My 21st Birthday

If you told me a few years ago that I would be spending my 21st birthday in Paris, I would have probably laughed in your face and put it all down to wishful thinking. However, much to my amazement, I got to live out my fantasy in real life as I spent my entire 21st birthday weekend with my parents in Paris absolutely milking the celebrations. Seeing as 21st birthdays are somewhat of a milestone, I wanted to document my weekend of festivities so that I can look back on the memory with feelings of gratefulness, amazement and gratitude that this is how I spent my much-anticipated birthday.

The evening before my birthday, on the 23rd January, me and my flatmates went for a scrumptious Italian dinner accompanied by enormous glasses of wine on Rue Montorgeuil. Crowding round one small, round table underneath the outside heaters was somewhat of a logistical nightmare, nevertheless it was cosy and we enjoyed our food. The girls were so kind enough to give me some gifts at the restaurant - tricking me into thinking they had bought me just a little something but whipping out a little Chanel gift bag much to my surprise and disbelief. They made my pre-birthday evening so special and I am so grateful for them being the cheery facilitators. What's more, I woke up the next day, on my birthday morning, to banners and balloons festooning our living room, which made me produce the biggest, fattest grin you ever did see.

During the morning, I went for a vegan breakfast with one of my closest childhood friends who is also year abroad-ing in Paris, and we spent the morning chinwagging over very questionable cups of hot chocolate (note... do not use rice milk to make a hot chocolate ... it will end up tasting like the ground). Afterwards, I gallivanted off to meet my Mum and Dad at their hotel in the Opéra area, and couldn't refrain from squealing when my mum walked through the glass doors, suitcases and a flustered father in tow. The day was spent munching on gluten free waffles (there was a GF waffle place right by their hotel ... it was a sign that we had to try it out) showing them around my humble apartment and strolling round nearby streets.

As the evening descended on us, we walked to the Pigalle area, in the direction of the restaurant I was lead to believe we would be dining at. After a drink in a fairly questionable-looking yet friendly bar (don't judge a book...), we turned a corner and, much to my delight and fascination, the Moulin Rouge in all it's crimson, glittering glory was there, windmill and everything. Mum & Dad - 1, Chloé - 0. My parents had surprised me with an evening show at the Moulin Rouge and it took me a good 10 minutes to fully comprehend what was going on and actually accept that this was happening. We ate at the restaurant Rouge Bis, which had a spectacular, front-row view of the Moulin Rouge and we were given a little shot of Amaretto (thank god it wasn't anything stronger as my mum and dad would have been treated to the unsightly vision of me swallowing all of my dignity whilst attempting a tequila shot) at the end as a birthday treat. 

The Moulin Rouge show itself was mesmerising. Not only were the performers dressed to the nines in feathers and rhinestones galore, but there were some incredibly talented acts that graced the stage (shoutout to the contortionist) and question our very mediocre, inflexible existences. Although there were many bare chested women on stage at once, I thought it was done in the most tasteful, elegant way and I couldn't help but applaud all of the empowering women who were giving their all so we could have an unforgettable  experience; it wasn't awkward or embarassing at all to be watching it in the presence of my parents (maybe the nice big bottle of Champagne my mum and I shared helped a tad).

 The next day, we ventured through the glass doors of the Galeries Lafayette to enjoy a morning of gawking at all of the priceless items on sale and cheekily giggling at the sight of my dad trying to search for a bar or at least somewhere that didn't have handbags with 5-digit price-tags adorning the walls. We stumbled upon an elegant bar on the 3rd floor (my dad made a blindingly obvious beeline for it the minute he saw it) and enjoyed a refreshing beverage from the comfort of our plush stalls as we looked outwards towards the famously beautiful ceiling of the building. After another hour or so of walking around, we made the executive decision to do something that didn't involve us standing on our feet, so we opted for a classic Granger favourite : the cinema. We chose to watch the new war biopic, 1917, mainly because it was one of the only films showing at that exact time that wasn't dubbed in French (had to give my parents a chance). Much to our surprise, the film was unexpectedly incredible and we were left stunned by the interesting cinematography and touching storyline. Despite the lack of sweet treats to munch on during the film (the kiosk was closed... it was a heartbreaking moment for us all), we all thoroughly enjoyed it and profited from the respite.

Dinner that evening was spent at Le Train Bleu Restaurant, which is located in the Gare de Lyon, in the 12th arrondissement. This had been on my list since it's conception (a nice little bullet point list nestled in the depths of my iPhone notes app) and we were not disappointed. The grandeur of the restaurant was unmatchable to anywhere we have ever dined before; the opulent chandeliers that hung gracefully from the Sistine Chapel-esque painted ceilings provided the most lavish setting for our delicious meal and it was certainly a fabulous, OTT way to milk my birthday celebrations, true Chloe style. Saying goodbye to my parents the day after was definitely a sad, deflating moment, particularly after the incredible, fun-filled weekend we had just experienced, however, I am incredibly grateful that they came out to celebrate with me and I truly had the most fun with them both. Spending time with them is my favourite thing in the world and I will never forget my Parisian 21st birthday, thanks to them. 


  1. Hello Chloe. Belated birthday greetings to you and may the Lord add many more years to your life and may the Lord grant you desires of your life and may your prosper in your life . I am a Pastor from Mumbai, India. I am glad to stop by your profile on the blogger and the blog post. I am also blessed and feel privileged and honoured to get connected with you as well as know your interest in fashion and travelling. I love getting connected with the people of God around the globe to be encouraged strengthened and praying for one another. I have been in the Pastoral ministry for last 40 yrs in this great city of Mumbai a city with a great contrast where richest of rich and the poorest of poor live. We reach out to the poorest of poor with the love of christ to bring healing to the brokenhearted. We also encourage young and the adults from thewest to come to Mumbai to work with us during their vacation time. we would love to have you come to Mumbai to work with us during your vacation time. I am sure you will have a life changing experience. God's richest blessings on you your famly and friend aso wishing you a blessed and a Christ centered new year 2020. My email id is: dhwankhede(at)gmail(dot)com and my name is Diwakar Wankhede.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts