How I wish I had my camera today!
Chantilly racecourse is in a lovely setting, with the châteaux on one side, the forest in the distance. Even if you are not into racing it is a pleasant place to have a picnic, and the chateaux is worth a visit too.
20minutes on the train from Gare du Nord, it makes a nice day out. On a previous trip I watched an interesting dressage show in the famous Grades Ecuries, which legend has it, was commisioned to be built like a palaceby Henry, Duc de Bourbon, Prince of Conde, because he thought he would be reincarnated horse.
My husband had “bribed” me to accompany him, with a reservation at the stunning Panoramic restaurant overlooking the course. The set “outsiders” menu was pricey at 42 euro each, but was very good and the entrance fee to the racecourse was only 2 euro,( as opposed to a lot more for British racecourses) so we were not complaining. We leisurely ate a starter of prawn and avocado salad for me with smoked salmon for Michael followed by tender lamb cutlets, potatoes and carrots and pineapple slices with coconut ice cream., while we watched the racing.
Michael won over 200 euro on an American horse called, Aesops Fables and sensibly quit while he was ahead.
French race courses are so much less crowded than English ones, and there is no class system as you can access all areas.
I spend a lot of the day studying the “je ne sais quoi” of the women and comparing the British, Irish and French style.
I know this has been asked many times before, but just what is it that makes French women seem so chic? There was a group of women dressed up,looking gorgeous, obviously gong to the races at the Gare du Nord and I just knew they were British, before we got near. Was it because they were very dressed up? was it the bright colours? the carefully arranged hair? was it the lipstick? French women, I observed later tend to wear little or no lipstick.
So I studied the French women. Ok so these were probably middle class and some wealthy women…. They have very understated elegance. Less is more. Little jewellery. subtle make up, clothes that look comfortable, ( beautifully pressed!) in colours that blend together. Hair that does not look as if it has come from a hairdresser. Or is it their confidence? Their quiet knowledge of their femininity, for even little French girls have it. Is it in the genes, secrets passed on by generations and we non French have no hope of emulating?
Still, I hope I looked chic in my dusky peach silk dress and coat and my nude heels. just pearl earrings and a slick of gloss on my lips. I had taken my coffee coloured brimmed hat but I felt a bit overdressed.
Maybe the the French women were looking at me and thinking, “what is it that makes English women seem so elegant!” LOL I wish!!
Love from Paris
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