Monday 22 January 2018

Weekender: Dream weekend in Paris


Affinity: Maia Dunphy in Paris
Affinity: Maia Dunphy in Paris

Maia Dunphy

Everyone who loves Paris secretly believes their affinity with the city is stronger than anyone else's; this is what the City of Light does when it gets under your skin. You feel like you're somehow in on the secret, like a little piece of it is yours.

I prefer renting an apartment. I love being able to pick up food as I go and "cook in", even though it rarely happens, and we end up with a fridge full of food that I then try to bring home. We'd rent in the Quartier Latin, on the fifth floor, with a small balcony to allow a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame.

Rue Mouffetard is a must on the first morning. We'd visit to the extraordinary Androuet cheese shop, where we'd buy enough cheese to sink a ship. Then a stroll over the river to the Ile St Louis, to Berthillon for ice cream. I'd eschew the infamous lavender and other esoteric flavours and go straight for salted caramel.

You can easily get museum fatigue, so we'd choose one or two over a weekend, and give the others an apologetic nod as we walk past. We'd carry on to Les Invalides and find a cafe for lunch and, from about mid-afternoon, we'd start stopping at little cafes for aperitifs - it sounds more civilised than a pub crawl.

We'd pop in to the Publicis Drugstore on the Champs Elysees at some point. My family lived in Paris in the mid 1980s, and my dad would take us here for a sundae on Sunday after Mass - a sort of divine trade-off. I don't think it bears much resemblance to the way it was back then,, but it's a happy memory.

For Maia Dunphy's video on the reality of living with IBS in Ireland, see youtube/m6uEWbKSj7Y

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