Saturday, October 27, 2012

Introducing Chris, Jenn and Sarah

OK...these guys are my oldest friends so I either refer to them as that, or as my crazy friends, since there is never a dull moment with these guys. When they said they were all booking to come stay with me in Paris...I immediately thought...oh good god, this is going to be insane.

I wasn't wrong.



They arrived in the evening so we had something quick for dinner...a few bottles of wine, and then headed out.


I won't be making another appearance here for a while now - I am too frequent a visitor!






Much fun was had and we found ourselves hailing a taxi in the early hours of the morning.

The plan for Saturday was to go to Versailles - we found ourselves heading there in the afternoon...



After our tour around the palace itself we walked through the gardens, heading for the trianon.







We had to leave before the castle closed and it was getting late - we headed out to Montmartre for dinner...and a place you've seen before.


You just gotta love melted cheese...or apparently you don't because Sarah wasn't actually that big a fan. I'm convinced she'd like my fondu though, as I've said before, Refuge des fondus doesn't make the best fondu but it's still a fun place.



It was getting late by the time we finished but we decided to head to Pigalle for a drink...and our early night turned into...well, not such an early night.





Suffice to say...we didn't get to bed until half four...good early night then guys.

The next morning was a bit of a rush - there were things still to do and the guys were sadly headed home at 7.

Jenn wanted to go to La Durée. I'd never been there and only recently discovered how much I love macaroons, so we all happily headed to the most prestigious pâtisserie in Paris, the Champs Elysée branch.



But all too soon we were back at Gare du Nord saying goodbye. It took me two days to get enough sleep to recover from that weekend, but it was completely and utterly worth it. There is plenty of talk of a second visit next year...I hope we organise it!




n.b. some of the pictures are my friend Chris' but they were so good I had to steal them for this post!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Nuit Blanche

Now, from what I've read, nuit blanche is supposed to be about a night of art and culture...well, ours may have gone a bit wrong...



So, the pre-drinking ring of fire (my rules are amazing and I will provide them some other time) took longer than we thought and meant most of us (definitely me) were absolutely trashed by the time we went to go looking for art...which ended up being around 2 a.m.


The video is of Naomi's brilliant rule that everything had to be in song...we attempted to try to do it to the tune of 'Simply the Best' but we always ended up with non-tuneful opera type singing! Anyway, finally, we were heading out, searching for art...


But...it wasn't too long before some of us got a little bored 'art hunting' and decided to stop in at the nearest bar we could find open.


After stopping in that Canadian bar for one...we went wondering round the lovely little area of St Michel riddled with restaurants and bars and found ourselves, once again in my favourite jazz place...no hiding the name this time since it's in the pictures.


It was somewhere around 3 a.m. so the place was pretty empty by this point...and no, we weren't the band, ha!


You'd think we'd get bored pretty quickly being essentially the only people in there but we didn't leave til they kicked us out...somewhere around 5 a.m.


We decided to wander in search of art, since we figured we may as well wait for the first metro, and stumbled upon some funky things.


There was this movie screened on a building and French rap music playing in the street...as we walked along the river this thing floated by as well...


So, we didn't find art but art found us and we definitely had a hell of a night! Maybe next year I'll work a bit harder to see the cultural side of nuit blanche.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Barcelona!

Welcome to Hotel Kate - where she'll make you feel entirely at home, bend over backwards to make you welcome and be the ultimate awesome friend.


All the essentials were provided for me!


I even got a room all to myself with a TV (she knows me well). I was so overwhelmed by Kate's gorgeous villa, I had to take some pictures of it so that everyone would understand just how amazing it is!



I fell a little bit in love with the kitchen with it's red appliances and brick wall on one side...


A touch of England!


And she knows how to put a smile on your face!


About now you're thinking, wow, this place is amazing...well, here is the pièce de résistance...


Bliss!


The first day I spent there we went to Parc Guell - it was immense!


Beautiful Kate and her beautiful daughter. Now, I'm not a kids person. Sue me, I don't know what to do with them, never have. But, I'd make an exception for Imogen. I didn't do the 'kids' thing with her, like I said, I can't do it, but I could quite happily hang out with this exceptionally bright, and loveable 4 year old.


And Kate didn't object to me referring to her as 'dude' - so me and Immy got along just fine.



The park was amazing as well, I completely recommend it, it's in all the films set in Barcelona.




We did plenty of chilling...though I was a little excited when she told there was Primark in Barcelona!


I should explain that I know Kate from work, we're actually work colleagues and when I moved to Paris, she moved to Barcelona...but, when we did work together in the Maidenhead office (only slightly less glamorous) we were both guilty of the odd indulgent breakfast bap of bacon and mushrooms. Well, Kate, legend that she is, bought in stuff to recreate this...


Oh my god, it was heaven!


And this was our Monday off...


Whoop! Thanks again for having me Kate - you are awesome!