My mind has just about ticked round to the concept of summer holidays and arranging a relaxing 2 weeker at the end of July/early August. That said, throughout the year so far, it is work trips abroad or quick weekend breaks that have aided any building of BA points. It’s been a while since I did a travel post, so here is a breakdown of some recent weekend breaks to Edinburgh and Paris.
The first question you have is probably – why Edinburgh? I must say, when it comes to holidays, nothing typically feels “worth it” unless I am finding my way outside of the country; that’s what this trip was originally meant to be, a quick stopover somewhere in Europe during April, and ideally somewhere with a bit of sun. That said, myself and my boyfriend left the booking of a trip really down to the very final hour, so in the end we decided to go somewhere close by and instead book something abroad at a later date. I guess you can call it a staycation…
Where we stayed 🏨
We booked a cute 4-star Apart-hotel called Eden Locke which was right in the centre of town. The rooms were really cute/cosy and built to give you a “right at home” vibe with an integrated kitchen and a studio feel. Downstairs was a modern kitchen/dining area where a number of hotel guests and non-hotel guests would come with their laptops to study / get work done. It was a really nice hotel with super friendly staff that I’d definitely recommend if you’re after a very cosy stay.
Here are some things to do there 📍
- Visit Edinburgh castle – Learn about some of the histories of Edinburgh, and explore the cells of prisoners of war back from in the day
- Visit the National Museum of Scotland – This museum was HUMONGOUS, we couldn’t look through the entire thing, but they literally have the history of everything in there and a lot of it isn’t even related to Scotland
- Hike, hike, hike – Now myself and my boyfriend aren’t really hikers, so this isn’t really something we took advantage of, but I did learn that Edinburgh is a very popular hiking destination due to views you can see from certain peaks. The two hour climb up Arthur’s Seat is a particularly popular one
Let’s talk food & drink 🥓
- A nice drinks spot: Tigerlily – very cute, yummy cocktails and a nice vibe
- The best place we ate: We ate at some really delicious restaurants in Edinburgh. My favourite was a Thai restaurant called Chaophraya
- Some honourable mentions: For super delicious steak Kyloe is your place…
I headed down to Paris in May for 2 days for work purposes, and we decided to extend the trip into a long weekend, getting 5 days out of the trip! This actually is my 4th time in Paris, having gone for the first 2 times several years ago with my family, and gone once with my partner for our 5-years anniversary at end end of 2019, just before Covid hit. The last time we went (October), it was uncomfortably cold; so it was nice to go back and catch a bit of sun.
Where we stayed 🏩
The last time we went to Paris we stayed right by the Champs-Élysées, this time we ventured a little further out in town and stayed near the Louvre at a hotel called Maison des Albar, Pont Neuf, which was right by a Westfield shopping centre. One great thing about Paris is that there are so many locations to pick from that will still land you near a lot of “life” (similar to London in that sense). It was a really nice 5-star hotel with some added amenities such as a spa/gym/pool area – the pool and spa is one we definitely took advantage of. Would strongly recommend.
Here are some things to do there 📍
- Visit the Louvre and Musee D’Orsay – Despite being to Paris a few times before, I’d never actually visited the Louvre, I’d only taken a few photos outside and gone about my day. Given it has one of the most valuable paintings inside (maybe even the most valuable painting in the world), I figured there’d be a long line to buy what I expected to be an extortionately priced ticket, but we actually bought a ticket for a good price (maybe EUR 30 or so) c2 hours ahead of going in. The Musee D’Oray was also nice (sculptures, paintings, that kind of stuff), but similar to the National Museum of Scotland, much too big to cover in one day and hence, quickly gets tiring
- Take a boat trip across River Siene – The sun really came out for us on the day we went on this boat trip. We bought a full day ticket so could pop down and jump on a big boat whenever we were free. You can also choose to do night time trips and boat rides with food served if that suits your fancy
- Go shopping – We wandered a little around Westfield given we were so close by and my boyfriend ended up doing a bit of a shop
Let’s talk food & drink 🥐
- A nice drink spot: With my colleagues, I went to a nice/casual bar on the river called Rosa Bonheur sur Seine
- The best place we ate: There is a road in Paris called Sainte-Anne where there are tons of nice Japanese restaurants. We had the most delicious ramen as a place called Menkichi Ramen
- Some honourable mentions: For drinks – we found a somewhat decent bar called Velvet Bar, for food, we ate at a nice restaurant within the Jardin du Palais Royal (but unfortunately, forgot to note the name and amazing, that did not make it to Instagram).
Until the next one! Have a good week.