hotel bourg tibourg

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getaway in time

I think every European adventure starts with the same little story of finding my way from the airport or train station to the hotel via shanty streets and underground tunnels. There is also always that awkward exchange of eye contact or even a smile with a stranger you’re sharing the handrail with. This time around, my mum had joined me, so all I did was take pictures as she got more and more excited to jump on a train that was surely there to take us to the middle of the city. The city that she has only pictured and seen through all the visual moments I shared with her on previous trips to Paris.

We inched closer and closer to Le Marais, the area of Paris that boasts creativity, beauty and streets lined with cafes and corner restaurants run by families. The windows invite you into galleries or speciality shops and with the casual “bonsoir” you’re part of the community.

And the moment we came out of the station at Hotel du Ville, we were greeted by Rue du Rivoli, which I know truly well from my previous trip in Paris. The only issue was that Le Marais isn’t an area I know all too well, but I was excited to explore. We grabbed our bags and walked past cafes with people parked outside with their champagnes and aperols taking in the very warm Sunday sunny weather. Down the street, around the corner, there was a little sign that tipped us off that Hotel Bourg Tibourg is the very place we reached. The doorman’s swift greet and reaction to open the door was just the initial steps towards walking into a time capsule.
 

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{hotel bourg tibourg} via chevrons & éclairs {hotel bourg tibourg} via chevrons & éclairs

“It’s a small space. I thought it would be
interesting to show that small can become grand.”

-Jacques Garcia

Walking in through the foyer and into the lobby, where all the noise had completely dissolved from the buzzing streets, we came upon an ornate room that begged us to explore. And soon after check-in we were in our rooms where we sat as two pearl earrings encased in a jewelry box. Each piece, material and pattern so meticulously chosen pulling off ultimate luxury.

My snap-happy fingers were excited to capture each angle of the room, and though humble in size, it brought a rather significant impression. A balcony with typical Parisian rooftop views, Costes beauty products, fringed lamp shades, large deep bathtubs and mosaic and black granite-it was all so charming and felt like I was in the depths of a literary and filmic action in 1920s Paris and only made possible by Jacques Garcia.
 

{hotel bourg tibourg} via chevrons & éclairs
{hotel bourg tibourg} via chevrons & éclairs

 
 
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{hotel bourg tibourg} via chevrons & éclairs
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enchantment in the heart of the city

We headed downstairs before catching the evening sun near the Seine and decided to take a little break from it all. We came upon an oasis around the corner from the lobby. Initially invited by the sounds of a water fountain, a few lights and lots of plants. There was a table and a few chairs that gathered around a vase of gorgeous pale pink roses, my favorite as you may know. It felt secluded and just the thing to see when you’re caught up in the evolving, energetic and vibrant world right outside the main doors. It was the perfect place to enjoy a glass of champagne as we commence our trip.

We spent the first morning lying in and woken up naturally by the spring’s sun tickling the rooftops as it inched closer to us. Ordered room service, drank coffee on the balcony, ate croissants in bed and enjoyed the berries as we casually got ready to explore each and every corner we can grasp. Luckily, everything was just steps away from the doors of Hotel Bourg Tibourg that we didn’t have to meander far and could just saunter from one location to the next as we finally neared the Eiffel Tower.
 

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{hotel bourg tibourg} via chevrons & éclairs {hotel bourg tibourg} via chevrons & éclairs

Hotel Bourg Tibourg

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Our stay for the second night was topped off with breakfast in the nook downstairs. We made our way to the basement and to our utter surprise we saw a gorgeous Viollet Le Duc chandelier that sat so ornate among the confines of a wall that were adorned with carpets and accompanied with leisurely chairs and tables all ready to be served with pastries, juices and more.

It was difficult leaving Hotel Bourg Tibourg, the majestic ambiance that captivates you at your very first breath makes it an extraordinary experience and one that you will never be able to fully forget.
 

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hotel sacha

{hotel sacha} via chevrons & éclairs

the rhythm of Parisian life

I remember when I first started traveling on my own I had really adventurous and outrageous thoughts on where I would travel to. As I got older, started a desk-job in DC and was bounced into reality-I quickly realized I wouldn’t really have very much time to take these exceptional trips. So I started to daydream as to where I wanted to go for mini-breaks. Europe was on my mind. And since I was older, with a slightly more refined taste and the outbreak of macarons in the capital meant I had Paris on my bucket list.

And then my obsession with Paris grew as I watched Gossip Girl, read Fitzgerald, took an interest in baking thanks to Julia Childs, it just went on and on until I was conceptualizing what I thought Paris would be like and I fell in love with it…

I moved to London several years later without the intention of being here. And though I knew that Paris was so easy to escape to, I struggled hard to get away because I was trying to piece together my new life. As time went on and the more I settled in, I had finally took the plunge and bought a ticket to Paris with a friend in town-to visit for the weekend. We had a very lovely time, as I explained joyously through my first Paris post and it was definitely not the last time I visited.

Since then, I’ve been lucky enough to visit Paris with more friends, for a getaway and some work-it has become essentially another home to me. I get lost in the little streets and find my way around following the trail of the Seine or the smell of a near boulangerie. And every single time, I always tend to stick within the same neighborhoods and frequent my regular places. This time, however, I decided to get out of the very center of the city and stay in Montmartre for a couple of nights.
 

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{hotel sacha} via chevrons & éclairs
{hotel sacha} via chevrons & éclairs {hotel sacha} via chevrons & éclairs

Hotel Sacha

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We checked in and it was like walking onto a stage! The ambiance that mimics the artistic surroundings of Pigalle and Montmartre, Hotel Sacha was a energetic hotel that kept the Parisian experience alive.

From the office and to our room, the vibrant colors guided us to a suite that overlooked a quaint street. Where commercialism met daily life. We got comfortable, made a cup of coffee, and relaxed a bit.

Soon after that, itching to explore the rest of the hotel, we made our way downstairs for a champagne reception and had a chat with other guests and the friendly hotel staff. It was a lovely environment, one that felt not too formal and yet not too relaxed. The immersion felt necessary to get the proper experience of being in Paris after all. Conversation and champagne equally flowed until the evening sun came out and the flowered patio housed shadows. It came to an end, but it made our hotel experience unique and memorable.

And every morning was the same experience. Instead of champagne, croissants and cheese and meats were available and don’t forget the endless warm baguettes coming through too!
 

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seaside escape

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the British seaside

With my mummy visiting, I want to give her the full British/European experience. Her 2 week visit is a bit of a luxury for her and why not take advantage of it. With her third visit to London, I knew that the tourist sites were not something she was keen to revisit for a possible third time. I ended up prepping the trip way in advance with afternoon tea, spa days, a city break and a visit to another part of England.

The sun was out, it was warm enough to not wear sleeves, the Brit were all of a sudden bikini models and marathon runners. We hopped into a car and made our way straight to Brighton. For those of you who don’t know, it’s one of England’s seaside towns just a mere hour train ride away from London and a frequent roster of trains. It was like being transported back in time during the days of prohibition in New Jersey. There is a carnival, endless cheeky treats, and the beauty of the sea around you.
 

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what I wore

top JACK WILLS trousers c/o BODEN trench c/o BODEN sunnies RAY-BAN c/o SUNGLASS SHOP trainers SUPERGA c/o ANTHROPOLOGIE purse c/o COACH

We only wanted to spend part of the day there, so we walked over to the pier and immediately grabbed a try of cheesy chips as we were just slightly peckish. Once consumed, it was time to just meander through the people, watching the seagulls circle us from above, listening to the sounds of the carnival and enjoy the breeze from the sea.

We grabbed some blue and white striped chairs, sat down and just people watched for a bit taking in a nap under the very rare English sun. After a little afternoon snooze, we headed to the shops on the Lanes and perused northward towards the Royal Pavillion. Surrounding a mass of green space speckled with people participating in the afternoon shut-eye like we did were buildings that looked fairly misplaced as the round then pointed top windows were replicas of exteriors found in the Middle East or India.
 

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{seaside escape} via chevrons & éclairs
{seaside escape} via chevrons & éclairs
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and from the seaside…

The little gardens and getting lost between the columns of the Royal Pavillion took much of our time and we ended up finding ourselves at V.I.P Pizza. A little gem in the area that not many people would assume would be the most wonderful pizza you will ever have outside the country of it’s origin.

With an indulgent dinner and some gelato to go, we headed back to the hustling city. And now packing for our European city break as I check-off “English seaside escape” from the “Mummy travel bucket list!”
 

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utterly grateful

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what I wore

top H&M jeans c/o BODEN shoes c/o BODEN sunnies RAY-BAN c/o SUNGLASS SHOP lipstick MAXWELL c/o ZOYA

My mom is currently visiting me in London and it has been her very first visit since I moved here. The process has been a bit overwhelming as we weren’t sure if my schedule would allow for a leisurely 2 week visit. Then when it happened her flight got cancelled and she arrived a day late. In the end, she made it, and it was a very emotional reunion. My mom and I are best friends and to separate us for about a year is something we deal with, but internally a burning sensation to give each other a hug eats us all up. And then it was yesterday when we were watching a film together did I realize I was grateful for all the wonderful experiences she has allowed me to have, a girl belonging to a rather conservative cultural community, to explore the world and beyond and to do things unimaginable. And with that I have so much more to be grateful for.

First, I know I will be able to feel the eye-rolls, but I am very grateful to be an American. Seeing many expats here struggle with visa issues and having to leave their belonging to a land of uncertainty has given me the feeling of being grateful for where I have come from. There are times in when I get upset and irritated with the status quo, but there are freedoms, security and administration that I know will look out for me.

Second, being able to travel. This is nothing new. I was fortunate enough to be one of those children that got onto my first international flight when I was just a month old. Since then I distinctly remember my father making have menial jobs in college so I could save money, he would match what I saved and then tell me to go travel home. “Don’t go home, explore the world because this is your time.” If it wasn’t for that and the trust my parents had in me, I would not have had the experiences, confidence and abilities I have today.
 

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{what I'm grateful for} via chevrons & éclairs {what I'm grateful for} via chevrons & éclairs

security & languages

Third, despite having little hives flare ups after eating a punnet of strawberries, I have no major allergies. Recently, I went on a dinner with a friend who had a nut and seed allergy that prevented her from eating a lot of the menu and looking for substitutions. Another friend has stressed herself out so much recently that she developed a gluten and dairy intolerance. That. Seems. Like. A. Nightmare. Consider the crap I have on my shoulders recently my body has acted as a cocoon, protecting me.

Fourth, the ability to continue to grow. With my mom here, I definitely took advantage of her amazing organizing skills and had her help me sort out some of my things. I pulled out my Arabic language textbooks-they were completely beat up from all my travels with them. I decided to pull them aside to have a think about what I should do with them. Later that evening, I looked through them and noticed that everything that was included in the textbooks was second nature to me. Something that was instilled in my head. I decided I would just donate them and then decided to look up some more Arabic language books online and found literature books that got me excited to test my knowledge and tickle my interests. Being able to learn a language from scratch, continuing on with it from college, and then being able to challenge yourself even further is something that gets me rather excited…

Five, being multilingual. With what I said above, I am just so grateful that I am able to communicate with people of all backgrounds and communities. English was not my first language and I didn’t really speak it until I was well into elementary school. I remember there being times in high school that I struggled with words quite a bit, but I just saw English is another language in the book and Gujarati as my base language. This wasn’t something I was grateful for because it was just the everyday for me, until my friend Nat from St. Andrews told me how incredible it was to seamlessly go in and out of different languages and appeal to such a wide population.
 

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my people & education

Six, my experiences. Read the first paragraph of this post. It just deserved to be mentioned again. Camping with Bedouins, traveling through Syria, cooking classes in Marrakech, partying in Spain, candlelight dinners in Jodhpur, watching the sunset over the Taj Mahal, living in a vibrant city, the list goes on.

Seven, my education is something I’m very proud of. I see my peers today all around the world doing some of the most unimaginable things. Corporate lawyers at international leading firms, running major multi-national corporations, diplomats, running for office, named Forbes’ 30 under 30. All these things can confirm that my education has prepared me for the best. And though the process was a brutal one, I don’t regret it at all. With that said, my parents (like any Indian parents) had me join piano classes, dance lessons, language courses, and so on. They spent lots of money behind those classes so I could learn more about myself. These are gifts.

My family. From my recent trip to Marrakech with my brother, daily chats with my mom and strategy sessions with my dad-my family has been there for me the entire time. Having such a close knit family has brought me to where I am and I’m just going to stop being sappy right here.

Nine and ten go hand-in-hand. I am truly grateful for this blog and the community built around it. Moving to London was no easy feat. I started off in a corporate job that didn’t seem to fit what I had imagined and though I loved the work I realized my social life didn’t exist. Seeking friends in a new country can be intimidating, but I used my blog as an engine with meet people. Slowly I realized that it offered opportunities in ways that have been unimaginable. I have made friends all around the world and I am truly, so utterly, grateful for all of that.
 

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tricks for concentration

{staying disciplined} via chevrons & éclairs

the freelance life to the corporate world

I’ve had all sorts of jobs and schedules just over the last 5 to 7 years. I was working behind a desk for the government then a student and then on the ground in a foreign country all before launching my own business, which started from my flat. I find it a blessing that I didn’t go straight behind a desk right after college and was given some time to figure out what exactly it was that I wanted and needed. The various experiences opened me up to so much and through it all staying disciplined throughout the day has been the only way to efficiently get work done and achieve results. Today I work out of an office space and on certain days, where high concentration is crucial to get my work done, I tend to stay at home to prevent distractions. So I’m sharing what works for me and would love for you to share what does/doesn’t for you.

coffee

First and foremost, coffee is something that I tried to shake, but I probably never would. The ability to make my own cup every morning, the methodical process, helps me get through the morning slump. I found that owning a coffee machine, like my Nescafe Dolce Gusto, when working from home can increase concentration, save you money and provide barista quality coffee that you might not have access to if you’re not always working in the city.
 

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timing & distractions

I am definitely someone who can work for very long periods of time without getting tired and losing too much focus. It works for me, but not all the time. On days that I have a lot of analytical work {think numerical strategy}, I tend to burn out quickly so I usually practice the 20-20 rule. This is where I will work for 20 minutes straight and then take a 20 second break. I use that 20 seconds off to literally close my eyes and turn up the volume of my music. Then I head straight back into it again. This is something I did through my econometrics courses… and I graduated with a first, ha!

In the age of social media and all its over exploitations, we can get stuck in this tech-induced black hole. There have been countless occasions where I get into my bed, just pop open Instagram and then find myself desperately breathing for air as I unintentionally drowned myself into my feed for over an hour. Block. These. Distractions. Out. I use the Toggl App on my desktop to manage my time and make sure I utilize my time in the right places. I have also shared a few of my favorite productivity apps here!
 

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routine & rewards

Every single time I meet with people they often ask how I get so much done in a day. I talk about efficiency and they confuse it with routine. I never have a routine and if you can’t tell from my stories on Instagram, where I share bits of my life, I will go anywhere from being a blogger in the morning to consultant the rest of the day, to enjoying a dinner with the girlfriends. No two days are the same and I like to keep it that way to keep myself excited and motivated to work the next day. It is true that some days/weeks are extremely long, but then I will reward myself with nice things, cheeky drinks, night out or a dinner for two. Recently, I started pre-rewarding-which is where I will reward myself before a long day of tasks, but I make it purposeful. Last week I had a very long day of meetings and negotiations ahead of me, so I treated myself to a nice, healthy and hearty breakfast. So just enjoy the bits in life!

Finally, on a similar note, I did write a bit about my tricks on staying motivation {long-term} as well.

 

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