I almost died at the Louvre

Oh the cliches are coming! Welcome to what is possibly the most nauseating blog in history. Paris was dreamy, Paris was perfection, it was hella romantic, get your spew bucket ready. Obvs it’s me (Court) back in the writers chair.  There’s nothing I love more than the company of my husband. Which is, I guess is why we are married, duh. But seriously. Walking around Paris with him was how I would imagine heaven, if I believed it to be real.

Our apartment was so much fancier than we actually are, but dang did we enjoy pretending. It was filled with provincial french furniture, antiques from all around the world, a library with books that ranged from a 1920s dictionary to this years Michel Restaurant guide book. It had a classical music CD collection and a magical view of a shared courtyard garden that we could see from our living area and our bed. We began each morning the same, Chopin on and slowing opening our shutters letting in the morning light bit by bit, then café from our armchairs revelling in our garden view. Yep, I know, way too fancy for us. It just felt wrong to play as much Drizzy as I am usually inclined.

We watched the season change through our window and on walks through our local garden, Jardin de Luxembourg. This is where I fell in love with the season Autumn. Paris in the beginning of Autumn was a bang of colour, the grass was still vividly green and the trees were a mix of greens and yellows on a backdrop of blue skies and fluffy white clouds.

Although still very behind on blog posts and photo editing due to our group trip shenanigans, Paris was beckoning and we couldn’t stay inside. (Hence why we are still a *bit* behind and only posting about Paris now) The cool air, cool people, the indulgent foods, the architecture, the galleries and the gardens had us hooked. Anywho, I don’t think anyone besides our mothers is noticing our slackness on the website, so we are forgiving ourselves.

We were lucky enough to visit the city of love and made the most of every minute. We couldn’t possibly detail our whole time here but over the next couple of posts we will let you peak inside our diary into some of our most favourite parts. If you want more, fly over here and visit us, we miss you guys!

Our first Sunday in Paris was how I wish every Sunday could be. We dedicated the whole morning to the Louvre, which unintentionally spilled into the afternoon. We really dove in head first into the gallery scene here – and we were floored – so dramatic and over the top and we LOVED IT. Why have plain walls that don’t detract from the artworks when you can have the most magnificent, gold trimmed, ornately carved, richly coloured walls to cram thousands upon thousands of artworks on instead? I know Coco Chanel famously said to take one accessory off before leaving the door, The Louvre REALLY misinterpreted. I mean, this lady is wearing allllllll of her accessories, and probably also all of her best friends too.

Although not an old favourite of mine, I am newly sentimental when I think of Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. A few years ago my mother in law told me that my beautiful sister, while pregnant with her first baby, had the serenity and face of Mona Lisa. It is something that really stuck with me, and because of this I couldn’t resist the idea of visiting the piece and thinking of Sarah.  As we rounded the corner to the Mona Lisa, we realised where everyone from the mega cue outside had gone to in the gallery. If I had a dollar for every selfie stick… we’d still be living in Paris that’s for sure. This was not the serene moment I had hoped to spend here.

This is the part where I confess to you all, that I basically almost died. For real. Those of you that have watched Game of Thrones will understand, those of you that haven’t – do you not own a TV? Good grief! Jon Snow in the battle scene where he is practically trampled to death = me at the Mona Lisa. Tourists are bat shit cray. There was a sea of people cramming to get a glimpse of the tiny painting, people were pushing and shoving to get to the front (wtf it’s not a Justin Timberlake concert) and selfie sticks became weapons. People had lost all consideration of others. For a while, my only view in the crowd was of a children’s book that a baby was reading whilst on its dads shoulders. OMFG. I hope that 2yr old remembers its view of Mona Lisa more than I wish to of its book in my face. So basically, breathless and a little frightened, I tapped out. Zak was head and shoulders above the sea of tourists that are stereotypically fond of the selfie stick and short in stature, if you catch my drift – so I bailed and decided to pay my tributes to the photo that Zak could take from his vantage point.

The rest of the day was spent far more relaxed. We walked hand in hand through the city, napped and enjoyed the newly appreciated feeling of space in the Tuileries garden. We then wandered home along the canals of the River Seine, stopping into Strada café to warm up and wake up from our fairytale daze. Young Parisians concede that the one blemish on their gastronomic prowess is their coffee. So bitter and burnt it turns an espresso order into a game of Russian roulette (with worse odds).

On the last leg of our walk / explore home we happened upon a flea market that sprawled for streets on closed roads. No wonder why Parisians are so fabulous! You can buy literally everything you need to keep up appearances at these markets including vintage furs and Rolex watches, antique jewellery, refurbished furniture, old army and navy clothes, opium pipes and vintage cut-throat razors sharpened on site – to name a few. ^ Zak wrote this bit, I love he thinks these things are what makes someone look “fabulous”. Can everyone please now picture Zak wearing an old Navy Jacket with a fur coat draped over his shoulders, sitting on a chesterfield couch with his Rolex clad wrist and antique gold pinkie ring, holding an Opium pipe, getting a cut throat shave. 

The sun had now set and the temperature dropped, we finished the evening by picking up a fresh baguette from our local boulangerie, a wheel of camembert a bottle of wine and enjoyed an evening at home eating baked brie, and watching a Woody Allen film.

What 10 euro can buy you in Paris:

1 single shot espresso

8 baguettes

more than 50 short stem roses

a 2 course set menu lunch

4 nutella crepes

1 extremely nice bottle of french wine

1 glass of french champagne from a restaurant

2 chocolate truffles

1/2 an entrance ticket into a gallery

3 one-way subway trips

…make of this what you will

This trip has been an adventure of many firsts for us. One particular evening in Paris, was a most memorable night of such experiences. A date night that would put to shame all past and future dates to be had. It was the first time we saw the Eiffel Tower, the first time we ate foie gras, the first time we’d been to a restaurant so fancy the waiters wore tuxedoes, it was the first time we’d been served an amuse bouche, and it was the first time we went to a burlesque cabaret show. Ooh la la

It was, what we learned, classic Parisian November weather, freezing and rainy. We dined at Phillipe de Jean Pierre Bistro and shared a wonderfully romantic evening. The bistro was exactly how you imagine it to be, starched white table clothes, burgundy velvet arm chairs, chandeliers, drape curtains with gold fixtures and a waiter in a tuxedo. In these almost once in a lifetime moments, you have to just stop and take it all in. I memorised every course, savoured every bite and every sip of wine, I wanted to stay forever.  Seeing as we were eating at french bistro we had to do it right, right? We indulged in a bottle of red wine, chicken liver parfait, crab ravioli, foie gras two ways, duck and a chocolate soufflé for two followed by espresso with mandolins.

After dinner we wandered through the streets of Paris, skipping over puddles hand in hand following the beam of light illuminating the night sky to finally set eyes upon the Eiffel Tower. I can’t believe that people get to enjoy this city everyday of their lives; that the spectacle of the Eiffel Tower at night is something that Parisians can enjoy from their balconies, from a park, from a restaurant, whenever their heart desires. After pinching ourselves a few (hundred) times we walked back past the windows of Givency, Saint Laurent and Balenciaga towards Crazy Horse Burlesque for the late night show.

Famed as the home of cabaret, we couldn’t visit Paris without experiencing a show. Wanting an unadulterated experience of a burlesque show, we chose to visit Crazy Horse over other larger companies. Crazy Horse is how we imagine the experience of visiting the Moulin Rouge would have been in its heyday – intimate and intriguing; a vanguard of feminine, playful provocation and sex appeal. Each season a new art director is brought in, last season it was Christian Louboutin, this season was Chantal Thomass, a famous Parisian lingerie designer. With a cast of only 10 performers, this was the platform where the burlesque icon Dita Von Teese’s career took off.

Hot dang! This show was – cat purr noise. Glamorous with a capital G, funny, cheeeky (we saw a lot of cheeks) and insanely entertaining and loaded with feminine charm. Acts such a “God Save Our Bare Skin”, involving queens guard fur helmets and not too much else – were a hoot. Get it? 😉 The entire show was the most spectacular mix of costume design, choreography, lighting and shadow play.

Side note: If you go as a couple and book a booth, it is a shared booth for four. This may be good information to know before you are seated next to two Japanese business men sitting literally on the edge of their seats with excitement, as we were. But, you do get champagne, so you take the good with the weird.

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