French 5 | 04.16.21

Welcome to the eighth edition of French 5, where I share a glimpse of France through language, places, food and drink, arts and culture, as well as a random fun fact. 


In this week’s edition, we’re getting to know Helen, the Londoner and die-hard Francophile behind the blog London Meets Paris, and what she loves about the French capital.


A big thank you to Helen for contributing this week’s content and photos. If you have any feedback or ideas of what you’d like to see or who should be featured, please leave your comment below.


Featuring || London Meets Paris

My name is Helen and I am a Paris obsessed 50-something wife and mum to 4 “kidults.” I am a die-hard Francophile, with a particular love for Paris. I run a blog, which is currently what I do full time. Although I have also worked part-time in admin prior to the Covid Pandemic. I love food and enjoy baking and cooking - my other passions besides Paris. I love the countryside, in particular a region in England called Cornwall which is by the coast. It's quite quaint and mesmerizing. I live in a suburb of London called Harrow where British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill was educated. I adore Paris but I can't quite define why, only to say that from the first visit, I knew I was “home." I adore the culture, the outdoor terrace life, the food and wine, the people, the beautiful architecture and the arts. It's the best city in the world for me.


01 Language || Bonne Soirée

I have two favourite French words. I like the word for the left bank of Paris, "Rive Gauche," because it just sounds so exotic and mysterious. And I also like the word for Good Evening, "Bonne Soirée," because it sounds like you're meeting for a naughty rendezvous.


02 Places || Place Dauphine

One of my favourite places in Paris is a square just off the Pont Neuf called Place Dauphine. It's a pretty, calm oasis with authentic little cafés and bistros to stop and have a glass of something and relax. Also, Café Laurent in the Hotel D’Aubusson around the corner from Place Dauphine is a gorgeous romantic cocktail and jazz lounge with real jazz music four times a week.


03 Food & Drink || Oysters

Oysters are my favourite food because quite simply, I just love them (nothing to do with the obvious reasons people like to eat them!). I also have a penchant for champagne. I adore it because it makes me feel special. Foie Gras is another favourite because it's rich and indulgent and controversial. We don't have much of it here in London as it's frowned upon. For dessert, it has to be a sexy, oozy chocolate fondant with ice cream and it must contain alcohol like rum or amaretto or coffee liqueur.

04 Culture || Eiffel Tower

I know it's cliché, but going to the top of the Eiffel Tower is the first thing everyone should try and do on their first trip to Paris simply for the stunning panoramic views of the city. You can pre-book your tickets before arriving in Paris so that you don't have to queue. It's actually quite exhilarating taking the lift up to the very top! Even though I have visited the Grande Dame about four times so far, I would still go again on a longer trip. There is also a lovely restaurant and champagne bar atop the Eiffel Tower called Jules Verne. It’s probably quite pricey, but I have heard good things about it.


05 Fun Fact || Le Marais

The word “marais” translates to marshes in English. The Marais neighbourhood in Paris was literally a swamp land and I don't think many tourists know this.


Follow Friday || @Destination__Paris

Everyone should follow Mirjam from @Destination__Paris because she is the sweetest person and has a new book out about Paris, which will hopefully be translated to other languages. She adores Paris like me and I can't wait to meet her in Paris.


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To read all previous editions, visit our French 5 webpage

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