Monday, 23 December 2013

A Weekend dans Paris

Balch and I had never been to Paris and after accepting the fact that we are both single and do not have boyfriends to take us there we decided to take ourselves - on a budget!

I love a deal and saw an offer for DFDS Ferries and booked a return trip from Dover - Calais for £9 each. Niceeeeee.

The four of us set off for Calais at about 6am on Saturday morning and after a short crossing and a hilarious drive on the wrong side of the road we were checked in to our apartment by 2pm French time!

The apartment was the first part of an amazing trip, Balch found it on Air B&B and it was perfect. It was a one bed apartment with a gorgeous big feature window that looked out over a french courtyard below. It had big iron gates that needed a code for entry and had a mirrored walkway to the block. And the best bit? It cost us around £50 each for both nights.

We dropped of our bags, had a quick glass of wine to get into the French way of life and headed straight for a gorgeous late lunch/early dinner on the river before a trip up the Eiffel Tower with a serious amount of selfies.

After a quick rush to get our vodka from the shop before it closed we headed back to the apartment to get ready and experience night life in Paris!

Talitha really wanted to visit Le Magnifique. We had no idea where we were from the club so I was really excited to use Uber in Paris. If you haven't used Uber - download it now! Its the best car service app as you can pick the level of luxury car you would like to be picked up in. You can get £10 off your first journey if you use the promo code jb256. (Uber is available in lots of cities worldwide - Snoop Dogg uses them - that is all).

The club was..different and a little bit too expensive for what we were looking for. It cost ¢32 for a double. OUCH. The music was brilliant and consisted of the Spice Girls, Greese etc. 

After too much vodka and fantastic conversations in what we thought was fluent french we stumbled home and passed out after filling ourselves up on biscuits.

We woke up feeling very sorry for ourselves but quickly pulled ourselves together and headed out to see Paris and to feed our hangovers. We found a sweet restaurant near the Louvre that satisfied our need for cheese.

We headed over to the Louvre for some tourist snaps and then found our way to Angelina's to taste  their infamous hot chocolate.

I do love chocolate and I'm about to offend lots of people here but I don't know what all the fuss is about with this hot chocolate. It was too rich, dried my mouth out and was severely over-priced.

We walked up and down the Champs-Élysées taking in the culture that Paris so effortlessly breathes.

After a few more selfies with the Arc De Triomphe we headed back to our apartment for a power nap before the part of the trip I was most excited for...Kong.

Those of you who love Sex and the City you might recognise Kong from this scene.

It's a fabulous restaurant with a superb menu and an even better view. At night time the Louis Vuitton head offices are lit up and the ambiance is lovely despite being a bit judgey. This part of our trip was definitely not within budget, but it was worth every penny.

To start I had the lobster hot dog and Balch had the crab and lobster ravioli.
Just wow. The picture does not do any of the meal justice.

For my main I had a tuna steak with soy glaze and winter veg. Served with the most delicious buttery mash i've ever tasted.

After filling ourselves with food and wine we wandered along the river and admired Paris by night.

The next morning we pulled ourselves out of our perfect apartment and headed to Notre-D'ame and Love Lock Bridge

We decided not to leave a padlock with our names on, just in case it meant we would be alone together for the rest of our lives.

There was also no sign of a hunch-back, despite the rumours.

It was time to leave our perfect Parisian weekend and head back to Calais to visit Carre-four for wine, cheese, pate and biscuits. 

I bought 10 litres of wine for the equivalent of £10. What a place!

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Berlin - Ma inkablinka es kaput

I recently visited Berlin with my friend Barnard. Equipped with my one (very useful) line of German under my belt we set off for our weekend.

We started our journey on a Thursday afternoon with a vodka cranberry and a bloody mary at 30,000 feet on a BA flight (Hello avios). We dosed off like old women and before we knew it we landed in Berlin. We cabbed it to our hotel and checked in our bags before quickly freshening up to meet our friend at The Winerie. (We had no idea what to expect but we were sold from the name.)

The Winerie had a fantastic concept that could only really work in a country as lovely as Berlin. It relies on the honesty of their customers. It costs 2 euros for a glass at this bar when you enter and then for the whole evening you have unlimited wine and can re fill your glass as often as you like. At the end of the evening (when your annihilated from free wine) you can donate what you 'feel' you owe. Needless to say this idea would never work here, all free wine would result in here is a bar fight with bottles being smashed over peoples heads. We standardly popped in for a drunken McDonalds. Even the happy meal gifts in Berlin are better - my Shaun the Sheep lunchbox is proof of this. This exciting gift and the wine made for a very happy first night.

We spent Friday morning wandering round a beautiful street on the river where we had more bloody marys and mojitos with breakfast - everything is acceptable when you are on holiday.

We left this beautiful spot to visit the local market which transported us to turkey for the ten minutes we spent there. We obviously had to stop off for a glass of wine before heading anywhere else.

After years of mocking and wining about open top tour buses to my parents on our family holidays It would appear that infact, these actually are the most efficient and cost effective way to see the key parts of a city. (This was hard for me to type - I am ageing). 

The first stop was the Jewish Museum...How could we say no?

We spent the rest of the afternoon museum hopping and stopping at all of the big tourists attractions like the Berlin wall, Checkpoint Charlie and the Houses of Parliament.

And obviously we had to try a curry wurst (BIG fan)

After all the eating and sightseeing we briefly settled into a cute cafe to indulge in some coffee and cheesecake.

We spent Friday night and most of Saturday Morning at a club called Kater Holzig. No one goes there until around 3am and there is no guarantee you will get in. The decision is down to the door men who I have been told - do not like light colours or big groups. (PAH)

Despite this twatty door policy you are in for a great night.

We spent the rest of Saturday collecting the marbles we misplaced the night before, touring the last stops of our open top bus and lying in the park in the sunshine. Bliss.

Not forgetting the best meal I had the whole holiday.

We had a quiet Saturday night filled with German biscuits and chocolate. Perfection.

We woke up on Sunday morning refreshed and ready for the flight home. We both fell in love with the city and would recommend it to anyone we meet!

Unfortunately I didn't need my German phrase after all.

Ma inkablinka es kaput - My left indicator is broken.