After London, here’s Paris………..
Although I had envisaged a fairly packed itinerary in Paris, plenty of flexibility was built into it to cope with my beloved’s ever-changing business requirements.
I generally let him choose what we see and do and where we dine because I’ve been fortunate to spend way more time than him in Paris. Of course, in my book, you can never spend too much time there!
I fortunately have a UK Press card which gives me free entry into most museums while my beloved now qualifies for a reduced priced senior card. We’d thankfully chosen a week squashed between Paris Fashion Week and French half-term. It was busy with Americans and those from the Far East but thankfully not too busy.
We kicked off Tuesday with a trip to marvel at Schiaparelli’s fabulous designs. It’s rare for me to covet couture but I could happily have worn it all. Lunch was at one of our newish favourite haunts, Le Cheval Blanc, before we ambled around the 2 eme arrondissement prior to going to see a ballet at Paris Garnier.
It was a new ballet written especially for the ballet company and the dance moves were a combination of ballet, breakdance and limbo. It was really rather wonderful and, of course, we arrived in plenty of time to have a good wander around the magnificent Palais Garnier.
Wednesday, after a lazy promenade around Le Sentier (2 eme arrondissement) taking in the recently refurbished and reopened Biblioteque Richelieu, I set aside my fear of heights to scale the exterior escalator to the top of the Pompidou Centre. TBH I felt quite shaky on arrival and it took a while for my heartbeat to return to normal.
Again, brandishing my Press card I got to visit all of the centre’s exhibitions while my beloved whiled away his time with only the permanent one. I enjoy the building as much as the exhibits. You may recall it was considered groundbreaking when it was built in the 1970s and it’s stood the test of time.
We dined in its sixth floor restaurant which provides fabulous views over the Parisian rooftops. The restaurant is large and its brigade vast, all of whom look as if they could’ve walked various catwalks the previous week.
We headed to 14th arrondissement on Thursday and the Fondation Cartier which was showcasing the work of an Indigenous Australian who only turned to painting in her 80s. It was a fascinating exhibition with some powerful paintings, quite unlike those which we’ve previously seen in Australia. Dinner was enjoyed in the 6th arrondissement with business colleagues at a typical French bistro which served largely seafood. You can’t go to Paris without indulging in some oysters.
We had an early start on Friday to see the works at L’Orangerie, which is part of the Musée d’Orsay. Aside from the magnificent purposely-painted works by Monet – Waterlillies, of course – the museum has a tightly curated selection of Impressionist works. All of which, well maybe not the chocolate-box Renoirs, I’d happily put on my walls.
Next up we wandered around Le Petit Palais, before a delightful lunch in the Ritz’s Bar Vendome. We sat in the hotel’s Orangerie and enjoyed the warm sunshine, charming service and excellent food before wandering back through Le Marais, indulging in a spot of window-shopping – quite my favourite kind. of shopping.
All too soon it was time to return home. We’d eaten well but hopefully those 10-17km daily walks will have prevented any increases in our respective waistlines. But before we left, as is our want, we dined at Le Train Bleu – always a fitting way to say adieu.