Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Je Reviens!!!!

Call me an ungrateful wretch, but I was a mighty happy Style Spy sliding into my own bed last night. Of course, I had been mostly awake for over 24 hours at that point and had slept in four different beds in the preceeding two weeks, so I think no one will blame me for being ecstatic at the idea of the full horizontal on my home turf.

The Beast. And why, yes, that IS an Hermes box you see, she said coyly. More about which later.

There is a lot to do around here over the next couple of days, including unpacking my poor, overstressed suitcase and preparing my justifiably beloved cranberry sauce for tomorrow, so here's a quick preview and very rudimentary synopsis of my trip:

South bank of the Thames not far from the Tower Bridge, which you can see between the buildings. There is a heap of good new architecture in London, along with the lovely old stuff, and an amazing amount of new construction in the middle of an already-enormous and jam-packed city. I don't know how they're doing it.

Quick run-through of London: tube, rain, $32 umbrella, Guinness, wine, sore feet, my London Posse of wonderful women (and one very sweet six year-old boy), V&A couture exhibit, wind, more Guinness, Ormonde Jayne boutique, Fortnum & Mason, hemorrhaging money, more wine, more sore feet, Victoria Station, London Bridge Station, Matthew Williamson exhibit at Design Museum, Blackfriar's Bridge, Boots, lost sunglasses, steamed syrup sponge pudding, more Guinness, Rothko paintings at Tate Modern, Waterloo Station, Eurostar.

If it sounds like I didn't do much shopping in London, it's because I didn't. While an amazing, vibrant, gorgeous, really fun city, it is so expensive that my wallet actually began to weep. I had planned on buying one bottle of Tolu at Ormonde Jayne, to replace the one I'm going to use up soon, and that was all I bought there. I was very good. Things fell apart later, as you'll see, but in London? Very restrained.

Paris, early evening, outside the Orangerie in the Tuileries near Place de la Concorde. It was freaking FREEZING in Paris, especially after the sun went down, and there was a transit strike on, so I mostly stuck pretty close to home base in the 2eme Arrondissement. Lots of walking. The thing that I was trying to capture with this photo and have neither the camera nor photographic skills to do is the amazing long, low, steely-gray winter light that happens there when the sun begins to go down. It is melancholy and yet somehow life-affirming. Which, come to think of it, is the way a lot of Paris is.

Capsule of Paris: Eurostar, Gare du Nord, Montorgueil, wine, cheese, cold, Ladurée, Galeries Lafayette, more wine, Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle, Tiphaine & Corinne, Etat Libre d'Orange parfums, cold, more wine, tomato & cheese panini (many), Lacroix exhibit at Musée du Mode at du Textile, cold, Hermes, Longchamp, lovely Neil at Willi's Wine Bar (not what you're thinking!), Denyse, Années Folles exhibit at Palais Galliera, hot chocolate, more wine, more paninis, Tuileries, cold, cold, Saint Germain, Restaurant le Christine, creme caramel cannelle (dear god...), Billy the Cat, Dominique -- Hostess Extraordinaire, Jane, Prada, cold, serenades & jasmine at le Cochon a la Oreille, bicycles & mopeds, transit strike, cold, more wine, la Grenouille, Hotel Villa des Princes, cold, Charles de Gaulle Airport, duty-free, more wine.

Um, it was kinda chilly in Paris, in case you're wondering.

There's lots I'm forgetting. Forgive me, my brain is still pretty squishy & overtaxed right now.

So now I'm home and have lots to catch you up on. Which I promise to do -- but you're all busy this weekend anyway, aren't you? It's Thanksgiving! Hooray for turkey! (Especially because, seriously, I cannot. Eat. Another cheese & tomato panini. For quite a while.)

So more soon, I promise! A bientôt!

Photos: Style Spy

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Alexandra said...

Your trip sounds fantastic.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving!

carmencanada said...

Just popped in to make sure you had a safe journey home -- and isn't nice to get to your own bed? It was lovely meeting you and finding that you were quite as lovely and engaging as your prose.
Bisous from Paris !

HEATHER said...

Glad you are back! Can't wait to learn all about your findings!

Roberta said...

I've walked that bank many times while I was there. I loved that little stream they had down the walkway. I also loved the courtyard at the end with all the photographs. Oh, how I miss London.

Karen said...

So?? Did you take THE SHOES?????

StyleSpy said...

D - it was wonderful to meet you, to!

K- Yes, I did take the shoes. They saw action in both London and Paris and returned unscathed.