My phone keeps beeping again. First one e-mail, then another. The problem is that they’ve been sent to my business number. Finding a parking space in the area is a nightmare once more. You have to book if you want to go out to dinner… OK, the holidays are
Short guide to making summer last
1 DAD, WHERE’ S THE JACK?
One of the melodies that sounded sweet to our ears this summer was the sound of metal boules knocking into each other, cloths lovingly polishing them and water being poured into glasses of yellow pastis… and grenadine for Émile, natch. Our preferred terrain was beneath the olive trees in Propriano, Corsica. Émile has been hooked ever since. I even had to buy him a set of three boules… So I checked out three places where we can play in Paris. If ever you happen to bump into us in one of them, watch out, we’re pretty good! SQUARESUZANNE-BUISSON Atop the elegant Avenue Junot, hidden away on the heights of Montmartre, is the capital’s most peaceful terrain. There’s only room for one game, so better get up early! For your aperitif: try the pastis at Marcel, 1, Villa Léandre, 75018 Paris CANAL DE L’OURCQ You can’t beat the canalside for getting in the holiday mood: wide terrains with nice hard gravel underfoot are ideal for knocking the other boules out of the way. For your aperitif: the terrace of the Bar Ourcq, 68, Quai de la Loire, 75019 Paris PLACE DAUPHINE This has to be the most romantic terrain in Paris… Nestling at the end of the Île de la Cité, the streetlights will allow you to play even at night. For your aperitif: the terrace of the Bar du Caveau, 17, Place Dauphine, 75001 Paris (that also loans sets of three boules)
2 Childhood fragrances
Holidays Act 2: a trip to the Aeolian Islands, north of Sicily: Salina, Stromboli and Panarea. Why? Because they’re sublime, because walking on ash while climbing the active volcano Stromboli is unique, because the lemon granita sold in the straw hut in Salina is the most refreshing in the whole of Italy and then because… that’s where Émile was conceived! What with Bergman and Rossellini’s influence, the sun on the lava beaches and the seafood pasta... it just happened. Émile wanted to go there, to explore this part of history. It was fantastic. When we got home, we splashed out on Astier de Villatte’s new fragrance: Stromboli. The scent of lemon trees, balmy jasmine and lavender right in the heart of Paris… It whisks us back to the church square during the passeggiata, next to the celebrated Bar Ingrid. astierdevillatte.com
4 DAD, WHEN ARE WE GOING BACK? 3 Do you need one or two stamps?
Obviously, the holidays wouldn’t have been the same without two pages of boring maths exercises to do every day and… without Emile’s new group of pals! He met them at the pinball machine in the café where I went for my morning coffee and to read the papers. They must have played about thirty games together. They were called Mylane, Raphaël and Léo and made up the dream team who downed mint cordials, fought water battles on pink flamingo inflatables and watched movies in the open air in the local camping ground… In short, memories are made of such days as these. So why not keep in touch? “Emile, how about writing to your pals? No, put down the iPad…”. Yep, I bought a really cool correspondence kit from Papier Tigre. papiertigre.fr
This summer, on the village square on market day, to pass the time we organized treasure hunts. Back in Paris, to forget the metro and make the most of the days that are getting shorter, I downloaded the app Flash Invaders! Why? So we could spot and “flash” all the street mosaics of Space Invaders on buildings and collect them! For your info: there’s a huge Invader on the Blvd Beaumarchais, just after the concept store Merci. Got it? space-invaders.com
The best destination for a quick trip away from Paris is Normandy: for the sea, oysters and café terraces, head for Deauville and the newly renovated Hôtel Le Normandy. Why there? For the children’s club The Studio by Petit VIP! Surprise, surprise Emile! Here’s your passport, which you can stamp with every activity that you try, from cookery lessons in the hotel kitchen to the film workshop and screenings. All in a space designed by interior architect Sophie Jacqmin on the theme of creativity (ingenious furniture, worktables, etc.). Kids can enjoy paradise while parents eat their lunch in peace! : Studio By Petit Vip free for guests of the Hôtel Le Normandy. hotelsbarriere.com