Paris, Wonderful Paris...

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So, as you do, we popped over to Paris for lunch, and oh, what a scrumptious, glorious lunch it was...

My friend Debbie is getting married a week today, and because we are so utterly fabulous, we decided to take our little hen party (Debbie, her little sister Alexandra and I)  to Paris for the day...

So 5.00 on Wednesday morning found me pulling my tired, excited little bones out of bed and climbing aboard an Easyjet flight to Paris, arriving just in time for lunch at La Coupole (Click here for a panoramic view around the restaurant) , a stunning 1930's, world famous eaterie on the Left Bank, renowned for both it's fabulously decadent frescoed pillars, and Deco style, as for it's clientale over the years, rumoured to have included those as great as Man Ray, Picasso and Hemingway. And if it was good enough for them, it was bound to be good enough for a girl who likes a dose of charming French eccentricity in her espresso...

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In all truth it wouldn't have made any difference if the food was dire: it was well worth the price for the sheer decadence of the atmosphere, and for the hilarious attention of our lovely little French waiter (Please Ladies, call me Mr Bond, James Bond.). But the food was so scrumptious, I was nearly swooning by the time the chocolate mousse tart was served after a deliciously fragrant mushroom salad, and a main course of white fish and fennel gratin (Finally, I understand the European fascination with fennel!)...

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By the time we finished eating we were a little giddy on red wine and ready for the trek across Paris, we took on our way to Bon Marche (were we lost Debbie?), stopping for a detour around the Jardin De Luxembourg:  probably the most relaxing place in the world, and somewhere we all agreed we could have stayed all day, dragging the little green metal chairs to a prime spot to sit and people watch, as the older people played boules, the the beekeepers busied around their hives and a lot of lovely ladies  arranged magnificent floral decorations from the abundance of flora to be had in the park. It was wonderful, and the fact that the sun was shining made it that much lovelier...

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Then it was onwards and upwards to Bon Marche: a department store, in truth like any other, except for a fabulous Mark Jacob's exhibition on the fashion floor and the heavenly little place that was the The Great Parisienne Grocery Store (the food department!), a gourmet dream of everything scrumptious you can think of (I bought rose syrup and earl grey tea dark chocolate).

Then it was on the metro to the Champs Elysee, a ludicrously beautiful, tree lined wide avenue, bookended by The Arc De Triumphe and Concorde Square, and the place to be to swoon over the sheer luxury of the shops, and people spot (Sinead O'Connor was having a drink in one of the pavement cafes!). We headed along to Sephora, a kind of huge beauty supermarket, so fabulous that just walking in to the booming music and flashing lights made you feel like a supermodel on a runway. There we hunted down the perfect perfume for Debbie to wear on her wedding day and treated ourselves to huge big bronzer compacts that look as if they will last forever. Then staring to feel a little exhausted we collapsed onto a chair in one of the pavement bars and revived ourselves with a long cool drink, before getting back on our now blistered feet and making our way on the metro to The Marais, home to the oldest parts of Paris- narrow little windey streets, with lots of little shops, with shopfronts to die for:

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By the time we had wandered around the Jewish quarter and stumbled into the gay quarter, we were kind of  on our last legs and ready for the Croque Monsieurs we consumed in a cute little pavement cafe, before trying to make our way out of the Marais. And then dear readers, was when all my dreams came true. If you had asked me who the one person I would like to see in Paris would have been, I would have said my hero, John Galliano. It was 7.00. My feet were battered and we were all exhausted, but as we hurried down the narrow little street, past the busiest gay bar in the world (where divinely beautiful men were spilling onto the pavement), I looked to my right and there cooly drinking a coffee, and watching the world go stylishly by, sat if not John Galliano, then his wackily dressed doppelganger, in all his wonderful, eccentric glory. Could my world be any more perfect?

But there was no time to stop and swoon and tell him how much I adored him, because  all of a sudden the plane was leaving in no time at all, and we couldn't get a taxi to the airport for love nor money. So panic ensued and was quickly followed by what can only be called a comical hour of madness and mayhem, culminating in a dash across Paris by Metro, and ending with me sprawled across the floor in a deserted train station after I tripped on my silly shoes.

I am, dear housekeepers, glamorous to the end.

So, it wasn't a racy few days with Mark, nor a vintage root through the Brocante's, but it was gloriously girly and fabulous fun and although it took me all day yesterday to recover, it was such fun, I'd go again tomorrow, tender feet and all...