Lauren’s Parisian Hen Weekend – Part 2

We began the day with a delicious breakfast at the hotel, where the croissants were fresh from the patisserie next door! Yum!

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Then made our way to the banks of the River Seine, as we had booked an hour-long sightseeing cruise. It may have been freezing, but we kept ourselves warm with hot drinks and it was a great way of seeing all the sights when short on time.

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After the tour we made our way to The Eiffel Tower ready for our trip to the top. We had pre-booked our tickets with an allocated time slot, which I would highly recommend doing, otherwise you are stuck waiting in a very long queue!

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We went up by lift but you can walk it if you are feeling fit and brave! As you can see it was a bit breezy, but such a good way of taking in the whole city and the views were amazing. At the top they also have a few souvenir shops and a macaron shop, my favourite!

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We grabbed a late snack/lunch on our walk back to the hotel. Where we then had some time to leisurely get ready for the evening.

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We started the night with drinks at the hotel and then jumped into taxis to Le Sanglier Bleu restaurant where we had dinner reservations.

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We gave Lauren some presents and a memory book with photos and notes from all the hen’s and played a few games whilst enjoying a delicious dinner of sea bass and traditional tart tatin and Crème brûlée’s. Yum!

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Finally finishing off with some traditional drinks!

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We then had a short walk to the infamous Moulin Rouge, where we had tickets for the evening show, which we were all so excited for. The queue to get in was a bit crazy even though we had tickets but once inside it was pretty iconic and magical.

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We had a private table and were given so many bottles of champagne. Apparently it came included with the tickets!

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The show was a mixture of burlesque, circus acts, singing and dancing. Some acts were really good but unfortunately some were quite dated and not as slick as we all imagined it would be. I’m glad I can say I visited though as it had been on the bucket list for a long time but I wouldn’t rush to go back. Fun night out with the girls though!

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The next morning we couldn’t believe how quickly the trip had flown by and that it was our last day in the beautiful city. So we had yet another leisurely breakfast at the hotel, had a little look around the local shops and eventually got the train back to the airport.

Such a lovely girls weekend away and hopefully a trip Lauren will never forget!

Love, Chloe xx

Lauren’s Parisian Hen Weekend – Part 1

When Lauren asked me to be one of her bridesmaids I was so happy and excited. Even though we had a whole year to plan the wedding, the first thing that came into my mind was hen do!

Lauren had 2 other bridesmaids, her friend Lucie and her sister Cathy and they all live near each other in Southampton. But living a couple of hours away, I felt like I wasn’t a lot of help to begin with, when it came to the wedding. However when it came to the hen do, I knew distance wouldn’t matter and that I could put a lot of effort into the planning process.

Lauren is a pretty classy lady so we knew she wouldn’t want anything too full on or tacky, so after a bit of research we decided on a weekend in Paris at the beginning of December.

Paris offered a mixture of Christmas festivities, culture, good food and fun and we all managed to keep it a secret from Lauren, along with the rest of the hens.

Lucie made Lauren a beautiful goodie box filled with lots of Parisian/French themed items to help her work out where she was going. Shocked and excited after eventually working out where she was going 😉 Lauren couldn’t wait to celebrate with everyone.

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I flew out from Gatwick a few hours earlier than the rest of the group, who were flying from Bournemouth. But that gave me time to decorate Lauren’s hotel room! We tried to keep the theme Parisian Chic and tried to match colours as best as possible to Lauren’s wedding theme of golds, creams and neutral/wood tones. So pretty. I think she liked it.

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After settling into the hotel, we headed out into the local area for a spot of late lunch, finding a place big enough to fit us all in. I think almost all of us chose croque-monsieur’s and tea to help us warm up, Paris was pretty chilly!

It was nice to have no set plan for this first day. We just walked and talked, passing through the Louvre and eventually ending up at the main Christmas Market also known as Village de Noel des Champs Elysees. You can’t miss it, it is stunning!

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It was so pretty all lit up with the twinkly lights and had a bit of something for everyone. Little market stalls for browsing, mulled wine for drinking and crazy fun fair rides for riding.

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You can’t take us anywhere!

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A few of us ended up on the ice skating rink, whilst the others took great pleasure in watching us slowly making our way around and sometimes falling over! All while enjoying their hot drinks. I’m a terrible ice skater and ended up coming off within about 15 minutes!

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We decided to end the night by buying some wine and snacks on the walk back to the hotel and enjoyed a girls night in.

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Love, Chloe xx

Kathryn and Anthony’s Wedding!

Matt and I woke up early, so we had enough time to get ready, before beginning our drive to Froyle Park in Hampshire for Kat and Ant’s wedding day!

It was another bright day, filled with sunshine, the perfect day for a wedding.

We stopped at a pub along the way, to meet up with some of the other guests for a drink and a bite to eat, before carrying on our journey to the venue.

Driving along the long, gravel path, we saw Froyle Park for the first time and it looked beautiful.

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We gathered in the front room, which was light and airy with huge windows, overlooking the grounds and chatted with other friends and guests, before making our way into the ceremony room.

The ceremony room was at the back of the house and had been decorated with white roses and candles, it was very romantic. We watched an excited/nervous/emotional/happy Anthony, wait for his bride to walk down the stairs and down the aisle to meet him.

Kat looked stunning in her dress.

While waiting for the ceremony to begin, us girls had tried to guess what type of dress she would be wearing, as she had kept it a secret, and this was more beautiful then any of us could ever have imagined. (Please tell me we are not the only ones who try to guess the dress?!)

Both of them were filled with love and happy tears as they exchanged vows.

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Just look at that dress!!

After the ceremony we made our way outside into the lush gardens, for drinks and canapés, while the new Mr & Mrs had their photos taken.

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The stunning bride, Kat

 

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The Wedding Party

Our glasses were constantly being topped up with champagne and the canapés were delicious. Some people decided to join in with the lawn games, while others chatted in the sunshine.

We were then informed that a cocktail bar had been opened. Free flowing Mojito’s and Porn Star Martini’s on a sunny day…amazing!

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Annie, Me, Gemma and Emma enjoying a few of the cocktails!

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One of my favourite photos – Emma, Annie, Gemma, Jess and Me

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Matt, Conor and Rich

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Group Shot! Gemma, Conor, Emma, Will, Me, Matt, Annie, Rich, Jess & James

After quite a few cocktails, fun on the swings and posing for photos, we were called in for dinner.

A delicious 3 course meal, with even more alcohol, this time white wine. Finished with the speeches and a champagne toast, I must admit I was feeling a little bit tipsy by this point!

A quick turn around of the room, meant the evening celebrations were about to begin.

First up cutting of the cake…

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Taking the floor for their first dance as Husband and Wife…

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And then we were let loose! With a free bar, a dress up box, glow sticks and a live band. We danced, sang and toasted the night away.

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Jess, Kat and Gemma

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Me & Matt ❤ (I have no idea what’s going on in the background? haha)

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Gem and Matt

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Annie and I

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Emma, Annie, Conor and Me

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Me & Gem

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Me, Matt and Jess

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Will, Matt, Annie and Emma

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Jess and I

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Me & matt

An amazing day, spent with wonderful friends, filled with love, laughter and smiles  ❤

Bye Chicago – Hello NYC!

Friday morning started early, finishing our last minute packing and saying goodbye to Jason and Christina.

This was emotional, well for us girls anyway! I hadn’t seen Christina for 9 months and now our 6 days together, which we had both been looking forward to for soo long had just flown by. They were a lot of fun, but had made me realise just how much fun we used to have together and how much I miss her back home! She is most definitely my partner in crime!

Jason will be popping back to the UK in September for a friend of our’s wedding, however Christina couldn’t get the time off work which is a real shame. I don’t know how American’s deal with the lack of holiday days it’s just crazy! They will, however both be back over the Christmas period, so I really hope we get a chance to catch up with them properly again then.

After lots of hugs and tearful goodbyes, they left for work and Matt and I had a quick breakfast before getting a cab to the airport. I know I should have been happy, as I was heading off to NYC for the weekend, however I still felt sad that our time in Chicago was at an end and I was leaving one of my best friends behind.

I’m not a great fan of flying, especially in smaller planes that you use for shorter journeys, I just think that you can feel everything more. If that makes any sense at all ha. So to me our 2 hour long flight, felt like forever, and I just wanted to get off. To make matters worse we seemed to constantly be in cloud which made the plane a little bumpy again something I hate. Maybe I was just in a bad mood still from breakfast, but I just wanted to be in New York already!

We finally landed, grabbed our suitcases and jumped in a cab outside. The sun was shining brightly, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and it was hot. This made me very happy!! Sunglasses on and taking in the new sights, sounds and smells of NYC I felt like I was truly on holiday. Unfortunately we had landed smack bang in the middle of Friday afternoon rush hour traffic, so it took us nearly 2 hours to get to Times Square! But I was just excited about what the weekend had in store for us!

We stayed at The W Hotel on Times Square and were greeted by super friendly and helpful doormen who took our luggage. I was in awe of the hotel right from the start. Take a look at the 360 degree water fountain in the hotel lobby!

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The décor is ultra modern and the staff are friendly and helpful and check in was a breeze. We had a room on the 28th floor, overlooking M&M World and Hershey’s World (see pics below)

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The room was also pretty spacious for a NY hotel as I know some can be tiny! We had a large long wardrobe, a big double bed, plus a sofa under the window. Then the bathroom had a large double shower, toilet and sink area. The shower head however was a little low for Matt who is 6ft 6! It was one of those which was fixed on the wall so you couldn’t move it, but he seemed to manage OK in the end! We quickly unpacked, freshened up and then headed out to meet friends for dinner.

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We walked into Rosa Mexicano (Union Square) and headed straight to the bustling bar and ordered 2 mojitos. I loved the atmosphere, everyone seemed to be excited it was the weekend. The place was packed, full of friends catching up, couples on date nights and many groups who had come straight from work. The Mexican music also made me want to start dancing the night away. We found a table to perch on and waited for our friends to arrive.

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First up was Andrew, also known as Kiwi, Matt had met him on Bruce’s stag do, but I was yet to meet him. He works with Bruce in NY and seemed a really nice, down to Earth kind of guy. Then Phil arrived with his girlfriend Jess. Phil went to uni with Matt, however now lives in LA with Jess. I have met Phil many times and he is a good laugh and fun to have on a night out. This was the first time Matt and I were meeting Jess, but she seemed really sweet and also up for a fun night!

We ordered more cocktails and then headed to our table. The cocktails were really good and you could tell they use all fresh ingredients, but be prepared they are pretty strong! They also do a mojito made with Tequila, known as a Mojito de Coquito, if you fancy trying something a little different!

40cfd53b9aac5ba428bc85b5e266066c_full_sizeWe ordered some nachos and guacamole dip to share to start. This was made freshly at our table by a chef who could slice avocados so quickly, I was scared he was going to lose a finger! It was delicious though and very hard to stop eating it all!!

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Even though the whole place was super busy, it had a really relaxed vibe and we were never rushed into ordering food, it felt like they were more interested in making sure you were having a good time and experience. I loved this, however this did mean drinking quite a few cocktails before our food was served! 😉

In all honesty I can’t remember what everyone ate for dinner and I was too tipsy by this point to take photos, apologies. But the food was really good! For dessert we shared the churros which melted in your mouth and came with a variety of dips. We also decided to end dinner with a shot of tequila. Have you seen the size of American shots?! Crazy! At least twice the size of ours! eek. With full bellies and an excited tipsy feeling we headed to a bar to meet up with everyone else.

From then on the night is a bit of a blur, I don’t know what bar we went to but it was cosy and played good music. We met up with Bruce and Erin whose wedding celebrations we had come over for and we were introduced to all their family and friends. All I remember was, a lot of toasts, a lot of shots and being introduced to fireballs.

Fireballs are shots of cinnamon whisky I believe (please correct me if I’m wrong!) These don’t seem to be big in the UK yet but I’m sure they will be soon! I actually noticed a bottle of this in Sainsburys this week! So it’s coming ha. These shots are lethal! I loved the taste, I think I described it as Christmas in a shot haha, I love anything cinnamon. However after a couple, along with other shots and drinks, I had gone from being tipsy to full blown drunk and then I don’t remember the rest of the night or getting back to our room. Oops. It must have been a good one though! Needless to say I was a little bit ill when we got back to our room. I don’t think I’ll be having fireballs again in a hurry!!

Love, Chloe xx