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Tracey Spicer : why women should do a solo trip to Paris

Tracey Spicer : why women should do a solo trip to Paris

Article from Daily Life, by Tracey Spicer, July 5, 2016

Tracey Spicer discovers Paris and suggests a list of "secret places" like the shop La Botte Gardiane 25 rue de Charonne and amazing things in the city.


Tracey Spicer: why women should do a solo trip to Paris

The city is shrouded in fog. And I am in a fug. The location is the Golden Triangle (like the Bermuda Triangle, but this only makes your money vanish), near the Champs-Élysées.

At 7.45am on a Sunday, I collapse into a corner booth of Café Madeleine. Then he appears, like Olivier Martinez: all angles and attitude. "Bonjour," the waiter says. "Café?"

"Un café au lait, s'il vous plaît," I flutter. In the City of Love, flirting is de rigeur until rigor mortis. The imposing columns of L'eglise de la Madeleine - a temple to the glory of Napoleon's army - seem to soften as the sun casts a golden glow. I, too, celebrate a glorious victory: after 22 hours' travelling, I am in Paris with no husband or kids.

I gesture for the bill. Suddenly, a sharp intake of breath: the coffee costs €7.40 ($11.40). "Merci," I say, through gritted teeth, scrambling through my handbag for coins. 

A blister pack falls onto the floor. It contains my menopause tablets. They scatter across the marble. I blush. With Gallic gallantry, the waiter smiles and picks up my pills. Mon dieu. What is a bogan from Brisbane doing in Paris?

I drag my bag along the cobblestones to a small street, past a boulangerie, a fromagerie and a cave (bakery, cheese shop and bottleshop, for fellow bogans).

Secret addresses

  • La Botte Gardiane in the 11th (25 rue de Charonne) has been selling beautiful boots, crafted from the hides of French cows, for more than 60 years. It is an exquisite shopping experience. 

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