The Tuileries Gardens in Spring and a Chess Tournament

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Jean Michel and I have just had lunch at Café Diane in the Tuileries Gardens for the first time this year. It was wonderful sitting under the trees on the edge of the duck pond lined with sweet-smelling pink hyacinths and vibrant red tulips.

View of the Louvre from Café Diane in the Tuileries Gardens

View of the Louvre from Café Diane in the Tuileries Gardens

Spring has been a long time coming this year, but I’m sure it makes us appreciate it even more. It was even warm enough at 20°C to take off my sweat shirt. Our Australian friends Redfern and Saint Vincent are visiting Versailles today, experiencing sun and warmth at last.

Chestnut trees with their thick leaves

Chestnut trees with their thick leaves

On Monday, I went powerwalking in the Tuileries around 5 pm. The first thing I noticed were the chestnut trees which are one of the earliest to sprout new leaves, along with the linden trees.

Ice-cream vendor in the Tuileries Gardens

Ice-cream vendor in the Tuileries Gardens

There were enormous beds of multi-coloured tulips and purple hyacinths. The ice-cream vendors had appeared around the fountains, but surprisingly, no sailing boats for the kids.

Bridal party in the Tuileries

Bridal party in the Tuileries

I saw several  photo shoots of bridal parties all speaking foreign languages. Getting married in Paris in the spring is definitely romantic!

Chess tournament in Carré des Sangliers in the Tuileries Gardens

Chess tournament in Carré des Sangliers in the Tuileries Gardens

On Monday, I noticed a sign indicating the Paris-Saint Petersburg 2013 chess championship in the Carré des Sangliers from 21st to 25th April, so after lunch, we wandered down towards the Orangerie to a temporary pavilion to see what it was all about.

Tulips with the Louvre as a backdrop

Tulips with the Louvre as a backdrop

It’s the same spot where the Ahae photographic exhibition was held last year that I loved so much. We went through a lobby first where we were asked to turn off our phones, then into a second room with two commentators but no players. An usher came over and took us into a small dark corridor where we were given headsets and sent into the next room.

Ahae exhibition last summer in the Carré des Sangliers

Ahae exhibition last summer in the Carré des Sangliers

About six tables with chess boards were lined up on a podium, five of which had only one player. I don’t know where the others were. Our headsets meant we could hear the commentators next door and a screen above the players showed a projection of each board. It was all very hush-hush.

Linden trees in the Palais Royal gardens

Linden trees in the Palais Royal gardens

We didn’t stay long, first because we’re not chess players and second because it seemed criminal to be inside when there was so much sun outdoors!

Super-duper grass cutter

Super-duper grass cutter

As we strolled back up the gardens, we saw a very sophisticated-looking lawn-cutting machine that rolls the grass at the same time. Nothing like the basic electric model I use to mow the grass at Closerie Falaiseau in Blois!

View from Café Diane looking towards the pond

View from Café Diane looking towards the pond

And now Jean Michel is back at work and I’m about to attack my professional tax declaration which means finishing off the accounts first. Not one of my favourite activities at the best of times and definitely not on a perfect spring day. Sigh.

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7 Responses to The Tuileries Gardens in Spring and a Chess Tournament

  1. Lyn says:

    It looks beautiful, I don’t think we saw one green leaf a few weeks ago but it was still wonderful to be in Paris.

  2. Gaynor says:

    What a delightful tour of a beautiful place. What did you eat for lunch or am I being too nosey? :o)

    • Rosemary Kneipp says:

      Thank you! I love the Tuileries Gardens. I had my usual quiche and salad while Jean Michel had a maxi croque-monsieur. Otherwise there are salads (Greek, Italian, French) and a couple of hot dishes. Nothing is actually cooked on-site but the salads are always fresh and the quiche is in the form of a large thick slice. The service is always super friendly and since there is a large turnover of people, you can always get a table in the sun or shade depending on what you prefer. I walked away having left my handbag on a chair once and when I came back an hour later it was still there!

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