Tuesday, July 12, 2005

How the other half lives

Bonjour Paris

I have just spent the most perfect weekend in Paris, having had a literal taste of how the other half lives. The most notable part of my weekend was the lunch to celebrate Jaime's 30th birthday. Our venue of choice? The Jules Verne restaurant, half-way up THE Eiffel Tower.

Flying in on Friday night, Kate met me at Porte Maillot, where the airport bus dropped me off. After a couple of Metro changes, we made it to Kate's new apartment in Montmartre, that she shares with her British friend, Nicky. I have posted some pics of Kate's new apartment on Flickr. Click here if you want to check them out.

Daz and J were spending Friday night at a hotel designed by Christian Lacroix in the Marais district, where Kate used to live. So Kate and I caught the Metro out there to see them. We had some wonderful drinks and whole-shell peanuts, and chatted and laughed for hours. Before I knew it, it was midnight and we were wishing Jaime a HAPPY 30TH BIRTHDAY in real time, it was great. Kate and I then went out till 5am but let's not dwell on that. Suffice to say I wore my sequinned black halter top, and met a Sicilian. Two high points of the evening that probably don't need elaboration.

The boys had gone nuts at the designer boutiques in Paris, shopping at Versace and Dolce & Gabbana, to deck themselves out for the Saturday lunch. They arrived at Kate's place at midday, as arranged, and fortunately found Kate & I ready to go. We felt like crap, but we were dressed.

I had bought a stretchy brown dress with an A-line skirt and plunging front and back. In my excitement about the occasion, I neglected to buy Hollywood tape. This meant I was risking a Janet Jackson-style wardrobe malfunction all day. I didn't think the Eiffel Tower staff would approve, so as you can see from the photo I posted above, I kept my green shawl wrapped around me at all times. I think it looked alright though. I was so impressed with the way we ALL looked though - Kate's floaty green chiffon dress was beautiful and the boys cut really mean figures in their fantastic suits. Sigh. We really looked the part.

Entering the Jules Verne by private elevator was ritzy in itself. I don't know how she did it, but Kate installed us at THE best table in the place. I am sure it was also the table Tom Cruise sat at to propose to Katie Holmes just a few weeks earlier. Well, it's the one I would have picked. Our view was uninterrupted and because the weather was so good, we could see plenty of monuments and landmarks.

We enjoyed a bottle of Moet et Chandon, and a delicious red wine (the name of which I have forgotten already). I had a main course of beef fillet with a rich, sticky gravy, vegetables and a potato dish. Then my dessert was a fantastic passionfruit sorbet with berry jelly underneath. Bliss. I didn't have any of the cheese plate, but I was still able to admire the array of cheeses in the trolley the waiter brought to our table (yes, a whole trolley). I thought Kate was going to crawl into it and happily die there.

At about 5pm, after our desserts, the waiter asked if we wanted to take our coffees in the bar area so we could enjoy a different view of Paris than the one we had been admiring over lunch. The city is might impressive, and really sprawling. We had eaten our fill, and sitting there in silence to admire the view was all we wanted to be doing.

But we found the strength to pay the bill (eek!), and walk out on the promenade deck to take some photos. Of course we were just like the pleb tourists then, just with snazzier clothes for the occasion. Our cameras got just as much of a workout as theirs.

A fantastic lunch, and a beautiful weekend. Shame that you have to come back to reality after something like that, huh?

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