Currently reading ‘Parisians’ by Graham Robb and cannot recommend it enough! This New York Times bestseller tells the history of Paris through true narratives about people such as Napoleon, Baudelaire, Proust, Baron Haussmann, among others!

Through short, personal stories with Paris as the backdrop, you pick up facts and get a great image of the city without having to read the boring, over-factual history books. If only all school books were like this.

I bought my copy here.



20 Ways To Stay Parisian During Fashion Week

With a new book coming out in September called ‘How To Be Parisian’, I look back at co-author Caroline de Maigret’s 20 ways to stay Parisian during Fashion Week, in an article with i-D magazine in Feb 2014.


1. Complain that you can’t smoke inside the catwalk tent.

2. Wear sunglasses to show that you’re not bothered, but stop for every fashion blog photographer.

3. Don’t brush your hair for the whole week.

4. Eat at the Marly and pretend you went to the Louvre.

5. Eat at the Café de Flore to feel like you’ve been reading Jean-Paul Sartre all afternoon

6. Order wine at lunch.

7. Paint your nails yellow to feel eccentric.

8. Cross the street when you shouldn’t.

9. Pretend you’ve got something better to do than seeing a fashion show, but run to a computer to watch the shows live on

10. Spend half an hour in your bathroom to make your make-up look effortless.

11. Sleep with a braid so that everyone thinks you had sex all night.

12. Wear black because you’re too scared of making a faux pas.

13. Hide your hips in large pants so that everyone applauds your tomboy look.

14. Leave a very trendy party and pretend you’re going to an even-more-exclusive party, when really you’re just going home to bed.

15. Spend Wednesday afternoon with your child and his schoolmates in Disneyland Paris.

16. Go to a show with camembert breath.

17. Miss a show but still have a strong opinion on it.

18. Be late and use the excuse that you’re just too busy. Unlike the ones waiting for you, obviously.

19. Cut all queues. After all, it’s your city.

20. Be too busy to finish the i-D list.

Originally here… 

Fast Food – Chartier


If you have succumbed to a little too much shopping and are looking for a meal that won’t break your bank balance beyond repair, the place to go is Chartier. This traditional Parisian restaurant has speedy and friendly service, a lively atmosphere, and unbeatable prices compared to most other nice restaurants you will find in the city. Expect to pay between 1-7 euros for a starter, and no more than €14 for a main.
The food is not incredible, but it is typically French (lots of butter, no complaints here), great value for money, and you will leave a happy and satisfied customer.

You will find Chartier in the 9th arrondissement, and the nearest metro is the Grands Boulevards.

Website –

Address – 7 Rue du Faubourg Montmartre, 75009 Paris

Phone – 01 47 70 86 29

Learning the Language

Unfortunately, even after you’ve stopped envying Camille Rowe in her underwear and managed to master those few French phrases, they probably still won’t be enough to get by in France. So, if you’re interested in improving your French there’s a few ways to go about it…

The best (and probably least appealing) way is to just muster up your courage and speak whatever French you know to anyone and everyone. However, French people often speak very good English and it’s too tempting to switch to whatever’s easiest. So sometimes a little private learning can help too.

A couple of computer programs I use are Duolingo and Rosetta Stone, it’s nice to switch between the two so you don’t get too bored but both are good in different ways.

Duolingo – free, easy, relatively entertaining (teaches you some funny phrases), definitely one that’s good to get started with, or as a little reminder to do every now and again.

Rosetta Stone – more expensive but covers more ground, and you have to talk to it, it then hears your reply and makes sure you say it correctly. This will probably give you a more comprehensive knowledge of French but it isn’t as fun.
Plus side is you can choose whatever level to do, whereas Duolino you unlock it as you go along. Makes it less monotonous.

A game-style website that is great for learning vocabulary and improving your accent is called Babadum ( You are tested with lists of words, and there is the opportunity to change the format of the game to make it slightly more challenging.

Another good idea is to buy dual-language books (there are lots on amazon).
One one page they have it in French, and the other, the translation. I would suggest buying French authors, that way you know you are learning correct/used French sayings. Rather than if you buy an English book which is translated into French it might be done literally so you could be learning slightly ‘off’ sayings.

Or, once you are relatively comfortable with the language, read magazines. I do this with my iPhone at the ready with the iTranslate app for when I come across something I don’t know.
Magazines are good because they often use quite informal language which you’re much more likely to hear in everyday life, and interview sections are especially useful. Plus, they’re light entertainment and you can now have your magazine binge guilt free! (It now counts as studying).