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Thursday, 26 January 2012

Travel: PARIS Part II

There are places – however many photographs you may have seen – whose first impact take you by surprise.  It was gratifying to have a companion whose intake of breath on stepping into the Saint Chapelle proved my point.  Nowhere is stained glass more magnificent.

The Musée d’Orsay has new rooms for their Impressionist Collection on the top floor.  The rooms are painted in charcoal/aubergine colour and lack any architectural form. It is a relief to have  the coup d’oeil of the old  station’s clock.

Masterpieces of the period are displayed with lesser paintings, all hung monotonously in line and with little air, hence the exhausted spectators on the octopus seat! There is also a mercilessly noiseless new café - aggressively ugly decoration which will date fast.  

These galleries are disappointing.

Pont de l’Archevêchésentimentality locked on the railings of this bridge behind the Notre Dame, couples pledge their love by clamping a lock on the rails and throwing the key into the Seine – what happens when they split? 

In Avenue Montaigne, Le Relais Plaza, an elegant brasserie with an Art Deco interior, serves the best cocktails and good food If you are as lucky as my friend Harry Fane, you might see an elegantly dressed woman with a leopard on a lead.

Talking of food, rumour has it that at some brasseries [including some of the most renowned] the food is not cooked on the premises but bussed in [as in some hospitals from goodness knows where!].  It makes one suspicious, and with reason ...or is it that London has set new standards?

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