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Amazing views from the Pantheon in Paris

The Panthéon’s Viewing Platform: best views of Paris

When I recently visited Paris, I heard the news that there was a new place to view the beautiful city from (many thanks to the wonderful Rebecca at Everyday Parisian). Located in the 5th Arrondissement, the Panthéon was originally built as a church dedicated to hold the relics of Saint Genevieve, and is now a secular mausoleum.

After three years of restoration, the Panthéon’s dome is now open to the public where you can ascend the 276 steps to get amazing views of the city. You can walk around and get 360 views of the city! This is one of the most perfect places to come and visit, not only because of the magnificent vista but also because only 50 people are allowed at a time to ascend to the top, meaning that you won’t all be competing to get that best view!

The climb itself up is really easy, and we were not out of breath the entire time. As you go up, you stop alongside the viewing deck at the top of the inside of the Panthéon, where you get a few minutes to take in the grand interior design. From there, the walk continues to be very easy – and is definitely worth it! The views from the Panthéon are breathtaking. What I love about this view is that not only do you get great views of the entire city but that again, it seems to be off the radar for many tourists. I definitely recommend going up, you won’t be disappointed!

Panthéon, amazing views of Paris

Panthéon, amazing views of Paris

Panthéon, amazing views of Paris

Panthéon, amazing views of Paris

Panthéon, amazing views of Paris

Panthéon, amazing views of Paris

Panthéon, amazing views of Paris

Panthéon, amazing views of Paris

Panthéon, amazing views of Paris

Panthéon, amazing views of Paris

Panthéon, amazing views of Paris

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Roisin Grace - my first craft fair!

My first craft fair with the Artisans in the Palm House, Liverpool

A couple of weeks ago I had my first craft stall, selling a selection of my photo prints and greeting cards. The event was called the Artisans in the Palm House, and had been going on for three days. The Palm House, where I was located, is such a stunning building, and it was an honour to placed inside.

I had a wonderful day meeting fellow makers and customers. This being my first time ever having a craft stall, I was super nervous! I had actually been preparing for it for some time, and with a couple of weeks to go I ended up making a ‘mock stall’ in my parent’s dining room, where I was able to play around with the display. All the things that I sold during the day, are available on my Etsy shop. I was very lucky to have my Mum by my side, and she was the perfect sub-team leader!

When preparing for this craft stall, I must have spent in total, hours looking around Pinterest and found some great ideas and DIY tutorials. Some of the display stands I actually made myself, and had a friend of the family who is exceptionally talented with wood, make two wooden stands for my stall. I am in the process of writing up a tutorial to show you how I made my display stands.

Overall, I had a wonderful day and would love to have another stall again – I will keep you posted for any stalls I will be doing in 2017! You can also see the items I sold over on my Etsy shop here.

My craft stall at the Artisans in the Palm House, Liverpool

My craft stall at the Artisans in the Palm House, Liverpool

My craft stall at the Artisans in the Palm House, Liverpool

My craft stall at the Artisans in the Palm House, Liverpool

My craft stall at the Artisans in the Palm House, Liverpool

My craft stall at the Artisans in the Palm House, Liverpool

My craft stall at the Artisans in the Palm House, Liverpool

My craft stall at the Artisans in the Palm House, Liverpool

My craft stall at the Artisans in the Palm House, Liverpool

My craft stall at the Artisans in the Palm House, Liverpool

My craft stall at the Artisans in the Palm House, Liverpool

Christmas at the Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, Denmark

Christmas in Copenhagen: Tivoli Gardens

When I asked my friends where should I visit in Copenhagen, one place that kept coming up was the Tivoli Gardens. I had also heard of the Tivoli Gardens after watching Rick Stein’s Long Weekends TV show where he visits the gardens and takes a ride on a quaint wooden rollercoaster.

I had originally thought that Tivoli was just a nice park with gardens, and it wasn’t until I did more research that it turns out it is, in fact, an amusement park! Originally opening in 1843, Tivoli is the second-oldest operating amusement park in the world! As I mentioned, there is a wooden rollercoaster which was built in 1914, and still, operates today.

When we got there after cycling from our hotel, we were a little put off by the prices of admission, but nevertheless, we thought we might as well. One of my first thoughts was WOW! It was like we had walked through C.S.Lewis’ wardrobe and onto the other side, that just happened to be Christmas land. It looked like Santa’s Grotto, times 10 – there were so many decorations and wonderfully cute little wooden huts with things for sale. Whilst I am a massive fan of Christmas, some of the things on display were a little creepy, as I’m sure you’ll see in the photos below. Besides that, it was lovely to be in a place that was devoted to Christmas and definitely got us in the mood (despite it not even being December when we were there…).

After some exploration and looking around the various shops, I managed to persuade Malek so take a ride on the roller coaster: the Demon! (A big shout out to Malek who hates rides!) I love roller coasters, and sadly for me (but thank goodness for Malek) the ride only lasted 1 minute and 46 seconds! But boy was it fun. It was just myself, Malek, and this little Danish boy who had obviously had an unlimited ticket as he rode this ride at least 3 times before we went on, and another 3 afterwards! One ride we didn’t go on was the vomit inducing Vertigo, which turns you upside down whilst rotating you round and round – something I was happy to avoid.

Overall, we had a nice time in Tivoli and I would love to visit it in the summer. Here are just a few pictures from our time in the magical Christmas world that is Tivoli in December.

Tivoli Gardens, Christmas, Copenhagen Denmark

Tivoli Gardens, Christmas, Copenhagen Denmark

Tivoli Gardens, Christmas, Copenhagen Denmark

Tivoli Gardens, Christmas, Copenhagen Denmark

Tivoli Gardens, Christmas, Copenhagen Denmark

Tivoli Gardens, Christmas, Copenhagen Denmark

Tivoli Gardens, Christmas, Copenhagen Denmark

Tivoli Gardens, Christmas, Copenhagen Denmark

Tivoli Gardens, Christmas, Copenhagen Denmark

Tivoli Gardens, Christmas, Copenhagen Denmark

Tivoli Gardens, Christmas, Copenhagen Denmark

Tivoli Gardens, Christmas, Copenhagen Denmark

Tivoli Gardens, Christmas, Copenhagen Denmark

 

Best Christmas gifts for Paris Lovers on Etsy

The best Christmas gifts on Etsy for Paris lovers

Buying Christmas gifts can be hard, but if you know someone a little obsessed with Paris like myself, then look no further! I have searched through Etsy to find some of my favourite items that I think would be perfect for those Francophile friends of yours.

The best Christmas gifts on Etsy for Paris lovers

Ceramic Breton bowl // French wine kitchen print

Paris Illustrated Map // Eiffel Tower gold or silver necklace 

The best Christmas gifts on Etsy for Paris lovers

Eiffel Tower and pink blossom photo print // I Was Supposed To Be French mug

‘Je l’aime’ French tote bag // Gold foil Paris Eiffel Tower print

I love looking around Etsy and seeing the amazing things that people make and create – have you found anything that a Francophile would love? If so, let me know in the comments!

24 hours in Paris - what to see and do, Accor Hotels competition

24 hours in Paris: things to see and do

Inspired by Accor Hotels “24 hours in…” competition, I have decided to write up the best things to see and do in 24 hours in Paris. 24 hours is not a lot of time, and there is so much I would recommend seeing. However, I have done my very best to offer you, lovely readers, the best that Paris has to offer. One thing I tell anyone going to Paris is to forget the metro. Ok, so the metro is fine, but to really experience a city there is no better way than walking, especially in Paris. Therefore, this guide takes its inspiration on how close the various sites/sights are to one another. Bunched together in terms of location and arrondissement, this guide offers you a great insight into the beautiful city of Paris, whilst offering you things off the beaten track!

To make life easier and show you that you can do all the things mentioned here in 24 hours, I have created a map showing all the places listed in this guide, and some great places to eat and drink nearby.

Morning in Paris: exploring the 5th and 6th arrondissement 

Stroll through the Jardin des Plantes

Jardin des Plantes, 24 hours in Paris guide

One of my favourite places in Paris is the Jardin des Plantes, and I would begin my day exploring the grounds and taking in the beautiful sights. Located in the 5th arrondissement, the garden is a paradise for gardeners and flower lovers alike, especially during the spring when the garden is in full bloom. There’s a lot you can see and do here in the Jardin des Plantes. Not only is there a beautiful botanical garden, but a zoo and a Natural History Museum. Walking around the garden is free and definitely worth it, especially as the Jardin des Plantes seems to have escaped the radar of tourists, making it an ideal place to escape the rush of the city! – but shhh, don’t tell anyone else about it.

Jardin des Plantes, 24 hours in Paris guide

Venture to another place: the Grand Mosquée de Paris

Grand Mosquée de Paris, 24 hours in Paris guide

Located a stone’s throw away, at the south-western edge of the Jardin des Plantes, is the next place on the guide – the Grand Mosquée de Paris. Similar to the Jardin des Plantes, the Grand Mosquée is often off the radar for tourists, and you may not have heard about it at all. Founded in 1926 after World War I, it is one of the largest mosques in the whole of France. Visitors are allowed to explore the mosque as long as they are respectful to worshipers attending daily prayers. The decoration and architecture are beautiful, and it’s hard to believe that you’re in the middle of Paris, as you almost feel transported to another country.

After exploring the stunning courtyard and the rest of the Mosquée, head over to the Mosquée’s very own restaurant and café. Here you will be transported on an amazing culinary journey, as you can feast on a variety of Middle-Eastern pastries and mint tea. Depending on how busy the tearoom is you can either sit inside or enjoy the open courtyard.

The Grand Mosquée de Paris, 24 hours in Paris guide

 Breath-taking views from the Panthéon

The Panthéon’s Viewing Platform, 24 hours in Paris guide

Sticking to the 5th arrondissement, the next stop of this tour is a visit to the Panthéon. Originally built as a church dedicated to hold the relics of Saint Genevieve, the Panthéon is now a secular mausoleum. The architecture is stunning, and the interior matches up to the exquisite exterior design.

After taking some time to catch your breath and take in the sights, the most important thing to see and do in the Panthéon is to climb the steps upwards to the recently opened viewing deck at the top of the Dome. The walk itself is very easy and worth it. The view from the top of the Panthéon is absolutely breathtaking. What I love about this view is that not only do you get great views of the entire city but that again, it seems to be off the radar for many tourists.

The Panthéon’s Viewing Platform, 24 hours in Paris guide

The Jardin du Luxembourg

Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris, 24 hours in Paris guideNo visit to this part of Paris would be complete without a visit to the Jardin du Luxembourg in the nearby 6th arrondissement. A five-minute walk from the Panthéon, the Jardin du Luxembourg was created in 1612 by Marie de’Medici for her new residence. The garden is beautiful, with a variety of things to see and do. You can walk along the geometric lined paths towards a delightful fountain in the middle, directly opposite the Palais du Luxembourg. Here little boats can be rented and raced against once another and is a great place to grab one of the many chairs and relax. There’s also the Pavillion de la Fontaine Paris where you can get some food or drink, and if you’re lucky, listen to music from the nearby pavilion which is often frequented with a variety of musicians and bands.

Jardin du Luxembourg, 24 hours in Paris guide

Places to eat and drink nearby in the 5th and 6th arrondissement:

  • Chez D220 Rue Saint-Jacques, 75005 – some great vegan options and super cute interior.
  • Bread and Roses62 Rue Madame, 75006 – delicious pastries and croissants!
  • Café de Flore, 172 Boulevard Saint-Germain, 75006 – this was a popular place for writers and artists, including  Picasso who was a regular. They have the most amazing hot chocolate.
  • Un Dimanche à Paris4-6-8 Cours du Commerce Saint-André, 75006 – a lovely place for brunch.
  • Odette77 Rue Galande, 75005 – Odette is a small and very cute spot, which serves delicious chop pastries filled with cream and other flavours. A definite try is nearby.

Noon in Paris: Ile de la Cité

Heavenly paradise on earth: La Sainte-Chapelle

La Sainte-Chapelle, 24 hours in Paris guide

After exploring the 5th and 6th arrondissement, I would recommend strolling across towards the Ile de la Cité where my favourite place in Paris is. It still dismays me that the Sainte-Chapelle is often overlooked by those coming to visit Paris. Built to house the sacred relics of the Crown of Thorns in 1248 under the patronage of King Louis IX (aka Saint Louis), for me, the Sainte-Chapelle is one of the most beautiful places on earth. The upper chapel is surrounded by the most exquisite stained-glass, which one can look at for hours. In addition to visiting the chapel during the day, you can also attend various classical concerts in the evening – another must do.

La Sainte-Chapelle, 24 hours in Paris guide

Promenade along la Seine

Promenade along la Seine, 24 hours in Paris guide

Like I said, Paris is a city made for people to stroll around, and after visiting the awe-inspiring Sainte-Chapelle a walk along the Seine is a must. There’s honestly nothing better than an aimless promenade, capturing the different views of the city. A promenade along la Seine, no matter what the season, is always a delight. Walk past Notre-Dame Cathedral (pop in if time is on your side!), head across Pont Saint-Louis and Pont Marie and head towards the next place on the guide.

Promenade along la Seine, 24 hours in Paris guide

Afternoon in Paris

Place des Vosges

Place des Vosges, 24 hours in Paris guide

The Place des Vosges is situated in between the 3rd and 4th arrondissement of Paris, and is one of the oldest squares in Paris. At the centre is a delightful park where one can go for a stroll along the tree-lined paths. The Place des Vosges was originally called the Palace Royale, built by Henri IV between 1605 to 1612. The buildings adorning the square are beautiful and charming, and I only dream of one day living here! The Place des Vosges is also known for many famous people who have called this place home, including Victor Hugh from 1832-1848 where there is currently a museum devoted to his memory. The Place des Vosges is the perfect place to bring a coffee, croissant, and book and to just enjoy the scenery.

Place des Vosges, 24 hours in Paris guide

Places to eat and drink nearby:
  • L’improbable5 Rue des Guillemites, 75004 – this is one of my favourite cafes in Paris. Inside you are greeted with a food truck, and lots of places to sit, including swings! The food is great, and there’s lots of drinks available.
  • Fragments cafe76 Rue des Tournelles, 75003 – tucked away in the Marais, this place serves great coffee. It is a super cute cafe, and worth a visit.
  • Marché des Enfants Rouges9 Rue de Beauce, 75003 – a definite must in Paris. This market place has a great mix of stalls and cuisines to choose from. There is delicious Japanese, French and Moroccan food. Something for everyone.

The hip and cool Canal Saint-Martin

The Canal Saint-Martin 24 hours in Paris guideAfter potentially grabbing a bit to eat, or perhaps a look through some of the cute little shops nearby, a must when in Paris is a visit to the Canal Saint-Martin. Situated in the 10th and 11th arrondissements, the area surrounding the canal is super cool and hip. Parallel to the canal are a plethora of cute cafes and shops, and also a tonne of vibrant street artwork. Exploring this area of Paris will make you feel as if you have been transported to Amsterdam. Whether it is autumn or summer, it’s a lovely place to sit down and just people watch.

The Canal Saint-Martin 24 hours in Paris guide

Places to eat and drink nearby:

  • Café Smörgås11 Rue du Château d’Eau, 75010 – this scandi place servers great food, perfect for brunch or lunch.
  • Holybelly19 Rue Lucien Sampaix, 75010 – this is a friendly and cute cafe, which has awesome coffee and yummy food.
  • Du Pain et des Idees34 Rue Yves Toudic, 75010 – this is a fantastic bakery, with an amazing array of pastries on offer. The chocolat pistachio escargot is a must try!
  • The Sunken Chip39 Rue des Vinaigriers, 75010 – firstly, how awesome is the name of this place?! And yes, pardon the pun, for this is a fish and chip shop!

Le Jardin du Palais Royal

Le Jardin du Palais Royal , 24 hours in Paris guide

Located close to the famous Louvre, Le Jardin du Palais Royale is hidden within the busy rush of the city, offering visitors the chance to take a break and enjoy the surroundings. In this elegant courtyard, one almost feels transported back into one of the many 18th-century country gardens – with its symmetrical hedging and decorative fountain. Here you can stroll around the beautiful garden, appreciating the symmetrically lined trees and colourful flowers; or you can sit and enjoy people watching from many of the various reclining chairs around the central fountain.

Le Jardin du Palais Royal , 24 hours in Paris guide

Places to eat and drink nearby:

  • Cafe Kitsune, 51 Galerie de Montpensier, 75001 – this chic place offers awesome coffee, and is a favourite amongst Paris bloggers.
  • Claus, 14 Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 75001 – this is a quaint place of yummy breakfast and lunch with delicious food on offer.
  • Frenchie To Go9 Rue du Nil, 75002 – Frenchie to Go has a really cool atmosphere, and even nicer sandwiches.
  • Bioboa93 Rue Montmartre, 75002 – Bioboa prides itself on its organic food, I recommend the tofu burger.
  • Liza, 14 Rue de la Banque, 75002 – this is a Lebanese restaurant, which has a stylish decor, which brings the yummy food of Beirut to Paris.

Evening in Paris

Ascend L’arc de Triomphe for stunning views of the city at sunset and night

Views from L’arc de Triomphe of Paris

Whilst the majority of guides will point you in the direction of the Eiffel Tower, I believe that you can get even better views of the city from the Arc de Triomphe. So to end the 24 hours in Paris, a trip up the Arc de Triomphe is a must, especially at sunset and into twilight. This is one of my favourite places to see the beautiful twinkling of the Eiffel Tower and the surrounding cityscape. The good news is that it is open until 11:00pm all year round!

Views from L’arc de Triomphe of Paris, Paris in 24 hours guide

There you have it! My not so inclusive list of all the things I would recommend for you to see and do in 24 hours. There is so much that I would include on this list, but I think these are places that are great to visit any time of the year and that are all in walking distance from one another (maybe with the exception of the Arc de Triomphe, but it’s worth getting on the metro for!). Writing this has made me all nostalgic, and a little tired, as if I have taken the walk through the guide myself!

If you have any suggestions or have been to any of these places mentioned, let me know what you think. Or if you know of any cool places to eat and drink nearby, feel free to let me know and get my mouth salivating at the thought of fresh pastries. Mmmm pastries…

'24 hours in…' Blogger Competition with Accor Hotels: Paris, France

Autumn in Paris Luxembourg Gardens and Tuileries Garden

An Autumn must in Paris: Walks in the Luxembourg and Tuileries Gardens

It’s safe to say that Autumn has officially arrived in Paris. Paris is the perfect setting to put on your warm scarves and gloves, comfy shoes, and head out for a stroll around the city’s beautiful gardens and parks. There’s nothing that I like more than taking a leisurely walk around the Jardin des Tuileries and Jardin du Luxembourg people watching and kicking the fallen leaves beneath my feet. As you’ll see in the photos below, I was also in the Jardin du Luxembourg at sunset, which offered some fantastic views of the falling sun behind the crisp orange leaves. If you have any favourite things to do in autumn in Paris, let me know!

Le Jardin des Tuileries

Autumn in Paris - Jardin des Tuileries, Paris

Autumn in Paris - Jardin des Tuileries, Paris

Autumn in Paris - Jardin des Tuileries, Paris

Autumn in Paris - Jardin des Tuileries, Paris

Le Jardin du Luxembourg

Autumn in Paris - Le Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris

Autumn in Paris - Le Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris

Jardin du Luxembourg Sculptures, Paris

Autumn in Paris - Le Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris

Autumn in Paris - Le Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris

Autumn in Paris - Le Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris

Autumn Travels

September and October travels: Pisa, Lucca, Florence and Paris!

Anyone who follows my Instagram or Facebook will have noticed that I’ve been galavanting around quite a bit recently, and it’s safe to say that this September and October have been somewhat of a whirlwind for me, and November won’t be so dissimilar.

In September I went to Italy with my parents, exploring the cities of Pisa, Lucca and Florence. It was my first time going to all of these cities, and I had such a wonderful time. Italy is just a beautiful country. October saw me travelling via Eurostar to my favourite place – Paris. I went with my friend Aurora, and we stayed at a friend’s apartment (shout out to Geoff if he is reading this!). It was great being back in the city I have missed it so much! I had the fantastic job of taking Aurora around many of my old haunts and managed to do and see some things I had not done before.

Whilst it makes me sad that these trips are in the past, this November I lucky to be going to Copenhagen with Malek! I am super excited, as I have never been to Denmark before, and as an Au Pair in Paris, I made friends with a number of awesome Danish girls, and so I sometimes felt like an honourary Dane! If anyone has any tips or suggestions of what to see and do in Copenhagen, please let me know.

This is just a brief blog post to let you know where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to travel wise. I have so many blog posts currently in the pipelines about these incredible cities, and cannot wait to share them with you! To memorialise my trips, I’ve created some polaroid style collages of some of my favourite photographs from the trips – more to be revealed in the individual blog posts.

Florence, Italy

Lucca, Italy

Pisa, Italy

Paris, France