Heading to London or Paris? Here are some insider tips for must do experiences!

LONDON:

I recently read an article by Nikki Pitts @ internationaltravelchick.com about her tops picks of things to do in London (winter edition): http://internationaltravelchick.com/2012/12/19/top-10-things-to-do-in-london-winter-edition/ (Nikki is also the gracious author of the current Art Story on Versailles! I loved her list and shared her ideas with a friend and colleague who was spent a great deal of time in London, visiting several times a year. Here are his favorites!!

1. Attend plays at the National Theatre London
2. Visit London’s fabulous bookshops, including the London Review Bookshop, Foyles, and Daunt Books
3. Frequent visits to the capital’s free museums, especially the Tate Modern, Tate Britain, British Museum, Victoria & Albert Museum, National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, etc.
4. Go to Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in Soho to see the best of British jazz
5. Experience the history and tradition of London: it’s all around you!
6. Lunch and shopping at Borough Market (foodie paradise)
7. People watching from an outdoor cafe in Bloomsbury or Soho
8. Monmouth Coffee: best brew in the capital!
9. Take a ride on one of the two Heritage bus routes, the 9 or 15. These are the classic 1950s era double decker buses (Routemasters) for which London is famous, which have mostly been retired.
10. Experience multicultural London: go to the Brixton Market, attend the Notting Hill Carnival, visit neighborhoods such as Hackney, Brixton, Notting Hill and Kilburn, etc.

London is filled with peaceful parks and gardens, which provide a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle. British food is underrated, and I like fish & chips from local places such as the North Sea Fish Restaurant in Bloomsbury and Sussex Fish Bar in Paddington, Cornish pasties from the West Cornwall Pasty Company, and bacon buttys and pork belly & apple sauce sandwiches at Roast to Go in Borough Market. Afternoon tea with scones is a must. And, best of all, Londoners and Britons are very welcoming; it’s the friendliest major city that I’ve ever visited or lived in.

Thank you Darryl for sharing your experiences! Live. Travel. Share!!

PARIS: Again, since this webzine is all about gaining incite into “sophisticated” experiences worldwide, I asked a known Francophile (an individual who has a strong positive predisposition or interest toward the government, culture, history, or people of France) about her top experiences in Paris after coming across this article about things to do in Paris that are not on the typical tourist lists:  http://www.aluxurytravelblog.com/2013/01/10/the-top-things-to-see-in-paris-not-on-the-usual-top-10-lists/

Her advice: I’ll be honest, I haven’t been to a lot of places here. I will say, Les Deux Magots, (#7) is one of my fave cafés. Best hot chocolate ever! I’ve never visited Paris without making a trip there. Galeries Lafayette (#6) is also a must visit. Le Bon Marché, kind of a Galeries Lafayette of the Left Bank is also astounding as far as department stores go. The former is larger and there and a little overwhelming when full of tourists – try to go on an off day, at an off time, in an off season – if possible. The latter is more appealing aesthetically and caters to a more high-end clientele, as opposed to GL which does feature several high-end labels, but also carries some slightly more mainstream items. I could make a list a mile long of my fave places in Paris. But part of the beauty of the city is the discovery. Just get out and walk and get lost a little and you will happen upon special places that you will cherish for a lifetime because you found them by accident. It is quite simply, magical.

Thank You Robinne for sharing!! “The Readers are the Writers”

What are your favorite experiences in these two great cities?!

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