They say it’s the city that never sleeps – or is that New York? Either way “C’est ferme” was the only response we were getting at midnight in Paris. Admittedly we hadn’t finished dinner until late and now we were sauntering around looking for the next instalment of our night out.
‘Here we go Nicole’ I said. We looked at the elegant facade of a fancy restaurant and through the windows – it was buzzing inside, shapes of people moving and grooving in a quintessential French way.
I sashayed through the doors, as one does in Paris, followed by my friend, past two bouncers and a lady sitting behind what looked like a cash register. We all smiled at each other and Nicole and I carried on through to an opulent room with a large domed ceiling and a balcony upon which a dj in a vest cut down to his naval perched, headphones on, attitude intact.
‘Where’s the bar, Nicole? Isn’t this fab?! We were surrounded by the beau monde of Paris. Lots of young boys with tousled locks, pouting, dressed in black. Girls with long hair, updos and that put together look. I felt immediately out of place in my Topshop attire; totally embracing pastels and a summer silhouette – not so much that it hampered my zest for adventure though.
‘I can’t see the bar P’, Nicole replied, but they do seem to be serving champagne over there – look!’ ‘Let’s get some!’ We cruised over past the too cool for school boys that paved the way for us and I addressed the waitress: ‘Deux champagne s’il vous plait’ I said with a big grin.
‘P, I think this is a private party’ Nicole said. ‘No!’ I replied. ‘Yes! Just look at the birthday cake’. Sure enough there it was. ‘We have to have some – French cake is the best’. We debated whether or not we could stay but the view was too pretty, the champagne too delectable and we were in Paris.
After a shimmy on the dance floor to Daft Punk, we went out to the lounge area. A lady wearing a Chanel jacket approached and spoke for at least three minutes in French to me. ‘Oui, oui!’ I responded laughing. ‘Nicole, this is outrageous, we can’t stay’ I said turning to find her but it was too late; she was taking pictures of the door to the loo and a small dog that had wandered in with his owner trailing at the end of a leash.
We went to the ladies to find it was not only unisex but the most happening place at the party. People smoking and laughing, washing their hands, applying lipstick and generally carousing. A young boy with exquisite locks in a red checked shirt brushed past me. ‘May I have a cigarette please’ I asked. ‘Bien sur’ he replied running his fingers through his hair and rushing to find his Marlborough Reds to offer me one. I couldn’t help it; when in France.
We sampled some birthday cake, a delicious confection of chocolate, crunchy noisette and cream, mingled, and then shimmied some more to Kool and the Gang ‘Take My Heart’. We went to the lounge again and danced out there. ‘Love Hangover’ came on but just as the climax of the song was about to kick in, the dj stopped it and played it from the beginning again. We laughed.
Suddenly there he was beside us. ‘ I love the tunes you’re playing’ I said in English. ‘I dj in ‘alf an hour on the Champs Elysee to maybe 1,000 people – just say my name on the door and you ‘ave a place’, he replied. ‘Ooooh’ I said, ‘What is your name?’ ‘Pasolini’ he replied as he scribbled it down for me and then vanished into the night.
‘Let’s go Nicole!’ I said. She wisely pointed out that if we did, we’d be up until dawn and sleep though the gift that would be another sunny Spring day for being out and about soaking up the atmosphere. I wasn’t entirely convinced, but we departed, high on our night out and looking forward to tomorrow.
For further flavour, plug your earphones in and have a listen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJPYQLp_jsk