Off the Beaten Track in Paris: An Insider’s Guide to Seeing the Real City

[This article was first published four years ago in the now-defunct online lifestyle magazine Zarwil].

Anyone lucky enough to be preparing for a trip to the French capital will probably plan to tick off a few tourist boxes whilst they’re there.  Some monuments, like the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe, are classic tourist haunts.  If it’s your first time in Paris, by all means visit the must-see attractions. It’s difficult to have a bad time in the City of Light and Love.  If you have a bit more time, though, there are plenty of hidden gems and new places to discover.

Having lived in Paris for a year and exhausted all of the main tourist traps, I had the luxury of time to walk around, explore and stumble upon new areas of the city, which is in fact really made up of multiple small villages (‘Arrondissements’), each with a Continue reading

On Winter and Chestnuts

Just in case you hadn’t noticed, the clocks changed a couple of weeks ago. This was great in the immediate short term, because it meant an extra hour of sleep, but upsetting when it began to get dark at around 5pm and I realised that we’re now, inescapably, in winter proper. From here on in, it’s only going to get colder, wetter and darker as we head towards the shortest day of the year on 21 December. Every year I forget just how cold and miserable this country gets in winter. It’s understandable that we have made such a hoohaa out of Christmas. It breaks up the six month slog of sleet, icy gales and grey puddles reflecting grey skies with something twinkly and cheerful.

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