Sunday, 26 May 2013

From Paris to Provence

We arrived in Provence this afternoon, in the lively, lovely town of St-Remy. Max and Lovely Boy survived their Ryanair flight to meet us in Marseilles and the collective mood, given the indecisive sunshine, is still largely positive. So bring on a week in Provence, oui?

If only we'd bought an umbrella. And not shoes...
Mum and I have had a lovely couple of days in Paris. Froze our fucking arses off completely, got rained on, got battered by the wind and ended up sacrificing a pair of sodden shoes to the Parisian rain gods but still, a lovely time.

We both had a sartorial agenda for our 48 hours in this lovely city – mine involved sorbet coloured ballet shoes, Mum’s a visit to a small boutique she’d read about on the Left Bank near the Musee d’Orsay. We'd both agreed on a visit to Printemps. The rest of our time was spent drinking wine and shivering.

We were staying on Ile St Louis, within spitting distance of Notre Dame, in this brilliant little hotel that used to be Louis XIII’s indoor tennis court. Of course. It’s also right near one of the bridge of locks, which, when caught in a moment of sunshine, is truly luminous.

Beyond the eating and drinking and shopping (I may or may not now have four new pairs of shoes...) we also had the French equivalent of high tea at Laduree on rue Bonaparte. Total tourist thing to do but gosh, so pretty, with it's art nouveau tea room. And unsurprisingly the macaroons are to die for. We also visited the Palais de Tokyo, to see an archival exhibition exploring the artistic and cultural influences that surrounded Gabrielle Chanel in her day. 

The closest I’ll ever get to the iconic brand is a good duty free lipstick but the next time I’m transiting through god-knows-where on my way to god-knows-wherever it will be in the full knowledge that she was down with the Dadaists. Lipstick, little black dresses and leftist, anti-bourgeois avant-garde art buddies. Respect, Gabrielle. Respect. 

I really do love Paris – the architecture, the honest-to-god romance of the city, the warm baguette that comes with every meal and I totally love the insouciant casualness of a visit to Paris as an across-the-pond Londoner. I’m not sure there’s anything more indulgent (read: brilliant) that just “popping to Paris” for the day

The roof in Printemps....
Lovely Boy and I will be back in Paris for a weekend in July with my aunt and uncle (who’ll be popping their Paris cherries!) and I can’t wait for that. Though hopefully the summer will have got its shit together by then.

For now though, there’s a week in Provence to get on with. If the sun was out and it was hot enough to use our glamorous pool I’d probably be quite smug right now.

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