Welcome back to another instalment of my life in Paris; starring myself as lead actor/heroine, with Hugh as supporting actor and special guest this week playing the charming and goofy role of my sidekick in Paris, drum roll please, Kate Callander…
What a week it has been ladies and ladies (and hopefully some gents).
I’ve got a lot of content coming your way so I thought hey, why not break out some bullet points, which are really just different paragraphs but make me feel much more organised. In no order whatsoever, with no rhyme or reason are this week’s thoughts on Paris! #frenchlife
ONE: If you are dressed in a shabby chic suit and are a colourful enough character you can in fact eat your way around the market at no cost to you. An apple here, a pear there, a wheel of cheese for later. I have witnessed a few daredevils of the market scene pilfer with careless abandon… and I applaud them.
TWO: On a walk with Hugh a few evenings ago down a side street, we passed a beautiful hotel with ivy climbing the walls and balconies jutting out with wrought iron finishing’s. The hotelier must have squeezed every square metre out of that pocket of land. The rooms and their balconies were practically on the street. As I gazed to my right I was a mere metre away from a well-travelled couple enjoying the warm night on their terrace in their robes. The hotelier, a rather cunning businessman, must have also decided to hold onto to some euros by scaling back on the size of the robes. As I took in the sight of the couple, similar in age to my parents enjoying themselves in their robes, I copped an eyeful of delightful, dimpled lady bottom.
THREE: ATTENTION: I have evolved from the bland, normal, fairly standard ‘Miss Celia’, since moving to the other side of the world. French mail is addressed to the new, improved and far more refined Madame Célia. From now on if you are writing to me/addressing via social media please do not forget the accent. I don’t care if you have to google and copy paste so that you can write my name correctly. I am French and fabulous and you should start treating me as such.
Final point, my kiwi accent. Kate has been absolutely horrified to discover that it is my accent that reigns supreme in French opinion in terms of ‘elegance’ and ‘roundness’ it is more ‘British’ sounding than hers (all real terms used by real Parisian people). Although she and Hugh haven’t mentioned it I can imagine they have both felt VERY embarrassed at how they’ve treated me over the past three years in Melbourne. And if they’re nice enough Madame Célia may even hold an elocution lesson for them both.
And now for the weekly wrap; starting with news from the kitchen. On Wednesday (Mercredi) I invited Helen and Jane, the Kiwi gals over for morning tea. I also decided to bake some healthy, what-were-meant-to-be cookies, but ended up looking like balls. Healthy balls!! Unfortunately (or fortunately for the gals), the market was on the morning of the morning tea so I teamed the healthy balls up with a molten chocolate cake, rhubarb cake, apple tarte tatin and strawberries, it’s all about balance people.
Thursday marked my third visit to Holybelly. If there is a persistence award, I’ve got it in the bag. Third time lucky as we enjoyed a brunch of eggs and tomato and mushrooms and glorious coffee! In big news, I ordered a piccolo. My friend Maddy always ordered them in Melbourne and I would watch her from behind my latte mug as she sipped on the little cup of brown magic wondering if I could one day summon the courage to order one. Well, I did it, and I liked it. Holybelly was excellent and the decor was v cool.
From Holybelly we walked around the corner to one of the coworking spaces, aptly named coworkshop. Hugh and I co-worked at coworkshop. T to the RENDY is all I have to say. It was attack of the mac and we felt like the biggest dorks pulling out Hugh’s Dell. Luckily we had our iPads with us and I waved my iPhone around otherwise I’m sure we would’ve been kicked out the door and back to the early 2000’s where we belong. In my last post I mentioned Hugh and I are going to travel in November as he has a week’s break. So we researched our little hearts away, the only problem being that according to Hugh I was talking too loud for the hushed library like environment of the co-working space, “SHHHHHH you’re shouting!” So we co-worked in silence AND we hadn’t discussed what exactly we were meant to be researching. Hugh’s computer died just as I declared “ok I have Morocco aaaaaall sorted”. Hugh looked baffled; he had spent the past hour searching the Canary Islands. Whoopsie daisy…. #notNSYNC
After the co-work mishap we headed to BOB’s Juice bar, two doors down from holybelly. Cold pressed juice and a bagel for Hugh provided some fuel for our metro trip to the 6th where I opened a bank account HOORAH and Hugh bought a very cool speaker, also hooorah. P.S Bob, if you need a juice ambassador, I’m your girl, holler at me.
It was a day of errands as my friend Kate was due to arrive the next morning (Friday) at 7am. She was to be the first person to try out the fold out couch bed thing. And no, Kate is not a 5-year-old child expecting a seaside holiday.
After a busy day, it called for red wine in the window. Side note: I am terrified of falling out of the windows in our apartment and plummeting to the ground below. To close the shutters each night and then open each morning you have to lean out to unhook/hook each side and my life flashes before my eyes EVERY TIME.
Early Friday morning Kate arrived and she and I spent a day shopping in Passy, where I discovered COS. I am now a big advocate of the store, COS is launching in Melbourne soon which is excellent, I can see Melbournites embracing the brand. Big call but right up there with the best basics I’ve ever owned. Since Kate was in town I thought we better venture out to dinner, so we went all the way…next door. To Tokoyo Eat part of Palais de Tokyo! I also attached the flash onto my camera and snapped away much to Hugh’s and Kate’s annoyance. Hugh pointed out I was pointing a red laser beam directly in the other patrons eyes when I took sweeping photos of the restaurant… but can I be faulted for not getting the shot? Huh? Huh? No… No I cannot.
And then we had a classic E.T pose off…
Hugh set off Saturday, this time to Montpellier. Kate and I decided to set off on a Seine saunter and managed to trot all the way to the 6th (latin quarter). Kate became dismayed at the coffee on offer but extremely impressed by the French talent on offer, “their skin is like butter!!!!” Dotted along the walkway of the Seine are pop up stands, exercise areas and cool places to hang e.g. shipping container bars and boats converted to restaurants. We stumbled across a series of portraits erected taken of well know people at the Seine at various times. My favourite shot was the Douglas cats.
Saturday night Kate and I headed out for cocktails and tapas, gals night! The venue came recommended and did not disappoint. Le Mary Celeste is located in the 3rd and what a delightful experience it was. The share plates that we consumed or should I say hoovered down were incredible, shout out to chef Haan Palcu-Chang. I had BigRegs (big regrets) as soon as I ordered my cocktail. I always make terrible decisions and knew that Kates would be far more delish. I was right and ordered hers as soon as I’d quickly finished mine.
The night was but young when we had finished our food so we decided to ask our charming Irish waitress where we should head next. She suggested Candelaria a speakeasy style bar. We walked through a noisy taco restaurant through a white hidden door and into the bar! and lo and behold I’d been there before! Sally and I had visited this same spot a less than two months earlier I recognised it straight away due to the furry wall hanging (we had a ‘stroke the furry wall’ photoshoot). We sidled up to the bar and a young lad sidled up to us, in a non creepy way. His name was Alex, a British chap out for a few bevvies with his French pals, Stefan and crowd favourite Raphael! We spent the rest of the night with the three lads after I won them over with my French “bonjour, J’mapelle Celia, Je suis marrante et merchant” and afterwards “La pomme et rouge!” translated to Hello my name is Celia I am funny and naughty, and, The apple is red! We finished the night at BESPOKE a bar also with a tasty menu of sliders etc.
Sunday morning we were very tired, but we had business to attend too. My tall pal was turning 26 and I was tasked with arranging some sort of picnic spread before he returned home at 2pm. Thinking that we had more time on our hands than we did, I suggested a quick lie down. 40mins later I woke to a small pool of dribble on my pillow and a quick glance at my phone confirmed the worst, it was 1:45 and I had a message from Hugh “home soon”. Like a blur of pyjama clad female Kate and I threw together the spread and were ready to call “Joyeux anniversaire”, albeit still in pajamas when Hugh walked through the door. Unintentional but fabulous nonetheless Hugh saw the ‘Happy Birthday’ sign in the window from outside earning additional kudos. I was a little sad as the custom-made boots I had ordered from RM Williams had not arrived (my fault not theirs). The stand in present, a green tea travel mug went down rather well and he has been using it an awful lot, it has a lock function so that you can tip it upside down or drop it and it won’t leak…. buuuuut I’m sure the boots would’ve been appreciated.
Sunday evening we heading to MAISON Burger in the 6th.Kate and I walked past the restaurant on Saturday and judged it solely on the A4 piece of paper stuck on the wall outside and the decor that we could see pressed up to the window. We arrived at around 8:30pm and the surrounding area was lively with people spilling out of busy restaurants onto the streets. We were very happy to find an empty table for dinner. For a Birthday burger you’re really hoping for a lot and I could tell Hugh wanted these buns to be top-notch. We were not disappointed. I had a chicken burger with salad, goats cheese, and mustard mayo dressing. It was incredible. The staff were also awesome, when I asked for no bacon but could I add avocado our waiter told me that would be a “bad decision” and “avocado doesn’t go with the burger”. I have a lot of respect for an honest waiter.
And wow, Dem buns hun….
And that’s all for this week as I have already written too much and I know you don’t have a lot of time on your hands. So thanks for sparing me some precious minutes out of your fabulous day. Really appreciate it, you’re a good person.
Extra words if you can be bothered:
Finger on the Paris Pulse: Hugh has learnt of a Friday night hangout named “Pari Roller”; a group of 30,000 rollers who descend on the Paris streets to roll as one large badass rollerblading gang. There are rules, and Roller Marshalls who keep the rollers in check with a tap on the shoulder if you’re not keeping up. He is very keen to take part, so I may find myself on six wheels sometime soon, that’s if I can manage to find elbow pads, knee pads, a large Helmet and a chin pad.
I have asked Hugh to contribute to the blog and perhaps write a post or two on life in a French rugby team, and his travel adventures so far. He has come back to me with a concept called “Re-Hugh’s” … for those not following, and I don’t blame you, these would be Hugh’s Reviews, Hugh’s re-Hugh’s. He wants to review various ‘things’ in 5 words or less with a photo. I have to speak to Publisher, Editor, Chief features writer and Advertising Account Manager (all surprisingly named Célia) before I can commission his services. But if you are interested in this new feature I’d appreciate your feedback.