When the opportunity arose to visit Paris for three hours, I couldn’t help but be excited. It may only be three hours in Paris but isn’t that better than three hours not in Paris? And the reason for this short but sweet trip? The launch of In Paris, a stylish guide to the City of Light as seen through the eyes of 20 different inspiring women.
And celebrating such beautiful book, also meant arriving in style! Our group of around 25 was booked into an exclusive private carriage on the Eurostar, giving us the opportunity to get up close and personal with the authors. Jeanne Damas and Lauren Bastide are the quintessential Parisian woman dressed with effortless style and with a smile of sassy red-lipstick! Jeanne Damas, who is the lead author of the book, is a model and fashion designer and was called ‘the coolest, most beautiful French girl in France’ by GQ. Lauren Bastide is the producer and host of the feminist podcast La Poudre and former editor of the French Elle.
The two-hour and twenty-minute journey from London St Pancras to Paris Gare du Nord meant we had plenty of time to chat to the authors and look through the book. The pages feature the profiles of twenty inspiring women living very different lives in Paris. There’s stylist Natalie Dumeix who for the last twenty years has been selling her designs in a boutique near Le Square Trousseau, fourteen year old Crystal Murray who grew up in the city and legendary antique dealer Françoise Golovanoff. A diverse mixture of women each with a story to tell, dispelling the myth that there is only one type of Parisian woman. There’s also 100 colour photographs with tips on hidden gems in Paris and French art de vivre, such as the best red lipstick and wear to kiss while wearing it! The book itself is gorgeous to look at, coming in a Instagrammable Millenial pink and small enough to find in your Chanel handbag!
The book is published by Penguin and I had a good chat with the ladies who’d come along from the publishing house as used to work there myself – long before the days of blogging and even before I knew Mr S! We arrived in Paris at about 3.45 and had to be back at Gare du Nord at 7.30 so there wasn’t much time. Laura and I headed off from the station before finding this gorgeous carousel in front of the Sacre Coeur. If you’re anything like me, you know an Instagram opportunity when you see one so we got a few photos around there.
It was pretty crowded so we headed to Montmatre, which to be honest was even more crowded! It was a lovely sunny day and everyone seemed to be out drinking coffee on the pavement or sipping a glass of wine.
I’ve been to Paris a fair few times now but my heart always skips a beat when I see the Eiffel Tower. Laura and I had seen a really gorgeous spot on Instagram to get the perfect view of the tower in the background, so we jumped in a uber and headed up the hill looking for this location. In the current Instagram-obsessed world sometimes these spots have queues of people lining up to get ‘the shot’. But we were lucky that we’d finally found a uncrowded spot and we didn’t have to wait long to get our photos.
We were running out of time and there were still so many photos that we wanted to get but in the end decided it wasn’t worth the stress and of course we didn’t want to miss our train. Back at the station and home by 10pm, it was all over in a blink of an eye!
The next day, I woke up almost unable to believe I’d been in Paris just the day before – but I had some great photos, that beautiful book and some wonderful memories!
I was a guest of Penguin Randomhouse.