Oh my god, how did I manage that? I was huffing and puffing when I literally collapsed into my seat on a Paris-bound Eurostar, attracting bemused looks from my fellow passengers.
Yes, I was on my way to Paris to see my good friends and also to pick up Hubbie’s denim jacket which he left at her home unwittingly when we visited her and her husband last September.
When I booked a day return, for some crazy reason, I thought my outbound train was leaving at 7:55. I asked Hubbie to book an Addison Lee at 6:35 and thought nothing about it.
My journey to St Pancras was painless – there was hardly any traffic on the road, and I was walking through the entrance at 6:45. ‘Hmmm, I can have latte at the departure lounge and a pastry if I fancy.’ Oh, how pathetically wrong I was.
At a check-in barrier, I presented my iPhone screen and found the scanner didn’t read the bar-code. So I walked to a customer service and asked a staff behind the glazing what was wrong with my ticket. She looked into my screen and said loud and clear, ‘RUN! You may make it!!’ I looked down at my phone and shrieked, ‘Ohhhhh, Shiiiitttt!’
I don’t know how I went through the security and the immigrations for UK and France but somehow I managed to haul myself inside of the carriage in the nick of time, around 6:59. Oh my word, I never thanked god that hard in my life.
Bonjour, Gare du Nord!
After rendezvousing with my friend at Gare du Nord, we decided to have famed Mont Blancs at Angelina on rue de Rivoli.
Despite visiting the city countless times, I never had a chance to eat their signature pastry so a visit to the salon de thé was at the top of my “must do” list.
It was around 11 o’clock when we arrived at their salon facing Jardin des Tuileries. We were ushered to one of the tables in the back of their oblong room. The place was already teeming with tourists who were enjoying late breakfast of omelette and pastries.
Voila, nos gâteaux!
Angelina’s arch-rival, Ladurée, also offered fine Mont Blancs and they were really neck-and-neck, I thought. My only criticism was that the cake was rather too big. The whipped cream which I found rich and heavenly at the beginning became progressively heavy in my stomach, and eventually I had to leave 3/4 of the pastry on my plate.
After Angelina, we moved on to Galeries Lafayette by metro. We hit the shop floors because I wanted to treat myself with a new scarf for my impending trip to the south of France at the end of May. After ogling all the offerings, I opted for a cotton scarf by Gerard Darel…
Elle a bon goût! Bella loves the scarf too.
The fabric was really soft and I loved the details like overlapping fringes and etc.
Doesn’t it remind you Delft porcelains? The scarf will go very well with a denim jacket, I thought.
After shopping, we had a very late lunch at one of the cafés on Boulevard Houssmann. It was around 4 o’clock but we we didn’t feel remotely hungry, thanks to the Mont Blanc.
Before I left Paris for home, her husband joined us and we went to another café behind the Primtemps. We recounted how whirlwind my visit to the city was while we pecked on café gourmet, beer and a plate of assorted cheese and bread. I wished if I could spend more time with them!
Still, I couldn’t miss my train home, therefore, we hurried to Gare du Nord. We decided to use RER but the service was very slow and crowded due to the strike action. ‘Oh, noooo!’ We broke into trot as soon as we hit the concourse connecting Magenta and Gare du Nord.
I am afraid but I won’t be visiting the city during my next trip. The closest place I will be the outskirts of Paris, Palace of Versailles…
Kaori by Kaori Okumura