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Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Writer's Blog and Travel Log: Part 2

There is nothing more invigorating than waking up at the crack of dawn...waking would imply I actually got some sleep...to find myself on the 7.05am TGV to Paris, Gare De Lyon with 4 rowdy kids and their equally chatty parents behind us. And judging by the equally vocal Nino, a few rows down...I had to question whether this was in fact First Class or kindergarten? So catching up on any lost sleep was a moot point as I sat seething in my seat with extra leg room, shooting daggers at my BF who had booked the tickets and was supposed to have put us in the "Zen" section and not in an episode of Sesame Street . Needless to say,I got thorough the 5 hours surprisingly well once we passed Avignon and the Train went Grand Vitesse on our collective asses,rocking us all into a blissful sleep.

Ah! Paris....just like the song goes: .."I love it every moment of the year"...but maybe a little less at rush hour which bizarrely seems to crop up at any given moment and always when your taxi driver happens to go on the Peripherique...
We made it a point to take the metro everywhere...obviously the fastest form of transport when you decide to forgo sunshine and scenery for underground and underarms and at "Squish Hour"...well prepare yourself for an assault course of intersecting limbs,body odours and being packed in so tight that you are practically chewing on the same piece of gum the guy next to you is so enjoying.
Once above ground , my BF and I walked and shopped along the boutique lined streets of St Germain and kept right on going through St Michel , an area much populated by university students and full of life and cafes. We enjoyed the balmy weather and the busy streets as well as a healthy dose of people watching. Parisians have flair,they truly are the thoroughbreds of fashion as opposed to the circus ponies on the Riviera, so watching them in their natural habitat was a moment of sheer indulgence. Hermes Kelly bags were out in full swing in every hue and texture,new and vintage... the ultimate fashion accessory was doing its rounds with the best of them and everyone seems to have one! Jealous much? Then again the "Jypsiere"in taurillon is more my cup of tea and on my "lusting "list...have you jotted that down?
So indulging in this constant streaming catwalk was immensely satisfying for the likes of us who find fashion a little lacking in direction in our neck of the woods.Simply picture a  colouring book;Paris fashion is keeping the colours within the lines and in Pantone sequence,on the Cote it is as though the child has coloured outside of the lines in a messy felt tip blur.Trampy chic reigns supreme away from the yachts and Club 55, with subtle hints of "Pole Dancer" and "Hooters" for that added glam around the festive season. Fashion can be murder on the eyes... and it is quite frequently murdered on the Rue D'Antibes.
We continued along the Quais towards Rue du Rivoli where we happened upon a lovely new concept cafe called "Tea by The"(as in tea in french...English keyboard!) a modern take on tea and its endless possibilities. The menu has a varied selection of hot and cocktail style cold teas with mouth watering names such as:"Ginger Spicy"-hot and delicious and "Mojithe/Pinacolathe" their deliciously refreshing cold options..and let me tell you they taste just like the cocktails minus the alcohol and the ensuing buzz. I highly recommend this delightful place on: 2 Place du Palais Royal (metro stop Musee du Louvres) and the staff is young, friendly and cute in that Abercrombie kind of way...but with more clothes on and a college degree. 
NB:For all die hard fans of A&F..they will soon be opening their doors for you in Paris on the Champs Elysees (metro stop Franklin Roosevelt). Kind of beats bringing the eponymous t-shirts home after a shopping spree in NYC...then again I can hardly see a thing when I am in their store with all that dim,sultry lighting...I just about make it passed "young semi clad buff boy" at the entrance before I have to squint my way through the crowds. He should be handing out miners lamps to all the over 4o's instead of Polaroid's of his 6 pack...
To end my travel log on the same high we left Paris on , I have one last suggestion: Franck et Fils department store in Passy (metro stop La Muette...) It is a small and classy joint with high fashion designers and buyers with exquisite taste.On the first floor and in the ladies department there is a stand for "Cire Trudon" the most gorgeous candles and candle busts I have ever seen.You lift up huge glass cloches to inhale the fragrant and intoxicating aromas such as "Carmelite:old mossy walls, "Manon": fresh laundry and "Roi Soleil: the parquets of Versailles. There is nothing vulgar or cheap in the scents but an evocation of time and history so cleverly produced that you can close your eyes and hear the creaking of the wagon wheels on the cobble stones. Maison Trudon has been around since 1643 and their history is as rich as their products.
You can also visit their boutique on: 78 Rue de Seine, Paris 6e or go to their website from your sofa (minus the time travel ): http://www.ciretrudon.com/