Trip to Paris with Lindor and Secret Escapes

Things to do in Paris

If you follow my Instagram (gemmalondonlife) you will have recently seen that I went on an absolutely incredible trip to Paris with one of my all time favourite chocolate brands Lindor Chocolate. The reason for this trip was because Lindor have recently partnered with Secret Escapes for a Valentine’s Day competition and I was lucky enough to go along and experience what the competition winners would win, I know right, it was a really pinch me moment! The idea behind the prize is that for Valentine’s Day, the competition winners would win a 2 night trip to Paris, which includes a stay at the new and beautiful Hoxton Hotel (more about this later) and a visit to Lindor’s largest chocolate stores where they will attend a private chocolate making and tasting session. Is there anything more perfect than a trip to the city of love finished off with chocolate making?!

I arrived bright and early to Kings Cross & St Pancreas Station to board our Eurostar to Paris with armfuls of croissants and coffee and ready for a trip to one of my favourite cities. I think when it comes to weekend breaks cities are always my go to. I feel like you can cram so much into a few days and really feel like you’ve explored the destination and there is always so much to do. This is definitely true for Paris, it’s such a beautiful city with some of the most famous sites there are to see in the world and it’s also one of the most romantic cities I’ve ever been to. 

Hoxton Hotel Paris

After a short journey on the Eurostar we arrived in Paris and headed to The Hoxton Hotel to check in and have a quick change before heading to lunch in their restaurant. Even if you’re not staying at the hotel I’d really recommend trying to go to their restaurant because their lunch menu was so delicious. I had the Harissa Squash with a side of fries, because is it really a lunch out if you don’t have a side of fries?!

Hoxton Hotel Paris


After lunch we then headed to the Lindor Paris store to design our own chocolate slab bars and try a few of their exclusive chocolates they only sell in that store. I decorated my slab with almonds, strawberries and chocolate hearts, which I felt was very fitting for the Valentine’s Day competition! Once we’d finished in that section we then headed to the most amazing pick n mix stand I think I’ve ever seen. The store has a section of rows and rows of the Lindt truffles in every single flavour you could ever imagine and we were told to fill our gift boxes with as many that would fit, I know, dream come true. There were so many different flavours that I had never heard of before like Almond, Irish Cream, Mint, Orange and Sea Salt. I’ve almost finished the box that I made and I did originally have the intention of taking the box into work to share but then as I’d already eaten so many I thought maybe I should just treat myself!







Things to do in Paris

Things to do in Paris

If we weren’t all chocolated out (definitely a real phase) we then headed to the in store cafe which has a menu of entirely chocolate related drinks (can you tell I was in heaven?!) I had the iced chocolate macchiato, which was absolutely delicious and wasn’t too heavy because it was chilled.

Things to do in Paris

Once we were all finished in the shop we decided to brave the rain and go and see some of the Parisian sites. To wait for the rain to pass a little we first headed to the Louvre to take a look at the Mona Lisa, which was surrounded by a million pushing people to try and get a selfie of her, so apologies for the awful picture. After having a little walk around the museum the rain had stopped enough for us to venture outside to try and find some more sites, however this was pretty short lived and then the gales started! So instead we decided to hide in a little a little Parisian cafe with some snacks and a nice glass of red wine, whilst we dried off before shortly heading back to the hotel to change before dinner. 

Things to do in Paris

Things to do in Paris

Things to do in Paris

Things to do in Paris

Things to do in Paris


Having visited the London Hoxton Hotel I think I’d definitely say that the Paris branch is my favourite. It has such a grand and almost Great Gatsby feel to it, especially the entrance way with the staircase but then it’s also super cosy at the same time with all the little nucks and crannies with velvets seats that you could sit and drink coffee in all day. We absolutely loved our room, it’s had a really cosy romantic feel to it with the dim lighting and velvet accents with the most beautiful marble and gold detailed bathroom. The hotel is also in a really great central location which was perfect walking distance to lots of bars and restaurants and also walkable distance to a lot of the sites. 

Hoxton Hotel Paris

Hoxton Hotel Paris

Hoxton Hotel Paris

Hoxton Hotel Paris

Hoxton Hotel Paris

Hoxton Hotel Paris


We headed out for an early-ish dinner to a place right in the middle of the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower so after dinner we went for a walk along the river and caught the Eiffel Tower in all it’s glory sparkling away. We then headed back to the hotel where we almost fell into bed after such an incredible but very long day and had the most amazing nights sleep before another full day of exploring. 

Things to do in Paris

Things to do in Paris


Luckily the weather on our second day was absolutely beautiful as it was super chilly with blue skies, which is just the perfect winter weather. After breakfast in the restaurant at the Hoxton, we walked from the hotel to the Eiffel Tower taking in all the beautiful Parisian streets where had a little explore of the area and took a few photos. The walk probably only took us about an hour, which on a beautiful day is such a lovely walk to do because you walk through the centre of Paris through all the shops and then you have a short walk along the river before you’re greeting by the magnificent Eiffel Tower. We didn’t go up the tower as I’d already done that quite a few times, but if you have time to spare I’d definitely recommend doing this as you get the most incredible view of the whole of Paris. 

Hoxton Hotel Paris


Things to do in Paris

Things to do in Paris

Things to do in Paris

Things to do in Paris

We really had the most magical two days in Paris, and I think it was probably one of my favourite trips to the city. If you would like to experience the city as I did with a beautiful stay at The Hoxton Hotel and visit to the Lindor store then Secret Escapes are currently running a competition on their website that ends on the 14th February over on their website. All you have to do to enter is follow the link below and fill in all the details and cross your fingers and toes that you’ll win a magically, romantic trip to the city of love! 



Enter the competition here

Things to do in Paris



Let me know if you enter because I would love to share with you some other tips I have from previous trips to Paris!

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2018 Goals and Ramblings


It's 2018, can you believe it?! Where has the past year gone, I know people say that the older you get the faster the years fly by and I can definitely say that 2017 was the quickest year of my life. I think this is probably because we got married in September so most of my year was focused on planning that and then we had the most incredible honeymoon and then all of a sudden it was November! I remember this time last year I woke up and thought 'We're getting married this year!' and began to immediately panic and manically plan and Pinterest. I absolutely loved, loved 2017 but I'm so excited to start 2018 with new goals and new things to focus on.

Take more personal photos
When we were on our honeymoon I made a personal Instagram account and it honestly felt so freeing to have a space to post images of Tristan and I and not worrying about the image being really perfect. I now love that I have a space where I can post pictures of my friends and family and it made me realise that I rarely take pictures just for the memories, instead I'm always looking for the best aesthetic in case I can use it on my blog Instagram account. So this year I want to take more pictures just for the sake of it and to make memories.

Take up yoga 
I really stuck with my weekly fitness regime this year along with healthy eating and I've honestly never felt better. For the first time in so many years I've actually ended the year not feeling over weight and unhappy with my weight and just generally positive and it feels amazing. My main motivation for being healthy and fit last year was the wedding and I so want to keep this up in 2018. Along with spinning and the gym I really want to get into yoga this year, I think the benefits are amazing for both the body and mind and I'm all for finding anything to help with stress!

Travel the UK more
Looking back over the past few years I've been lucky enough to travel so much all over the world, and this year I really would love to explore the UK more, specifically around Scotland. The UK is so so beautiful and I absolutely love the countryside so hopefully this year Tristan and I can plan some more UK trips.

Achieve more with my blog & Instagram 
2017 really was an amazing year for me in terms of the blog as along with planning a wedding and working full time I still managed to work with some really incredible brands. Now that I have more free time I can focus more time and energy into my blog and Instagram and I'm so excited to create some really amazing content in 2018 and really see what I can achieve. I'd also love to continue to improve my photography as I compared my images from the end of 2016 to the end of 2017 and I could see a noticeable difference so I definitely want to try and continue with learning different ways to edit and shoot as photography is something I really enjoy.

Be more positive
Finally, but probably most importantly I would really like to try and be more positive on a day to day basis. This kind of ties in with yoga and exercise but I find looking after myself massively helps mentally and helps my ability to cope with stress and I'd like to improve this a bit more by actively trying to be positive. As Roald Dahl famously said 'if you have happy thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely' and I think this is absolutely true!

Sorry for such a rambled post, but I love to write these posts every year and summarise what I want to achieve in the year to come and just take a moment to step back and write down my thoughts.

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