Friday Headlines

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A perfectly Parisian trip

28 February 2020

On Thursday 13 February, at 2:15 am, 20 Year 11, 12 and 13 students, together with Mrs Mooney, Mrs Harris and Mrs Parsons, headed off for a four day trip to Paris. The coach trip was eerily quiet as most were asleep until the coach arrived at Luton Airport. 

The flight was quick; we arrived in Paris at 9am and after a short coach journey to our hotel we headed off for a two hour fashion walking tour. Our lovely guide told us all about the origins of fashion in Paris as well as current designer labels. We found out some fascinating details regarding the purchasing of vintage fashion which has been exchanged amongst collectors for many decades. We learnt interesting facts concerning YSL and the difference between Rive Droite and Rive Gauche. We visited the Chanel flagship store, where we saw the iconic mirrored staircase. 

The tour ended at Galeries Lafayette, an iconic Parisian department store boasting a beautiful Art Nouveau interior. After some shopping (unfortunately most items were out of our price range) we enjoyed the wonderful art nouveau decorations, especially the stunning glass dome. Finally, we headed to the Hard Rock Café for a delicious meal of American style burgers and chips and a rather loud surprise rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ for Aliyah’s 18th! 

We started our second day in Paris with a French breakfast in style. All ready for Valentine’s Day we munched on croissants and set off to the Metro. We started our day at the Pompidou Centre, which houses the first collection of modern and contemporary art in Europe. There we were able to see wonderful art works from Matisse to Delaunay while receiving a wealth of information, concerning the artists, from the museum’s Art Historian. 

After this we were able to explore the gift shop before we all parted ways for lunchtime. Many of us enjoyed one of the trip’s numerous visits to Sephora, while others dived into crepes, waffles and churros before we all met up again to embark on our next adventure. Each day an allocated Sixth Former would help guide us through the Metros and we soon arrived at the Sacre Coeur also known as ‘The Heart of Paris’, a beautiful Roman Catholic church and basilica, adorned with locks from people who have visited (perfect for St. Valentine’s day!).  From the church we were met with the most beautiful view of Paris, including a view of Notre Dame and Montmartre. After we took in the view (and some mandatory group photos) we went down to the Montmartre area, which is known for its creperies, historic bistros and of course …fabric shops! To Mrs Mooney’s delight, the Textiles students indulged themselves in the fabrics at Tissus Reine and Sacres Coupons. All of us were so excited by the mini-sized mannequins around the store that would give inspiration to seamstresses and designers.

After all of that walking, we boarded the Metro again to settle down for dinner. We feasted on chicken, pasta and omelettes before wishing a very special teacher a happy birthday! I can only imagine how happy Mrs Parsons must have been to spend her birthday with the Year 11,12 and 13 Textiles and Media students. It was safe to say we sang ‘Happy Birthday’ loud and proud in true EHS fashion.

To end the day, we had a guided tour of Montparnasse, a skyscraper which shows an entire 360-degree view over Paris. While taking photos and complaining about the cold, we all took time to look out onto on the night-time view of Paris, with the twinkling lights of the streets and Eiffel Tower around us and reflected on the day. All before boarding the Metro once again and heading off to bed in our hotel rooms.

Saturday was just as busy, providing us with another day packed with exploring Paris's finest lunch spots as well as seeing the extremely interesting galleries and sights. We started off the day with a trip to Musée d'Orsay and were amazed by the large collection of varied artists. Following this we travelled from Musée d'Orsay to a spot along the river adjacent to the famous Eiffel Tower, where we waited for our boat tour. The boat travelled up and along the river providing us with beautiful views on this sunny day. We continued to Musée des arts decoratifs where the Dior Exhibition had originated. ‘Marche et démarches’ was a fascinating exhibition showcasing the history of the shoe and included mundane everyday footwear contrasted against some silhouettes and shapes we had never seen before. 

Our last day in Paris began with a slightly later start, much to our delight. After suitcases were packed and rooms checked, we left our luggage at the hotel and marched down to the Metro. Our destination was the Maison Européenne de la Photographie on the East side of the city. The composition of the work and the manner to which the work was conveyed to the viewer was very interesting, particularly to the Media students. Whilst Mrs Mooney, Mrs Parsons and Mrs Harris were keeping a keen eye on the flights leaving from Charles de Gaulle (due to major disruptions due to Storm Dennis), we wandered around the lovely little streets of Ile de la Cité enjoying spending our last few euros. Our flight was the first out of Paris that day, bound for Luton. Although not the smoothest of flights, we arrived back in the UK on Sunday evening having had a wonderful four days in Paris. 

By Freya McGuire, Hermione Hooper and Maya Chavda 

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