Paris, Je T’aime

So yeah, like I said, I’m not running the Paris Marathon. I’m down the entrance fee (not transferable or refundable, fair enough) but there is no reason why I can’t still go to Paris, right? And, excuse the expression, but no reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater? Exactly.

So, flights and a fabulous apartment just near the Arc de Triomphe paid for and an extra 4 hours to spend in the capital (not to mention the extra energy I will have from not dragging my ass around the 26 mile course) we went.

What went down in the city of love? Settle back, this is quite the photo montage.

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I think it’s almost illegal to blog about a trip to Paris without getting a dreamy summery day picture of the Eiffel Tour. So let’s get that out of the way.

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As is now habit, I organised us on a bike tour – the very same one I did with the girls back in September. The Husband wasn’t that keen. He’s an actual cyclist with padded shorts and proper cycling shoes, so this was the equivalent of him offering me a handbag from Asda.

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But he agreed on the basis I took flattering pictures and there was beer at the end of it.

It served a purpose (to cram seeing as much as we could into as little time as possible) and well, we had fun. Note though: they never once offered us a helmet – interesting for those in countries where skid lids are mandatory.

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I’m true to my word and we went for drinks afterwards. Fancy drinks, of course – this is Paris. And that means getting a frock on. Here’s another rare shot to prove I actually have legs.

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What better place to go for drinks than Harry’s Bar – hat tip to Bardon – an American style bar in central Paris. Home to the Bloody Mary, amongst other drinks, apparently.

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I was here for the atmosphere and the music. Of course.

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Then a booking at O Chateau, one of my favourite places to visit. The dishy french owner used to give wine tastings in his loft somewhere in the Marais, but he’s gotten so popular that he’s had to open a restaurant with a wine tasting room. Ooh la la. The food is even better than I remember it from September. This, for example was gorgeous, and I usually hate being served a plate of vege.

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Desserts are my thing and it was just as special as I’d hoped. Mine (above) was the ostrich egg styled white chocolate shell with mango sorbet and something creamy that probably doesn’t even have a word in English.

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The Husband plumped for a chocolate ice cream / nut / chocolate extravaganza. Well played.

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This of course is the famous bar and is the site of where some pissed up girls allegedly danced in the small hours to the Sound of Music. I have the footage on my phone of this. So do the bar staff, apparently.

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Lacking imagination and wanting more of that Harry’s Bar feel, we promptly placed ourselves back there for a night cap. My tongue was still blue the following morning.

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After all that drinking and eating, we decided to do what the french do. Then decided we didn’t know what that was. Apparently it is sitting around a big old pond in the city and staring at it. There are no fountains, no waterfall features, just a bit of water and two ducks.

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But sitting around staring at ducks makes you super hungry. So we went here.

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And contemplated eating this. I reckoned I would get maybe halfway down before I vomited it up. The Husband wasn’t as ambitious and thought maybe just the top layer or two would be his limit.

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Did you really think I wouldn’t squeeze in another shot of the Arc De Triomphe and/or me in another cute dress? Oh please.

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One of the four ‘love lock’ bridges. Here’s the deal: you buy a padlock, write your names on it, declaring everlasting love, lock it to the bridge and throw the key in the Seine. I didn’t buy a lock not because I’m cynical about love (The Husband really is a keeper) but because I firmly believe that the guy you buy the lock from comes along at night with a master key and some ethanol to retrieve the lock and clean off your name, ready to sell it to another doe-eyed couple the following day.

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We had a strong recommendation from my friend Red (see Maaaates) about a spot to eat. We tried going there on the first night, queued for 30 minutes until they told us the electricity kept going off and they were no longer cooking. Damn you Chartier, we vowed to come back another night.

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And we did. This is what it looks like inside. Nice.

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The curious thing is they give you your bill on the table’cloth’. There is a VERY good reason for this. I’ll explain later.

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Stomachs bursting with undercooked steak (sooo french) and frites, we signed up for another bike ride – this time at night. Because cycling through french traffic with no helmets in daylight is not dangerous enough.

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Fair play though, the night ride is excellent and we covered a lot of ground. About 8 miles all up I think.

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And Paris really is pretty as night falls.

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Our glamorous peloton recklessly dominating the streets of Paris. Approximately 20 to a group, which makes it easy to lose someone. Fortunately we didn’t.

Unfortunately, about halfway through, I started to feel a bit unusual. Remember that steak, the undercooked one from Chartier – the place the curiously doesn’t give you a receipt to prove you ate there? Yeah, that kicked in. I tried to deny the gurgling, then I tried to ignore it. I held it in for the next 3 hours. So did The Husband who began to suffer in the exact same extreme ways. We were both feeling decidedly ‘conservative of sphincter’. At one point, I sneezed and we both looked terrified until I assured him that I was still intact.

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But this picture will forever remind me of how badly I wanted not to be staring at the Eiffel Tower, but rather at a pristine convenience where I could have some quality time for ten minutes.

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Oh, yes, the marathon! The marathon (not my picture) took place of course over the weekend, and I was indeed very sad to not be on the start line. So sad I nearly ripped the medal off a finisher later in the day, running down the streets (fat chance they’d have energy to chase me, right?) and screaming ‘I could have been a contender!’ Except I didn’t. Probably got distracted by choux pastry or champagne. But there will be another chance for me. It’s still on my list.

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Besides, I was able to indulge in all the booze and blue cheese I could find. And the cakes, because that’s really the best thing about Paris – la patisserie. The very best.

There you go – a weekend in Paris. The next trip was going to be to Svalbard, but frankly, I can’t wait until the end of May, so I goaded Red into a weekend in the sun. I figured she owed me for that steak experience.

Stay tuned for adventures with Red, a Twin Bed and the Med.

Fat Tire Bike Tours – click here for their site
O Chateau – book yourself the best meal you’ll have in a long time here

This entry was posted in Food, The Husband, This Expat Life, Travel. Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Paris, Je T’aime

  1. andrea says:

    LOVE the dresses!

  2. Bardon says:

    Nice one.

    I like the hippy gear, stone washed denims and pharaohic sandals are the way to go in the city of lights.

    It great to see that you made it to Sank Roo Doe Noo and even better that you and hubby kind of liked it and it didn’t give you food poisoning. I told you the barmen would understand hubbies accent. I met some real mad fuckers in there.

    I think you should chicken out of marathons more often.

    • vegemitewife says:

      Sam Edelman sandals, no less. Buy your lady shape a pair. Stat!

      Indeed, Harry’s was a good tip. No poisoning we didn’t thoroughly deserve.

      I most certainly didn’t chicken out. I had surgery a week before that ruled me out, though frankly my card was marked well before. Trust me, you do not want the full depressing story.

      • Bardon says:

        Okay sandal label noted, so which brands made the tie dyed blouse, cardigan and mull bag then?

        I was only joking about you chickening out and guessed it was more than a sore toe that was holding you back.

        I actually jumped into my video channel and looked up some of my Parisian holiday vids on youtube after seeing this and Harrys Bar again. I have promised my wife that the next time we return we will stay in the Ritz and also the room that Goering requisitioned during the war a promise that I intend to keep. I would post one of my Parisian videos here but the name of the film production company would instantly reveal who I am. So you will just have to settle for this one done by others instead.

        • vegemitewife says:

          Blouse picked up in Myer in Sydney, cardigan is an M&S staple, bag by Radley who I don’t usually sport on account of the twee doggy branding, but found this handy sized satchel delightfully plain. Perfect for cycling or any two handed activity!

          Indeed, my reason for backing out is a too sad for this blog, but if you read carefully, you’ll get it.

          I’ll watch the video but probably won’t try too hard to guess who you are as I’m not good at guessing occupations nor celeb spotting. Once stood next to Kelly Osborne at a bar and thought she looked a tad like her (plus people kept calling her Kelly). Still didn’t ‘recognise’ her. You’d literally need to wear a name badge. Even then you’d need to be very talented for me to give a shit. Basically if you are not Dave Grohl or Billy Joel, I might not care much beyond mild interest.

  3. Bardon says:

    PS that grainy shot inside of Harrys Bar is a real humdinger!

  4. Tim Newman says:

    Hey, you shoulda called me!

    • vegemitewife says:

      I know! More fool me. Damn shyness. Sorry.

      • Tim Newman says:

        S’okay, I understand. But meeting people from the blogs is great fun, I’ve met loads of people in the flesh over the years. The only one I regretted meeting was TNA, who attempted to hump me under a railway bridge when we met in Sydney. Not to be trusted, that one.

        • vegemitewife says:

          True – it’s how I met Melba and she ultimately saved my life. I tried to meet up with TNA whilst I was in Sydney but it just didn’t come off. I’m wondering based on your anecdote whether I dodged a bullet!

  5. Tim Newman says:

    And yeah, weather has been great here for a few weeks now. It’s bright and sunny again today, an’ all.

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