After a busy morning catching up on correspondence (the release date of Delicious Days has been moved forward), I couldn’t wait to grab my notebook and camera and meander through the city, footloose and fancy free.
Just a hop, skip and a jump from the Louvre, one of my favourite city parks is the Palais Royal and today I find a riot of pink blossom and magnolia trees bursting ceremoniously into bud. It’s a wonderful place to sit and dream.
I crunch my way along the gravel paths and out through the back of the gardens, stopping for a drink at Le Pain Quotidien before peeking into the gorgeous Galerie Vivienne. Then, turning east, skirt around Place des Victoires with its imposing statue of the Sun King on his horse.
Without a care in the world, I zigzag through the Les Halles quarter, lose track of time in E. Dehillerin kitchen and bakeware store (Julia Child’s favourite), and pause in front of St Eustache to gasp at L’Ecoute (Listen), the giant statue by Henri Miller of a head resting on a hand. Shame about the crane!
It’s liberating to be sans map and agenda and I soon stumble upon the whimsical Place Igor Stravinsky with 16 vibrant sculptures inspired by The Rite of Spring, and other major works by the composer. Today the fountains are off but you can still feel the music.
And then, head in the clouds, I meander back through the Marais, stopping at every shoe shop along the way and feeling a pang of nostalgia as I pass the classic little French café, Au Petit Fer à Cheval, on rue Vieille du Temple.
More signs of springtime pop up in the streets that wend their way toward the Upper Marais, but it’s time to turn back.
Tired but content, I head for the cool cloisters of Place des Vosges, where I sit back with a coffee at Carette.