Un Séjour à Paris - Tash Hatcher guest post
Welcome to the first post in a series designed to help you plan the ultimate short getaway to Paris! Whether it was a flying visit on a school trip or a romantic mini-break, most people who visit Paris are here for only a short time. I want to find out what they loved, where they visited, and what they'd do differently. It'll give future travellers the perfect snapshot of a jaunt to Paris, warts-and-all!
Today's guest blogger is Tash Hatcher, from Hatchling Makes
She's a non-native Londoner married to a Brit. She runs her small business full time selling hand embroidered home decor and gifts and in their spare time she and her husband try to travel as much as they can!
Tell me a few details about your trip to Paris...
I bought the Eurostar tickets for my then boyfriend (now husband) as our first trip away together for our first anniversary! I had to secretly arrange with his work to make sure that he would be able to take it off so everyone was in on it apart from him! It was only a long weekend as that was all I could afford for the hotel room (one of the hotel deals you can book with the tickets!) and it was around this time of year in 2007! I remember it being super cold and blustery the entire weekend we were there!
Which arrondissement did you stay in?
I didn’t get much of a choice with hotels! We stayed somewhere just near the Argentine metro - 16th arrondissement. I remember choosing the hotel because it was the only one close to the centre of town and near the Eiffel Tower!
Where's your favourite place to eat in Paris?
To tell the truth we didn’t actually stop a lot to have a big sit down meal! One of our favourite things was to go to a bakery, buy loads of different things and then eat as we went because we had such a limited time to see things in!
Where was your favourite place in Paris?
Tuileries Gardens! Even in the winter it’s really lovely.
What was your most-used French phrase while you were there?
What are your top tips for a first-time visitor to Paris?
Definitely plan your itinerary. There’s so much to see so it helps to know what is open on particular days so you don’t get caught out (we ended up making two trips to the Louvre to try to get in!). In the centre you don’t really need to use the Metro much as everything is in walking distance - lace up your favourite trainers and walk! Go to the big attractions like the Eiffel Tower early to get in, you’ll still have to wait but not as long as you’d have to if you went during peak times! And don’t expect to see everything in one trip. Paris is definitely the type of place you can go again and again and still not see everything, don’t rush yourself or you’ll end up not enjoying it or taking it all in! Some cities need time and Paris is definitely one of them!
Is there anything you wish you'd done differently?
I definitely wish we had gone in the spring instead of the winter. Though it was nice as there were fewer tourists, when it gets dark it’s much harder to sightsee and Paris can turn super cold!
What surprised you most about Paris?
How willing people were to help us and to speak English. My middle school French got me only so far but with the exception of one incredibly grouchy train ticket clerk, everyone was very patient!
How has your trip to Paris influenced your creative process?
For me Paris is always going to be a city of new beginnings and joy. I always think of it fondly when my anniversary rolls round! When I started my embroidery business I really wanted to make pieces that I was passionate about and seeing as travel is one of my passions I decided to embroider Paris - a little trip down memory lane for me!
Any other awesome things to add?
I remember going to a random little pasta restaurant somewhere near the Louvre and one of my boyfriends colleagues walked in with her girlfriend! It made us laugh so much as they had decided on the spur of the moment to go and visit whereas I had spent so long planning it and we all ended up in the same random little restaurant that none of us had ever been to!
Thanks so much to Tash for being this week's guest blogger. Don't forget that you can see more of her work at HatchlingMakes.com
I'm always on the lookout for Francophiles to contribute to the blog, so please do get in touch if you'd like to get involved!