Do we take the small and large of life for granted?
I like to think I don’t, but I do and I have.
It’s not intentional and if anything the last year has taught me to open my eyes wide, to observe and to remember. I say remember because forgetting is just about as bad as taking for granted. I took for granted, not always but sometimes, my ability to flit into Europe on a whim. Paris tomorrow? No problem. Simply jump on the train and fast forward 2h 15mins and there is Gare du Nord. So, so easy. Prices were agreeable with a whim and even better with some planning. One of the joys and the spoiling features of living in London is the proximity to Europe, whether it’s a train journey to Paris or a quick 90-minute flight to Italy. I am missing this luxury.
You never know what you had until it’s gone has never been truer. I doubt travel will be easy for some time and I am sure there will be all sorts of new rules and regulations for moving about.
Thinking about Paris reminded me of the French pharmacy. The French pharmacy is one of life’s truly great pleasures. It’s an Aladdin’s Cave and a treasure trove for all that we women love. The spring jumps into the step when walking towards the giant green cross, entering those magical doors and picking up one of the little baskets. I have a few particular spots I frequent in Paris and even though most of everything is available online these days, nothing is as good as a browse through their aisles.
I thought about the French hotel lobbies.
You don’t need to stay at the best to experience the best. There is something about them, where the florals are installations rather than arrangements and the glamour is off the charts. The people-watching is usually first-class, as riveting as any Netflix production, even if it’s not what locals may describe as “real” Paris. It’s nevertheless an enchanting experience. My shortlist is the same now as it was 20 years ago; Hôtel de Crillon, Hôtel Plaza Athénée, Hotel Georges V, Le Bristol Paris and Le Meurice. Hôtel Ritz Paris is my least visited since the major renovations a few years ago. The hotel is no doubt beautiful and in need of an update but I do miss the former elegance and splendor.
I stocked up on a couple of French pharmacy gems last week – not as good as a Parisian jaunt – but this little brand is one of the best-kept secrets. I use the eye treatment as a feel-good most days; it sits on my desk or in my handbag to relieve tired eyes. In the summer I even leave it in the fridge for an added cool down. The cream is my all-rounder go-to and it is either by the bed or in my handbag. I use it as a general body, hand and everywhere treatment if I need an addition to my everyday skincare routine. I’m trying the vitamin c version now. Love.
A squeeze of this and a dab of the other are about the closest I’m getting to Paris today. xv
No Taking For Granted
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image, Hotel Georges V, Paris