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 travelling alone 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.

Angelina Paris (9) Angelina Paris (10)

Eggs anyway you fancy.

Angelina Paris (11)

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

Angelina Paris (12) Angelina Paris (13)

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. I was liking this travelling alone in Paris thing. 

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.  

Paris (3)

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

Paris (4) Paris (2) Paris (24) Paris (5)

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. 

Paris (6) Paris (7) Paris (9) Paris (8)

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

Paris (10)

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. 

Paris (11) Paris (12) Paris (13)

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

Paris (14) Paris (15)

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. 

Paris (16)
Paris (17)

Paris (18)

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

Paris (19) Paris (20)

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. 

Paris (22)
Paris (23) Paris (21)

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.

Eiffel Tower (4)

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?

Eiffel Tower (3) Eiffel Tower (6) Eiffel Tower (8)

Eiffel Tower (7) Eiffel Tower (9)

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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  1. Delightful post, full of some of my favourite places! Forget the best in Europe, Angelina hot chocolate is the best in the world in my book - and they've just opened an Angelina down the road from me in Doha which I'm over the moon about! Looks like you had a fabulous time :-)

    Polly xx
    Follow Your Sunshine

  2. It looks like you had an amazing time even solo and your photos are amazing. I'm used to dining alone and I quite like it, no one to make conversation with, no one to judge your food choices and thanks to our iphones there's always twitter to read through!

    Victoria x

  3. Paris is just so photogenic, you've got some gorgeous pictures too. I would also be daunted about travelling alone...I never have, I found flying on my own nerve-wracking and I was meeting someone at the other end!
    Lots of love,

    SilverSpoon London

  4. wow, paris through your eyes looks even more beautiful
    i have never traveled alone and i am sure if i had to some time, i would never be able to visit so many places
    keep in touch

  5. What a great day! I love Paris so much, and it's definitely a place you can just mooch around on your own and have the most wonderful time.

    Rosie xx

  6. Beautiful!
    Paris is somewhere I desperately want to go to, especially being able to get there so easily from London.
    Dining alone does sound so liberating as you say - the food looks amazing! And now I know that cilantro is coriander! Haa.

    October Eleven

  7. Aww this brings back some memories! I ordered a hot chocolate AND a chocolate trio at Angelina's, not realising quite how decadent the drink on it's own would be. Beautiful photos!! xx

  8. Lovely post and one which makes me so excited for my own Paris weekend. I think everyone should have to travel alone and eat out alone at least once, it's really nowhere near as bad as it seems (I've done both for work and it's surprising how many people do).

  9. that is awesome that you went by yourself!! ahhh I loved traveling alone. I find it to be so satisfying :)


  10. Paris is my favourite city, i was just there last week and i didnt want to comeback. Absolutely charming city, and very photogenic.

    Elisa |

  11. Girl, you WILL be successful. You just have to discover exactly what success means to you! I still think you're so brave going off to dinner and lunch on your own but I agree, sometimes it's a lovely way to discover a city, just following your thoughts. Glad you loves the Eiffel Tower!

    Katie <3

  12. What I love about Paris is how much you end up walking! I used to live there and we went back last year, the Buren columns that you came across in the courtyard were being repaired but we saw so many other great things

    Suze | LuxuryColumnist

  13. Reading this is torture it is crammed full of wonderful foodie pictures and the chocolate at the beginning yes please yummy Lucy x

  14. Great post! Some lovely pics too. Must visit Paris again. Only spent two days here last time and just ended up doing the touristy stuff. Would love to go and self explore it properly :)

    Gem x

  15. Hi Laura,

    I really enjoyed reading your post. I've lost count of the number of times I've been to Paris (I ran out of fingers!), so to see it through someone else's eyes for the first time is really magical. You made a good choice with Angelina's, definitely one of my go-to places inn Paris; such opulence and the hot chocolate is to die for. Another good spot, for a piece of Parisian cafe culture, is Cafe de Flore, on the south bank, and its near neighbour, Les Deux Magots.

    Brian | Brian's Coffee Spot

  16. Paris is always a dream destination. I hope soon I get a chance to visit there. I love reading travel blogs as I am a solo traveler who cannot live without traveling. I spend lots of money on traveling. I had a great time reading your blog and sharing my thoughts.


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