Paris for the Day with Eurostar

A couple of months ago, I had the exciting opportunity to visit Paris for the day with Eurostar, as a winner in their #ParisOnUs competition. This was incredibly exciting to me because not only do I absolutely adore Paris, but being able to go for the day has been a bucket list item of mine.

Being Canadian, it still amazes me that you can hop on a train in London, and be in a new city and continent in two hours, as it takes ages to get anywhere in Canada! The Eurostar is a much chicer, more comfortable, and quicker way to travel to Paris (and their other destinations, such as Brussels, Bruges, and Lille) than air travel. 

Our day in Paris was a blast - great food, great experiences, and meeting great new people. Eurostar took care of every last detail and made us feel like stars. 

Here are a couple of short videos from the day! Photos and full story to come. I share my Paris thoughts at 0.30 on the first video! 

Exploring London Town

Living in London is never dull. It's chaotic, fascinating, exciting, interesting and never ever a shortage of things to do. I can't believe that there are still so many museums, events, and sights that I need to check out that I haven't seen before, but I'm making my way through exploring the city. Here are a few things I've been doing recently from Instagram - come follow along with me! You can find me on Instagram at @woman.meets.world

London Life

What else have I been up to since moving to London three weeks ago? Sharing a few of the places I've visited and explored. Follow along as I post on my Instagram at @woman.meets.world - I'd love to get your London recommendations!

Some of my favourite places featured in the photos below:

Three Weeks in London

It's hard to believe that three weeks have already flown by since I've been in London! But, it has been enough time to (re)learn and remember a few key things:

  • Never trust the weather forecast. Not your iPhone weather app or even the BBC. Just use it as guidance because most of the time, it will be wrong.

  • On that point, invest in a small umbrella that you can pop into your bag and carry it with you always because you will need it regularly. And carry sunglasses because I can guarantee that if you forget them and just bring your umbrella, or vice versa, it will be bright and sunny.

  • If you want to leave a restaurant or café, ask for the bill because they won't just bring it to you. This was remembered after sitting at various places for ages and wondering when they might bring it by. It’s considered rude for them to bring it unprompted.

  • With the exception of Starbucks, you need to specifically ask for the barista to put milk in your tea when they give it to you for ‘eat in’ or 'takeaway' (not take out), or you will receive it black. Example: if you want a breakfast tea with skim milk, ask for a 'skinny tea'.

  • All stores close much earlier than Canadian and American stores do so plan ahead!

  • The joys of free newspapers and magazines: Metro in the morning; Evening Standard in the evening; Time Out magazine to let you know of all the happenings in London for the week; Stylist (my personal fave) every Wednesday; and, Shortlist every Thursday.

  • VAT (tax) is included in the price, so you pay what you see on the tag, unlike Canada, where tax is applied afterwards at the till and often a surprise.

  • British "you ok" = Canadian/American "how's it going"/"what's up"/"how are you". This is a hard one to get used to without thinking you are being asked if something is wrong!

  • On that – be prepared for multiple ‘byes’ on the end of telephone conversations!

  • Walk left, stand right. I repeat – walk left, stand right. This might be the most important thing to remember so that you don’t get trampled on the escalators on the tube.

  • Always have your Oyster card to hand when entering and exiting the tube. Trust me, you don’t want to be that person fumbling to find it and disrupting the flow and order of busy Londoners.

  • Check the streets left and right at least two or three times before crossing to make sure you won't get hit by cars coming in directions you aren't used to. Or cyclists for that matter on a mission.

  • How green it is here all year round!

  • The kindness of the Brits and their willingness to assist you - whether it be with suitcases, directions, or generally helping you navigate life here from taxi drivers, to people in banks, to random people in the street, and my lovely new colleagues!

  • How international London is. London is an incredible, frenetic, fascinating, chaotic, energetic, beautiful place to be and it’s easy to see why it attracts people from all over the world.

 

I can’t wait to see what the coming weeks and months bring!!

Uber Your Way Through New Cities

Have you tried Uber yet? It's easy and convenient, and operates in many cities worldwide. I was quite hesitant at first and didn't believe it could be quite as easy and great as everyone says it is.

All you need is the app and an account (takes minutes to create), and a ride is at your fingertips. No worrying about whether you are going far enough for them to take you or having to haggle over whether they take cash, debit or credit cards at the end of a ride. All you have to do is hop out. And - you get to rate your driver anonymously afterwards. Drivers have to have a minimum of 4 out of 5 stars in order to continue driving with Uber. 

Why not give it a try by having your first ride free? You can do just that by entering my discount code into the promo code box and you can get your first ride free up to $20! Code is: rheannesue.

Let me know what you think after you try it!

Parisian Architecture

In Toronto (and many places in North America), part of the thrill and appeal of Europe is the history of the buildings - many of which are much much older than our own countries. We live in cities that are very new, not the greatest at preserving heritage buildings, and lots of glass and concrete rectangular buildings which often look alike. 

Wandering around in Paris is a visual feast. Parisian architecture celebrates detail, beauty, and history, as opposed to solely function and efficiency. It also helps that the Parisian light seems ethereal and illuminates the buildings in beautiful ways. At sunset, so many of its buildings seem to glow in the sunlight. When in Paris (or anywhere in Europe to be honest), be sure to look up, down, and all around you as you'll never know what intricate details and surprises you  might find! Below are some of my favourites from my recent trip in April. 

xo Rheanne 

Toronto's Best New Restaurants 2015

Last week, Toronto Life released their annual Best New Restaurants list with a bumper crop of 20 exciting and delicious new places to dine. I've got my new line-up of restaurants set now and plan to try them all! Which ones have you tried? What else would you put on the list? Which one are you most excited to try?  Let me know!

This delicious pizza above is one I'm going to add to the list from the wonderful Pizzeria Libretto. Ok, it might not be new in Toronto; however, it is definitely new to the financial district (on University Ave) and a very welcome escape during lunchtime!