At last I can share with you my photos from my fabulous trip to Paris last week with La Redoute as their brand ambassador! I have so many images that I've decided to split the three days up as I don't want to publish just one photo-heavy post and slow down load time for you - look out for the second one next weekend, and the third the weekend after that.
So after winning La Redoute's competition to find two brand ambassadors for 12 months (I still can't believe I won!), I had very little time to choose outfits, pack a bag and get myself up to London to catch the Eurostar straight through to Paris. I met the two wonderful girls Sarah and Annie (our chaperones for the three days) at St. Pancreas station early on the Thursday morning, and as the other winner Nicolette of Archie & the Rug is based in Paris a few days a month, we arranged to meet her at Gare du Nord at the other end. An itinerary had been drawn up for us, so we didn't have to worry about where to eat or how to get places... it had all been done for us, and with lots of free time as well.
I cannot thank La Redoute enough for such a wonderful trip - it was so well organised and the four of us had the most wonderful time. I couldn't have asked for three nicer girls to spend my time with... the thought of spending three days with people I'd never met before was a little worrying (who knows whether you'll get on?) - but I'm being totally honest when I say we got on brilliantly. Nicolette and I were provided with goody bags and spending money, so all we had to do was enjoy our three days - I hope the great time we had comes across in the photos... here we go!
We stayed in the Hotel Gabriel in Le Marais and we each had our own rooms which were tiny but absolutely beautiful - and just right for one. I love staying in boutique hotels if I get the chance, and this place was just lovely.
This was the outfit I travelled up in - pastels overload in my La Redoute pink heart motif sweater and M&S mint trousers. Loafers were essential for comfort.
After lunch and a bit of a rest in our rooms we went for dinner at Huitres et Saumons de Passy, a really small but wonderful seafood restaurant with the friendliest staff and the most delicious scallops ever. Of all the restaurants we ate in during our stay, there was only one place with staff that weren't friendly (not even a thank you at the end) - so I found it was something of a misconception that you get terrible service in Paris. They do of course love their food, so they go to great lengths to describe what everything is made of and want you to enjoy it... we found them all really accommodating and helpful.
So after dinner we headed to - of course - the Eiffel Tower for a trip up in the lift and timed so that we'd see the light show on the hour. It's covered in Christmas tree-style lights that twinkle on the hour every hour at night - see my Instagram video here of the light show. Just stunning.
If you've not been to Paris or visited the Eiffel Tower before, you'll be amazed at just how enormous it is. I often find that many famous landmarks in the world are much smaller "in the flesh" than they appear to be (Stonehenge, the Statue of Liberty, the Little Mermaid), but la Tour Eiffel is big. It may be because you can stand underneath and still see it - how many structures or buildings can you do that with? - so you get this amazing sense of its enormous size and beauty. I can thoroughly recommend going at night to see the light show, though if, like me, you don't have much of a head for heights, you may find the lift kind of terrifying, and the walk around the top level (with the strongest wind you may ever experience) petrifying... apart from that, you'll be fine!
The view of Paris at night was breathtaking. I have been to the city twice before but not yet for a romantic trip; the first time was with my parents when I was a teenager, and the second was when I was a teacher and we took the children (late teens) on a trip there. I must do it one day for romantic reasons. It is the city of love, after all.
Part two next weekend... our "boutiques of Paris" shopping extravaganza and the best macarons known to mankind. Have you been to Paris - and did you see the Eiffel Tower at night? Or do you have dreams of going there one day? Do share in the comments!
Sweater: c/o La Redoute, Trousers: c/o Marks & Spencer, Loafers: c/o Lotus Shoes (on the day I also wore a scarf c/o La Redoute, Bag c/o La Redoute, Trench c/o Laura Ashley)
Linking up to: Visible Monday, Monday Mingle, Funday Monday, Style Sessions, Trend Spin Link-Up, What I Wore Wednesday, Three-Fer Thursday, Passion for Fashion Friday, Friday's Fab Favourites, Share in Style, Sunday Style Link-Up