I've been to Paris before, but it was a whistle-stop tour. A walking adventure without spending much money or really doing any shopping. I know Paris has a lot more to offer and I'm taking part in a little contest with the people at Paris ile de France with the hope that I might get to go back.
Last time I took my boyfriend, but this time it would be a girly shopping break with all the fashion highlights we could fit in. Here's what I would do if I had 1000 Euro to spend...
1. Go shopping (of course)
I'd head straight to the Champs Elysées for some retail therapy. Then it would have to be a trip to some of the top Paris department stores - Printemps and Galeries Lafayette in particular who are know for pampering their shoppers. I think getting myself a personal shopper to help me choose the latest in French fashion and trends would be the perfect way to shop. Oh, and I've always wanted to do that thing where you give your shopping bags to someone to send back to the hotel. We don't want to be carrying around our bags all day! Colette also looks like fun with it's water bar in the basement - you can also get yourself some Louboutin champers and drink it out of a stiletto glass.
2. Take in a show
It has to be the Moulin Rouge for the lavish costumes and amazing dancing. I'd be looking out for the pearls, feathers and beading on the girl's costumes and the best of stage design too. Obviously the truly perfect show to go to while in Paris would be a catwalk one by the likes of Chanel, Dior, Balenciaga and McQueen. I want to be there but think it may be stretching my budget (and social status) slightly.
3. Visit a fashion museum or exhibition
I'd be heading straight to the Histoire idéale de la mode contemporaine 1971-2008 for an insight into French fashion history. There's also a retrospective of Yves Saint Laurent coming up so I'd be there is a flash. I also hear Barbie has her own exhibition... whatever it is, if fashion's in the title I wouldn't say no.
4. Dine out in style
Lunch would have to involve a pretty cake shop. I'm always left looking on in wonderment at the array of beautifully designed and decorated cakes and pastries. For dinner I'd love to go to the Lido for some cabaret with over 600 costumes, 70 performers and 23 sets. Wow! I'll probably leave wishing I was a dancer or pretending I am. Of course, my outfit would be something new and stylish from the day's earlier shopping trip.
5. Drinks and dancing
I always think it's hard to know where the best places are for drinks and dancing in another city so I'd definitely get some advice before I went. Perhaps dance to the DJ's tunes at Murano Urban Resort (apparently very fashionable) and enjoy some cocktails at Bound Bar. Forget the romance, this trip is gonna be about having fun and being fashionable.
6. Travelling home in comfort
Having done so once before, I now know that the easiest and most luxurious way to travel back from Paris on the Eurostar. We'd drink a glass of bubbly and sample some lovely grub all before kicking off our heels and having a snooze on the way back to London.
Visit www.new-paris-ile-de-france.co.uk for more ideas on how to spend a weekend in Paris.