24 hours in Paris: things to see and do

24 hours in Paris: things to see and do

Check out my blog post of all the best things to see and do in 24 hours in Paris. Get away from the tourists and head over to the secret gems that Parisians don’t want you to know about. Continue reading “24 hours in Paris: things to see and do”

Parc de Bagatelle, Paris

Parc de Bagatelle, Paris

The Bois de Boulogne has a little secret, one that many people do not know about. It’s the Parc de Bagatelle, located to the left of the park near the River Seine. This fantastic park is one of the city’s four botanical gardens, and should definitely be on your list of places to visit in Paris.

Within the park, there are numerous things to see and you could easily pass a few hours exploring all the different parts of the park. The expansive landscape of the Parc de Bagatelle is predominately designed in a mix of Anglo-Chinese style. As you wander around the park, you will also stumble upon some hidden gems; including several artificial caves and cascades to look from, grottoes to explore and ponds with water lilies. Oh, and you’ll also notice the beautiful Peacocks who roam freely around the park. If you don’t see them in person, I’m sure you’ll come across one or two of their feathers lying around!

The Parc de Bagatelle is also home to a small neoclassical Château – the Château de Bagatelle. Constructed originally as a place to stay whilst hunting within the Bois de Boulogne, the Château has an interesting history.

In 1777 Marie-Antoinette wagered against the Count of Artois that it was impossible to build a palace with a park in less than three months. In attempt to win the bet, the Count of Artois appointed architect François-Joseph Bélanger and Scottish landscape designer Thomas Blaikie to create the Château. And by Jove – they won! The Château and the surrounding park was built in just 64 days, making Marie-Antoinette loser of the bet. I have no idea what it meant to lose, so it would be interesting to see what the outcome was for Marie-Antoinette in this wager!

Despite being relatively unknown to tourists, and perhaps even Parisians alike, the park’s Rose Garden is one of its best-known features. Here one can admire the amazing array of roses within the garden. As you walk around, you cannot but be overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of all the flowers – and the smell! If you come at the right time during the summer when the roses are in full bloom, the smell of the different species is captivating. In fact, in the Rose Garden there is an estimated 10,000 rose bushes of 1,200 different varieties – that’s a whole lot of rose! Every June there is an international competition for new roses, Concours international de roses nouvelles de Bagatelle.

Also located in the Rose Garden is the Orangerie. Built in 1865, the Orangerie is a classical-style building where concerts are held throughout the year.

Overlooking the Rose Garden is a sweet Victorian style Pavilion, the Kiosque de l’Impératrice. Located at the top of a small mound, the Kiosque is a great place to sit, relax and take in the beautiful surroundings.

The English connections don’t stop at the style of the park however. In 1853 the park was sold to an English man, Francis Seymour-Conway, 3rd Marquess of Hertford and was eventually left to Sir Richard Wallace upon Lord Hertford’s death in 1870. During this period, the Château contained a large collection of French artwork, much of which came from the Wallace Collection in London.

The Parc de Bagatelle is definitely one of the best-kept secrets of Paris. When my Mum and I visited, we had a wonderful day walking around the different areas of the park and smelling all the beautiful roses. The park was completely quiet; in fact, at some moments it was just the peacocks and us! It was as if we had gone back in time when it was a private park, and we were just going for a leisurely afternoon stroll.

Parc de Bagatelle, Paris, Paris Park, Gate

Parc de Bagatelle, Paris, Paris Park, Things to do Paris, Rose Garden, Flowers

Parc de Bagatelle, Paris, Paris Park, Things to do Paris, Rose Garden, Flowers

Parc de Bagatelle, Paris, Paris Park, Things to do Paris, Rose Garden, Flowers

Parc de Bagatelle, Paris, Paris Park, Things to do Paris, Rose Garden, Flowers

Parc de Bagatelle, Paris, Paris Park, Things to do Paris, Rose Garden, Flowers

Parc de Bagatelle, Paris, Paris Park, Things to do Paris, Rose Garden, Flowers, Peacocks

Parc de Bagatelle, Paris, Paris Park, Things to do Paris, Rose Garden, Flowers

Parc de Bagatelle, Paris, Paris Park, Things to do Paris, Rose Garden, Flowers

Parc de Bagatelle, Paris, Paris Park, Things to do Paris,Parc de Bagatelle, Paris, Paris Park, Things to do Paris,

Parc de Bagatelle, Paris, Paris Park, Things to do Paris

Parc de Bagatelle, Paris, Paris Park, Things to do Paris

Parc de Bagatelle, Paris, Paris Park, Things to do Paris

Parc de Bagatelle, Paris, Paris Park, Things to do Paris

Parc de Bagatelle, Paris, Paris Park, Things to do ParisParc de Bagatelle, Paris, Paris Park, Things to do Paris

Parc de Bagatelle, Paris, Paris Park, Things to do Paris

Launch of my new ‘The Au Pair Series’

Launch of my new ‘The Au Pair Series’

Being an au pair can be one of the most rewarding experiences. As you join a family for the year, you get to enjoy immersing yourself in a new culture whilst living in a different city, and learn all about the language and life there.

As a previous au pair, I found that there wasn’t much information about the life of an au pair. Therefore, I am launching my new ‘The Au Pair Series’, which will showcase a wide variety of former/current au pair experiences in different countries throughout the world –  which will allow you to understand and see into the interesting lifestyle that so many of us have taken.

I hope that this new blog series will help those thinking of of becoming an au pair learn more about this amazing experience. If you were an au pair or are currently one, I would love for you to get in touch and for the world to hear about your very own unique au pairing experience!

I’m really excited to hear all the different stories of various au pair experiences, and hope you will too. The Au Pair series will be featured on my blog every Monday, with each new guest post going live then.

For more information, check out my page all about the new series here.

Weekend in Berlin

Weekend in Berlin

What a weekend! I have a surprise for many of you (for those who follow my instagram account, the surprise is unfortunately ruined…). Last weekend in France was a holiday, which meant that we had a four-day weekend. With so much time off, I decided it was the perfect time to go and visit one of my best friends, Sally. So, I headed of to Berlin! Yes, I spent the four-day weekend exploring the city and hanging out with one of my dearest pals.

Berlin is an awesome city. It was my first time there, and to Germany! Having studied German for five years with the expectation of going to visit the country with my family, you can probably imagine how excited I was to finally go. There is something really interesting about Berlin. As we wandered the city, I felt as if there was not ‘one’ Berlin. The capital is incredibly diverse, and as you progress around the city, it almost feels as if you yourself are traveling through different cultures and countries. Berlin is super cool and edgy, owning a fantastically active art and music scene. Although I could never see myself living there (Paris has stolen my heart), I would love to go and visit again.

My friend Sally is also an Au Pair, and her German ‘family’ owns a beautiful apartment right in the centre of the city. Being in such a central location meant that we saw and did lots of different things – of which I am currently writing in an upcoming blog photo diary post.

Overall I had an awesome weekend, and got to finally tick one of the cities that I have been desperate to visit! If you have been there, I would love to know what you thought of the city.