A Brit In Paris

The Daydreamer was lucky enough to be taken to Paris last week. Talk about daydreams coming true!

Tuesday morning I flew from Edinburgh, to arrive at the stunning Hotel Le Mathurin (a quirky, 4* boutique hotel in the city centre) at lunchtime. I had an appointment at 2 pm with Analeena (luxury handbag label), so I literally dumped my luggage before hot-footing it to the Four Seasons.

 Hotel Le Mathurin, Paris

I had envisaged arriving fresh from my hotel, blow dry having lasted the journey, totally composed. In reality, my feet burned from dashing through Paris in heels, my hair was totally windswept and, thanks to my 80 denier opaques and bouclé coat (which were completely wrong for the unexpected warmth of the sun that afternoon), I arrived in a sweaty, flushed mess. Even a quick stop in the powder room didn’t help – of course, I was at the Four Seasons, where there are no hand dryers, just individual thick, luxurious towels for each guest.   

 Human-size vases in the Four Seasons foyer
I composed myself and found the suite which housed the Analeena presentation, where I finally met the delightful (and incredibly pretty) Lina Hamed, Creative Director. (More on the collection later). We enjoyed tea while discussing the shows, the fashion industry, social networking (Lina and I are big fans of Instagram!) and, of course, Lina’s desirable SS13 collection and hopes for the future. 
The beautiful Lina, with her beautiful Analeena handbags.
Late afternoon, I took a stroll down the Champs-Elysees, along the Seine and finally to the Eiffel Tower. I’m sorry to be so uncool, but I actually squealed a little when I saw it – I couldn’t help the goofy grin that spread across my face! I walked along, taking photos and people watching, until I found myself gazing through the windows of Dior, Barbara Bui and many other luxury fashion stores. (My wallet remained firmly tucked in my Bayswater). After being politely accosted by a French man who wanted to take me for a coffee before driving me to my hotel (apparently he was a chauffeur), I stopped at a nice little cafe and ordered a latte while flicking through a copy of French fashion magazine, Jalouse. People watching is such fun, and it was easy to tell who the fashion week-ers were. (I won’t say any more than that!) 

Reflected in the window at Dior

I arrived back at my hotel room around 5.30 pm and relaxed with a chunky Kit Kat (the first thing I’d eaten all day) and a litre bottle of Volvic. Tres chic. I caught up on all my social networking (I’m a blogger!) and then showered and got ready for dinner with the Value Retail team, who had invited me to Paris to visit La Vallee Village (the French equivalent of Bicester Village). I wore my new favourite illusion dress by Next, with a leather jacket, spike necklace and suede peep-toes in a rich shade of garnet. 

  Illusion dress by Next; leather jacket by Oasis, necklace by ASOS. Sorry for the terrible selfie!

I met two Italians (Valentina and Daniela), who were also on the trip, in the bar of Hotel Le Mathurin and we enjoyed a glass of Chablis while trying to hold a conversation! We then met the other press (more beautiful Europeans) before being taken to Bon for dinner. (Think French, with a Japanese/Asian twist). I had Foie Gras followed by spicy (raw) seabass. Delicious, if a little new for me! Some more wine, then we were back to the hotel for bed ahead of a visit to La Vallee Village the next day.
At La Vallee, we were shown the Norman Parkinson exhibition, given interview slots (there was work to be done!) and time to do some VIP discounted shopping. (More on La Vallee/Parkinson exhibit coming soon). Before you ask, yes, I shopped. I bought Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors and MaxMara, which I frantically stuffed into my cabin case while my driver took my to the airport for my flight back to Edinburgh at 8.30 pm. 

Three hours later I arrived home to my wee family of husband, dog and cat – despite having a wonderful time in Paris, it felt good to be home.  

With huge thanks to Value Retail and La Vallee Village for such a wonderful press trip.



  1. b.lindsay 8th October 2012 / 20:45

    Lucky you, it all sounds absolutely brilliant, and I love the bag!I think I would like to visit Paris now.

  2. Laurence Corteggiani 25th October 2012 / 22:11

    Christina, it was an absolute pleasure to have you with us and I cannot thank you enough for your beautiful article in the Huffington Post, I had never read before an article that describes so perfectly and so wonderfully what we are trying to achieve with our Art Gallery at La Vallée Village. I am so happy you enjoyed your trip!
    Take care & hope to see you again soon

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *