Lorna Shaddick is a journalist and presenter with France 24.
1. What initially inspired you to move here or visit?
My boyfriend got a job out here – and then I did too! We’re now engaged so I’ve got a lot to thank Paris for!
2. Earliest Paris memory?
Eating snails with garlic in a restaurant with mirrors all over the walls, in Montmartre. I was wearing my favourite silver party dress, and I was 9.
3. Best neighbourhood you’ve ever lived in?
So far I’ve only lived in one, the 7th – tourist Paris, but there’s a reason the tourists come!
4. What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in Paris?
Oh so hard to choose, but probably a birthday one at the top of the Tour Montparnasse with a view of the lit-up Eiffel Tower. Cheesy but true. The apple and ginger riz au lait was something else. Also had some excellent evenings at Chez Françoise in Invalides, which looks like a carpark when approached but turns out to be one of the most elegant hangouts in the 7th.
5. Sexiest moment you’ve had in Paris?
That would be telling! But have spent some excellent evenings at Mama Shelter’s cocktail bar, often full of beautiful people.
6. What do you hate most about living in Paris?
Bureaucracy – it took me over six months to get a Carte Vitale – and the smell of wee on the metro and in parks.
7. Who’s your favourite Parisian — be they living or dead, real or fictional?
Renée Michel, the grumpy concierge narrator in Muriel Barbery’s The Elegance of the Hedgehog. Either her or Madeleine, because both she and I have had appendicitis in Paris…
8. Favourite cinema?
La Pagode in the 7th near Bon Marché – 1930s Japanese pagoda with two screens inside and beautiful gardens.
9. Right bank or left bank? And why?
Left – I love wandering down Boulevard Saint Germain, all the little shops around Saint Sulpice, the Rue Saint Dominique for high end pastries…
10. Favourite Caviste?
I’m not a connoisseur, but there’s an excellent Nicolas just down our street!
11. Where do you go to escape the city?
Just had an excellent weekend in Dieppe, Normandy – beautiful half timbered houses, bracing beaches and picturesque green fields full of cows.
12. Where are the best looking girls or boys in Paris and why?
At France 24 of course…
13. Where do you get your news?
France 24 and its correspondents! But also Libé, Rue 89, the Guardian, the Independent, the IHT, Al Jazeera and the BBC. For news on live music in Paris, the excellent Gigs In Paris.
14. Favourite museum?
The Musée Jacquemart André. Full of gems and I’ve rarely queued to get in. Also, the salads in the ballroom-turned-café, covered in beautiful frescoes, are delicious and innovative.
15. Favourite shop?
Well I love Galerie Lafayette’s food hall, the fourth floor of Printemps that’s full of shoes, but the most Parisian shop I’ve come across is one on the Boulevard Saint Germain that sells nothing but parasols. For 500 euros each.
16. Who’s the most stylish Paris personality?
Probably Carla Bruni.
17. What is your favourite film that is set in Paris?
I love Julie and Julia and Ratatouille (good movies for foodies!) but does Casablanca count? It’s one of my favourite films ever, partly because of the Paris bits!
18. What about Paris most inspires you?
The different, more relaxed (yes, really, compared to London!) pace of life and the long lunch breaks!
19. What makes someone a Parisian?
Ability to carry a baguette on the metro without squashing it, getting it dirty or eating it before you get home.
20. What’s your favourite French word? (Swear words allowed!)
Grenouille, bouillabaisse or ‘madeleine de proust’ (such a great concept.)