I started my travel blog to bring some of the wonderful off the beaten track places I've discovered on my travels to other people, and I've recently found someone else who loves doing a similar thing! Vanessa Grail is a London girl who moved to Paris, and has written a book, 'Don't be a tourist in Paris'. The book gives readers some brilliant insider tips, and Vanessa shares her ideas of how to avoid the tourist traps and uncover the real Paris. Below are just a few of my favourite ideas from the book.
Old artist studio in Musée de Montmartre
Montmartre is one of my favourite places to visit in Paris, but I had never heard of the Musée de Montmartre. It's inside the oldest building in the area and one of the old artists studios as been restored so you can imagine how it felt for the likes of Renoir to sit and paint in the French capital.
Le Refuge de Fondues, restaurant
So what about eating off the beaten track? Vanessa writes about Le Refuge des Fondues - a dining experience which involves drinking wine from a baby bottle. It's not just a gimmick - it's the owners way to avoid French tax on wine glasses!
The book doesn't just focus on the centre of Paris - and has several ideas for those of you who want to explore a little further afield. Less than an hour's drive from Paris, Barbizon is on the edge of the Fontainebleau Forest. If you're into art, then you'll be interested to know that this picturesque quaint French village is where Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir came as young Parisian art students in the 1800s.
Port des Champs-Élysées on the banks of the Seine
Sometimes the best things in Paris are not the expensive touristy sights, but taking time to enjoy a bit of wine and cheese with a great view of the Eiffel Tower, as Vanessa did in the photo above!
I've visited Paris many times over the years, but this book has so many wonderful tips and ideas for places I've never heard of that I am already thinking about when I can head back to the French city again. Well done Vanessa - your book is a delight for those of us who want to find those hidden gems!
All images courtesy of Vanessa Grall, ‘Don’t Be A Tourist In Paris’, 2017