"Paris is one of those cities which either takes you in like a sugar cube takes to absinth, or spits you out like a half-digested snail," London Girl
When I was 18, I LOVED this image of Sophie Marceau in this 1990's perfume advertisement, and hoped that one day I would grow up to become this kind of woman walking down the Avenue des Champs-Élysées in the early morning, after a night of revelry. I wore this perfume as well. It is funny how some images really captivate you when you are growing up.
Last weekend saw me spend 72 hours in the city of lights for a vintage school pal’s birthday. My bad self (on the right), along with about 15 other pastiche-style Brits and one really cool Lady from L.A, descended upon Paris like if it was 1999 all over again.
Thankfuckfully, we were not exactly tourists, as we all spoke fluent French and had lived in Paris “at some point” - being either in our imagination, through reading heavy-duty litterature, or because a parent was half-frog.
My father, who studied Philosophy at the Sorbonne University and who used to hang out with Sartre and the like at Les Deux Magots Cafe, was actually very involved in the 1968 student revolution. Paris-Match featured him in their anniversary edition of the revolt. Thought I might share that bit of information with you! oh patient and loyal reader.
Back to my weekend, as bemused Parisians looked on, we drank the city dry whilst demonstrating the acuteness of our satirical intent and reinforcing stereotypes about Brits who drink too much.
One could only imagine the internal dialogue of a random Parisian spectator:
“ Sacre-Bleu, those Brits really do drink a lot, zey will need much Evian in ze morning”
“How could she be downing another shot, its only 11pm merde and she looks sloshed already!”“why do Brits laugh so much and so loudly – they are like a walking advertisement for La Vache Qui Rit”
WHITE RABBIT PARIS
Much fun was had by all, as they say, but I won’t kiss and tell tooooooo much (although I would love to but scared of getting sued), as one of the evenings finished in an orgy – which I did not participate in, I must hasten to add.
As Gigi sang “I don’t understand the Parisians, they make love at every given sight...”
Anyway, I know Paris very well, especially the Montmartre area where I used to live for a few months a while back. This trip however revealed some lovely new secret local haunts for local people that I would like to share, in case anyone out there is planning on spending a weekend there.
For a nice cosy dinner:
You cannot beat Le Marché a gorgeous little French bistrot located in one of the most picturesque small squares in Paris. The Place du Marché Sainte-Catherine is an example of how quaint and village-like the Marais can be, and this little restaurant will truly make you feel like you are in Paris. Apparently, this bistrot was used as the headquarters for the CIA in the last Jason Bourne film.
Expect to pay about 23 euros a head for a 3 course meal and wine. Reservation is a must.
2 Place du Marche Ste-Catherine, 75004 Paris, +33 1 42 77 34 88
For a quick drink on a Friday
If you are looking for a true Parisian cool hangout, then head to La Perle, a tiny popular local dive that bursts with atmosphere on a Friday evening. Known in Paris as a fashionista hang-out, the atmosphere is still quite relaxed as nobody tries too hard. The décor is along typical Paris café-bar lines, not really anything to write home about, but it's the crowd that makes this place what it is.
Don’t hang out in the pavement too much though, as apparently Galliano who lives near by hates the noise emitting from this bar.
La Perle, 78, rue Vieille-du-Temple, 75003 Paris, +33142726993
TIP: Call ahead to check what hotties are at the bar, before heading over!
For posing and lounging on a Saturday evening
Glam it up and head down to La Conserverie, a sleek bar frequented by well-heeled Parisians and ran by an expat. This is also the place where magazine launches and the like get hosted. The decor is very post Dandy, and the music can only be heard very faintly in the background. This is not a place to boogie on down, so don’t expect much dancing here, this place is for chatting, drinking and FLIRTING. If you want to dance, the Rex is only about 10 minutes walk away (expect to queue to get in, unless you are on the list).
Expect to pay about £10 for a vodka tonic and £50 for a bottle of champagne.
La Conserverie- 37 bis rue du Sentier Paris 75002
After hour’s fun:
What happens when the bar has closed, you don’t feel like going to a nightclub and home seems like a boring place to hangout. Well, you set your sights on La Fourmi, an artsy after-hours hang out, which features a fantastic chandelier made of green bottles, and the best mezzanine seating area ever. I loved this place, it was so Parisian and unpretentious. It reminded me of that jazz bar Audrey Hepburn did her crazy dance in that film Fanny Face, oh I mean "Funny Face"