PARIS FOR PLEASURE
What to see if you're headed to the Ryder Cup.
As ryder Cup host venues go, there’s seldom anything more to do than attend the golf. But it will be quite the opposite for fans travelling to the 42nd biennial matches in the last week of September – they’ll have to tear themselves away from the allure of the Parisian city centre.
I visited the City of Light for the first time in May and made the journey to Le Golf National two weeks before its annual staging of the Open de France. On the southwest outskirts of Paris, Le Golf National is not the easiest place to reach, you’ll need over an hour travel time from one of three major central train stations followed by a bus ride.
I was somewhat underwhelmed by the facility, the clubhouse lacked atmosphere and history – and paying €3.70 (R60) for a Coke in the bland halfway house didn’t help – but once out on the course you can see why touring professionals rate the layout so highly.
Truly one of the great cities of the world, Paris is an absolute delight to visit with an inexhaustible wealth of activities to pursue. I enjoyed the Saint-Germain area most, where boutiques and old streets meet historical monuments and fashionable cafés.
Lunch or dinner at Le Relais de l’Entrecôte for Steak-Frites is an absolute must here. Don’t worry about getting lost in translation when ordering, there’s only one dish.A salad starter sprinkled with walnuts, and fresh bread before the magic happens; strips of contre-filet (sirloin) topped with their much-celebrated secret sauce and thin-cut golden French fries. EtVoilà… Steak-Frites! It’s not cheap, but nothing is in Paris.
City of romance and revolution, a mix of cafe philosophers and Chanel couture, Paris is a culture-lover’s dream. Just don’t forget about the golf!
‘THE HOLY GRAIL OF GOLF ON THE EUROPEAN TOUR, LE GOLF NATIONAL IS SIMPLY INCREDIBLE.’ - BRANDON STONE