Does Love Hang Out In Paris?

Yesterday was a bit of a revelation.  Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or perhaps you have never read this blog before, you will know that yesterday was the day that I and a whole bunch of other singletons were transported by the magic that is EuroStar to Paris to see if L’amour could be found.

Now, I have to admit, I have never really been a fan of Paris.  That will possibly bring gasps of horror and shock to some people but I’m not afraid to say it and I’m also not afraid to say I’m open to having my mind changed and it was by the time the day was over.  For all I’ve read about how quickly you can get to Paris via EuroStar it didn’t really become apparent until I actually went.

In a little over two hours we went from Kings Cross to Paris Gare du Nord in relative comfort and a full belly thanks to the breakfast of orange juice, yoghurt, croissant, omelette, bacon, sausage, mushrooms and tomato with lashings of tea (other hot beverages are available!).  The reason I mention everything I stuffed my face with at around 9am French time will become obvious a little later ;)

Arriving at Kings Cross was a little daunting because I was late on account of not being aware that there was no Victoria line running so I had to catch a bus which there don’t seem to be many of at 5.30am, when I did arrive (only 15mins behind schedule and 45mins before departure) and walked to the meeting point thinking Shit, everyone’s going to be cursing the late dude I did a double-take as there were only men there! Merde, I thought (getting to grips with the language early on) none of the women have turned up except the one organising it!  As it happens those crafty minxes at We Are Social had arranged two meeting points; boys upstairs, girls downstairs and that segregation extended to the EuroStar journey to Paris, girls in one carriage, boys in another.

The day was explained to us and my nightmare had come true. We were going for something to eat and then *cue scary music* cocktail fuelled speed dating before heading on a champagne fuelled boat trip down the Seine and then back to London on the champagne fuelled EuroStar.  I hope you have noticed something, LOTS of alcohol on this trip and pauvre moi not drinking a drop…damn you new year resolution!!

So, no sooner do we arrive in Paris than we are transported by coach to the restaurant. By this time it is a little after 11.30am French time… my belly is telling me it doesn’t want to be bothered until around 3pm…Sorry Monsieur belly!  So, this is France a country of superior food (just don’t tell the Italians!), I was looking forward to a plate of delicious escargot and perhaps a steak frite.  As the coach pulled up outside a Thai restaurant I jokingly asked if that was the destination. Non came the reply, this is it! as we walked into a Cuban one instead… Au revoir L’escargot et steak frite. This was, to some extent the first time the boys got to chat with the girls.  Some had bonded on the coach ride over but they mainly seemed to be people who already either knew each other beforehand or who had mutual friends.  Some of the girls seemed to have bonded and these friendships endured throughout the day making it hard, I would suspect, for most men to break into.  The menu arrived, not a Cuban or French dish on it unless fish and mash, lasagne, paella and chicken curry have made it to the number 1, 2, 3 and 4 spots whilst I wasn’t looking!  Never mind, there was lashings of wine and beer and I managed to get a bottle of full-fat Coke!

So… after plates with mountainous portions of food were put away and more alcohol was consumed the dreaded speed dating started.  Do you know what?  It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.  I think most people, like myself, were not taking it too seriously.  We were there together as singletons but the main objective of the day was to have a good time.  It was however good to have a chance to actually talk to each girl there, or almost.  Due to a demonstration taking place (how very French!) we had to abandon things before the end in order to get to the Eiffel Tower so I didn’t get a chance to spend 3 minutes of quality time with the girls at table’s 7 or 8.  I’m sure they were as disappointed as I was.

The coach journey to the Tower was painfully slow, London traffic seems lightningly fast in comparison and when we arrived at the boat it was double booked so we were forced to sit here, there and everywhere.  It was not as imagined.  During the speed dating there were a few people who I enjoyed chatting with and we finished by saying, See you on the boat! I didn’t end up seeing most of them for the remainder of the trip, that’s what I  get for thinking we’d be walking about and chatting and mingling.  I can’t complain however, I spent my time sandwiched between 6 ladies so had convivial conversation for most of the time even though 2 divorcees did end up discussing bitter break-ups…

Once the boat trip was over it was back on the coach and the slow journey back to catch the EuroStar where our carriage awaited us laden down with food which was washed down with…you guessed it!  Unlimited free champagne, wine and beer and 1 solitary can of fat-free coke pour moi, I did however manage to pinch some of my fellow singletons Evian water that they seemed to have little use for!  After arriving in London some of us continued on to a bar before calling it a night a little after midnight.

The results from the speed dating will be revealed to us next week.  It was strange, of the 18 girls there I speed dated 16 of them and with the exception of one or two all were people I’d gladly chat with for longer.  Whether that would be a 30 minute conversation or a 3 hour conversation is anyone’s guess but the 3-5 minutes we had wasn’t really enough from which to gauge.  In that respect I didn’t feel able to tick No to many of them so it will be interesting to see who ticks Yes to me.  I have a feeling most of the girls were fussier than the boys but given the amount of booze some were putting away who knows!  I do know that at least one couple formed yesterday. Ahhhh young love!

So, at the end of the day did I find love in the capital city of romance? Of course not! Did I  fall in lust? Bien sur! Laura who was running the speed dating was très jolie but sadly not part the speed dating but there were some girls who more than enraptured me in the allotted 5 minutes and later conversations.

In case you hadn’t read the previous posts my day in Paris was sponsored by those lovely people at EuroStar and arranged by the even lovelier Camille and Sarah from We Are Social, aided and abetted by the ever charming Sandrine.  Thanks guys!

***UPDATE ***

There are photo’s from the day in the Little Break Flickr gallery

There will also be a short video in the Little Break YouTube Channel

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