who could argue with a born and bread Parisian?

Angelina Paris (14)

Opposite Tuileries Garden, a stones throw away from the Louvre, Angelina is a classic, elegent tea room that has been open since 1908.

Angelina Paris (4)

But why is Angelina a most? It's because of the hot molten goodness found in their tea cups. 

Angelina's hot chocolate is considered the best in Europe as it's so thick and rich it's like drinking melted chocolate. 

Angelina Paris (8) Angelina Paris (6) Angelina Paris (7)

Oh boy is it heaven. It's like drinking pure luxury. I never wanted it to end.

Angelina Paris (5)

Now you can just got to Angelina for the hot chocolate, but I'd really recommend you sit down and indulge in their breakfast, because it's a feast and a half.

The set breakfast comes with a tier of pastries and jams.

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Eggs anyway you fancy.

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Fruit salad, fruit juice, the hot chocolate of course anddddd...

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One of their legendary cakes which are like works of art.

Angelina is like stepping back in time. It's glitzy without being off putting. Grand without being snotty, and if you go in the morning, I found it quiet enough that I could just sip my hot chocolate and just relax and be content being by myself. 

It was relaxed enough too that I whipped out my note book to see where I would like to go next.

Angelina Paris (3)

So with the crisp wind and bright sun outside, it was time to go for a Parisian walk.

Angelina Paris (2) Paris (1)

Now I'm not one for having an itinerary and going from one tourist attraction from to the other in lightning fast speeds, especially when I'm on my own.

Instead I prefer to just wander. With no real aim or direction, just keep walking and winding around the streets and see where the mood takes me.  

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Which for starters was right across the road from Angelina and into Tuileries Garden.

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The garden houses some beautiful art work and is surrounded by the most amazing buildings. 

It then stretches over to the Arc Du Triomphe du Carrousel, a almost mini version of the grand Arc Du Triomphe, which was built to commemorate Napoleon's military victories.

Although when I say mini it was still huge compared to the people gathered by its arches. 

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Carrying on over towards the east, it's hard to not spot the iconic glass pyramid of the Louvre.

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I will admit I wasn't too sure what I was expecting, but it is more modern than I expected, yes I know it's a glass structure so it's hardly going to be ancient, but I had this tainted view that it would be more in line with the history it houses.

It still was an incredible stricture and with the sun out in full force, it reflected the light into the water below beautifully. 

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For me it is the buildings of Paris that I love and adore. Such craftsmanship in something so big just takes me breath away. 

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Sadly the queue was so humongous I just didn't get a chance to go inside the Louvre. Honestly I would have been queueing for hours. 

But like I said before, I was quite content to just by a bystander tourist. 

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Pressing on, I wandered further. I have no idea where I went but I stumbled across the craziest courtyard. 

Consisting of 252 striped columns, made from marble and concrete it's called Les Deux Plateaux and has been in the Palais Royal for over 25 years

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Naturally I clambered on a few, but sadly being alone means no one was there to record it. Probably best as I did fall off one. 

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It was now mid afternoon and after wandering around, whilst aimlessly, it certainly didn't feel like it, as I discovered so much beauty. However there was one thing I decided I wanted to plan to see.

Eiffel Tower (1)

The Eiffel Tower. 

This was my first ever real life view of the Eiffel Tower.

What a moment it was.

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The sheer size and magnitude was incredible. The construction was certainly not what I expected. More robust and industrial than I imagined, but certainly an icon that's for sure.

Eiffel Tower (2)

I was just fixated by it that I took so many photos of it from every possible angle I could think of. It was definitely one of those must see moments in anyone's life. Whilst yes, most people can probably say they've seen it, just think back to your first time, and tell me you were not impressed?

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Sitting on the - slightly damp- grass in front, I just soaked up the Parisian air. 

Is there nothing better than just experiencing life and what's out there?

When I moved to London 18 months ago I was on a mission. To conquer the corporate world, work my way up to career ladder and by a successful business women who no one could mess with. 

Now though, I feel more mellowed out. Turns out the world of work is a lot more complicated than I could have imagined. I've had my unfair share of troubles at work, but in a way its been good, as it's made me realise I want to experience and discover things more. Do I want to be successful? Of course, but do I want to sacrifice life experiences and discovery for that. You know what, no, no I don't. 

I figured I want to see more of this, the Paris' of the world, and bask in my happiness, and that's OK.

Roco Paris (2)

Later that evening I went to dinner on my own for the very first time.

I was nervous as lunch, sure, but dinner in a restaurant? Tip, go to somewhere that has a bar/counter, it's literally the best thing for dinning alone.

Second, go to Roco. Wow this place is amazing. The good is incredible, the atmosphere and vibes are just so relaxed and happy, and the staff are just the most welcoming and helpful you'll find anywhere. 

Roco has a tiny menu of 3 items for starters, main and dessert, but they are well thought out.

I started with beef tartare with creamed mash and picked peppers. Understated in looks but divine. 

Roco Paris (3)

With basket loads of warm fresh bread, and a rich glass of red in hand, I felt rather sophisticated dinning alone. 

Roco Paris (4)

For main it was pork loin with potato gratin and an assortment of vegetables which sadly as the menu is all in French I'm not sure what everything was. However take my word, again the food is a triumph. 

Roco Paris (5) Roco Paris (6)

Finally it was a true classic. Melt in the middle chocolate pudding with, wait for it, cilantro ice cream. That's coriander to me and you. Odd but surprisingly it works really well with the heavy chocolate. 

Roco Paris (7) Roco Paris (1)

I was in Roco for hours. I can't sing its praises enough. For solo dinning, it couldn't be better.

Before I jumped in, I was scared to go to a foreign country alone, and yet turns out there is nothing to worry about. 

Navigating Paris alone was truly liberating. It showed that I can do just about anything, and those skills are just as important as those learned in the office.

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