We had a sharpener in a bar before setting off to Montmartre to visit the artists plying their trade in the large square at the summit, en route IC and I passed a chap wearing a Ramones jacket snorting coke off the steps leading out of the Metro. Staggering it was, bold as fucking brass just bunging a wrap up his nose via a rolled up 20 Euro note. Sacre Bleu! Sorry…
Montmartre is (now) one of my favourite places on the planet, I enjoyed watching all the artists busy at work and even more (after employing years of academia with my keen eye for aesthetics, bitches) deciding which ones were fucking shit. We pottered about wryly amused (well I was, I was experiencing a full-on ponce out) then decided it best to get some wine from whatever place suited.
We found this perfect little half-empty gaff with a half-cut jazz pianist tinkling away, it was both a bar and creperie if you can imagine such a thing and the walls were adorned with whatever ephemera passing tourists and travellers cared to staple-up. I bloody loved it, we had a couple of glasses and, in the spirit of things, I took a short while to sketch IC and stick her visage up, which was nice.
We wobbled back to the hotel in order to ready ourselves for the evening. IC had organised a table at a restaurant just north centre of the Seine and I have to say she managed to top anything I’d managed to get together that weekend. When we arrived at the venue we had to pass through security before entering a beautiful walled garden, at the end was the entrance to the restaurant, though it didn’t seem as such, in fact it was more akin to a country house.
The interior was almost like Alice in Wonderland, it was both homely and knowingly bohemian, on the right by the door was a Norton Commando which instantly piqued (whahey!) my interest. I began fiddling with it to see if it was in use or someone’s warped idea of décor, I reached underneath and pulled out a handful of fresh oil indicating the former, as is the way with British motorcycles of the 70’s. A chap approached who claimed ownership and we stared gassing about bikes. Turned out he was not only the owner of this restaurant but was also the owner of another pair of well known restaurants in London, both of which had Michelin Stars. When he formally introduced himself all clicked into place. He was a very nice chap, not what one would expect after being spoon-fed celebrity-chef-TV over the past few years.
A waiter suggested we visited the smoking room upstairs which we entered via a mirrored wardrobe into a crepuscular lounge that would’ve made Lewis Carroll weep with joy. It featured dimly lit crumbling chandeliers, delicate rococo stucco and what could only be described as distressed William Morris wallpaper. There were leather bound books on wonky shelves, worn leather sofas and chairs and the room had the quality of a dream verging on the good side of a nightmare. I could’ve stayed there all night, and would’ve if the same waiter hadn’t appeared to tell us our food was on the table.
I had the spit-roasted suckling pig with mushrooms and new spuds, of course it was ridiculously good and the accompanying wine was top of the pops. IC had the scallops; I’ve never tasted better. In terms of atmosphere and service I’ve never eaten in a finer place, the bill wasn’t too harsh either and we’ll be going back there another day.
Earlier on in the day IC and I had taken the wise decision to buy a bottle of champagne for the final drink of the evening. When we got back to the hotel we saw Paris off with the fucking bottle in the bar and took ourselves to bed. The train was due to leave Paris at 1pm so we had a short while to eat breakfast, and to sustain the holiday spirit had a couple of glasses of wine on the platform, then on the train back. Unsurprisingly we slept most of the way back to London after that.
We were home by 4 feeling peachy and a little melancholic as we were back in London with Paris left over the other side of the channel. I think I left my liver there too. Happy, happy days.
Take a guess who this is for. Hello mum.