Jardin du Palais-Royal

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

The weekend weather was a little weird to say the least. One minute rain, the next minute sun and so on. Just like London in fact. I was well and truly duped when I was told Paris weather would be better. 

Luckily the sun came out just long enough on Sunday while I walked with a friend through the Jardin du Palais-Royal, which I'm embarrassed to admit I'd never been to before. I had a lovely day seeing the Dries van Noten exhibition, which if you're in Paris, is a must-see. Followed by a big bowl of udon noodles at Kunitoraya and then a stroll to Café Kitsuné for a takeaway tea. Of course if you go to Café Kitsuné you can't not wander around le Jardin du Palais Royal as it's right there. The flowers were out in full bloom, so I took a few snaps. Hope you like them! 

A Room of My Own

Monday, 28 April 2014

As I write this, I keep looking up and staring out of my (emphasis on 'my') window at the big southern magnolia tree that stands towering over the little courtyard that I now cross everyday on my way out onto the street. Anyone who knows me in Paris, knows how hard I have worked to make what I now have a reality - my own little studio in Paris, or in the words of Virginia Woolf: 'a room of one's own'. I mention these words as they have been on repeat over the past few months as I've stayed at friends' flats, carting my suitcase from place to place as I sought out more work and saved up enough money for a deposit to live on my own. 

It is not easy moving to a new city. When I first moved here, I admittedly had it easy, and although the last few months have been tough, I persevered and fought (probably more than I've ever done before) to stay and make this city my own.

When people ask how I've done it, I will answer: with determination, hard work and a lot of help from my friends. I'm not someone who likes to rely on people, but I've had to allow myself to be vulnerable and ask friends for help. As a result, I've learnt a lot about myself, learnt not to take things for granted, learnt to stand on my own two feet again and learnt to become a better person, friend and girlfriend.

I've learnt more about myself in these three short months than probably the last few years living in London. I could have gone back, and I did think about it, but I feel so much better and happier for sticking my heels in the ground, making a decision to stay and making my dream to live in Paris a reality.

Spring Blossom

Monday, 21 April 2014

Apologies for my radio silence recently, but the last couple of weeks have been chaotic to say the least. Firstly I've been spending all my time flat hunting and am pleased to announce that I have finally found somewhere to live. I am now the proud renter of a studio in the Marais, yep - centre of Paris - you don't get much better than that. It's only until the end of September, but it means I can finally breathe and stop relying on all my lovely friends to house me! I will be forever grateful for their kindness and quite frankly couldn't have done it without them. 

I moved in at the end of last week and am now back in Canterbury, UK (where I grew up) for Easter and to say goodbye to my little cat, Lily, who passed away last Tuesday... She lived a long and happy life, but sadly age got the better of her, so mum and the vet thought it best to put her down. I knew her for 15 years and grew up with her. She watched me grow from a teenager into the person I am today. I'm an only child so her company meant so much more to me. I loved coming home from university, London and now Paris to see her, where she would always be waiting for cuddles. I can sense a huge void in the house where she once was and have spent the last couple of days thinking I could see her curled up in a corner, or hear her everyday sounds and movements. Some may think it strange how attached you can become to a little animal, but they really do become part of your life and family. 

Although I'm jumping on the bandwagon a little here, with photos of blossoms (check out Carin’s post, her photos are spectacular and also Linda’s beautiful styling), I thought they would be the perfect images to mark Lily’s passing. I couldn't think of a better way of celebrating her life, than the signs of new life that spring brings in the form of beautiful pink and white flowers. 

Hope you’re all having happy Easters and stuffing your faces full of chocolate. I am.

Blackburn Coffee

Monday, 7 April 2014

Another day, another cafe post. I've got a lot going on at the moment, what with all this flat-hunting, so need all the caffeine I can get my mitts on. On Friday I visited the newly opened Blackburn Coffee (no, I didn't see the UK connection - town & football club - until my foodie journalist friend Sophie pointed it out to me) in the 10th. The coffee's good, but even better is the interior. I'm sure you've figured out by now that I have a thing for interior decor, and the Danish design magazines piled up on the back table, which looks like a large slab of driftwood fashioned into a work bench, immediately won me over. The space is a mix of scandinavian design (a big trend in Paris right now) with white round tables, white walls, mixed in with some cosy, rustic touches such as a log cabin-esque wood-panelled wall at the back and colourful cushions and knick knacks that give it that lived in feel.

The owners, Sofiane and Sarah are friendly and welcoming, making you feel like you've just stepped into their living room. Sofiane makes the coffee and Sarah cooks a range of tartes, quiches, open sandwiches with avocado and salad, which I'll definitely be coming back for. 

Blackburn Coffee, 52 Rue Faubourg Saint-Martin.

The man behind the machine, Sofiane
Sarah getting culinary 

La Trésorerie

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

I had a brilliant start to the new month yesterday. Lauren, who is pretty clued up on all things Paris, found out about a new cafe/shop opening, called La Trésorerie (it used to be the old treasury and you can still see the bars on the windows) so invited a few of us along. It was so new we got a good whiff of fresh paint as we walked into the cafe, and while we sat and drank our coffee we could see the staff still buzzing around and making the final finishing touches to the shop next door. 

The cafe serves good filter coffee, fresh orange juice and Swedish food - Carin (our favourite Swede) ordered a smörgås, better known as an open sandwich, for us all to try. 

At 11:30 they opened the doors to the store and we quickly piled in to get the first look at the space. It's a mecca for all things home, aka my kind of heaven. They sell crockery, furniture, linen, pots, pans, glassware, Turkish towels and even paint, by some of the best brands from all over the world. So of course there were Swedish brands, as well as the famous English brand, Denby who make beautiful crockery. 

La Trésorerie, 11 rue du Chateau d'eau, Paris 10th.
Carin cutting the smörgås so we could all taste a bite

Katie and Carin perusing the crockery
One of the owners in his lovely yellow apron

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