Postcard: Carrie on in Paris

I was having a Carrie Bradshaw moment.

Dressed to the nines, propped up on a fluffy cloud of a bed in a lavish suite at Hotel Plaza Athenee Paris, I was waiting for my French lover to arrive and take me to dinner. He was several hours late. So far, so Carrie.

Unlike Carrie's Aleksandr Petrovsky, the artist she followed to the City of Light in the final two episodes of Sex and the City, my fella was not out schmoozing le tout Paris. He'd dashed off to the Georges-Pompidou hospital to tend to his mother, suddenly taken ill.

And so I waited. Through the enormous windows, the Eiffel Tower kept me company. Shining boldly in bling-bling gold against the inky night sky, every hour, on the hour, she illuminates Paris with the awesome sparkle of 20,000 light bulbs. Chic locals think it's "ideous"; with its sheer whimsical joy, it makes me giggle like a child.

Elegant Parisians can be a tough crowd. Plaza Athenee, on ritzy Avenue Montaigne, just off Champs Elysees, is at the epicentre of a glamorous fashion crowd - the sort of clientele who do not blink at paying €60 for hotel breakfast. They know the pastries are works of art.

Plaza Athenee's emblematic red awnings sit alongside stylish storefronts for Dior, Chanel, Fendi and Valentino. During Paris Fashion Week, le Bar is filled with editors, photographers and models, sharing gossip and Vogue cigarettes.

Reopened this month after an ambitious expansion plan, the bigger and better hotel now incorporates new suites and reception rooms in the space created when the owners bought three adjacent buildings. Traditionalists need not fear - the signature red geraniums are staying on the terrace walls, the petite outdoor ice-skating rink will return next winter, and the Dior Institut beauty spa will continue to sculpt, tone and hydrate. Sex and the City devotees will continue to ask for the "Carrie suite" where our curly haired heroine waited in frothy Versace tulle for her amour. It's been 10 years since the Paris episodes aired, and still they ask, such is the enduring power of the series and the glamour of those scenes.

Back in my suite, the phone had tooted. "Mon coeur, I'm so sorry, it will be one more hour."

Merde. Impatient, I did what any sensible gal would do. I popped open a bottle of Alain Ducasse champagne, kicked off my heels and caught up with Carrie and the girls, courtesy of YouTube.


There she stands at reception, where I had stood a few hours ago. There's the art deco tea lounge where I had made notes and sipped a cuppa. There's Big to the rescue, declaring, "Carrie, you're the one" on Le Pont des Arts. I was as thrilled as a Beatles fan at Abbey Road or a Manchester United die-hard at Old Trafford.

Later, when Le Frenchie eventually arrived, we went downstairs for supper in La Galerie des Gobelins. Over signature Royal Rose cocktails, foie gras and Parisian-style salmon, the tension melted away.

A bellhop in a sharp, black designer suit strode past, dwarfed by the enormous bouquet he was delivering. Ten dozen red roses. The cloyingly rich scent wafted in our direction. Somewhere in the Plaza Athenee, a lucky lady was about to be swept off her feet by her Mr Big.

The writer was a guest of the Plaza Athenee.