I had a beautiful summer in the South of France- Cannes and St Tropez and as fall kicked in I was no doubt feeling the holiday blues.
One day I was on the Eurostar website just browsing, as you do on a boring Sunday evening and these really cheap tickets to Paris instantly caught my eye. My family live in Yorkshire so whenever I travel back home the tickets are extortionate; but these were a bargain. I wasted no time in purchasing them but then I realised oh wait– I didn’t ask any of my friends to join me and I certainly did not know anyone there either.
I was going on the weekend where Paris fashion week was kicking off and it all seemed so exciting except when the time got closer. I had been to Paris before but I was always with a friend etc- In fact I discussed this with various friends. My ex model friend told me she used to travel alone all the time by herself and it was absolutely fine, my friend in the city said she even travelled to China all by herself so I should really just enjoy it. I mean Paris is only a 2 hour journey!
As I was travelling alone, I booked a luxurious hotel (with ALL my pennies) on the Champs Elysees as I did not want to get lost and just be comfortable. Comfort is key to me! I rather be somewhere central and close to a crowd if I am going to be alone. My ticket was for a Friday morning so obviously on a Thursday evening I had booked myself into a salon to get all my beauty treatments done- Hello, I am going to Paris the city of the ‘chic’ I had to be tres glossy!
People would ask me what I was up to at the weekend and I was quite reluctant to tell them that I was going to Paris by myself- because the reflex thinking is, ‘Aw sad girl…you are going there by yourself?‘ But my friends of all ages were so impressed with the fact that I was going by myself, in fact they were quite proud of me. I mean I know it is only Paris but a new city is always slightly daunting, you don’t know anyone, you don’t really know where to go and if you are like me, you don’t really know the language either and ‘french fries’ doesn’t count I am afraid either
I was very fortunate when I arrived, it was cold but the sun was shining- I dropped my bags off at the hotel- had a lovely Italian lunch with some Bordeux wine (text my mother to know that I am also OK and not dead) And then, the fun just started. Obviously, I ended up in Sephora- my version of heaven where I got my make up done for the evening and purchased all my beauty must haves!
Even though I was alone, I certainly did not feel alone- Parisians are super lovely. So complementary and interested to what you have to say and Lord knows I am really interested in what they have to say since they have the cutest accent ever which makes my heart melt. I did have one friend there who was going to show me the Parisian night life which by the way does not really kick off till 1 am- it’s beyond my understanding but nothing really exciting happens before 1. Whilst walking around the Champs during the day, I did meet a lovely gentleman who was perhaps the most classiest man around my age I had met in a long time- I don’t recommend speaking with strangers etc but if you are smart about it and always in public places, you should be OK- He was kind enough to take me out, showing me the Opera and the Eifel tower at night which was glittering! I had such a fantastic Friday evening and even made a handsome new friend- LOL
The next day, I went to ‘Angelina’- Coco Chanel’s favourite hangout apparently and as I walked in I could totally understand why- the cakes were magnificent and the service was pure perfection- Obviously I had my late breakfast with champagne because this was my special weekend. It is a tea house which was established in 1903 in the Tuileries which is definitely worth checking out if you are a girl who loves the finer cakes in life. I went to the louvre, notre dame and my favourite bridge ‘Pont Alexandre’- which is absolutely stunning.
In the evening, I was invited to dinner at hotel costes with my new friends! Who brought their friends and I instantly felt like I was in London on a Saturday night! Again, Hotel Costes is my favourite for drinks and people watching- So many Parisian beauties! And the way people dress there is a gift from God! Women are effortlessly beautiful so elegant with their red lips and tanned skins! The men, well with their suits and colour coordinated scarves- you feel like you are in a fashion magazine.
I was so hesitant about going alone, maybe even a little depressed but funny how it turned out to be one of the best weekends of my life. I met the most amazing people and was treated like such a lady the whole time- I had the best cakes, Coco Chanel would have agreed and I even got a tan? because it was so sunny! Harrods is my one true love but I experienced its equivalent in Paris called the galeris lafayette-
Which was like all gold! My fave! Paris is truly a beautiful city, the architecture, the people, the food and
the wine- everything is presented in such a fine way. I am so glad I went there alone, this was 3 weeks ago but I often drift away daydreaming about it whilst I am on the tube in the mornings- my crazy spending spree at Sephora (totally poor now by the way) the intellectual conversations I had about life while sipping on red wine and obviously the ‘charmant‘ men and I am really impressed with myself that I learnt how to use the the Paris metro! Seriously, that is an achievement I will not forget- I will also not forget the look on the guy’s face when I couldn’t believe a return fare on the metro was 1.80 euros. I was beaming with so much happiness! since I pay a fortune for travel in London.
I did get ripped off on the cab from gare du nord to my hotel where he charged me 65 euros when it should have been 15 euros but at least we know for next time…the pig
So for any girls out there wondering, is it OK to travel alone and if I regret it? No not at all- in fact most days I look on the eurostar website to see when I can afford to go again- If you use your common sense and be smart about things, you will have an amazing time. Travelling alone pushes you out of your comfort zone, makes you learn so much about yourself and shows you how independent you really are- in fact it is quite empowering