Thursday, February 17, 2005


The weekend in Paris was a blast. I hopped on the Eurostar at Waterloo and three hours (and a vin rouge) later alighted to rendezvous with Smithy at Gare du Nord.

We made our way to the Hotel Langlois Jo had organised to find a charmant hotel with a creaky old open metal work elevator and fabulous Art Nouveau décor. Around the corner we discovered the Café du Mogador for a late evening cocktail. And then proceeded to eat almost every meal during the weekend there. Baguettes, croissants, crepes, gateaux and big café au laits– they had all the essential ingredients for a French pig out.

On Saturday I dragged Smithy to the Marche aux Puces St Ouen – a massive flea and antique market in the north of the city. We both enjoyed browsing around the stalls where piles of antiques, furniture, silver platters and anything you could imagine were literally stacked to the roof in crowded stalls. I couldn’t resist buying a beautiful piece of vintage fabric – perfect as a table cloth for summer soirées and then Smithy and I bought a painting by a local artist on the spur of the moment.

Somewhat soggy from wandering in the rain, we met the rest of the gang back at the hotel – guided by the screams as Jo and Bec met up with long lost school mates.

As you will be able to gather from the photos we had a huge night out starting with a rowdy dinner, locals looking on askance, at a restaurant/sports bar which will remain nameless and unrecommended – but was a bargain – and then on to cool bar N’Importe Quoi (translated as ‘Whatever’!). We were lucky to have local guides Nick and Celine along for the evening. I think Jo knows people in every city across the world who always seem to be up for a night out at a moments notice.

We managed to make it up in time for brekky at the usual place, a very short walk to the Louvre (although we were aiming for the Champ Elysee – yep I was navigating) cut short by sleet and bitingly cold wind. Arriving back just in time for the England v France rugby game. The French supporters were very vocal with chants of Allez les Bleu and were ecstatic with the exciting outcome.

From there it was a dash to the station carrying shopping and wearing a cow-print cowboy hat.

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