Rocking the other side of the Casbah…

Change of plans at the last minute – 404 was PACKED…on a MONDAY. Will definitely book for another time…

We ended up walking towards the Centre Pompidou, which incidentally is stunning all lit up. Love Paris at night. We stopped outside another Moroccan restaurant called Riad Nejma…didn’t really have the intention of going in but we were approached by a drunk Russian and before we knew it we were inside the restaurant evading said Russian.

I was really looking forward to trying 404, but this was a great last-minute alternative. It’s a beautiful place – ignoring the excessive indoor trees – a brilliant restaurant to go to with a group of friends. There’s a huge indoor-courtyard with a glass roof, and two floors of seating. At one point there was live music coming from upstairs…staff were friendly, service was fast, and the food was YUM.

I had the Tagine d’agneau, pruneaux et amandes – it was deliciousss. The lamb was so tender it was melting off the bone. The girls shared copious amounts of Saadi couscous (with chicken & Merguez sausage) – We all licked our plates clean and were the last to leave.

The meal came to €35 per head including wine and cocktails; which I thought was pretty reasonable considering location.

There really wasn’t much to complain about, apart from the bad Khobez bread served with the tagine, and the fact that there were still stones in the prunes. Oh, and stay away from the cocktails – the Mojitos were awful (mint syrup in a Mojito???) All in all, a brilliant night out with the girls!

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One-Track Mind

I’ve had one thing on my mind all day: FOOD FOOD FOOD FOOD FOOD.

The girls and I are going to try out 404 tonight. That will surely apaiser ma faim…

MIAM! Will tell you about it tomorrow!

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BVLGARI au Grand Palais

When I arrived in Paris I was told by my French teacher that I must, must visit the retrospective Bulgari exhibition at the Grand Palais – a celebration of 125 years of the Italian house:

“A genuine saga illustrated by over 600 masterpieces in jewellery, watches and precious objects, including aound 100 exclusive pieces that are being shown to the general public for the very first time…A remarkable historical treasury.”

We went and it was beautiful; not only the jewellery on show – but the Grand Palais itself is a really impressive space. Modelled on London’s Crystal Palace, it was built for Paris’ 1900 Exposition Universelle. Nowadays it’s one of the most prominent exhibition spaces – it actually has its own police station in the vaults. If you’re in Paris, make sure you visit, even if it’s just to walk in and look up through the vast glass dome.

So…It turns out that Bulgari is not actually Italian, but Greek by origin. Towards the end of the 1800s, he moved to Naples due to political unrest in Greece, and at the turn of the century made his name with his world-famous store in Rome. For him, the most important aspect of his designs was their symbolism – Bulgari is often known for using gemstones en cabochon in his pieces – representing the curves of a beautiful woman…It’s all very romantic.

His Rome store is also where Richard Burton and Liz de L’or used to rendez-vous secretly while filming Cleopatra (it took us ages to work out that the audio-guide was referring to Elizabeth Taylor. Liz de L’or, Liz de L’or, Liz de L’or.)

The exhibition is now finished, however, it’s their 125th year, so look out for possible exhibitions they may hold in cities around the world. I loved it.

“I always visit Bulgari, because it is the most important museum of contemporary art.”

Andy Warhol

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Noir Désir

I’d just like to say that my parents are brilliant. I feel very lucky and am super proud of them. I’m pretty sure they think I never listened to a word they said when I was younger, but I so did!!

My dad used to tell me a lot of stories about when he first arrived in London, and one of the things he told me is that he started learning English through the lyrics of his favourite bands – The Beatles, Queen, Fleetwood Mac (my favourite song as a kid was Tango in the Night, memories of me almost passing out from holding my breath for that chorus note are flooding back.) Thinking about it now, it may be one of my all-time favourite albums.

So, anyway, a friend of mine introduced me to this French band called Noir Désir a couple of weeks ago, and I’m hooked. Their lyrics are very poetic, really difficult to translate literally…but their songs are just so beautiful.

I can feel my French improving already…Ahem.

Here’s a list of my favourite songs:

Des armes
Des visages, des figures (live)
A l’envers à l’endroit
Le vent nous portera feat. Manu Chao
Comme elle vient
A ton étoile feat. Yann Tiersen (live)

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Mastering the art of je ne sais quoi…

Right. I’ve been given strict instructions by the WordPress Gods to focus on ONE idea for my blog: “Check out the most popular blogs…See how focused they all are? That wasn’t accidental.”

So WordPress is condemning me to failure before I’ve even started. I can’t focus on one thing. I’m a Spanish Londoner living in Paris having one of those quarter-life crisis things. Not in any sort of melodramatic way, It’s just that I’m at that stage where I’m meant to be figuring out the rest of my life…and it’s proving increasingly difficult to FOCUS.

This is a place where I’ll write about things I do, things I love, things I learn…And maybe it’ll help me to gain that focus that WordPress is so intent on me having.

Mastering the art of je ne sais quoi…Let the blogging begin!