Where to eat in Paris (and a bunch of nice photos)

I must say I much prefer Paris in the summer but ergh, let’s face it, it’s always beautiful.

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Where we stayed

In a cute studio apartment in Le Marais.

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What we did: 

Walked around the different areas of Paris, explored museums, spent some pennies at Chanel, went on a day trip to Versailles.

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Where we ate (well, where you should eat in Paris): 

Breakfast/Brunch

Season, 1 Rue Charles-François Dupuis

A really cute cafe. Expect the typical cafe foods: avocado toast, acai bowls. It’s similar to Farm Girl in that there seems to be quite a focus on health. I ordered the tumeric latte and matcha bowl (I know, super basic), but hey, it was delish.

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Ob-La-Di, 54 Rue de Saintonge

The menu isn’t exactly extensive but what they do do, they do well. That is, granola and toast. Get the tartine avocat with chimichurri sauce and pomegranates – it’s quite different. I have no idea why I ordered an iced almond latte considering it was sub-10 degrees.

Hardware Societe, 10 Rue Lamarck

An Australian cafe so you know you’re in for a treat. Amazing when you compare it to the cafes on offer (both in Paris and Europe, generally) but very similar to what you’d get at home. Excellent coffee, extra breakfast options eg. I got the pork belly and fried eggs. As if you’d find that in an otherwise typical European cafe. There’s a bit of a wait but worth it if you’re craving a taste of home. They do flat whites here.

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Wild & The Moon, 55 Rue Charlot

If your body’s full of wine, cheese and/or pastries, head here. It’s where everybody heads to detox. Think organic, cold-pressed juices and plant-based dishes. Sugar-free, fat-free, etc. etc.

Afternoon tea/snacks

Au Bouquet Saint Paul, 85 Rue Saint-Antoine

Baked. Camembert. ‘Tis all you need. Excellent service here also.

DSC02618Cafe Kitsune, 51 Galerie de Montpensier

You’ve probably seen their coffee cups all over Instagram. They do a good cofee – it’s right by the beautiful Jardin du Palais Royal so a good pit stop post-Lourve.

Laduree, 75 Av. des Champs-Élysées

It’s like tea and scones in London, it’s just gotta be done. And if you want to be extra bougie why not on the Champs Elysee, right by Louis Vuitton? Pictured: the lemon cake and raspberry and rose puff pastry.

DSC02743Angelina, 226 Rue de Rivoli

Calling all sweet tooths! This is a must – their hot chocolate is so decadent; so rich. For those who prefer something less diabetic, opt for the dark chocolate.

Au Petit Versailles du Marais, 1 Rue Tiron

A really cute pastry shop near our AirBnb. To be honest, you could eat at any patisserie and I’m sure you wouldn’t be disappointed. C’est la vie in Paree!

Dinner

Bistrot Chez France, 9 Rue Amélie

Gaspard de la Nuit, 6 Rue des Tournelles

L’As du Fallafel, 32 Rue des Rosiers 

Okay look I don’t remember too much about the above two restaurants. I mean they were delicious, I’m sure, but not exactly memorable. This last one however, L’As du Fallafel (!!!) is the absolute shit. We went here two nights in a row and both times it was packed to the rafters – both inside the actual restaurant and the takeaway queue. It’s cheap, it’s flavourful and it’s no fuss.

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My European beauty haul

I swear I lucked out with my colour scheme.

I say European, but I really mean London. You know, Boots, Harrods, M&S, Superdrug. Absolute heaven. I could’ve bought more, obviously, but my luggage was packed to the rafters with knits and boots and down jackets (tip: Europe in January is a crazy idea!).

And, of course, I went a little nuts at City Pharma in Paris, much to my partner’s dismay. Bioderma, Nuxe, Biafine, Homeoplasmine … oh boy was it chaotic. Go in there with a plan. Know what you want, get it, and get out.

Anywho, they aren’t pictured here (mainly because I was too lazy to go and grab them – oops!). But what is pictured:

  • Tanya Burr Cosmetics Birthday Suit Eye Palette
  • Nuxe Lip Balm
  • Charlotte Tilbury Lipstick in Stoned Rose
  • Charlotte Tilbury Brow Lift in Naomi
  • Collection Lasting Collection Concealer
  • Maison Margiela Replica fragrance in By the Fireplace
  • Rosie for Autograph Cream Eyeshadow Stick in Almond Eyes
  • Sleek Highlighting Palette in Precious Metals

Where to eat and where to find good coffee in London

You’re welcome.

This is the first trip since New York where I’ve actively sought out good food.

I’m kicking myself for gallivanting all over Europe, all over the “must-do cities” like Berlin, Amsterdam, Vienna, Rome, Venice and not exploring its culinary offerings properly.

But not this time.

I researched. I wrote myself a list. I starred so many places on Google Maps. I was ready.

So without further ado, here are some of my recommendations.

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Where to eat for breakfast

Dishoom, 5 Stable St

There’s a few of these around London so you’re in luck. Perfect for when it’s cold or when you’re just after a hearty meal. The house chai is to-die for.

Farm Girl, 59A Portobello Rd

For those after a health kick / a detox from all the yellow and brown-hued meals. This place serves smashed avo, smoothies, coloured lattes – all the superfoods. It’s also nested in the cute area of Notting Hill so go for a little peruse prior.

Granger and Co, Stanley Building, 7 Pancras Square

If you’re craving an Australian-style brunch and not this baked beans and eggs only business, eat here. There’s a few around London and they’re pretty fancy with their dishes – I had a soft shell crab and chorizo kim chi fried rice and an almond milk-spiced chai.

Where to eat for lunch

Borough Market, 8 Southwark St

Okay this is an obvious one. I went here the first time I was ever in London so this an exception to the “new me”. It’s great for sampling different dishes and there’s almost something for everybody. My personal favourite? The paella. That and the fresh fruit on offer (because we all know how hard that is to find in central London).

NOPI 21-22 Warwick St

Ottolenghi’s all-day brasserie with dishes designed to be shared.

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Where to eat for dinner

Strut & Cluck, 151 Commercial St

Modern Middle Eastern food – absolutely delicious. A cute little restaurant in Shoreditch with impeccable service, you need to order the labneh, smoked eggplant and lamb kofta.

Sketch, 9 Conduit St

Save your pennies because this place is expensiveeeeee. It does, however, also have the best interiors and bathroom/toilet (strange, I know, but true) of any restaurant I’ve been to. I hear they also do afternoon tea so that may be a more inexpensive way of checking the place out/ticking it off your list.

Breddos Tacos, 82 Goswell Rd, Islington

Great Mexican-style tacos and cocktails. You should try and get there early though because there is a bit of a wait – we were seated at the bench by the door. It was fine but I mean not ideal when you’ve ordered what feels like a zillion dishes.

Sheba, 136 Brick Ln

Okay I know there are a ton of Indian restaurants on Brick Lane and sometimes it can get quite daunting, what with everyone yelling their offers at you. I highly recommend this place. It was actually where we had our last dinner and boy was it memorable.

Quick Bites

Biscuiteers, 194 Kensington Park Rd

Stumbled upon this place because if it’s extremely cute exterior but BOY OH BOY we had the BEST carrot cake of our lives here! We still regularly recall the cake and would go back and order five more if possible. A definite must if you’re in the area and the service was just wonderful.

Debenhams, 334-348 Oxford St

Okay we went to use their toilet but stayed for scones and tea because honestly you just have to when in England. And it was delicious comfort food (as you’d expect).

Coffee

Trade, 47 Commercial Street

Kaffeine, 66 Great Titchfield St

Flat White, 17 Berwick St

What to pack: the travel essentials

After a few long haul flights, I think I’ve got it down pat.

Here are some things I think you’ll need when you go travelling (and to store in your carry-on if possible):

  • Passport (obviously). But I’ve been loving The Daily Edited’s travel wallet to carry it in – it has compartments for credit cards, boarding passes, as well as a detachable passport cover. Very handy.
  • Travel cards. And by that, I mean prepaid cards, transport cards (in my case I’m heading to London again so I’m bringing along the Oyster card I picked up back in 2013.) I’m going to be carrying all this in a card wallet.
  • Phone, because, duh.
  • A fragrance. Less than 100mL, obviously, and something seasonal.
  • A compact camera. I love the Sony RX100 III – I’ve had it since South America. It takes beautiful photos, has a great battery life and I particularly love the selfie mode when you can’t find anybody to take a picture of you.
  • Then some basic beauty essentials (there’s obviously a lot more where this came from but this is literally just the bare minimum): a lip colour, sunscreen and maybe something for the eyes.

What to do in the Atacama Desert

To start off, let me just say, you don’t have to pre-book any of this.

Most of the time your hostel or hotel will have deals with tour operators so you’ll save some dollars if you just buy your tickets when you get there. There are so many companies, they’re competitive, and very frequent.

The weather varies out here in San Pedro de Atacama, the driest desert in the world, so a few things I recommend if you’re thinking of heading out this way:

  • Sunscreen
  • Rain jacket
  • Insect repellent
  • Torch
  • A rich moisturiser
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Portable phone charger if you’re into your tech (it gets so cold at some of these places that devices will just switch off)

I’m not actually joking, you can go from wearing two layers, to eight, to six, within the span of a few hours. It’s ridiculous. So pack in layers. And pack multiple items because they’re bound to get wet/dirty pretty darn quickly. Or, bring a bar of soap and be ready to handwash everything.

Anywho, without further adieu, here are some of my recs:

Moon Valley

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It’s just absolutely stunning. The Valle de la Luna is out of this world – on this tour you’ll get to explore the landscape, explore caves and crevices. One second you’ll be walking along rocky terrain, the next you’re slugging it up sand dunes.

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Be prepared for it to go from hot to cold just like that *snaps fingers*. Also ready to take some stunning panoramic photographs.

The Lagunas

Lagunas Miscanti y Miniques are, again, absolutely breathtaking (apologies – I’m going to run out of these adjectives soon, but honestly, everything here is sublime). Just look at these photos! The water, so crisp, the sky, so clear.

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Piedras Rojas

Okay, I can’t say this was my favouriteeeee tour, mainly because our tour bus broke down in the middle of the road and we had to wait outside in the freezing, roaring, chilly wind until a replacement came. I’d never felt cold like that day. It was horrendous.

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But again, just look at Mother Nature. And the flamingos!

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Geyser del Tatio

Okay, it may stink a little, but the whole thing is pretty damn cool. Just tons and tons of geysers.

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Cycling and Hiking in the desert

I’m not sure if there’s a specific name for this tour, but it was organised by one of the guys at our hostel. And let me tell you it was arduous. It was tiring. But it was all so worth it.

It involved a 15km hike, which featured a little dip in a nearby waterfall – again with the layers thing (I wore a swimsuit underneath some thermals, along with activewear). Then, a 35km ride through the desert. Oh boy was it tough. There was so much cycling on this trip and, of course, to accompany that, a lot of hilly terrain. A must-do – it really makes you appreciate nature and I guess, at the same time, contemplate your mortality as you’re dying for breath.

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Where to eat in New York City

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And here it is – finally! A post dedicated entirely to what I ate during my time in New York City. Em and I ate and drank at about 60 different places in four weeks. I kept a detailed list on my phone to make sure this was documented accurately because, you know, food is life.

Before flying out we had a Google Doc with about two pages dedicated to cafes, restaurants and bars to check out – most of them recommended by friends and the Internet. Of course every now and then we’d stray off course and turn to trusty Google Maps (“a good Italian place with 4 stars or more within walking distance”) or Instagram (#nyceats).

I don’t know how to accurately compare food in NYC to food in Sydney because we did edit our list quite well but overall, food in New York = bigger portions (oh my god), generally more bad for you, more experimental. Continue reading