I have an odd and reoccurring thought which occupies me sometimes. I understand it is entirely outdated and perhaps the surfacing of repressed memories from painfully watching Ben Affleck flounder in Pearl Harbour but, I wonder if World War 3 were to occur in my lifetime, would I be mandated to work in an ammunitions factory or as a nurse in a ward for injured soldiers.
Despite being aware that modern warfare would not afford me or the rest of civilisation this option, I debate my worth in an urgent medical situation, my penchant for classically styled sundresses and cherry red lipstick or my complete lack of knowledge as to the operation of heavy machinery (and the fact that after a tipple I’d be precluded from operating this machinery anyway). It is usual at this point I realise my mind is one warped vortex of procrastination and apologise to the uniformed photograph of my grandfather I keep on my mantel. Sorry Poppa.
The first time I visited Le China, a restaurant meets bar meets event space nestled behind Bastille, I cursed that I hadn’t popped my Chanel Rouge Hydrabase Lipstick in Red No.5 in my purse. This place calls for such conspicuous Sunday afternoon retro glamour.
Sundays are our preferred evening to retreat to Le China’s brooding and jazz age decor. If I'm not on my way to my favourite bistro (and sister restaurant) Le Petit Marche, I'll be lazing back in deep leather couches, sipping cocktails and barely listening to the often present husky vocalist or sax player. This 'occupation' easily carries us through the 6pm to 12pm happy hour...or hours.
Although six hours consumed by smart and crisp cocktails like the Macao Spring Punch (a muddle of vodka, lychee, fresh strawberries, lime, champagne and Chambord) or the Sweet Cucumber (gin, cucumber, fresh int, lime and tart apple liqueur) can leave Monday mornings at the desk or in the kitchen a little precious.
Le China’s menu accompanies the bar offerings perfectly (or some would say vice versa). Nibbling on plump dim sum or beef curry croustillant does the trick. And if the dim sum need some help, the main plates are a delicious fusion of asian and classic french styles. Pork medalions with cocoa caramel or lamb fillet with Sechouan pepper usually join me at the table at some point in the evening.
I do have to warn you, some of the entertainment selections have been ‘interesting’. I still can’t confirm or deny signing up to the SBAD fan club after they played what appeared to be a reunion tour date at Le China some month ago. Aging rockers of a Sunday afternoon. Wish I’d remembered my lipstick.
(Le China, 50 Rue de Charenton 75012 Paris, +33 1 43 46 08 09, Reservations not necessary, http://www.lechina.eu/)