When I left Cannes, guess where I went? Yep, every time I go to Europe, I include a trip to PARIS. It is a long flight home, so I need to make the most of it. The jaw dropping architecture and statues inspire ideas and visualisations of the wild battlegrounds and torrid stories of social uprisings and bohemian love affairs that were played out in all directions.
I love Paris in winter and spring, not as much in summer and I fear for my life when I enter the wobbly old lifts. On this trip I was a bit of a foodie and fell in love with Ladurée, a tea salon at 21 rue Bonaparte, in the very cool Saint-Germain neighborhood - originally opened in 1947.
I shared the best chocolate, lemon, pistachio and mocha Macarons I've ever had with a New Zealander I met earlier at Musée d'Orsay.
How amazing is the baroque style Opéra National de Paris, at the Place de l'Opera in the 9th arrondissement, blessed with glamour & glitz. I only wished I had time for a show.
I stayed at the Cluny Square Hotel, in the Latin Quarter - St Michel, it was very cute with a Juliet balcony overlooking ancient buildings, crooked streets, a row of bicycles for hire and a McDonald's store.
Entering my favourite Museum in the world, Musée d'Orsay, a place I visit on every trip.
There's a mad thrill when you study art and then see the original paintings so close you can touch them. I just want to pluck one off the wall - apparently someone had, two months prior to my visit.
There are many beautiful moments here amongst the greats, these are just a few of my favourites on show;
- Auguste Renoir - The Swing and Dance at Le Moulin de la Galette
- Edouard Manet - Luncheon on the Grass
- Claude Monet - London - Houses of Parliament
- Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec - Jane Avril Dancing
- Vincent van Gogh - Self-Portrait, Starry Night and The Church in Auvers-sur-Oise
- Paul Gauguin - Tahitian Women
- Edgar Degas - Ballet Rehearsal
- Jean-François Millet - Gleaners
- Pierre Auguste Renoir - Young Girls at the Piano
Although I was surprised to turn the corner and there, bang in my face was Gustave Courbet's 'The Origin of the World' and the painting is massive. I had a giggle and then found it fascinating to see the reaction of others.
Many years ago, one fabulous birthday... I saw a Van Gogh exhibition in Amsterdam and then hopped on a train to Paris for dinner, perfect.