Living like a king in Paris in November

A couple of weeks ago I got a phone call. It went thus:

Nice lady: “Hey Tony, would you like to go Paris on Monday?”
Me: “Er, well I think… yeah, I’ll… bite your hand off.”

One of the great things about being freelance – and let’s face it, what with the pony wages and getting shafted by clients, they’re increasingly few – is having the freedom to take off at short notice if a nice PR person wants to take you somewhere. This was one such case.

Let’s be frank, we’re not talking about a Holiday Inn or Ibis here. No, for one night each, I’d be staying at the beyond-plush Plaza Athénée and Le Meurice hotels, favourites of movie stars, musicians and the “fashion pack”, whoever they might be.

Three hours after leaving St Pancras I was wondering around my suite at the Plaza, in Avenue Montaigne, marvelling at the size of my room, the quality of the furniture and the mirror-cum-telly that took over one wall of my bedroom. For the next two days, I ate like a king – and a French, 18th Century king with a laissez-faire attitude starving poor folk at that – feasting on everything from veal and pork paté, to slivers of perfectly cooked breast of duck. During an exquisite lunch at Le Meurice, the absolute dedication to the casue of gastronomy at this level of catering became very apparent.

Me: “Blimey, I’m stuffed. Hope the pud’s not too heavy.”
Lady next to me: “It’s pastries… and they’re covered in… gold.”
French waiter: “I can assure you zat ze gold iz 24 carat.”
Me: “Good job too, sonny, none of that Elizabeth Duke 18-carat rubbish for me.”

If it sounds like I’m being facetious, I’m not (alright, I am, a bit). The whole thing, from the way every member of staff treats you like Julius Caesar to the tour of the penthouse suite at Le Meurice (above) – 250m sq garden included in the night’s rate – was beyond fantastic. And no matter whether it’s raining or the binmen are on strike, Paris always, always looks amazing, especially from high up.


  1. Sounds amazing. I love Paris. I have only been there 4 days but that was enough to make me love it!


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