Friday, 18 March 2016

J'aime Paris










Bonjour monsieur et madame!

Went for trip to Paris earlier this month :)
4th to 8th March to be precise.

There wasn't even any holiday lol 
but I managed to fit it in my timetable.

Left on Friday and came back on Tuesday, 
then the next day I had to rush to uni for presentation.

And... end of this month I'm going to Budapest with Edward.
Like a really impromptu trip for Easter. Hehe. First time travelling in outside UK with Edward!

Anyway, back to Paris! I had lots of fun.
I went with my mummy and she planned the whole trip! Hehe.
So thanks mummy!



Mini Eiffel Tower at hotel lobby! Lol.
We stayed at Prince Albert Louvre Hotel.

Rue Saint-Hyacinthe! It's a five minute walk away from the Louvre Museum.
The buildings in Paris are all quite old though, like few hundred years old, similar to Florence.
I guess they are really into preserving their old buildings.



We didn't do much except explore our nearby neighbourhood
and had dinner for our first night!


Dinner was really gooood though. 
We just looked for the most Parisian looking cafe to have our dinner.
It didn't disappoint! We had our dinner at Bistrot d'Edmond.

I was starving as I only ate breakfast the whole day.
I ordered Risotto with Chanterelles and Truffles. 


Cafe Gourmand is my mum's favourite dessert.
We had it everyday and ALMOST every single meal.
Lol. It's basically espresso shot with four other mini desserts,
which will vary from cafe to cafe.

Sometimes it's macaroons, creme brulee, tart, pudding, cake. 
You never really know and that's why it's hard to get bored of it.
hehe.






Every meal was an average 25 euros per person including desserts, tax and drinks.
I only spent like... 10 euro the whole trip. Lol!
Cos mummy was there. For my Italy trip I was on my own. 

25 euros is like... RM114 after I converted.
Euro is getting strong actually, while Pound is dropping.
It GBP was 6.7 and 6.8 one point at its highest during last year September.
Now it's around 5.86. It makes a huge difference.

If you're paying for something like 10 000 pounds (like your tuition fees)
then the difference between a rate of 6.8 and 5.8 would mean forking
an extra RM10 000.

But.. cost of living is higher here in the Europe
so if you live here it's fine! Like my mummy lol.


When in Paris, macaroons are a must!
I tried a few of their homegrown brands,
Pierre Herme, Laduree and Maxim's.

Pierre Herme was by far my favourite
LIKE FAVOURITE FAVOURITE!!
Their macaroon shells were really light, fluffy and chewy.
YUMS. The picture above is from Pierre Herme.
I think it was like.. 8 macaroons for 18 euro? I forgot. :x



When it comes to dessert and pattisserie, you can always count on the French.
They treat it like art lol. Fit for royalty! 




We went to La Vallee Village the next day (second day).

Look! There's Pierre Herme hehe.

La Vallee is a designer outlet village. You can find brands like
Polo Ralph Lauren, Prada, Gucci, Calvin Klein at a heavily discounted price, 
from 30%-70%. 

I've been to Bicester Village in UK and The Mall in Florence.
La Vallee is smaller than both of them, but you can still find some good deals.
Bicester is the biggest I think? The Mall has really big Prada and Gucci outlets.
But some of the Italian salesperson can be quite rude and there are hoards of 
Asian people trying to buy everything they can afford.

It's true! No matter what country I go, if it's a designer village, 
I can guarantee that THERE ARE MORE ASIANS THAN EUROPEANS.
Like seriously. Most stores even hire their own "Asian" salesperson
since their purchasing power is so high.

That's because there's a huge gap between the prices they pay back in their own country
and compared to buying them in Europe. And they just go crazy and want to buy everything. Lol. 
It's actually quite funny! HAHAHAH

La Vallee is worth the visit, but I would recommend only spending
half a day or around 3-5 hours. Especially if you're having time constraints!
I was in Paris for 5 days so it's pretty chill.

The other time I was in Paris was when I was like.. 9.
On this whirlwind trip where I was dragged along several countries
in the span of like 10 or 12 days. LOL. Almost everyday I'd wake up in a different country.

It is nice as a taster, but tiring! I like taking my time to explore.






Cafe Natalie, I think??

It's inside La Vallee Village.


Cafe Gourmand! Different items again.
They always have macaroons though :3

I always share this with mummy and my mum is the one who
likes to drink coffee. Like two to three cups of day kind of like.

HAHA. I used to drink coffee once in a while in Malaysia but I stopped
when I came here. Cos there was once I drank and got a headache!
I miss having green tea latte tho.


With mummy!


People always think I'm Japanese here in Europe.
They always say arigato and kawaii. But I also get "ni hao" often.
LOLOL. I think it's the way I dress? HAHAHHA.
And wtf someone said I looked like 15 years old.
Asians look very young to them!

Anyway I feel like in Italy guys are not ashamed to like catcall 
and ETC but in France and UK it's more toned down?
French waiters look very flirty when they talk though.
But not to me. To my mum ^^ HAHBWHAHWHDOD




Some church that we always pass by. HAHA.
I was wearing cape. And some stockings underneath that quite short skirt.
And safety pants! It wasn't that cold that day because of the sun.

I think it was around 10 celsius to 0 celsius ish when I was there.
The winter is a bit late this year though.
There was also some light snow one morning!!




Somewhere near the Louvre.
There's a lot of Gypsies though, so beware.
They come in groups, they're all women.
They often hold a board and ask you to sign.

My mum and I just frown and repeat NO NO NONONONONONO.
Then they will go away. Clutch at your bag when they come near you!
They were eyeing really hard at my bag and I got quite scared actually!



Furla keychain!


Pastel bags! Thanks to mummy!

One from Furla, their metropolis crossbody, and another crossbody bag from Coach.
So pastel! HEHE. I've never had a purple bag though. 

One for birthday and one advance graduation. HEHE.
The Coach bag actually holds quite a lot though!
Both bags were around 150 euro or RM680.

Such a steal compared to Malaysia!
They retail for like RM1k ish

And onto bags.

HAHHAHA. I did a very silly thing.

I took my flight to Paris on Friday.
But one day before, I actually snooped over to London last minute
to purchase a bag! 


Lol. The bag was huge! And it also drizzled halfway.

So.. the thing is I asked my dad if I could get a bag for my birthday and he was like.. okay.
At first I said it was 2000 pounds but it's actually like 3500 pounds... HAHHAA.

Cos actually I thought of getting GST, but then I thought
the jumbo flaps would keep increasing by a substantial amount so better get it first.
(what a logic)

And I also remembered their last price increase was April last year and I had 
A FEELING. That price increase was going to happen soon. 

So I bit the bullet and got it!
Daddy gave me 3000 pounds and I took 425 from my savings to cover the rest.
HEHE. But anyway it's still Daddy's money.

Well! I do feel very spoiled and grateful this birthday.
A trip to Paris and new handbags and lots of good food.
Nothing more I can ask for really.

So thank you daddy and mummy!

And nooo I still have savings left if it was more I wouldn't buy it ehehe cos I still want to have some money for travelling. I expect this bag to last me for ages like pass down to my daughter ages.

So! Here goes the unboxing!


Wrapped up in the ribbon and camellia flower as usual!


So many layers of packaging


I like the dust bag that comes with the classic flaps!
It has a drawing of Coco Chanel by Karl Lagerfeld.



I purchased it at New Bond Street!
Because it's a really big flagship store in London.
It was a Thursday afternoon though, so it wasn't crowded as usual.

The shopping experience was so-so. I think the salesperson was called Alicia or something.
She sounded like French. 

And she kept saying how to take care of the bag.
Like... don't take it out when it's raining, don't take it out when it's sunny,
don't overstuff it. BLABLABALBA. 

And I'm like nodding but I know I'm going to use the heck out of this bag.
It ANNOYS ME. When I buy something but can't use it/have to baby it.
I wore it in the rain in Paris. I stuffed a mini water bottle and umbrella inside.

LOL.I mean come on if I throw so much money it better damn well be useable and durable.
So far it still looks new! My other Chanel flap on the other hand looks quite worn already,
but that one's lambskin and in a lighter colour.


It comes with a booklet too! Pictures of how the bag is made etc!



There!


Chanel Jumbo Flap in gold hardware in caviar skin.
IT was quite a mouthful when asking for the bags to try on 
cos you have to mention the style the hardware the material blabla.

I wanted to get this one last year actually but ended up getting a Lady Dior.
I love both! 

And I finally got a black bag. I have a lot a lot of pink bags.
LOL. What if I hate pink one day. HMM.
I just see this as an investment piece, corny as it sounds.

Like a durable and classic piece I can still wear when I'm older.
It does feel quite mature for me! Cos I'm so used to bright colours.
I love the gold hardware though. 



The double flap.

There's a lot of compartments inside. You can button the inner flap for extra security. 
There is a zipped compartment on the top flap, I used it to store some ribbons and tissue.
The ribbon is for tying the chain shorter, if you want to!



Compared with the medium/large classic flap with my ugly and omniscient curtains.
Sometimes I see snapchat of friends in UK and see the same curtain. LOLOL.
I think they use the same furniture provider/developer.

Well! I like both sizes. The jumbo can carry a lot more than the medium flap,
but it can get heavy while the medium doesn't. 

I thought the jumbo was quite carry-able but during my trip to Paris
I carried it for a whole day and it did made me sore!

While I was in Paris. LOL.
I was scrolling on my iPad and saw... 


And I was like WHAT!!!!

I bought my bag on Thursday.
On Friday there was news of price increase in UK. 
They announced it would take effect the next Monday.

So.. this time, my impulsiveness saved the day!
HAHAHA or killed the day because I spent so much money.

But anyway next Monday it went from 3425 pounds to 3770 pounds.
Ridonkulous. Honestly, I WOULD NOT buy it if following the original plan
I had to buy the bag on next Friday after I came back from Paris.

I would probably get the GST in beige and gold hardware instead!
But anyways jumbo flap taken down my wishlist. HEHE.
So like. yeah. Satisfied and not wishing for anything. 
Maybe a Hermes Kelly in distant future. 

Oh yeah! The jumbo flap was cheapest in the UK when I bought it before the price increase.
Even cheaper than Paris, which was why I bought it in UK one day before my trip. Lol!
It's RM20 000 ish after converting. Malaysia is retailing it for RM23k ish I think.
My premonition was tingling that the price increase was going to happen!
And it did! But anyway stupid fools like me still would buy them eventhough they increase their prices each year but not the quality, lol. ^^

It is going to be a headache though, trying to pack everything to go back Malaysia.
But we'll worry about that... later. 



Did my nails! And it ended up looking tweed style.
I layered it with some nail stickers and glitter polish on top.

OKIE, back to Paris because we're not done yet!
This is going to be a very long post :x




The third day,we went on the hop on hop off  bus from some sightseeing. 





Notre Dame Cathedral. Hunchback?



Seine River.

Why does a lot of major cities in Europe
 have a river running through the heart of the city?!

Seine River in Paris, Thames River in London, Arno River in Florence.
Then the Danube River in Budapest.

I guess most civilization started around the river because back in those days
river was a source of food and sanitation.




We went down to Champs Elysees!
Spotted this cute Laduree store.
But it was really crowded, so we went to the one in Printemps instead.




Long queue!




For lunch we went to Leon. All the restaurants on Champs Elysees are quite pricey.



Like 20 euro a plate? But it's seafood though


Mummy got mussels in tomato sauce.



I had mussels baked with cheese and it was really filling!

Then night came, and we took the cruise on the Seine River.
It starts near Eiffel Tower and ends there!




Paris is really pretty at night. It is also dubbed the "City Of Light" as it was one of the first European countries to adopt gas lights.




So pretty and dazzling!



Selfie with Eiffel Tower is a must lol.





We went up to the second floor. You can go to the third floor as well, which is the highest.



Arc De Triomphe








Some touristy shots at the Louvre!

Security in Paris is really tight though, after the last ISI attack.
Like airport security level tight.

When you go shopping they will check your bags and scan you.
When you go Sephora or Printemps or Galeries Lafayette.



Makes me feel like watching/reading Da Vinci Code again hahaha


We ended up spending a longer time here than we expected too!
It was the fourth day already and we were basically more chill.
I think we got in the museum around 10 or 11 and stayed there till 4 or 5.

The Louvre Museum is the largest museum in the world.
A royal palace converted into a museum, where Napoleon Bonaparte once resided.
It was so huge! So many artifacts!

There are around 35000 artworks displayed, but there are 250000 that are stored.
So the huge collection you see is only a fraction!

I didn't expect to spend such a long time in a museum, like SEVEN hours.
But it was really worth it and there was just so much to see.
Previously I would be limited by the time I have to spend in a museum.
Glad that mummy likes art too!

And I liked looking at the objects more than paintings.
Because I think objects tell a lot of story, having been owned by someone from the past..
who is long dead. Like two thousand years old dead dead.

We saw Egyptian mummies, Venus De Milo, The Aphrodite, Mona Lisa, Code of Hammurabi. 
I also lovedddd seeing furniture and interior design and intricate ceiling artworks.
Italian renaissance furniture is simply too gilded and royal and luxurious and intricate.






Sculptures! A lot of artworks from Greece and Rome.




Winged human-headed bulls from Mesopotamia timeline around 700 BC.
It was used to guard the capital Dur Sharrukin!
Amazes me how they can excavate such a huge thing and bring it all the way to Paris. 


The furnitures were so pretty and everything was like a delicate and detailed piece of art.
Some of them are original furnitures used by the royalty when staying in palace like Napoleon's "apartment" and Anne of Austria's "summer apartment". WHAT KIND OF APARTMENT IS THAT

I feel like one chair could easily buy a car if you took it to an auction



Tiffany blue! Robin egg blue! My favourite kind of blue!
I don't like blue usually. Another blue I like is sapphire blue or lapis azuli blue.
But blue does not go so well on my skin, unless it's very light or mixed with green


Everything gilded in gold!


Ornate snuffbox with enamel paintings!

I asked my mum what's that and she said it's for snuffing drugs.
HAHHA. Or powdered tobacco, to be more accurate.
Not such a gorgeous look though!



Can you imagine! That royals used to use this place!


Edited this shot taken from my iPhone and boom!
It reminds me of those Givenchy ad campaigns where they used Versailles-style backgrounds. 


So pretty!





Then we went to see Mona Lisa. 
It's the only painting that's encased in a bulletproof glass.
Because so many things had happened to this painting and it got so famous they had 
to use some preventative measure from further damage to the painting.
In 2009 someone actually threw a mug to the painting but it was unharmed because of the bulletproof box. Back in 1956, a Bolivian threw a rock at the painting.
The box is also climate-controlled to slow down deterioration.

The Mona Lisa... I don't get why it's so famous!
I see many other paintings that are more captivating. 



The Mona Lisa is really really crowded. 



Opposite it is Wedding at Cana by Paul Veronese,
which was much much bigger and more captivating in comparison.

Well worth a look!! Not a glance but a long hard look!
By the time we got to the paintings I was already quite tired.
I remembered we walked the most that day, like 16km at the end of the day
when I checked the pedometer on my iPhone.

The palace is soo sosooooo big I almost broke my legs. 



We had tea at Angelina cafe.
Their macaroons are well-known too but I ate a proper lunch instead!


It was so so! Expensive but taste wise so so


This from the Louvre food court tasted better! Or the Carousell shopping mall as they call it?
There's also a small Printemps on the ground floor of the Louvre.


Eclairs! This was a really famous brand in Paris and it was the bomb.


I had passion fruit!
It's from L'Eclair De Genie.


Also got some souvenirs from L'occitane thanks to mummy!
Much cheaper than in Malaysia. Their lotion is like RM110 after converting while
they retail for like RM160 in Malaysia.



Also got macaroons from Maxim's!
Pierre Herme is still my favourite hehe.
They have stores in London apparently! I would definitely
stop by for their macaroons!

The ones from Maxim's were a bit more hard and chewy.



It does looks so pretty though!
This one was really glittery.




Went to a sushi bar for dinner on the fifth night!





Japanese food always feels lighter than Western cuisine.


Tried their orange sorbet! So cute.
They stuffed it inside a real orange.





We walked to Galeries Lafayette for our last day.


My mum is 50! 50! But she looks like 35! 
I hope I will be able to age gracefully half as her.
EHEH







It was a sunny day! Not warm but sunny for the least.

After being in a European country and being stucked in cold weather for like almost six months.
I'm getting reallll sick of weather and crave deeply for the sun sea and sand. 
Can't wait for summer break hehe. Greece is a must go!

Malta in Italy also looks nice. And Majorca in Spain. 


Laduree in Printemps! This one was not so crowded
and it was mostly wealthy older ladies.







Some salmon sandwich. I forgot the fancy name ^^


This was the bomb! I think if you visit Laduree, you should try their cakes more than their macaroons because it's more special and tastier! This one is their trademark Saint-Honore in pistachio flavour.
They also gave complimentary heart shaped macaroons. I think it was because mummy ordered coffee? In Paris they often give you biscuits or chocolate if you order coffee.



Salade du Pecheur! 

Salmon Salad! THIS WAS an elevated salmon salad. It was really really good.
I forgot the restaurant name :( it is blocked by the serviette. HAHAHA

It's somewhere in the 1st arrondisement in Paris.
Somewhere near Rue du Hyacinthe. SOMEWHERE.



Profiterole was also amazing.
There's three layers. The chocolate, the bun, and the ice cream inside!

After Paris trip I felt like I gained 10 000  kilograms.

But it was well worth it. 
French cuisine is really good. Any random cafe is good.
Same goes to Italian. They hardly mess it up.
The French seem to like spending on decor though and making everything matchy matchy.
Always eat desserts in Paris! It's like not eating pasta in Italy if you don't.


Boyfie surprised me by coming down to Southampton after I came back from Paris!!
HEHEHE. He was so cute.

I was talking to Iris and giving her some souvenirs from Paris.
Then I bent down to put my bag. 

My boyfriend was lying down on the floor!
HAHHA. I shouted and hugged him. :3


Got a black pair of sneakers from Nike!
For gymming!






So many mirror selfies!

Anyway. I feel like gymming is something that you make a lifetime commitment to,
when you start. Because once you stop. You'll notice the difference.

You'll notice your body gets less toned, you have less energy, feel more bloated.
Basically for me when I don't gym my muscles lose the "tightness" and I gain weight easier.
For my boyfriend he will lose weight cos muscle mass reduce!

HAHA. So it's funny how our bodies work differently. But gymming will always make you feel better and look better, whether you are thin or normal or chubby to begin with.

If you are thin then it gives you definition and booty for girls.Thin people get abs easier cos they are already lean! If you are chubby then you can do more cardio to lose the excess weight 

I think some girls are scared that when they go gym they will look bulkier,
which is actually bullshit. You just look more toned and sculpted. 
If it looks bulky it's because they haven't leaned out yet, or sometimes they really train hard (for girls) to get that muscle mass and it's the look they are going for. Like they go really heavy and take supplements like protein shakes and sometimes even steroids or testorone. WHICH U SHOULDNT OF COURSE.

I think the most important thing is if you're happy and healthy!
Anyway summer is coming. I can't hide under layers of clothings anymore.
HAHHAA. It's a nightmare for me to go back Malaysia and gain weight so I gym a lot recently.
LOLOL the motivation is high, for now!



I also tried bouldering a few times with Wen Chien! It was really fun!
I only did a short session once at District 21 in Putrajaya. 
District 21 is really worth going if you like obstacle course/physical activity/challenging exercises.

I am honestly afraid of heights.
They say people who are afraid of heights are basically just afraid of falling.
Bouldering is scary when you reach to the very top!
But it's the sort of thing that as you go on, you will have more confidence.
Confidence that you won't fall.

And it does feel good, to conquer your fears, a little at a time.
It's hard for me if you ask me to go somewhere high and balance.
I will shit myself. But bouldering you have something to cling onto so that's okay.
And bungee jump I guess is also fine because you have a rope when you are thrown like a puppet.
I would like to try some day, and I would probably pee in my pants.


I tried making sushi ! :3
Just went out and bought the ingredients one night after trying Ai Lynn's gimbap/sushi hybrid.
I bought the sushi vinegar and sushi rice. And the bamboo mat. And pickled radish and salmon.



It turned out quite well I must say as it was my first time!
I guess it's because I love sushi so much. hehe.
Edward and Ai Lynn enjoyed it!



Heading to Budapest end of this month!
With Edward! HEHE. Looking forward! I want to visit New York Cafe!
And the chain bridge! And Danube River Cruise. 

And most importantly their thermal baths! Gellert Spa! Szechenyi!


Szechenyi is the one I'm thrilled about.

Eventhough it's quite cold right now, the thermal bath is still available as the warm is very warm (drawn from the hot springs). 



Went to Newforest Wildlife Park with Ai Lynn, Dominic and Edward!
I think it's well worth going! But we were a bit tired and didn't plan well.

We should have rented a bike! The park was like really huge.



I was a bit sore from gym so Edward carried me. HEHEHE.



Thank you for always being there for me! :)


So yup! That concludes the highlights of early March.

I'm really grateful for everything!
Being able to travel and having my boyfriend close to me.
I used to miss Malaysia a lot but now I kind of dread going back!
There's a lot of travelling I would like to do. hehe.
But, of course I do miss home still :) nothing beats the sunshine and hot assed weather.
And also lots of assignment to do before I enjoy my spring break!

Have a blessed weekend everyone! Loves x