Cruising down the Seine from the heart of Paris to Normandy, Sue Bryant soaks up ab muscles French ambience on UniworldвЂ™s new river vessel, Joie de Vivre.
I really could be in just about any fashionable Parisian street, chatting to buddies in a cosy bistro with tiled flooring, red leather-based banquettes and red-and-white chequered tablecloths. Onion soup, pГўtГ© and steak au poivre are in the menu and thereвЂ™s a chilled cup of ProvenГ§al rosГ© right in front of me personally.
In reality, IвЂ™m on a ship; UniworldвЂ™s 128-passenger S.S. Joie de Vivre, a brand new river cruiser that combines grand design statements with bold color and goes all-out to offer complete immersion in French tradition and food.
Joie de Vivre was built 10 metres smaller than typical Seine river cruisers such that it can moor appropriate within the heart of Paris, where a good change is needed to spin round and mind downstream and deep in to the Normandy countryside. Just along from where IвЂ™m eating, the Eiffel Tower pierces a deep blue sky.
IвЂ™d cycled past it previously an energising ride from the banking institutions of this Seine, therefore IвЂ™d truly upset an appetite for meal in Le Bistrot, certainly one of four places to consume on board. The feeling of event had been somewhat dimmed by the majority of my dining companions deviating through the menu and demanding cheeseburgers. But top markings to Uniworld for adopting the character of France.
Joie de Vivre had been christened in March, godmother Dame Joan Collins imbuing the ceremony with a feeling of conventional glamour (see our report on that here). And that is exactly what actually sums within the appearance of this really stylish ship, which embodies French design through the 1930s through towards the gluten free dating app free 1960s. вЂњItвЂ™s a tribute towards the design, art, meals and wine of France вЂ“ every thing i enjoy,вЂќ claims Toni Tollman, whom designs the interiors of most Uniworld vessels.
The concept, Tollman says, would be to have the conclusion of a Riva yacht, all polished walnut and gleaming steel. The top the club into the Salon Toulouse is solid bronze. The staircase ended up being influenced by the one out of the Plaza AthГ©nГ©e, a legendary Parisian resort, as the corridors are adorned with exclusive political cartoons by Sem, a famous French caricaturist through the very early 1900s.
Restrooms are grey and white marble, with luxurious under-floor heating. вЂњJoie de Vivre is similar to a grand resort in Paris into the 1940s or вЂ™50s; a grand ocean liner; a brilliant yacht regarding the Seine ,вЂќ T ollman declared. вЂњWe donвЂ™t do plastic.вЂќ
In reality, the ship nearly didnвЂ™t take place. It had been into the preparing stages as soon as the atrocity of November 2015 during the Bataclan concert hallway happened plus the Travel Corporation, UniworldвЂ™s owner, considered pulling the plug. But president Stanley Tollman, who was simply in Paris at that time, remembers: вЂњA week later on, we said, that isnвЂ™t appropriate. WeвЂ™ve been bringing visitors to Paris for so long. We should help France.вЂќ Therefore the ship went ahead, the red, white and blue color schemes throughout a symbol of solidarity with Paris.
Joie de Vivre has a romantic feel, with just 54 staterooms and 10 rooms, however itвЂ™s interestingly roomy. The airy main lounge, Le Salon Toulouse, is perhaps all gleaming timber, deep pinks and big vases of red flowers. The aft lounge, with wicker sitting and motifs of tropical greenery, has multiple purposes вЂ“ itвЂ™s Club lвЂ™Esprit throughout the day with morning hours yoga, fresh veggie juices and all-day coffee in a sunny, glass-enclosed aft area, and a tiny children’s pool with a robust jet. When the sun goes down, the venue becomes ClaudeвЂ™s. A floor of this pool is raised hydraulically, producing a romantic dining area, cocktail club with dance floor as well as on some evenings, cinema, where French movies are shown.
For a river watercraft, Joie de Vivre has an amazing selection of dining alternatives. Along with Le Pigalle, the primary restaurant, and Le Bistrot, thereвЂ™s a personal dining/cookery experience, La Cave des Vins, held in your wine tasting space on Jules Verne deck and costing в‚¬95 ($140).
As much as 12 individuals don chefsвЂ™ aprons and caps and are also assigned tasks, assisted by the shipвЂ™s chefs, to produce a wine-paired feast including pork terrine, Normandy seafood soup, calvados sorbet, tenderloin of beef with potato gratin and a Normandy apple tart.
ThereвЂ™s also evening dining in ClaudeвЂ™s, where you could take to sharing dishes such as cooked camembert and duck cassoulet.
Mercifully, the ship holds a fleet of bicycles and I also cycled anywhere i possibly could, joining directed jaunts over the river in Rouen and Caudebec-en-Caux in addition to Paris. Excursions are within the cruise fare, through the numerous destinations of Paris to every day visit to Mont St Michel, the dazzling Monet yard at Giverny additionally the Normandy landing beaches. We drove through the bucolic Normandy countryside, all thatched cottages, apple orchards and contented-looking cows grazing, and sat because of the water when you look at the gorgeous small fishing slot of Honfleur, consuming cafe au lait in brilliant sunlight. The right environment, in reality, to conjure up a feeling of true joie de vivre.
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