The smell of warm bread and warmer sugar as I walk down the street from the hostel above a patisserie.
The bread itself. Buttery. Crusty. Filling. Addictive.
A duet of voice and trumpet.
A woman in a red shirt, her hair a mass of loose black curls sings accompanied by a 4 piece band. She speaks softly as she introduces each piece. She sings with a strong voice, intermittently belting or whispering.
The half bald waiter who pouts when you only order a starter and wine, but still smiles at you over the bar as the atmosphere sinks in and you cannot help but tap your palm against the table.
The starter. Artichoke and goats cheese. A salad. Richer and more filling than any meal you’ve had in the past 20ish years… though that may be because this is your second dinner. The first was at the restaurant where Amelie is set. It had the best creme brule ever.
Did I mention the location of all of this?
[A section in terrible French]
I write this from the basement of Le Cave Jazz. The walls are uneven blocks fitted into stone arches. The jazz has taken a slower pace in this moment and the vin rouge est tres bonne. My mother and I came here because Le Moulin Rouge’s 9 o’clock show was full, and we have a train to catch the next morning, thus eliminating the 11 o’clock show. This venue is far more relaxed, and somewhat reminiscent of the scene from Funny Face when Audrey Hepburn gets pissed off at Fred Astaire and dances a solo to prove it. This, however, is more peaceful than that scene.
My mother says: It is almost as if we are switching back and forth from authentic to tourist, and even though we hear English now it is spoken in French accents and it is all about music. We really are in a cave.
[At this point the napkin only has "Autour de midi... au minuit""Around noon or midnight" quoting a sign above the stage.]
After the second set we creep from the seats we had found after the first set and we walk back up the stairs into the ground level restaurant. We walk home through Montmartre and climbed and 7 flights of stairs to our rooms.
As I tiptoed around my brother’s bed and collapsed into my own I feel as though I found, entirely by chance, the corner of Paris I had always hoped to find.
The entire trip had been planned by my parents and I had tagged along, seeing as it was my Half Term break. A brilliant week. We spent Monday night, Tuesday, and Wednesday in Paris. On Thursday we took the train to Caen and drove to see the Bayeaux Tapestry, and then the Normandy beaches, specifically, the one the Canadians stormed on D-Day.
On Friday we took the train to Paris, and then on to London. On Saturday I took my mum to Camden Market. Today at noon they flew back. They should be somewhere over the Atlantic by now.
I start my placement at the BBC tomorrow. So much has happened, and so much has only just begun.