Friday July 9, 2010
Today my lady friend and I decide to wander around, through the Tuileries, and then over the Seine to the Rive Gauche. Up til now I have stayed on the right bank of the river, so it is refreshing to discover this half of the city. We hug the river bank, and wander past universities, a few museums and then – hello there Eiffel Tower!
At the risk of sounding like an asshole, Miss Eiffel didn’t really ring my bell. I appreciate that it is a great feat of engineering etc, but... I dunno. Maybe it was the swarms of tourists and dodgy blokes selling crappy souvenirs that cheapened the experience. I will however say that when we had a sit down in the park nearby, it was an awesome sight to behold. We then decided to take advantage of the “soldes” that are occurring at the moment and head to Galleries Lafayette. This place is mental – heaving with people wanting to take advantage of the financial year discounts – and the savings are decent; 40 to 70% off! There is also a small art gallery within the walls, which was exhibiting an installation by Vanessa Bruno.
It was a big day of walking around, so afterwards we make for home.
Saturday July 10, 2010
My type A personality booked a little high tea at the Hotel Ritz a few weeks ago, so that is where we are destined for today. The Hotel Ritz is quite simply, breathtakingly beautiful. It is opulent, spacious and charming – the bellhop is actually wearing a little hat like in the movies!
The high tea is delicious – teas with a hazelnut syrup for Mrs. Jones and cafe crème for me; and then a 3 tiers of culinary goodness – madeleines, scones, a banana crème tartlet, chocolate mousse, cheesecake, mini sandwiches of crab, chicken and turkey. Not bad for 42 Euros. Sated (both physically and spiritually) we are then in the mood for a bit of shopping, and wander around the 8th and 9th; stopping at little savon et maison boutiques along the way. We bought a few things (j'taime Repetto), and I am getting progressively nervous about my luggage nearing maximum capacity.
Over the last few days we have walked past a delightful seafood restaurant located on the street beneath the apartment, so we decide to dine there for a proper French meal. We had escargot for entree – I loved it, Tina not so much. And then a steak for me and a scallope risotto for her. After dinner drinks (that turned into quite the catch up session) was spent with an old school friend, Aspley East’s own (HA!), Adam Hunter. Crazy – its 5:30am and the St. Germaine district is still pumping! As I can hear birds doing their morning chirping – we decide its time to head home.
Ritz, shopping and drinks with good friends; as my mate Ice Cube would say, today was a good day.