A Prize Trip to Paris, and thoughts on Alchemy and Museums.

How wonderful to travel to Paris courtesy of a bit of my recent writing, and even better to travel unexpectedly first class on Eurostar. We travelled in luxury, then onward in somewhat less comfort on the Metro. (Where these days Parisians seem so much more polite. I was offered a seat on almost every trip – or maybe it’s because I’m looking older.)

On the first evening we walked to a local bistrot, L’Alchimiste, which was busy, full of atmosphere and with very good food. To my astonishment I found myself explaining the meaning of alchemy to the young couple at the next table, as well as to our waitress. I suppose these days knowledge isn’t necessary when you can look anything up on your smart phone.

However, the meal was thoroughly pleasant, and I especially enjoyed a tuna steak in honey and fig sauce, and their tarte tatin. In fact, I am revising my recent low opinion of Paris. The inhabitants seemed nicer and the food better.

A couple of observations on the negative side: several small museums which looked promisingly quirky in the guide book have recently closed; and the visit to the Musee des Arts Decoratifs annoyingly charged full price (€11) when more than half of it was closed for renovation, including the parts we had really wanted to see. Only when we had paid did I see a small sign on the desk indicating this, and the assistants certainly didn’t inform us.

I need to write to the Museum Director!


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