Terminal des Invalides
Lois and I have such fun time at this restaurant and I could not get over how accommodating the staff were regarding my wheat allergy. I was offered a menu with all the gluten-free options. It’s so nice and reassuring, especially when you are abroad. So we sat down and had a good chat as we looked over the choices on the menu. Sipping on a glass of white wine in Paris felt sophisticated, we nibbled on small appetisers of salmon and waited expectantly for our main course.
I chose the chicken, it was succulent and moist and so flavoursome, accompanied by ratatouille which is one of my all time favourites. After a tussle to choose, Lois ordered the steak grilled medium rare with smoked paprika roasted potatoes and a garnish of salad. A basket of bread arrived, placed in between us, with the waiter saying “not for you”. He meant it contains gluten and wheat, this soon became a running joke as most times I ordered anything for the rest of the weekend “not for you” became a recurring statement as wheat is hidden in so many inconspicuous food items, it’s tricky avoiding wheat back home in the UK, let alone making requests in another language (that I don’t speak.).
Imagine my surprise when shortly after he brought out bread which was especially for me. The chef had baked a loaf of bread suitable for me to eat. Eating fresh warm bread was lovely after feeling deprived of not eating those delicious croissant’s provided at breakfast. I was so in need of a bread binge, yummy! After devouring our main courses and bread baskets, we topped up our glasses, I sipped on wine and Lois had a coke.
It was dessert time, many of the options usually contain gluten, so I selected fresh raspberries with some delicious home-made ice cream. Lois enjoyed a white chocolate cheesecake made with soya cheese and a strawberry coulis decoratively drizzled over the plate. We practically rolled out of the restaurant, we had filled lour boots with so much yummy food, wine and fizzy Coca-cola.
It was one of those places that makes me smile as I reflect back. Laura the hostess was engaging, a warm and friendly person and her English was excellent. I appreciated her welcoming manner, she did the Restaraunt proud and made us feel comfortable and relaxed. We pretty much grazed our way around Paris and out of all the places we visited, Chez Francoise was the most accommodating restaurant, their chef and staff truly went above and beyond my expectations, even creating fresh wheat free bread and fresh gluten free ice cream. I highly recommend this restaurant, especially if you have any food allergies. It’s well worth checking out – they will also accommodate for people shellfish allergies along with plenty of others! So special.
Getting from A – Z with Marco Polo
When planning our Parisian adventure, Lois and I found this Marco Polo guide book, which is perfect for city breaks. Look, it’s just the right size for travelling with and proved super handy for our trip. It is the perfect travellers companion, ideal for sightseeing, with plenty of suggestions for what to do so you don’t miss out on essential must see places.
Even though Lois and I are frequent flyers to Paris, this was such a great resource to pop in my bag and easy to flick through as you walk along. It features the essential iconic favourites every visitor wants to see and how to find them, and also some new places to check out that were not on my radar. Top of my list was a spot of culture, some art, architecture and the many amazing fountains; all truly breathtaking. Although, surely no one can ever tire of happening upon the Eiffel Tower, especially after dusk, as it shows off, twinkling bright like a cascade of shooting stars against the night sky,
I think this travel guide is well laid out, comprehensive and compact at the same time, plus there’s an excellent map inside the rear cover; so no worries about getting lost or where the nearest metro station can be found. We relied on the map on more than one occasion, let me tell you, especially when we were out of mobile phone range or couldn’t connect to 4G …. darn those roaming charges!! But lack of signal is no problem with a Marco Polo guide in my handbag. I must say the map was easy to follow, so we didn’t miss a thing.
This city guide is brimming full of recommendations that are spot on and up to the minute, whether you are interested in culture or the arts, sightseeing or splendid fountains and monuments; it lists the lot – plus so many delicious places to eat. For us fashion addicts, most importantly it tells you where to find the best places to go shopping! We took full advantage of all the book had to offer and soaked up culture, architecture, followed suggested routes and sampled some of the hottest foodie spots in Paris.(you’ will see more on this, coming soon!)
When it comes to exploring new fashion haunts, we were both very excited, what do you expect from the city that prides itself on fashion? Serious temptation overload. We bagged some wonderful Paris purchases, as mentioned in my last post and I promise to show you them real soon.
Why not have a peak at our videos and enjoy the trip with us, it will give you a richer feel of our adventures in Bonne Paris.
110 Rue de Courcelles,
Food for the soul It was our first evening in Paris and after a day of travelling and sight seeing Lois and I were famished and looking forward to dinner. We had the pleasure of dinning at Le Millesimes, a classic Parisian brasserie restaurant with outdoor seating and a great menu to tempt us. The waiter seated us at a great people watching spot and we soaked up the ambient settings in the warm summer air sipping a cool glass (or two) of bubbly!
Now with me eating a gluten free diet and this being France – famed lovers of bread, it was confusing for our waiter getting his head around my aversion to bread. I asked if the chef could make a GF meal for me and was delighted when he brought over a gluten free menu. I picked the lamb shank (minus the pesky wheat based gravy) and Lois chose an old fishy favourite, swordfish. Both dishes arrived in speedy fashion, beautifully presented. My lamb was scrummy, so tender, succulent and it just fell off the bone with no effort, my plate was filled with plenty of veggies, which I love, especially washed down with another glass of wine.
The staff were friendly, which is a plus when you are in a new city. Our waiter tempted us with the dessert menu, Lois fancied ice cream, choosing a trio of chocolate, coconut and mango flavours, delish. Once again I ordered from the gluten free menu and selected warm figs with ice cream. To be honest, I wasn’t too sure what to expect as I’m not really a huge fan of figs, however I was pleasantly surprised as they are so lovely served warm covered with gooey syrup and strawberry ice cream, the combination was a winner and yummily amazing.
We could not eat another thing, feeling relaxed, completely full and satisfied, we enjoyed a good natter with our waiter as we polished off the wine. Just then, the owner of Millesimes joined us and was keen to chat. The helpful waiter bridged the language barrier and kindly translated for us all. We discussed his attractive restaraunt, tempting menu and our fab dinner. He was interested to understand my wheat intolerance – slightly embarrassing. He was understanding and very charming chatting with us about our trip. It was great to meet the creator of Le Millesimes and receive such a warm welcome from him and his team.
Lois and I had a really pleasant evening, nattering as we wined and dined at Millesimes, be sure to check them out if your in Paris. The food is fresh and a real treat for your palate – especially for those of us with food intolerances.
After a leisurely breakfast in bed we washed and dressed and headed off excitedly to explore Paris. We meandered from our hotel through the grounds of Les Invalides walking along the historic military monuments and museums, such jaw dropping classic architecture. From there we walked to the Fountain at Place de la Concorde, passing by so many beautiful buildings. We were truly spoilt for pretty things to take a picture of!
Whilst visiting the Fountain on Place de la Concorde, we took some outfit snaps, don’t you love these gold chains for our sunnies? They add a little luxury touch to our outfits, adding a different accent to this fave frock, which you’ve seen plenty of times before- what more can I say it’s comfortable and I like it.
Photo shoot in the bag, we hurried to the designer streets where we came across Lois’s favourite shop Kenzo. We had a good mooch and had a chance meeting with an ever-so-cute lil’ Frenchy.
We went in search of my true love -vintage shopping, in particular Episode Vintage. We spent a couple of hours there, time just flew by and there were so many delights to coo over in the vast treasure troves. We rummaged and selected carefully, with so much to choose from, it was head spinning. Lois and I grabbed handfuls of garments and trooped off to the changing rooms. I’ve finally found the camouflage jacket of my dreams, as I always find the best army jackets in the men’s section, it’s often hard to find one that fits, but thankfully, the vintage gods were on my side and I found an American camo jacket that fitted a treat! I also found a pair of retro Adidas Samba trainers from the 1970’s, and in pretty mint condition too. Like I said the vintage gods were truly on my side, these trainers were such a steal. I can’t wait to show you them!
Lois was delighted and bagged three beautiful peasant blouses with gorgeous embroidery and the cutest blue neckerchief, all very French. I picked up a little neckerchief too, we know how I love a good neck scarf/bandana!
If only I had more euros. I’m definitely going to save my hard earned pennies and plan a return visit to Episode Vintage during my next Paris adventure.
Photos by Lois & myself.
We hopped in a taxi from the a train station and swiftly arrived outdid our hotel Pont Royal, a beautiful example of typically Parisian architecture. We were greeted by a bell boy, whisking away our luggage as we made our way into reception. We received a warm and friendly welcome from the hotel staff as they efficiently checked us in.
We were pleased by how helpful and friendly the staff were. Nothing was too much trouble for the Hotel Pont Royal. It had that luxury vibe with genuine customer service right from from our friendly welcome to checking out. I must say that as tourists we found the reception team offered sound local knowledge and provided us with maps and tips to find our way around the city.
We headed to the first floor and found our room, which was much larger than I anticipated, it was nice and airy. We had a wonderful view over the streets of Paris. There was so much space and I enjoyed perching in the sofa seating area just gazing through the biggest floor to ceiling window I have ever witnessed, taking in the busy hustle and bustle of Paris life. Of course, I did the customary Goldilocks bounce, testing out the two beds and confirmed their snuggly status. Seriously, let me tell you the beds and pillows were heavenly, so comfy and crisp bed linen; which was just what we needed after an early start, a long days travel and hitting the streets of Paris hard eager to take everything in.
Another considerate aspect of our vast room was having separate bathroom and toilet, really handy. I enjoyed the luxury and delightful finishing touches. The hotel must have received the luggage memo, as the wardrobe was massive wardrobe – a must for us fashion bloggers!
Breakfast in bed
Now who doesn’t enjoy the luxury of a lazy breakfast in bed?
We selected this option and I’m so glad we did, it was delightful not having to rush in the morning, we enjoyed a leisurely start to the day.
For breakfast we munched on a range of croissant’s and conserves, plus yoghurt’s and a refreshing pot of tea to share – a very impressive start I must say. I think the photos have turned out great too!
It was a such a marvellous stay, we were really well looked after and our room was both stylish and comfy. I promise I will be back for another visit soon! If you get the chance, check out the Hotel Pont Royal, you won’t be disappointed.
What we wore to explore Paris day one!
For my first look from Paris, meet this Superdry Bardot style dress, I’ve added a lil’ black bandana (which I think is the perfect pairing). For that extra touch of lux, check out my suede biker jacket and still with Superdry, this tote bag was perfect for all my sightseeing paraphernalia. I think it’s such a fun lookwith ‘of the moment’ fringing.
For big city walking and sightseeing, my trusty ankle boots were ideal – complete of course with glittery ankle socks. I felt really sassy seeing the city of style wearing this look; it has definitely made it into my ‘go to’ wardrobe selection for a couple of events coming up quite soon. I love it when an outfit comes together.
Paris, how I love you.
Lois and I spent our first afternoon in Paris checking into our beautiful hotel (more on that soon!). Whilst unpacking our cases, we revelled in the luxury of our room and then had a good old snoop around the facilities; we really lucked out!
Time to explore. It was joyous wandering along the local streets, buzzing with people all chattering away in French. We were getting a bit peckish, so headed back to the hotel for a quick freshen up and change out of our travel clothes. Spruced up, we headed out in search of iconic Parisian cityscapes and a late lunch. Walking down to the river Seine, we found a quaint and very chic cafe. We were quickly seated at a pavement table. We both ordered yummy omelettes and talked over our plans for the weekend. Once refreshed, we strolled along the Seine and chose a pretty spot on the lower banks to shoot outfit pictures. It was an ideal location, so quiet and we had great fun waving back at the passing river boat passengers.
Also below is our video of our first day in Paris, be sure to watch it and if you like it, give us a follow on youtube!
Suitcase’s c/o Radley
Photos by myself & Lois.