A Sojourn in Paris

April 22, 2018 — 69 Comments

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During my free time whilst working in Paris I have enjoyed reading your comments so thank you for taking the time writing them, I have also enjoyed eating delicious food, practicing my French, visiting galleries and walking my socks off. I thought this week I’d share some of my highlights and places to visit in case you may be planning a trip to Paris, or just wondering what it’s like.

The team and I stayed super central, near Les Halles, in the Citadine Hotel. Our rooms came with a little kitchenette which proved very budget friendly during a long stay. We were very close to bustling cafes and bars that populate Paris.  I slept extremely well but that may be because I was running after crawling babies all day.

 

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Louis, Me, and Matthew at Café Vigouroux

 

We quickly made Café Vigouroux on 10 rue des Halles our local. The staff there were friendly but strict with our French lessons that were to come. I will remember fondly, trying to ask Louis (one of the owners alongside Matthew) for the internet ´passwort’ in a wonderful mash-up of German and French. I quickly realised saying a word in a French accent with some conjugated verbs was not going to cut it. Louis then taught me to say ‘Qu’est-ce que les mots de pass pour le wifi?’ Which on my travels was very useful. Another great phrase for those trying to save some pennies ‘Je voudrai une carafe d’eau, s’il vous plaît.’ Which enables you to ask for tap water – l’eau du robinet. This was particularly handy during the beautiful sunny weather we experienced during our stay. If you are in this area of Paris I would definitely recommend you to stop by Café Vigourou.

The food in Paris was très délicieux! I visited a few restaurants for my evening meal. Amongst my favourites were:

Café Plume on 164 Rue Saint-Honoré, this restaurant and thriving evening bar served the most exquisite dauphinoise potatoes, that when Stuart (our percussionist) and I tasted them, we decided we simply had to bring the rest of company there to visit. This recommendation was very well received and confirmed with six empty plates.

Au Terminus du Châtelet on 5 Rue des Lavandières Saint-Opportune, is a beautiful traditional French restaurant, which I believe is in its 4th generation of family management. The Bambino team shared our first meal here and the food was outstanding. The menu is changed daily, responding to the chef’s inspirations based on the produce for the current season. A real delight for the palate!

Le 6 Paul Bert on 6, rue Paul Bert 😉(catchy and helpful name), a un tres goûteux menu (had a very tasty menu). The restaurant grows their own vegetables and take great pride in the produce used in their dishes. With great lighting and attentive service, this is certainly worth the walk.

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In between eating and more eating, I was able to burn off some calories by exploring Paris on foot (hence the trainers). During my adventures, I visited many of Paris’ beautiful museums and art galleries. I didn’t realise, before Laura (our cellist) advised me, that I could visit most of these museums for free because I am under 26. (Make the most of this deal if you can, all you need is proof of age!) So as a true bargain hunter I tried to visit as many as I could. My all-time favourite was Musée d’Orsay, it was here that I was able to see  Renoir, Monet, Rousseau (who I remember studying in High School ´Tiger in a tropical storm’ springs to mind) and more, my favourite piece of art in the gallery was Galatée by Morceau. I am now in search of a print of this image. The internet pictures do not give justice to the brilliance and sparkle that he has been able to achieve in the original to capture the mythical and magical subject it’s inspired by.

My favourite places to read, relax and study my music in the sun were the ‘Jardin du Luxembourg’, I will remember fondly the beautiful arrangements of tulips, the outstanding palace which now holds the Sénat, the beautiful water fountains, and the Grand Bassin, an octagonal pond where children can play with toy sailboats that can be rented. I lost many hours here and will miss this spot greatly.  My other little spot was the little garden that surrounded Saint-Jacques tower. A peaceful place to people watch and listen to some great French jazz.

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To get an amazing panorama view of Paris for free, visit the rooftop of the Galleries Lafayette! I was recommended the Pompidou Centre too, however, I thought the windows of the viewing deck needed a good scrub clean, but if you walk down to level 4 or 5 the view is very lovely there too.

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If you love flowers don’t miss Marché aux Fleurs Reine Elizabeth II. One of the marketers told me flowers have been sold there since 1808 and are the oldest market of any kind in Paris. I sadly missed this, but my friend told me that on Sundays it turns into an eccentric bird market, where one can purchase a fine creature of flight! Next time I visit I’ll try to go on a Sunday!

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On that note, I will bring my recommendations to a close, if you are interested in anymore please do get in touch! These are just the tip of the iceberg, but my main piece of advice is talk to the locals take their recommendations and walk, walk, walk and soak up the amazing atmosphere that is Paris!

Next stop New York, I can’t believe I’m actually saying that 🙂

 

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Me, David, and Alison on an open top bus tour of Paris

 

 

69 responses to A Sojourn in Paris

  1. 

    I am just boiling with envy!

    I hope you have just as great a time in NY.

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather April 23, 2018 at 7:56 pm

      It’s been just gorgeous weather hasn’t it, I had to get the cap to give me some shade. Thanks Martin.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  2. 

    Wonderful photos Charlotte, love the flora and fauna. Have fun in New York!!!
    All the best, Darlene

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather April 23, 2018 at 7:57 pm

      Thank you, Darlene, busy week this week too getting all my music learnt and ready for two scenes at the Royal College of Music and my end of year recital.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  3. 

    A real pleasure to read you ! very happy you enjoy your sojourn in Paris ! all the best for you for New York…. I think it’s just the beginig of Bambino life 🙂 !

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather April 23, 2018 at 7:58 pm

      BambinO has got another performance run in Edinburgh with a new crew and a tour of Scotland so it’s lovely so many more babies get to see it.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  4. 

    Looks as though you had a tremendous time. Xx

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather April 23, 2018 at 7:58 pm

      It was fabulous practicing my French it is what always causes problems for me with languages I learn all of the theory and vocabulary and verbs but rarely have the opportunity to practice so this was ideal, I even did my last interview in French.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  5. 

    Bien disait!

  6. 

    Looks like you’ve had a wonderful time. I’m so pleased for you! Have a blast in NY X

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather April 23, 2018 at 8:01 pm

      Everyone was enthusing about the set and the unique costumes Emma. Such a great adventure.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  7. 

    You know, I think that sometimes, we take for granted that because people live on a particular continent, they visit all parts of it, all the time. How spectacular that you have had this time in Paris and shared it with us. Made me feel as though I had been there with you <3

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather April 23, 2018 at 8:01 pm

      It was so nice to spend a long time in Paris, I’ve been before but only for a weekend and it’s not quite long enough. I properly acclimatised to their way of life.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  8. 

    Thank you, Charlotte, for sharing your fantastic trip and experiences with us! The photos are lovely and you look happy and beautiful as ever. So happy for you to have had this opportunity. Best of luck in New York! Hugs xx

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather April 23, 2018 at 8:02 pm

      I was too busy soaking it all in to remember to take lots of photographs, but I’m happy the ones I did gave you a taste of this adventure.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  9. 

    It sounds like you had a lot of fun, thank you for sharing the pictures and everything with us.

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather April 23, 2018 at 8:02 pm

      You’re more than welcome Colin, thanks for keeping in touch with me.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  10. 

    I love Paris, and it sounds like you made the most of your visit! I’m looking forward to hearing about your adventures in New York.

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather April 23, 2018 at 8:02 pm

      We had unexpectedly good weather too, I had taken too many winter clothes, luckily the Yumi tops could double as dresses hehe.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  11. 

    Dear Charlotte,
    Beautiful pictures of you and David in Paris. Makes me want to visit as one of my bucket list of things to do. May the Lord bless your richly my Beloved.

  12. 

    If you hadn’t chosen singing as a career Charlotte you could certainly earn a living as a travel writer; this look at Paris is as good as any ‘travelogue’ I have seen on internet and better than most, even those which provide a living for the blogger.
    You are so right about walking. I didn’t visit Paris that often but I did visit Rouen many times (one of my clients was there) and apart from so-called ‘continental breakfast’ in the ‘Cafe de post’ the greatest pleasure was walking and chatting to the locals.
    I’m really looking forward to your experiences in New York.

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather April 23, 2018 at 8:04 pm

      Thank you, I tried to do something different than the usual Eiffel Tower, The Louvre, Basilica du Sacre-Coeur, Notre-Dame de Paris, the Arc de Triomphe, all of which are just fabulous to visit too. I’ve blogged before about the wonderful Palais Garnier – opera House. People actually make Cities and I really loved meeting people and making friends.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  13. 

    Fabulous blog Charlotte. Your lovely photos and wonderful descriptions make me feel I was there with you. It also shows that there is more to Paris than the Eiffel Tower! I always look forward to reading about your experiences and all the places you visit because it is always very interesting, now, onward to New York! See you soon 😘

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather April 23, 2018 at 8:04 pm

      I did some lovely self-guided walking tours, Jane gave me a book and I tried to find the little hidden gems. It was nice after a busy final day walking for hours to take a bus tour too and see everything from a different perspective.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  14. 

    Wow Charlotte,
    You certainly made the most of your time in Paris.
    I love all the photo’s too, and you’re descriptions of everything you fitted into
    The time you spent there, I agree with grumpytyke you would make a fabulous travel
    Journalist . Good luck in New York, so excited for you.😘😘

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather April 23, 2018 at 8:04 pm

      Haha with my grammar structure and Franglais that often just didn’t make sense to the locals it was a wonderful working adventure, nice to have a full day off before the evening flight back to do some proper exploring too.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  15. 

    Ohh New York! Have fun! The pictures of our stay in Paris are lovely! Glad to hear you enjoyed your experience there x

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather April 23, 2018 at 8:04 pm

      Stuart the percussionist went on ahead early and I wish I’d have thought of that too although a) id have nowhere to stay and b) I’ve got loads to do this week learning new music in preparation for the new and final term examined performances at the Royal College.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  16. 

    Your pictures are great, you sound like you had the time of your life – but all that talk about the French food – c’mon now, I have enough trouble with my weight!! No fair! I once worked for a chef trained in French cooking, so I know what I’m missing!!
    Have a very happy journey, Charlotte.

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather April 23, 2018 at 8:05 pm

      I am so into eating fish now! A revelation my Mum’s been trying to persuade me to eat more fish and less meat for years. The fresh pastries are just out of this world and I didn’t dare look in Patisserie window. Still not really converted to wine though, so uncouth.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  17. 

    I especially like the photos of flowers. I wonder if they have flowers specific to France. NYC? Awesome. And Charlotte…nice hat.

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather April 23, 2018 at 8:24 pm

      They had a lot of flowers that I recognised like hydrangeas, and they seemed to stock lots of small shrubs in pots suitable for apartment living, but I am not sure if they were many specific to France.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  18. 

    I am so glad you had a wonderful time in Paris, and you certainly made the most of it. One of the few museums I had time to visit was the Musée d’Orsay. I loved it. My daughter, who lived there for most of a summer, loved the Luxembourg gardents. One of our favorite restaurants the La Coupole on Montparnasse, favored by the artists/writers of the Paris’ golden era – Jacques Prévert, Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Josephine Baker,and Ernest Hemingway. Unfortunately I did not have a good hotel when I was there – the floor sloped horribly (you needed books to level your bed) and the noise was terrible (right bank).
    Your post certainly brings back memories!

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather April 27, 2018 at 8:17 pm

      My parents had the most bizarre hotel room when they came to see me and visit for a weekend, a tiny little staircase leading up to the room just wide enough for your shoulders, it was like a vision of the future back in 1970, with a bed 3ft off the floor and a bathroom in the bedroom just separated by glass and hidden cupboards but it had a balcony with fabulous views and it was gorgeous to sit out and relax on the roof top. I loved the outdoor drinking and eating culture but I must admit it would take getting used to if you had a low down bedroom as they talk loudly late into the evening.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  19. 

    Beautiful pictures on this post!
    Love your blog, its always positive. A little bit of sunshine, which is why I have nominated you for a Sunshine Blogger Award https://lottydawson.com/2018/04/23/the-sunshine-blogger-award/ here is the link if you would like to take part!

    I cant wait to read more of your adventures 🙂

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather April 27, 2018 at 8:17 pm

      Thanks a lot Lotty, I’m off to America tomorrow, super excited now. Must try to stay calm so I can sleep well tonight hehe.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  20. 

    congratulations to your study….I love music so much!
    have a nice day

  21. 

    Super! Amazing you found time for all of that!
    Hmmph! Glass of water? The first phrase I learn in other-language countries is how to order a beer!

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather April 27, 2018 at 8:19 pm

      The benefit of being an early riser 😊.
      I just don’t like the taste of beer I’d rather stick to water.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  22. 

    Sounds like you had a great time in Paris! Is it possible to not have great time? I mean, if you are not sick or anything… Although the Metro is a great convenience, I think you were right to explore by foot.

    I hope you have a good time in New York as well. I’m only a 4 hour drive from the city, yet I have only visited a couple of times, and never for long.

    From your last post, it looks like you had a very good run in Paris of Bambino. I hope you do in NY as well!

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather April 27, 2018 at 8:19 pm

      I love big Cities, saying as I grew up in a small town surrounded by fields with lots of birds and trees, I think I actually prefer the hustle and bustle and things to do and see and culture all around, it’s nice that the day doesn’t end with the last bus at 6pm.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

      • 

        I have a split personality – I love the small towns with the birds and trees, but I also love being in the big cities. There is so much to see and do in the city, and I love the diversity.

  23. 

    Wow, wow beautiful blog Charlotte, I love the gorgeous pictures you have there of you in France can’t wait to see New York, put Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands on your bucket list soon 🙂 Have fun…

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather April 27, 2018 at 8:20 pm

      I will take a look at the locations you mentioned when I get five minutes, not heard of two of them. Thank you.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

      • 

        Turks and Caicos Islands is the Country and Providenciales is the Island is where all International flights come in and then you came explore all of the other Islands from there…

        Kind Regards
        Selassie Smith

  24. 

    Looks like you had a fabulous time! 🙂 Enjoy NYC (I am very jealous, by the way – I’ve been wanting to visit for years).

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather April 27, 2018 at 8:20 pm

      I went on a school drama trip when I was 17, we saw lots of shows and had a fabulous time although we had bedbugs and got half bitten hehe.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  25. 

    Looks like you enjoyed yourself very much. I used to speak French more fluently, not so much these days. You go out of practice when not speaking it everyday. I forget which mobile phone had a translator. Speak into the phone in your native language, then the mobile would translate it into the language where you’re visiting. Great idea but didn’t go far. 🙂

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather April 27, 2018 at 8:20 pm

      I loved speaking in French every day, it does help a lot. Back on my German practice now and will start the Italian up again soon. Google translate is very useful and I found my little phrase book very useful for prompting my memory when out and not in a wifi area.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  26. 

    What a fantastic tour, Charlotte! I agree, the best way to get to know a town or city is to walk. Have a wonderful time in NY!

  27. 

    Thanks for sharing
    Love and light

  28. 

    So envious!

  29. 

    This is a fun and lovely post! Wow, Charlotte, you really look amazing in pics! I’m looking forward to doing a new post about you, and featuring one of your YouTube videos, if I may? Hope you like my new Art Gown. -Resa

  30. 

    Aww that’s so sweet that the café staff helped with your French! I just moved to Paris myself and have been surprised at how lovely & supportive (most) Parisians are with my terrible level of French haha. Also, the tap water phrase is an excellent travel hack 🙂

  31. 

    wow! all of these photos are gorgeous, Paris is a place I’ve always wanted to visit

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather June 17, 2018 at 7:46 pm

      It is such a beautiful city in Spring, so much to see and do. I hope you get an opportunity to go🙋🏼

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