Food & Drinks

A Wine Cruise in Paris

A wine cellar specialist shows a bottle of Romanee-Conti in Paris. FILE PHOTO | AFP 

This is a river cruise in Paris. I went with a group of journalists. We were booked in the VIP section with free flowing bottles of wines and champagne. The night was cold as any night in Fall (Autumn) would be. The mood was similar to how children react on the morning of Christmas.

We were told to dress formally, but come on, we are journalists, formal is wearing a belt that matches your shoes. So we wore hats and scarfs. A beautiful band played old Sinatra songs and when they took a break Michael Buble took over. And Buble is a king. The food was French and great.

The boat swept down the river, past imposing lit up buildings, bridges. I don’t drink wine but I loved their champagne and quickly discovered that champagne gets you drunker faster than whisky. And it sneaks on you; one moment you are knocking back the third flute, the next you are standing from your seat to go to the loo (which is downstairs), and the floor is moving. Whoa! Is it me or is it the boat? It’s the champagne.

A Chinese lady will come around your table and ask you to pose for a photo. Send her away. She will take all your pictures and later come back and offer to sell it for Sh2,000 a photo. It’s dishonest.

There are many boat cruises in Paris, so choose whatever floats your boat. (Been dying to use that phrase) but I think it’s more fun to go with a loved one rather than a bunch of journalists with loud scarfs. It’s very romantic. It’s like being in a fancy bar in a fancy boat with fancy band and lots of wine.


We had a great time generally but generally our best moment was seeing the Statue of Liberty which we didn’t think was in Paris even though the famous one in New York was a gift from the French. It was just surreal.