Honor 8 Launch

Last month I joined a group of techies and lifestyle bloggers for an exciting launch in Paris. I rarely write about technology and new electrical products, because I rarely know how to work them or how to describe them. The same is true of the Honor 8, the new smartphone from Chinese company Huawei. When I boarded the early morning Eurostar to Gare du Nord with the other bleary eyed journalists, I had no idea what to expect from the next 24 hours.

Honor 8

Sitting next to a lovely, rather more informed journalist, I quickly learnt about this all-important smartphone we were travelling so far to celebrate.

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We were staying in the advantageously located Hotel Pullman Paris Eiffel Tower which had simple but luxuriously comfortable rooms, many of which offered amazing views of the Eiffel Tower. Before the grand launch party a few of us bloggers went out exploring, and settled in a traditional bistro for a delicious steak lunch.

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At 5pm we piled into buses and headed to the Molitor Paris, which has a stunning central pool, perfect for showing off on Instagram! We listened to a detailed presentation about the suave new phone before receiving our own to trial.

Here’s all you need to know…

The Honor 8 is Huawei’s latest flagship Honor phone and it has recently launched in the UK and worldwide. The phone design is slick and smart with a dual lens camera. The compact Honor 8 has a 5.2-inch LTPS screen, full HD 1920×1080 pixel resolution and 32GB storage. It is available in a range of sophisticated colours, from pearly white to royal blue.

On the back of the phone there is a dual-lens 12-megapixel camera with laser autofocus. One of the Honor 8’s lenses captures a vibrant colour image while the other snaps a monochrome photo. Working in combination, they produce sharp, detailed shots. On the back of the Honor 8 there is a fingerprint sensor that unlocks the phone in just 400 milliseconds.

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Next morning we were all up early before the Eurostar home, and had just enough time to try out the Honor 8 for some Paris photography. The best thing about the Honor 8 for me, and other lifestyle bloggers, is the quality of the camera, allowing you to create professional standard imagery with an impressively small and light gadget.

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The Honor 8 is available to buy in the UK from today, for a SIM-free price of £369. More information here.

A Foodie Summer in Paris

Paris is beautiful in every season, but feels particularly romantic and special in summer when the historic buildings glow in the sun and the squares are filled with people enjoying the city of love. I recently stopped by the French capital for a quick update on the newest restaurants and cafes.

Cafe Kitsume Paris

I followed the fashionistas to the Palais Royal gardens where Cafe Kitsune is hidden beneath the historic arches. The tiny design cafe has all kinds of treats to enjoy after a tiring shopping spree. Order a creamy coffee and a fox shortbread and enjoy on an outdoor table in the sunshine.

E'Clair de Genie

The L’Eclair de Genie pastries are very Instagrammable and have become a must on any foodie’s visit to Paris. Try the salted caramel butter flavour, from one of the patisserie branches located around the city.

Mori Yoshida

Japanese pastry chef Mori Yoshida‘s shop in Paris is a pristine gallery of beautiful cakes and sweets. It was almost impossible to choose from the cabinets of delicate and sugary works of art. If you visit in the morning opt for a croissant, or for an afternoon snack you can’t beat the colourful macarons.

Telescope coffee

Telescope coffee shop is rumoured to serve the best caffeine in Paris, and I was certainly impressed when I stopped by one morning. Tucked away in the 1st Arrondissement the premium speciality coffee here is popular with locals and tourists alike.

Liberte Patisserie

Liberte Patisserie Boulangerie by Benoit Castel is a stylish and modern bakery nearby to the Canal St Martin. Whether you choose a perfect baguette or a cream vanilla tart, the prices are reasonable and the taste is second to none.

Boulangerie du Pain et des idees

Many consider Boulangerie du Pain et Des Idees to be the maker and seller of the best croissants in town. This cosy traditional bakery is unmissable for its buttery and indulgent croissants, pain au chocolat and pistachio escargot (spiral pastries). But visit early in the day as they sell out fast.


Saturne (an anagram for natures) is one of the newer Michelin star restaurants in Paris. This minimalist contemporary restaurant is run by chef Sven Chartier and sommelier Ewen Lemoigne who present a simple but refined menu that is creative and seasonal.


It is not easy to get a table at Bertrand Grébaut’s hip and beautiful Septime restaurant. The chic industrial dining room is a lovely place to spend time enjoying a delicious lunch with friends. If you can’t get a reservation try the sister seafood restaurant, Clamato, a few doors down.

Ellsworth Paris

When it comes to eating American food in Paris there are plenty of exemplary venues to choose from. Ellsworth is a newer addition to the scene with a particularly delicious brunch menu. Don’t miss the irresistible fried chicken.

L’Oiseau Blanc, Peninsula Paris

The palatial Peninsula Paris has recently undergone a £600 million renovation and it is looking more majestic than ever. The original 19th Haussmann details have been kept beautifully in tact while stunning additions like the lobby’s cascading glass installation add a touch of modern sophistication.

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I visited a few weeks ago to try out the celebrated rooftop restaurant which arguably, boasts the best views of the city. L’Oiseau Blanc is an aviation themed eatery, which pays homage to the flight Charles Nungesser and Francois Coli attempted across the Atlantic in 1927. Look out for the full scale replica of fated plane on the Peninsula Paris roof (the journey was sadly unsuccessful).

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For a food photographer the light on a summer’s night up at L’Oiseau Blanc could not be more perfect. While the restaurant was empty I relished the opportunity to snap away from every angle. It felt very special to be toasting our glasses of champagne in sight of the iconic Eiffel Tower.

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The service was immaculate from start to finish, smart waiters attended to every detail of the meal, ensuring we always had enough water and there were no crumbs on the table! Delightful little mouthfuls arrived with the freshly baked bread to whet our appetite for the meal ahead.

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Chef Sidney Redel selects seasonal ingredients to create a fresh and exciting menu each day though there are a few favourites that appear frequently. To start we picked Chicken Ravioli and white cuttlefish and the vegetarian salad. For a warm evening there were the perfect choices, light and subtle recipes but with plenty of flavour. The single ravioli was concealed within a neat pile of radishes, cherry tomatoes, Rainier cherries and sauteed chanterelle mushrooms, adding sweetness and seasoning to the delicate pasta. My salad tasted very Provencal with fine green beans and a delicious dressing.

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Main courses were rather more robust, impressive, fine cuts of meat and fish paired with creative accompaniments. The John Dory was cooked to perfection though slightly overpowered by the strong scarmorza cheese and Lardo di Colonnata, and I felt the black olive tapenade wasn’t necessary. Duck from Paul Renault roasted with nutmeg was a hit, indulgently caramelised meat on a bed of Sicilian aubergine caviar and oyster mushrooms. Wine was offered to us, carefully chosen by the sommelier to match the food choices.

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For dessert we took our waiters advice and ordered the kitchen speciality, ‘L’Envol’, a magical sphere of dark chocolate filled with chocolate biscuit and custard, sorbet and fresh raspberries and hazelnut streusel. It was a masterpiece, rich and decadent with a good balance of chocolate and fruit. We also sampled the meringue with coconut, raspberry and black cherry. It was a pleasant pudding though the red fruits element made it quite similar to the first dessert.

L’Oiseau Blanc is an occasion restaurant, with fine food, exemplary service and postcard views, it will make you feel special from the moment you step out of the lift.

More information and book a table at L’Oiseau Blanc here.