Thursday, July 2, 2009


I had sat next to a woman at lunch in the quiet back of a local bistro, which our (extensive) field survey, and Patricia Wells, confirm as serving the best Tarte Tatin around. Her (my neighbour, not Ms Wells) little dog Dora (think Picasso) took a fancy to me, or so I thought, and what with one thing leading to another, it turns out her son is trying to get to Sydney to do horticulture design (there's a turnabout) and moreover, why hadn't I been to the Parc de Bagatelle yet. Good question.

It is hot here, not unbearable, but it is best to do what the weather suggests, and that is not seeking relief in air-conditioned museums or loitering at the back of cathedrals, but think about phrases like une fine brise and sous les arbres and Parc de Bagatelle.

All you need is a metro ride just short of La Defence, a walk along the river by the houseboats (with street numbers and letter boxes), a stop for a snack (which expands to a few chapters in a book and an hour with the locals) at a little cafe on the edge of the Bois de Boulogne, and you are there, a once small retreat and hunting ground for royalty.

Under a tree by the lake, I fell asleep with my head on my book, hearing the occasional giggle as a mother, or nanny, read to some lucky children. They were gone when I woke up.

(click to enlarge)


Sarah said...

You're in my favourite city. Say hello from me.

WANDERER said...

On the return, of course I will. We came south today.