Paris, welcome to the Hannah Gale top three club.
It’s cute and fun here, you get to sit nicely squished between New York and Mykonos. And you get me, Hannah Gale, rambling on about how much I love you for the rest of eternity.
So there’s that.
So here’s the tale of how you secured your place…
On Monday I woke up at some ungodly hour armed with a suitcase full of spring clothes, a bright red MAC lipstick (because hello you HAVE to wear red lipstick in Paris, it’s basically the law), my passport and my travel bible – the Marco Polo Paris guide.
I headed down to St Pancras for my first ever Eurostar voyage, snapped up a coffee and a cinnamon pastry because calories don’t count when you’re heading abroad – fact – and got to planning my trip whilst soaring through the Kent countryside.
Instead of asking the internet for recommendations, because hey Paris is a blogger all-time fave and you ALL have 675467415 ideas of where to go – I decided to rely entirely on my guide-book to hook me up with what to see and where to go and what to eat.
Tilly and I were only going to be in Paris for less than 48 hours, and so we wanted to cram as much as we could in without y’know, burning holes in our shoes and sobbing from sheer tiredness.
And boy, did we do just that (you can watch my vlog for y’know, more goss from the trip).
On arrival we headed straight to our hotel – Hotel Le Tamise – nestled just north of the dreamboatin’ Jardin des Tuileries, and after sitting down and charging our phones for 20 minutes (girl gotta do what girl gotta do), we decided to follow the book’s journey for ‘The Perfect Day’ around the nearby area.
The guide-book itself is set out into different chapters for different regions of Paris, and each chapter starts out with a map and this hour by hour plan of how to explore it.
Ours saw us starting out at the Louvre before taking a delightful little spring walk through the 16th century public gardens next door – which just FYI had some of the sweetest blossom Instagram-porn known to man.
We then headed up the infamous Avenue des Champs-Elysees with a Sephora pit stop factored in because lol I’m so basic it hurts (post on those beauty purchases to come), before finishing our walk at the Arc de Triomphe.
We approached it at rush hour, as the book suggests, and I was amazed that I suddenly had memories of my dad shouting ‘the roundabout we’re just coming up to doesn’t have any lanes – you’ll want to see this!’, and being convinced a car was definitely going to crash into us because woaaaaaah what is this.
After retreating to the hotel for fake eye lashes and a change of clothes, we headed out just in time to watch the most magnificent sunset take hold of Paris.
It was in that moment, with a glass of champagne in my hand (had to sample all the local cuisine, obvs), whilst watching the Eiffel Tower sink into a pink and purple horizon, that I text Chris and told him we were absolutely 102% spending my birthday here.
I know I said that about Italy the other week, but I lied, I am for real coming back here in September and doing the whole padlock on bridge thing and making Chris hold my hand in public even if it makes his insides squirm with embarrassment.
After Tilly and I had crammed our bellies with steak and copious amounts of red wine, we admitted defeat and headed back to the hotel with the hope of waking up fresh enough to enjoy our second day in the French capital.
We’d booked into Angelina for breakfast – it was just around the corner from our hotel and is most famous for that hot chocolate of dreams.
Marco Polo lists it as one of the best tea rooms in Paris, and babes, you gotta get yourself there.
The hot chocolate, the fresh orange juice, the rows and rows of fresh cakes and pastries – they not only put you in a sugar coma so deep you need a nap again by 10am, they taste like angels have produced them especially for you.
After our handsome breakfast we mosied over to the Eiffel Tower for outfit photos and a stroll around the adjoining Champ de Mars.
And then, because we’d run out of data and were trying to preserve our iPhone batteries for the rest of the day (yeah, yeah should have remembered my portable phone charger, cool story bro), we used our pull-out map to navigate ourselves on a delightful walk along the River Seine.
The Marco Polo maps trump other guide-book maps because every time the book mentions a place, whether it’s a restaurant, bar or landmark, it references the map co-ordinates next to it which makes it SO easy to find things.
Also, I just want to say if there’s on thing Paris does well, aside from fries and fashion, it’s bridges.
Hashtag I’ve turned into my dad.
I quite honestly could have spent an entire day doing a bridge tour and Instagramming ever single darned one.
Anyway, moving on to slightly chicer things – by this point we were a little peckish again (a mild hangover will make you need to eat every 20 minutes, won’t it?) so decided to tick another Marco Polo-approved tea room off the list – Laduree.
Oh hubba hubba. That French toast. That crockery. Those salted caramel macarons. Have I made you need to run out for something sweet and cheeky yet?
We washed it all down with coffee like proper Parisian ladies and went for a window shop around the designer shops in nearby Place Vendome.
Erm, anyone wanna hook a girl up with some Dior and Chanel store credit for my next visit, please? Plz?
And then, just like that it was time to hop in a cab back to Gare Du Nord station and get over-excited because omg they have plug sockets to charge our phones here.
We might have sampled a little double cheeseburger from the McDonalds opposite the station too, because y’know, it’s vital research to compare overseas branches. I can confirm that it tasted exactly the same.
And then we were whirring towards London and I was taking a little nap and dreaming about actually maybe never coming back to the UK and becoming a Parisian blogger and wonder how much rent is?
Mostly because my Instagram grid would look like something carved by the internet gods and my outfit backdrops would always be hideously on-point.
Basically, I recommend you all add it to your 2016 travel bucket lists if you haven’t already, immediately.
OH, and on a special little side note, I’ve got a little competition for ya.
All you have to do, to be in with a chance of winning the cutest camera of all time – the Fujifilm Instax mini 8 – plus five Marco Polo travel guides of your choice, is upload your fave travel snap to Instagram using the hashtag #MarcoPoloTravels, follow @marcopologuides and tag them in your upload.
A runner-up will also win five travel guides, to give them lots of inspo for their upcoming holidays.
You’ve got until the end of the week (midnight 20/03/16) for your chance to win – so get uploading you cutie patooties.
And on that note, I’m off to read up about how you go about renewing your passport…
This is a sponsored post, but all views and travel excitement my own