dimanche 13 février 2011

I'm Back

Hi fellows, sorry I’ve been away for a while; I put it down to a general lack of vitriol rather than anything else!

Now the following entry is actually generally positive and really rather complimentary. So if that’s not your thing you might wanna close this window and maybe read this instead!
So last night a couple of friends came to Paris. We started off by drinking gin in their hotel room. Gin! Gin, the only lesbian who drinks gin is this one. Ok and possibly this one. Yeah, actually, I can deffo see her drinking gin. With Giles Coren in the bar of The Dorchester after filming an episode of What the Victorians did for Us, or something.

And then we went out for dinner. And if the slating review of the Creperie de Merde was a rare example of a bad French dining establishment, then here is a rather less rare example of an exquisite one. It’s called Le Relais d’Entrecôte (for the dullards amongst you that means literally The Steak Restaurant) and there are several in Paris, as well as a couple in London. The one we went to is in the 8th arrondisement, just off the Champs-Elysées. Suffice to say, fancy as fuck. It’s standard to queue for 20 minutes or so before a table becomes available. And if you spend that time smoking and bitching about everyone else in the queue it passes really rather quickly. So the place and definitely the staff were about as French as Jean-Paul Belmondo eating a croissant whilst sipping an espresso, chatting up Edith Piaf in a small café on the corner of Rue des Fleurus, or somewhere. The clientele, on the other hand, had more of an international vibe. Most memorable were the rabbi with his boyfriend, and two women who looked kind of like a tranny version of Tyra Banks and Lady Gaga from the back. It’s a steak restaurant. That’s all they serve! You just choose how you want it cooked. Best steak ever, quite simply. And the rum baba for dessert was the most alcoholic thing in the world, with the possible exception of Ke$ha. It was as though it had been sitting in a vat of rum for a long time, and when it came time to serve it, they plucked it out with a pair of tongs, dripping wet onto the plate, with a bit more rum sloshed over it for good measure. Truly fabulous. Note to self: start making rum babas! The staff were charming too, none of this let’s speak English at you shit. Like the place was so crammed and popular that the waitress needed to shift the tables to let us out to go to the bathroom. It was a bit like real-life Tetris. No-one around us cared, it’s a nice place that knows it’s brilliant and doesn’t need to be all stuck-up and posh just to prove a point. Class speaks for itself!

After that we went to a gay (male) bar called Open Café, in the 3rd arrondisement. I was one of about 5 girls there in total, but I didn’t give a shit, it’s a cool place. Shortly after arriving there I remarked to my friend Jack that I was the only girl there and he said "Yeah, but I bet you're not the only one wearing knickers". LOL.  So, at one point we decided to go for a smoke and headed to the smoking bit. Now, somehow, they had managed to get around the law and actually have a small, entirely unventilated room dedicated to this pursuit. It was about the size of a university halls of residence room (but not a massive Devonshire one). The stench was truly unbearable. I mean, I can remember going to my dad’s betting shop back when smoking was still allowed indoors. I didn’t go many times because I daresay he feared it wasn’t entirely appropriate place for a nice young lady. But the few times I went, I remember entering it and almost being able to see the smoke that clung to the air. The smell was horrendous and I wondered how anyone could spend all day in such a place. So anyway it kind of reminded me of that, only this was more concentrated. We were only there for a short while whilst my friends had a quick fag, and then returned to the main “arena”. And Reader, never in all my long, social-smoking days of party chic hedonism has the scent of a nightclub ever greeted me so sweetly! I felt positively replenished, like the feeling you get when you wake up in the morning wishing you were dead cos you drank so much last night, and it’s pretty early cos the excess alcohol in your system kind of ruined your sleep, and then you stick your head out the window and take a big deep breath of sweet morning air. And it doesn’t matter where you are; on the deck of a ship or at a street café in Paris or Bangkok, doing it in a capital city where the air is dirty still feels like heaven. So anyway that’s what it felt like. Great place though, really packed with all different types of guys, hardly any of whom were gross! And it was then that I thought to myself this thing, upon which I am wont to muse from time to time: why can’t a place like this exist for girls*? Oh, wait, we’re in Paris, where the gay scene is notoriously and unashamedly about 95% male-centric BUT there just so happens to be an awesome bar-club that is just for chicks. Its name? Why, Le Troisième Lieu, of course. For the dullards amongst you, that means The Third Place. I read somewhere – I think it was the club’s MySpace, actually, that it is so called because you have home, and then you have work, and then you have the third place. And it opens fairly early in the evening too, so I can imagine it being a nice place to go after work for a cheeky half pint with loads of head as is customary in France and maybe some bread and cheese with perhaps some salami for the non-vegetarian lesbians. But I digress. I can’t tell you how happy I was when I found out about this place, back in the lovely spring of 2009, when I was young, innocent, carefree and fresh-faced, without the weight of the world bearing down upon my shoulders. I used to go there alone in the evenings sometimes when I had nothing else to do, which was most evenings actually. Sometimes I didn’t even buy a drink (told you I was cheap) or sometimes I’d buy a can of Kronenbourg or Heineken for 1,50euro from an epicerie round the corner and down that before going in. I used to go there mainly to remind myself how much fitter the French dykes are than their British counterparts, including, but not limited to, the staff. The only problem is that gay clubbing for girls here is just not like how it is in the UK. In the latter, the MAJORITY (not all!) of people who go gay clubbing are there to “pull”. It’s true, whether you care to admit it or not. This is not the case in France, at all. Here it’s all about hangin’ out with your mates and nursing 7euro pints. I think the French (dykes) would go so far as to say that hookin’ up with someone in a club is pretty fucking trashy. You don’t go to clubs to meet people; that’s what the metro is for. But yeah, I mean, I’d never seen so many hot dykes under one roof before. And darling, I’ve been to my fair share of Tegan and Sara concerts. That’s not actually true, as I’ve only been to one but I can imagine they’re all the same. And by that I mean THE BEST NIGHT OF MY LIFE. So yeah, if you like going to designer clothes shops with absolutely no money, this is pretty much the same concept: you can look, you can even touch (although it’s not advisable) but you most definitely can’t have. That said, it’s deffo one of my fave places to hang out in Gay Paree. There’s nowhere I’d rather spend 4euros on a glass of wine that came straight out of a big box. One day I’ll get over the prices in Paris. That’s not today though!

All in all, a bloody good night! This afternoon I’m going on a road-trip back to the UK. If it’s eventful enough, I will recount it here.

*that isn’t called Vanilla. Candy Bar’s good though.