Paris is that overrated city I fall in love each time I visit. It’s the city I hate to love. In an attempt to see more of Europe, I decided to start with a spontaneous trip to the land of Bioderma. It’s the perfect destination to visit over the weekend as you can see all the major sights in one day. The city literally is made for walking.
We arrived in Gare du Nord just after 1pm, grabbed an Uber and checked into the hotel. Starting with the Arc De Triomphe, which sits in middle of craziest roundabout ever, we then strolled down the Champs-Elysee, people-watching as we went along. I’m pleased to say I didn’t give into the temptation that is Sephora! All the major landmarks such as the Grand Palais, Palace Vendome, Louvre and the Notre Dame are situated in relatively close proximity which makes it easy for navigating.
It wasn’t long before I fell in love again. Paris is full of beautiful architecture, everything is so Instagram-worthy! After taking pics outside the Louvre, we headed for lunch.
West Indians in Paris
I was banned from eating Asian food, so compromised on a West Indian restaurant. La Kaz has good ratings and is relatively near the Louvre, so this was our first choice. It’s definitely a popular spot and was busy but not overcrowded. I ordered the Bokit Morue (bake and saltfish) and my friend had the Bokit La Kaz (beef, egg and cheese). To be honest, my food was underwhelming which was a shame but the homemade pepper sauce added flavour. The sauce was everything! I wish could have taken some home. I would still recommend La Kaz for a quick lunch or snack on the go. Next time I’ll probably try Cap 99 which seems better suited for dinner.
The City of Bioderma
My entire trip to Paris was fuelled by the desire to visit City Pharma. The pharmacy de jour which stocks every cult French skincare brand you can imagine at the best prices. We passed a million pharmacies en route, but when we finally arrived I knew why this is considered the mecca. The floor-to-ceiling shelves are stacked with Bioderma, La Roche Posay, Nuxe and more. I stuck to my list despite the temptation of lip balms and hand creams everywhere. The best part is there are several duo packs available which offer two for one value. I’d definitely make a special trip just to shop at City Pharma.
Paris by night
As the sun set, we headed to a bar in the Saint Germain area. I cooed over the stereotypical Parisian Chic that filled the streets: the little tables with wine and women in blazers smoking. The city is even prettier at night when the lights illuminate the buildings.
We conveniently arrived at the Eiffel Tower minutes before 10pm, in time for the flashing light show. This was my third time in Paris but first time visiting the Eiffel Tower. I have to say it’s beautiful at night, especially when it twinkles.
The ride to the ‘Sommet’ aka the top level of the Eiffel Tower was painful and scary. I’ve been to the top of the Empire State building and the Burj Khalifa but nothing prepared me for this. The lift is old and rickety and the ride is anything but smooth. You arrive at level one, then take the second lift to the top – I nearly cried. I’m not sure if it was the light wind or the architecture of the tower, but I could not wait to be back on solid ground.
After heading back to the hotel to shower, we ended our night at the 24-hour La Maison de l’Aubrac restaurant. I was underwhelmed by the steak, which was chewy and overcooked despite being medium rare. A third of the menu was unavailable at that hour so that may have been why. The ambience was nice and judging by the spirited table behind us, the wine was tres bien! I don’t think Paris is a city for foodies, but I’m happy for someone to prove me wrong?
We left Paris the next morning, concluding our short but sweet visit. The city has definitely grown on me. Until next time Parih!