“So! What now?!” I said to Natalie as we reached a rather swanky metro station – without actually realising it was one. Soon enough, we hopped on board the metro and arrived at Hotel de Ville (Town Hall). Tottering around in our heels, we headed back to the Latin Quarter. The time was already reaching 2am and we were just about to start our evening – party girls, hello!
The Latin Quarter has to be one of my favourite parts of Paris. It’s so lively, friendly and there is a genuine buzz of excitement whistling throughout the winding streets. Natalie recommended visiting El Zapateo Discoteque – having been a few times before, she just instantly knew I would love it and how right she was!
We had a bit of a wait outside as it was so packed inside, but the bouncer was talking with us and asking about the UK and Manchester. Soon enough, we hustled into the club and it was unlike anywhere I’ve ever been before. Basically, at the door you say “au revoir” to French and “hola” to Spanish.
Latin music rippled throughout the hot and stuffy air, and before we knew it we were on the dance floor. Lights were flashing and everybody was getting down to the music. We enjoyed a couple of dances with a few guys who were surprised to see that we were English and not particularly au fait with Spanish. But nevertheless, who needs to talk when you’re being twirled and swung around a dance floor?!
After a couple of dances, we took to our seats at the back of the club. As the bar was underground, it felt like we were all huddled inside a cave – a party one, of course. To begin with, we didn’t really get talking to too many people as I think it was a bit unusual and surprising for two English girls to be at this club. But shortly afterwards, we got talking with groups of different people – who were speaking a multitude of languages including Spanish, French and Italian.
Before we knew it, the time was 6am and our feet just could not handle anymore dancing. We said our goodbyes and were advised by the bouncer to visit a local cafe for breakfast. As nice as that was, all we wanted was our bed! So as the people of Paris were making their way to work, there we were… hobbling back home on the metro, laughing to our hearts content, at one of the best nights we’ve ever had.
Fast forward to a couple of hours later, we rose from our bed and were ready to tackle my final day in Paris.
Our first stop of the day was Saint Michel. After lying in bed and dreaming of food, we were in need of something good and juicy.
Burgers. But not just any burgers, bad-boy beauties from Lou Lou.
Lou Lou’s is situated on Blvd Saint Germain (one of the main streets in the Saint Michel area) so it’s in an ideal spot. One of the first things that struck me about the restaurant was how bright and friendly the staff were. Tables were full with friends enjoying their Sunday lunches in the lovely Parisian sunshine.
I was swooned by the ice cold, creamy vanilla milkshake and Natalie enjoyed an old school Coca Cola. With only one thing on our mind, we ordered the mother of all burgers. Naturally, I ordered the bacon cheeseburger with a side of crispy French fries and sweet coleslaw – which was frankly epic. Whether or not you describe a burger as epic, I’m not quite sure – but boy, oh boy was this good. The meat oozed with juiciness and the saltiness from the bacon set the whole dish off with a bang – a burger bang, of course.
Once we finished lunch, we headed out in search of The Louvre. The weather was exactly like the skies above Manchester: unpredictable. It seemed every time we turned a corner the sun would either be shining down, or we would be covered with a sky like a sheet of darkness.
Nevertheless, we didn’t let a bit of rain dampen our spirits and instead carried on reminiscing over the weekend’s antics. Unfortunately, my laughter seemed to have taken over my balance and before I knew it, I fell over. Yes, that’s right – being my usual clumsy self, I fell over… on the pavement, in front of a whole audience of al fresco diners. Feeling a tad mortified, but still laughing uncontrollably, we continued on our journey with Natalie’s help to ensure this time I kept on my feet.
One of my favourite things about Paris is the streets. As I’ve mentioned previously, the stunning architecture, quaint shops and great atmosphere, laden the Parisian streets with beauty. Quite often, we found ourselves turning the different streets and marvelling at the true French charm that fell upon them.
Soon enough we arrived at our destination – the home of many fabulous works of art, including the Mona Lisa (La Joconde) – The Louvre. I absolutely loved the stark contrast of the beautiful, old and historical buildings with the sharp, modern aspects.
We queued for a little while, before making our way inside. Once in, we felt rather lost. There was just so much to see and ideally, if you want to explore each and every part, you would need a full day. If you are planning a visit, when you enter The Louvre, I would highly recommend finding a map or joining a tour guide.
Feeling up for the challenge of being our own tour guides, we began making our way through amazing corridors and galleries. Admit-ably, our main goal was to find the Mona Lisa. But we soon realised we were looking in the completely wrong side of the gallery! Nevertheless, we saw some amazing paintings, statues and even Napoleon’s dining room – although, somehow I don’t think we will be invited anytime soon to enjoy our Lou Lou’s burgers there!
Finally we discovered the Mona Lisa in all her glory. It was so surreal as I’ve seen films, photographs and programmes about Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece but to actually see it, was pretty awesome. Unfortunately the area was incredibly crowded with people and it seems a ‘#monalisaselfie’ was the cool thing to do – so, not being ones to miss out on such an opportunity… we did so too!
After we enjoyed our artsy and cultured time at the Louvre, we hopped on board the metro and headed to La Defense, in search of the beauty haven: Sephora. I was well and truly blown away by how many beauty products one store can contain. I had originally wanted to simply buy a concealer brush and Chanel nail varnish, but soon enough my little Sephora basket was packed full with different eyeshadow palettes, brushes, lipsticks and make-up bags.
But alas, I had to decide and chose the following products: Naked 3 Urban Decay eye palette, By Terry lipstick, Sephora concealer brush, Chanel Rouge Fatal nail polish and a hot pink Sephora make-up bag – which I have to say, has been such a great little bag.
By this point, we were so tired and it seems the weekend’s antics had turned us once again into hysterics. This time we found ourselves on the metro, giggling away at all our wonderful memories and moments. Before heading home for good, we made a quick stop back in the Latin Quarter for a little wander around the town. Despite feeling ever so tempted to enjoy a dinner of tapas and mojitos, we picked up a few touristy gifts for my family and headed in search of one place which we knew would give us a sugar boost…
The pâtisserie! With moments to spare before the patisserie closed, we dived in and asked for the finest strawberry eclairs. As we were paying, little golden balls of sugar called out to us and we somehow managed to buy about 30 of them! Armed with our sugary treats, we headed to Natalie’s apartment and divulged in the little drops of patisserie heaven.
I couldn’t have spent the evening in a more perfect way. I had everything I loved with me: my best friend, sugar and a mind stuffed with memories from one hell of a Parisian weekend.
Paris, thank you for being such an incredible city – with so much beauty, adventure and superb food.
But Natalie, thank you for everything – from the moment I arrived with you waiting at the airport with the 3 euro wine, through to the very last second of my time in Paris. Since returning, I’ve told so many people about our awesome weekend and even as I write this, I can’t help but laugh at all situations that only we would ever find ourselves in.
Until next time Paris, au revoir!