I spent the weekend in Paris with my dear friend Katherine. Incidentally, we first became friends a few years ago at a birthday party, when I told her I thought she looked French and we then talked for about 100 hours about how much we both love Paris.
We stayed in Montmartre, in a beautiful apartment belonging to a handsome violinist (even the bathroom door had a stained glass window incorporating musical notes!), where I lived out all my basic Breton bitch Amelie fantasies. It was perfect.
We walked in the rain to go to Serge Gainsbourg’s house. Well, stood outside and looked at the graffiti and imagined all the times he must have stumbled down that little street. Still, I like to think he’d have invited us in, if he’d still been around – me with my leopard-print coat and Katherine with her 60s hair.
A few months ago, I read that it was bad feng-shui to have too many pictures of single figures around the house, particularly in the bedroom. Particularly if you are living alone and kind of like the idea of, well, not doing so forever. It stuck in my brain and so I ordered a whole stack of postcards picturing Jane and Serge being all madly in love and sexy. I’ve still got them all around my bedroom.
We had our Saturday night dinner at Chartier, a veritable Parisian institution that my mum first took me to when I was seven. In the thirty years since, I have been back at least a dozen times, keeping the day’s date-printed menu every time. I have taken friends and ex-boyfriends, and eaten there with nearly every single member of my very large and complicated family, at one time or another.
For a more modern experience, the hot hipster tip these days is to go to the 11th, where the back streets are full of cool bars selling natural wines and small plates. Go. You won’t regret it. We had a time.
I also highly recommend avoiding the interminable queues for the Catacombs (still never been, still not all that sorry) and instead sitting nearby and drinking red wine outdoors, by the carafe.
We drank quite a lot of red wine (and the occasional pint of Long Island Iced Tea), and would stop every evening on our way home to the Rue de Trois Freres, for a late-night digestif. A calvados, perhaps.
These are all excesses that I’m sure can be entirely erased by the sheer volume of French beauty products that we bought in Monoprix on the way home. I also bought some underwear while we were there, so I’m pretty sure my metamorphosis to sexy French woman will soon be complete.
In short, Paris is always a good idea.