Tuesday, September 18, 2018

London and Paris Trip, Part Two.

Here's part two of my trip! Mostly just my packing update and some info about where we stayed.


Soooo, packing. I definitely over-thought a lot of aspects of the packing but I was really trying to avoid that thing I usually do where I bring a bunch of stuff that I never end up wearing. This time I tried to edit really carefully. I made sure everything I brought worked together and I stuck to a very limited palette (ie a lot of black.) The list of things I packed can be found here and I did bring the Everlane ponte pants and my metallic flats, which were both question marks.

So, what did I not wear? My Everlane ponte pants and my metallic flats. Ha, I know! I should've trusted my instincts on those but the weather ended up being quite a bit hotter than expected so the ponte pants never got worn. I also wish I'd brought a pair of sandals instead of the flats because my feet could've used a break from socks/shoes.

Another item I wish I'd rethought was my cashmere sweater. The weather was just too warm for it so instead I wore it on the flight home (9+ hours) and was happy to have it because the plane was freezing. (I did end up tearing it off dramatically in the Zurich airport which was hot as balls.) Luckily, I'd bought this Everlane tee to wear underneath and it was a perfect light, fitted layer.

As I mentioned yesterday, my other light sweater was a big disappointment. It looked and felt great initially but one day of wearing it and it was pilled all to hell. I didn't end up wearing it again because it looked so terrible. Stupid BR.

Both jackets I bought were perfect - my Madewell hoooded jacket came in handy on the one rainy morning we had and my denim jacket was a perfect light layer (though I ended up carrying it a lot.)

My sneakers were great, as previously mentioned, but I was happy to change into my Chelsea boots in the evening to give my feet a break. I did really miss my Birkenstocks, I'll admit.

Oh, another thing I brought that I should've left at home - my little mini hairdryer! It's a fantastic dryer but even though it's dual voltage and we had a converter it still overheated almost immediately. Plus, both hotels had hairdryers anyway. Hmph. I was able to use my mini flat iron and it fit in my toiletry bag, which was great.

One last thing! I should've added this folding travel bag to my reviews yesterday. I bought it on Amazon ($14!) and used it, stuffed full of our purchases, as my carry-on bag on the way home. it's great, especially for the price.


I was asked by reader Sarah to talk about our hotels! We booked the whole trip through Tripmasters which I highly recommend (uh, based on our one experience) as it gives you all kinds of options at great prices and books the whole thing. We were given wide choice of hotels and picked based on cost, reviews and location.

Ibis Shoreditch, London

Ibis is a chain but it was inexpensive and fairly well-located. The lobby was really cute and there was a bar, but based on our one drink order I'm not sure the bartender had ever actually made a cocktail. Our room was clean and cute and predictably very small. I don't mind small but that room could have really used some hooks for hanging things as the closet area was teensy.

The bathroom was... pretty awful. Basically a tiny round plastic pod with no fan. Also, we were allotted one small sad towel each. No hand towel, no washcloth. (We did ask for more small, scratchy towels and they were delivered promptly.) There was an air conditioner but we could never get it to do more than grudgingly blow lukewarm air, so the room was warm which made it hard to sleep.

Where the Ibis delivered was the buffet breakfast. We paid extra for it (I think?) and it was totally worth it. They had eggs, sausage, bacon (and other English "full breakfast" items like baked beans), assorted pastries and breads, juice, fresh fruit, smoothies, cereal, oatmeal, you name it. I am a big breakfast person so it was nice to fuel up before going out to see the sights. Oh, and the Ibis has free wifi which was great.

Would we stay here on our next trip to London? Probably not. I think for the money we could find something a bit more charming and perhaps in a different part of town. I enjoyed the college/downtown vibe of Shoreditch but the hotel room wasn't very comfortable.

Hôtel des Nations St-Germain

Our hotel in Paris was in the Latin Quarter and we really loved it. It was small and quite charming, with friendly staff. Our room was tiny and overlooked the street via a Juliet balcony! We loved being able to open the windows and take in the street action.

The bathroom was also super small but it was an actual real bathroom so we were happy. The only downside was the shower which was about the size of a phone booth - one wrong turn and you'd hit the handle with an elbow or hip and turn the water off. But, it functioned and the water was hot so not a big deal for us. 

The air conditioning worked great (did I mention how much warmer the weather was than expected?) and there was wifi but it was a pretty weak signal and I had a hard time connecting. The hotel had a breakfast buffet (€12) which was quite nice but not as fun as going to a cafe for breakfast. We did both and decided we preferred going out. I mean: 

Carrbbbbbbs! It was all delicious and I believe it was €9 each. Would we stay at the Hotel des Nations again? Absolutely. Aside from the tiny shower it suited our needs perfectly. It was very close to a ton of restaurants and shops and within walking distance of Notre Dame.

I really didn't do much shopping in Paris (mostly walking and eating) but I did stop in a pharmacy and bought a few things:

Nothing too exciting but it was fun. I promise I'll be more shoppy on our next trip! We'll have more time so I can plan it out better. That's it for today! Thanks again for all your comments and suggestions. It's been really fun to share this with all of you! 


  1. Does your backpack attach to your suitcase? Can you post the link for your suitcase? I may have missed it....

    1. No, my backpack doesn't have a suitcase strap, though it was fine because I just wore it on my back. The suitcase actually belongs to my boyfriend (he has a set and I used the medium one) and I can't remember what the brand is! It's pretty basic. My awesome white carryon suitcase (which I've talked about before) is a Mia Toro which can be found at TJ Maxx.

  2. Were you able to re-wear any of your tops? I remember getting so hot and sweaty while traveling in Paris that I didn't really want to wear them again.

    1. I was able to re-wear one of them but mostly it was a one-and-done situation since the weather was so warm.

  3. Awesome that you brought creams home. My favorite things to buy when travelling out of the country are small hand creams and lip balms etc. I love to pull something out from my bag to use and be reminded of my trip

    1. I'd run out of body lotion so it was a necessary purchase but also fun!

  4. I have never heard of Tripmasters, great tip! And thanks so much for the review of the hotels.

  5. In London, and anywhere else in the UK, particularly cities, we stay in Premier Inns. They’re nothing fancy but always reliably comfortable and good value.

    I was in the UK last month and regretted not taking my leather jacket, but resisted buying one this time 😁


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