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Off to Paris for the weekend, luckily much recovered from the previous week’s malingering. And what a weekend – champagne, steak tartare, pavement cafes, hotel bars, crepes, le vin rouge, un peu de shopping, and a trip to David Lynch’s night club.

Drink of the weekend: It really was champagne. And specifically, the bottle of champagne that my fiancé dashed out to source on the mean streets of the 6th arrondissement just after we checked into our hotel. I tell you what, that chilled bottle of Moet bought from a slightly suspect grocers at around 7pm on a venomously wintery Friday night and drunk in a Parisian garret hotel room is one of the most glorious things I have ever tasted. The wind and rain blasted outside, the pseudo-candle-effect bulbs flickered convincingly, the weird ‘Dream-catcher’ interior decoration piece in the middle of the room looked surreal, and the hotel priorities of fantastic glassware over sensible bathroom design (why is there never anywhere to put your shampoo in these funky modern design places? Why? Instead, there is just scrabbling on the shower floor or much unnecessary dripping and chilliness) seemed momentarily sensible.

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How every weekend should start.

 

When we could face the arctic weather, we ventured out to a nearby North African restaurant that Andy had spotted on his champagne mission where we ate our body-weight in cous cous and tagine and drank North African beer and red wine respectively. I have no idea what the wine was, but it was decent enough, and came in one of those brilliant small bottle/carafes even though I only had a 250ml serving which would probably be slopped into a vat-sized goblet in the UK.

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The restaurant (Chez Bebert in the 6th/Montparnasse) also wins the award for most busy and exotically-cosy restaurant I’ve been to in a long time (a crowded category), as well as striking the very precise level of lighting which is dark enough for my embarrassingly sensitive eyes (embarrassing as it requires frequent and pretentious wearing of sunglasses. No, not just when I’m hungover) and love of the Manhattan-style near-blackout look, and Andy’s need for sensible lighting that enables people to actually be able to read things, like a menu for instance (and glasses-wearing people at that).

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And that last sentence wins the award for most sets of parentheses on this blog, or perhaps ever.

Paris was so beautiful and there were so very many drinks which I snapped (including the 100% authentic French Breakfast of a Cafe au Lait and an Orangina) so here is an assorted selection:

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Love the wine-bottle-shaped lighting in our hotel lobby. The vegetable tree decorations are, however, one hipster step too far.

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This is what Parisians have for breakfast everyday, right? And they sit in a pavement cafe and pay a tenner for the pleasure, yes?

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Look, LOOK at the incredible green marbley shininess of these chocolates.
And then LOOK AT THE PRICE.

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DIY Hot Chocolate with hot milk and a thick chocolatey goo in a mug. Or, as the less wide-eyed and romantic amongst you might call it, charging you a fiver for the pleasure of making your own drink.

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Cocktails in the Bar Anglais of the Hotel Raphael. Twice the price of anywhere normal, but to be fair, twice the size. And with VERY good snacks.

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