Monday, 9 December 2013

And now takes a break from sorting them

Last time I posted I was planning a trip to Paris. It seems so long ago. We had a fabulous time, continued to avoid the Louvre, ate at some wonderful restaurants and enjoyed beautiful music at Notre Dame (though it has to be said it was just a tad chilly, I was glad of two coats). But since our return it seems to have been non stop packing; not the travel kind, house packing. Packing and sorting and disposing and then depositing the contents of a house around an already full flat. Oh dear those Parisian champagne bubbles have burst.

So now with as much stowed away as possible and before Master Starke moves out, there's a little time to share those bubbles.

Paris wasn't the first stop on the journey. It had started in Brussels. A very quick whirl through, time to catch up with old friends, eat some mussels and stock up on chocolate. We didn't really do it justice only managing to scratch the surface and it seemed well worth a second look.

Our bed at The Royal Windsor was very comfortable and if the turn down treat wasn't as big as the one here it was still pretty tasty.


The hotel was just off the Grand Place and close to the Galleries St Hubert, a great place for chocolate and accessory shopping, though the former could challenge your waistline and the latter your wallet.

With Mr Starke busy elsewhere I visited the Beaux Arts Museum. I loved the old Flemish Masters and the new exhibitions.
And I was fascinated by theses faces from the past, dug out of the rubble beneath the Cathedral

Business over, we boarded the Thalys for Paris. There can't be a better way to travel between these two cities. One hour and twenty minutes from one capital to another, with a check in time of two minutes. And so much comfier than the plane too.

Paris. Many visits but this was the first solely for leisure, and also the first at a five star hotel. It was a very tranquil way to arrive. Taxi swooshing from the Gare du Nord through (for Paris) fairly traffic free streets, out past some Paris icons to the 16th and a relaxed check in and Earl Grey tea while our bags found their way to our room.

The hotel Raphael ( or Chevalier, if you're a fan of Wes Anderson)

Not the room from the film but the view wasn't too bad


And I can't kid myself I'm Natalie Portman.

And yes I know it's kitschy and cliched but the view of the golden twinkling tower from the rooftop terrace just can't be beaten. No photos, that one is for your imagination. The terrace was officially closed for the winter but we were encouraged to wrap up warm and go up for a look. We arrived at the stroke of the hour. Sometimes things just fall into place. Five minutes of sparkle.


This doesn't capture it at all


A bientot


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