Since then, though, life in Paris has slowly begun to resume it’s normal, 100-mile-an-hour pace. I’m still working the early shift, though my work-life balance is restored and I’m now able to enjoy my evenings too (just don’t keep me up past 10.30…). So much so, I’ve been too busy to update this, hence the delay.
A short while back, I managed to organise a drink with Cressida in Le Marais (where I spend 80% of my time when I’m not at work or asleep). We were calmly enjoying a glass of rather flat but no-less-delicious prosecco, whenwho should walk past but Nick, a fellow Durham-ite turned Parisian. He kindly invited me to supper at his place on Ile Saint-Louis – where I met his flatmate Jean. It turned out that Jean was a rare book vendor and art collector, and so I spent much of the evening picking his brains over books (shared love for The Goldfinch!) and the best exhibitions in the city at the moment. When we ran out of wine, I decided to call it a night – and struggled through work the next day.
Fortunately, though, Friday meant Nick’s leaving party, so it was back to his magnificent and in no way realistic student accommodation for a send off. This lovely, civilised evening somehow wound up with us first drinking wine by the Seine, then simultaneously enjoying profound conversations and watching ice hockey in a Canadian bar. Why? No one knows.
So it was, though, that I wound up in search of the greatest brunch food I could find, and Lucie’s friend Iso promised me a sandwich that would change my life. She emphasised that we had to get there for midday, otherwise the queue is too long and they run out of bread, and we did not want that. We headed to Le Marché aux enfants rouges, where Chez Alain Miam Miam truly did make me a sandwich that will never be surpassed. Ciabatta, soaked in olive oil and stuffed with lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, mushrooms, Parma ham, Cantal cheese and then whacked on the galette pan to warm up and melt the cheese. Unreal. I promise I will take anyone who wants to go. It was so good that yesterday Lucie and I ran to the market to get a sandwich. We thought we could justify it more if we burned it off beforehand, you know?
Anyway, I spent much of that day eating, as Iso also introduced me to Popelini, a patisserie specialising in choux pastry stuffed with flavoured crème patissiere. I went for orange blossom with rhubarb compote, and it did not disappoint.
That evening we chose to celebrate Lucie’s imminent departure with a house party before heading out to the infamous “Favela Chic” nightclub. Safe to say, we had fun. I would share more, but I can’t. Rest assured that Lucie’s internship at an alcohol distribution company was not under-appreciated that night.
Sunday I finally met up with Lottie and Anna, and we ventured to Basilique Sacre-Coeur in Montmartre. It was truly spectacular, but given the freezing cold we were fairly hasty in snapping some typical shots before moving on to – you guessed it – food. This time, I took them to my neck of the woods, to Au P’tit Grec on Rue Mouffetard for giant stuffed galettes.
The afternoon went slightly pear-shaped as I discovered I was locked out, and due for a Skype with one of my potential future flatmates. I ended up Skyping from outside my front door, occasionally plunged into darkness as the light sensor in the corridor gave out every five minutes.
Obviously, after a Skype it had to be time for more food – so I headed off to meet Lucie, Lauren, Pete and Iso, as well as two of Lucie’s friends from home, at Paris / NY, a burger joint in the 11th. I couldn’t believe I was going to try eating again after I didn’t finish my enormous galette, but as my hangover peaked, nothing was going to stop me polishing off an incredible avo-bacon cheeseburger.
Safe to say, writing this in retrospect, it’s kind of understandable why I’m currently on pennies and soup from a carton until the end of the month… I should probably spend less on food… But then, I think – Paris!
Chanson du Jour: I – Kendrick Lamar