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My French Life : The Paris Ritz is closed – now where I will stay when I’m in town!

Just kidding!  I hardly ever go into Paris these days and if I did, I certainly couldn’t afford to stay at the Ritz but I can dream.

I am actually going to be in Paris in September, the OH asked me what I wanted for my birthday and as he usually gives into whatever I want just once a year I decided to say I wanted a few days in Paris. He doesn’t actually like Paris he says – that is despite the fact that he hasn’t actually been there since about 1976. He ran away from home as a teenager and decided to join the Foreign Legion. Yes I know it sounds preposterous but believe me, if you knew him like I do you’d know that he is an impetuous type of person and he always wanted to be in the army and he won’t wait for anything. He says he thought it would be “exciting”.

Apparently it wasn’t for him – too much discipline, too much being told what to do and being shouted at. He stood it for a short while and got out of there as quick as he could. Trying to find his way to and from the Barracks in Lille via Paris he encountered many “rude and offensive” people. I have pointed out to him that he spoke not a word of French so what did he expect going up to people asking for directions in a foreign tongue?

Laduree Paris
How can you not love a cake shop that looks like this?!

Anyway, that’s enough of that – we are going to Paris – I haven’t been to Versailles since I was 14 and I have a hankering to see the fountains working at night, I’ve never had a macaron from Ladurée  and I really would like to go to the Musée d’Orsay and loads of other places.  I won’t be going up the Eiffel Tower as heights and me are not best of friends and now it seems I won’t be going for a birthday cocktail at the Ritz – I really quite fancied a “Rainbow” cocktail – anisette, mint, yellow chartreuse, cherry brandy, kümmel, green chartreuse and cognac invented by a famous barman at the Ritz in the 1920s.

It’s a beautiful building and a place of much history right in the heart of Paris – many famous people have stayed there – Charlie Chaplin, Coco Chanel and Ernest Hemingway to name but a few.  The Paris Ritz was created in 1898 by Cesar Ritz and the chef Auguste Escoffier and it’s had a few makeovers since then but this time round more than €100m is being spent on a refurbishment programme and the doors closed on July 31 to the public until 2014.

So – no “rainbow” at the Ritz for me –  I’ll need to come up with another venue now and I’m pretty sure I’ll be spoiled for choice in the City of Lights but any suggestions would be welcome.

A bientôt
Janine
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