A couple of weeks ago I picked up my daughter from school and off we went to Paris for an adventure. I absolutely love the fact that you can get the bus into Central London and then the train to Central Paris. It's so cool that I need to do it more often and after this time in Paris I know I definitely will be.
Last year Imogen and I travelled to the USA together for my book tour. Living in a family of six this time together, just the two of us, is so very special. We were both really missing it, so planning a trip in Paris, partly for my work and partly for us to spend time together was perfect.
I have only been to Paris twice before. Both times were whistle stop day trips and I have been dreaming of going back for years. I had no idea where in Paris I wanted us to stay. And then one day I stumbled across Apartments Actually on Instagram and fell in love with the charming looking apartments. They all looked so perfectly Parisienne and dreamy. And also really photogenic! Whenever I go away somewhere I am always looking for photo opportunities, so finding accommodation that lends itself to a little photo shoot is just as important as the location for me.
Sarah at Apartments Actually was so incredible helpful and enabled us to pick the right apartment for us. The location was just perfect. We could walk nearly everywhere that was on our list, including Merci (more about the gorgeous shops in next week’s Prop Shop feature). I felt really safe, which is always a really important factor for me when I am travelling with the children on my own. And we both felt really looked after with lists from Sarah of great places to eat that would suit my 9 year old, flower shops, stationery shops and beautiful, photogenic streets. And not to forget the amazing Rose Bakery where we had breakfast and stocked up on the most delicious gluten-free cake for our train journey home.
We stayed in the Charlot apartment, which was so beautifully styled that we felt like we were in a film but a film that we felt so at home in. The attention detail was wonderful and it was the best smelling place I have ever stayed!
Wandering the beautiful streets of Le Marais district was so inspiring. We both stopped to take photographs every few minutes, falling in love with doors, window boxes, the gorgeous buildings and shop fronts. “This is just how I imagined Paris to be Mummy.” It really was so special. I felt like I was soaking up creativity and ideas at every turn. I love how travel does that. Just being somewhere new and enjoying it all in the moment is so good for you. Not only because it’s relaxing but because it can help to reinvigorate you and top up your bank of inspiration and energy. We were only there for two days but even this short trip was enough to feel like this.
We walked to the Seine, looked a Notre Dame, rode on the carousels, pottered around the shops and soaked it all up. We also went to see the Impressionist paintings in the stunning Musee D’Orsay just like I did with my parents years ago. Those paintings have stuck with me throughout my life and that stunning building has been somewhere that I often think back to. Watching Imogen see these paintings for the first time was like watching myself all those years ago. A beautiful moment and one we will both remember along with our trip to the MOMA and the new Whitney Gallery in New York last year.
I want to be back in Paris again as soon as I can. I totally fell in love with the city and left so much unexplored. A rule I always have for places. Make sure there’s something you have to go back for.
When I go back I will be planning the first Makelight Paris Workshop! The workshop will be taking place in the Apartment Actually apartments. How exciting is that? I really can’t wait to share the magic with you.
If you are interested in hearing about the Paris Workshop first then please join our special Paris List and we will be in touch as soon as details are available!