Any way, onto Paris! Our apartment was truely parisienne, on the third floor of a beautiful old building complete with inner courtyard and basil planted window sill. What I loved most about Paris was that it was just so, well, Parisienne. Everything you think Paris should be, it is. People running around with freshly baked baguettes, brightly coloured flowers on window sills (even in the most run down of neighbourhoods) and patisseries on every street corner.
Our apartment building in Montmartre
We did all the toursity things - Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Sacre Couer, Arc du Triomphe, the Louvre etc and also spent a day out at the Chateau de Versailles. And then David left for his conference in Normandy and I spent a week exploring Paris by myself.
Eating my first pan au chocolat on the steps of the Sacre Couer on our first morning in Paris
The Sacre CouerI spent most of my time exploring Montmartre (except for a visit to a Miss Mona Lisa for the day at the Louvre) and went a little crazy at the fabric shops (okay, more like really crazy...). A quick tip if you are heading to Paris for fabric - go into the stores that say 'Coupons' in the shop names. These stores sell off cuts from their larger counter parts (I spent most of my time in the Marche' Saint-Pierre Coupons shop) of some of the most beautiful fabrics. Most of them are 3metres or longer and they are much cheaper than going into the main stores and buying off the bolt. It's also useful if your French isn't too hot as you just search through the piles (oh so many piles...), take your wares up to the counter and pay. No asking for specific lengths etc. The piles are also handily categorised - cotton, wool, polyester, silk...
I had to tone my fabric shopping down after a few days as it was so heavy I was worried I wouldn't be allowed it all onto the plane (I went for heavier weight cottons mostly). But I am really pleased with everything I found and have a few projects lined up - now I just need another holiday so I can find the time to sew them up!
I also went away with a few French fashion magazines ranging from the 30s-50s including some Marie Claire's. While I might not be able to read them, they are amazing for inspiration and you never know, I might even get around to scanning a couple in a little while.
I could go on and on... but next up, I'll post about London (I loved London the most, I really miss it!).