I kicked off my European summer vacation in 2016 with Paris, and what better place to help me christen my new blog! I hope you like the work I’ve done to missgunner.com, it’s the new home for my life, my love of fashion and tales of my travels – enjoy!
So first let’s talk about the pros and cons of going to Paris in August. Many of you may know that Europeans religiously vacate their hometowns and holiday throughout the month of August, so you will notice that some shops either shut their doors or renovate during this month. While there may be quite a few restaurants and boulangeries that are closed in Paris during this time, there’s one massive bonus if you’re a blogger with outfits and cameras to lug around – the streets are almost completely free of traffic and a lack of crowds will give you great opportunities to shoot! Combined with the popularity of Uber in Paris, getting around to your favourite sites and shops is an absolute breeze in August. For this reason, it was an incredibly easy visit.
I stayed at a wonderful hotel for a shop-a-holic, the Sofitel Paris Le Faubourg. Due to its location among the many boutiques around Faubourg Saint-Honoré, it labels itself a fashion hotel and is a favourite of Paris Fashion Week regulars. So I felt pretty happy there! The rooms and suites there are very roomy for Paris and I had plenty of space to store luggage, clothes, shopping etc. And the breakfasts at Sofitel are always amazing – more of that later!
Here are a few of my Paris tips and highlights:
- My home at Sofitel Paris Le Faubourg was a really good base from which to explore Parisian neighbourhoods, with it being so central and easy to get to the most vibrant arrondissements – Louvre, Marais, Saint Germain, Champs Elysees, Pigalle and the Latin Quarter are all within a few minutes’ Uber ride.
- As well as avoiding the crowds and traffic, August temperatures in Paris are around low 20 degrees Centigrade (around 70 Fahrenheit) – the skies were clear and blue and it was warm enough to shoot summer outfits, while being cool enough in the evenings to layer up a little.
- If you’re an early riser, you can get sites like the Eiffel Tower to yourself (well, almost) – Parisians are not early risers! Hit the streets at 7-7:30am and you’ll be able to comfortably stand in the middle of the Champs Elysees and shoot to your heart’s content!
- While there are many beautiful spots to eat, drink and take selfies (think Café Angelina or the original Café Laduree at rue Royale), make sure you grab a picnic basket and buy some local bread, cheese, red wine and chocolate and hit one of the many parks in Paris so you can take time to absorb the local vibe. One of my favourite days was spent people watching and grazing on local delicacies at Place des Vosges.
- When you’re done roughing it on the grass, consider something a little more upmarket – I had one of my favourite lunches ever at Le George restaurant at Four Seasons Hotel Paris, but I’ll be blogging about that a little later – it was too delicious to fit into just one bullet point!
- Another tip is to not try and do everything. Paris is THE most popular tourist destination in the world, and therefore you’ll get tips from everyone about what to do there. I usually find my best restaurant, bar and people-watching experiences simply by exploring and just stumbling across the most popular places for locals.
- And last but definitely not least, don’t be shy when visiting all the big name boutiques! The vast majority of assistants at iconic stores of Chanel, Dior, Gucci, Celine, Louis Vuitton, Jimmy Choo, Isabel Marant etc. are absolutely lovely and just dying for a fun conversation!
I hope you enjoyed my first instalment of my Europe 2016 adventure – there’s much more to come!