QU'EST-CE que c'est? Grafton Street yesterday afternoon was transformed into the Boulevard Saint-Grafton for a few hours. The Gallic accents were rich in the air with French people who had travelled over in droves to support their team in the big rugger clash, the Six Nations game at the Aviva Stadium.
My Leaving Cert Pass French – failed – wasn't much use, I'm afraid.
I bumped into two members of the Irish rugby team at noon, standing in the lobby of the Shelbourne hotel – the inimitable Cian Healy and Jamie Heaslip. It would have been impossible for either of them to forget for a second who they were playing in a few hours as the famous hotel on Stephen's Green was awash with effortlessly elegant French people shrugging in that way only the French can and ordering cafe au lait like it was an art form.
They really showed the usual poseurs in the Horse Shoe Bar how to strike a pose properly and the marble counter of Peploe's restaurant down the road was jammed with French people ordering wines from their own country.
Cafe En Seine on Dawson Street was unsurprisingly full of French flair.
Outside Davy Byrne's, the begging board displayed the message: "Bienvenue, Visiteurs Francais." Frank Doyle, the manager, said: "They are lapping up the oysters from Clare and the Irish stew."
Meanwhile, another Byrne, Irish movie star Gabriel, was in Harry Crosbie's restaurant, H in Grand Canal Square, with his gorgeous girlfriend.
There was certainly an extra sense of joie de vivre in Brown Thomas, with all the Parisians browsing the counters of Chanel.