Monday, August 9, 2010
It's 11.15pm, I have blogged once tonight (which is a rarity I know), am dead on my feet after 2am homecoming from the Big Chill this morning and have a massive list of things to do before I leave for Toronto on Wednesday, swiftly followed by New York for work. Aargh. But I cannot pack up before writing about Paris, which broke up the journey to the UK.
Service...top, food...cheaper and better than the Riviera and markets ... brilliant for vintage, high fashion and antiques. We should be moving there sometime soon.
I wrote myself a memo with the names of all the best places we visited but have now lost it so will have to do this from memory.
We stayed in a fab apartment in St Germain at le Prince Regent Residence et Spa, beautifully furnished in an old bourgeouis building with a little courtyard just five minutes walk from Cafe Flore and Les Deux Magots. Went straight out for dinner after an epic journey and very late arrival but the civilised thing about Paris is they understand that you might want to eat later than 9.30pm and actually take your money and custom with a smile.
We dropped off the luggage and ran to the first restaurant we spotted, across the road, les Caves du Polidor, which was all chandeliers, tiled floors and rustic tables oozing Parisien atmosphere without the too obvious tourist touch. Our waitress was Mr Bean's elderly toothless mum, she kept whacking Iain in the back of the neck, first with a bread basket and then the table mats. We were cracking up just as she performed her piece de resistance and knocked over a wine glass, stared at it as it rolled across the table and then walked away without picking it up! But the food made up for it, proper hearty chicken casseroles and mashed potatoes which are just what you need after numerous stale baguettes en route.
Breakfast at le Danton was followed by a stroll around the market at Clignancourt.
It's the biggest flea market in Paris and the girls were cooing over all the great fash finds there. Then Montmartre for some caricatures and views across the city from the Sacre Coeur, a float along the River Seine to the Eiffel Tower and finally Notre Dame where Livvy spotted Mr Fashion himself Gok Wan.
Dinner was at the Au Saint Benoit off Boulevard St Germain, and if you don't go anywhere else, go here for supper. It's intimate, friendly and the service and food are up with the best I've had anywhere in France. We rounded off with cocktails at a bar where two guys performed death defying acrobatic feats in mid air.
The Pub St Germain is a fab find for lunch or dinner too, with four floors of seriously cool decor, red velvet sofas and dramatic purple walls, virtually hidden away down a little cobbled alley and a manager who is on the ball and ensures that everything is swift, friendly and up to scratch. I know, this is Paris I'm talking about. It gets a bad press but maybe we got lucky.
We arrived in London to house sit for a friend only for me to discover that my pride n joy Houlihan leggings which I have worn just ONCE had been left at the hotel. After going into slight meltdown, I called the manager Remi, who promised to post them to me in the UK immediately. Two days later, they arrived. So Paris, au revoir, coming back very soon.