Friday, July 1, 2022

London-Paris June 2022

This is my first travel blog since June 2019.  Australia went into an international  travel lockdown in March 2020 just before we were off to South America and travel restrictions were finally lifted in April 2022.  We have a trip planned in September visiting Spain and Danube river cruise but then two events sparked a sudden urge to go to Europe.

The first was an invitation to attend the 25th anniversary of the Sutton Trust from its founder, Sir Peter Lampl on 7 June.  Then the following article appeared in The Australian by Penny Hunter Step-by-Step to Paris.  I now describe it as the piece that launched a thousand trips.


And I said to myself “I want a coffee and croissant in Paris.”  So to Peter’s amazement we accepted his invitation and persuaded Virginia (Vivienne’s sister) and Pierre (husband) to join us for five days in Paris.  And on Saturday 4 June we caught the Etihad flight to London.

The dinner at Banqueting House Whitehall was terrific.  Tim Berners-Lee the inventor of the World Wide Web was the keynote speaker.  This was followed the next night with a birthday dinner for Peter at Mosimann’s, London’s premier private dining room.  And again it was a great night.  The next day we set off on the Eurostar for Paris. 

Pierre is half French and spent his childhood in Paris.  He really knows the city.  We were staying in a great location: Hôtel Saint-Louis en l'Isle.  The Ile-St’ Louis is a small island located in the centre of Paris in the middle of the Seine.  It is amazingly quiet at night but the people watching in the afternoon from the cafes located at the west end is great fun.

On the first day we discovered that none of us had ever done a Seine river cruise so like true tourists we took a trip.  Is there a better 1 hour cruise in the world?  I doubt it.  Paris is a stunning city from the river.

We went to two exhibitions: the Musée d'Orsay to see the Impressionists and then the Musée du Luxembourg to see an exhibition about the feminist pioneers in the Arts.  Both were excellent as you would expect.  The French do art well as food.

We had a great meal at La Coupole.  Vivienne found an excellent restaurant on the island: L'Îlot Vache.  Finally, and this is a great tip from Pierre if you are returning to London on the Eurostar leave for the Gare D’Nord go early and have a great meal at the Terminus Nord across from the entrance.

Back in London we caught up with friends.  I managed to catch the Raphael exhibition at the National Gallery followed by lunch at the La Brasseria Milanese in Marleybone, The Rock and Rose in Richmond, Tea at Sothebys where I saw Princess Diana’s wedding tiara, and  several pub meals at the City Barge at Strand on the Green.  The food in London is definitely improving. And I never wore my raincoat the whole trip.  The weather was great the whole time.

Chris Golis Australia's expert on practical emotional intelligence website: Linkedin: Email: mobile: +61-418-222219

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