A day that begins with the dead, always ends in sex. Such is the continuity of life and the balance that goes with all things. We paid our respects to the genius of Oscar Wilde, the beauty of Edith Piaf, the mastery of Frederic Chopin and the madness of Jim Morrison at Pere Lachaise cemetery; enormous, and in spite of the throngs of people visiting it, incredibly calming. That was, of course, until I nearly wanted to throttle someone to death for disrespecting the dead. It was at Oscar Wilde’s grave and a Frenchman, quite eager on taking photos, was clambering all over the grave next to Oscar’s to get the perfect photo, whilst his wife laughed at him as he desecrated this grave. Infuriating! Nevertheless, the inscription on Wilde’s grave is one that I have always remembered and cherished as the words of one of the most prolific and gifted writers: “and alien tears will fill for him, pity’s long broken urn. And his mourners will be outcast men, for outcasts always mourn.”
As I had mentioned, a day that starts with the dead, always ends in sex. Our entertainment for the evening was a show at Moulin Rouge, full of decadence, opulence, lust and dirty desire, all thrust in your face with a passion you’re unlikely to ever forget. Before this rather revealing event, our wandering took us through the gorgeous cobbled streets of Montmartre, soaking up the Sacre Coeur and it’s vibrant neighbouring streets that for us began at a charming neighbourhood restaurant, Le Moulin de la Galette, immortalised in the works of Renoir and Van Gogh. Originally a windmill who’s owners also made a brown bread, hence giving it it’s name, the food is basic, rustic French, but what really matters is the private courtyard where you can sit outside amongst flowers and creeping ivy, soaking up the rays of the perfect summer evening and gazing, with the innocence of youth, into your lovers eyes. Yes, it really is all that! The food, thoroughly enjoyable in its simplicity.
My starter of Sea Bass carpaccio with lime zest, red tuna and glasswort tartar had all the right touches of crunchy, soft, savoury, sweet, acidity, creaminess while Miss N’s classic Snails with garlic and parsley needed a hit of salt, but was bursting with parsley and garlic – just the sort of thing that makes you grab the person next to you and squeeze their hand really hard. For mains, my Grilled lamb chops with summer vegetables kept matters firmly in the light and summery vein with a ferocious simplicity, as did N’s beef, chips and salad. Dessert, however, was entirely another cup of tea, taking things up a notch with a hard hitting, intense yet clean Fig carpaccio, spiced red wine, apricot and salted caramel ice cream. The beauty of the dessert was that in spite of having all the elements of autumn, it danced with the eagerness of summer and was delicate and refreshing!