- I’m high street and he’s haute couture
- He loves Downton Abbey and I much prefer Gosford Park
- I’m devoted to Chanel No 5 and he’s in love with No 22
- He adores the screwball films from the 1930s and I have a weakness for ‘40s and ‘50s noir
- I don’t understand Top of the Lake and he doesn’t like Orson Welles
- He loves costume drama and I love The Sopranos
- My china is Lomonosov and his is Royal Copenhagen
- He lives for nuits blanches and I never paint the town red
- He only has eyes for Maurice Ronet and I go weak at the knees for Alain Delon
- He dreams of riding the Tube and the Métro and I long for the Berlin U-Bahn
But we share a love for the people and things that really matter, like Matisse’s work, films by Woody Allen, Claude Chabrol, François Truffaut and those with Bette Davis and Romy Schneider. Not forgetting Niederegger Marzipan, books by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tolstoy’s War and Peace, Saki’s stories, Paris and the Café de Flore, Café Florian in Venice, Louis Malle’s Le Feu Follet, Hermès Parure de Samouraïs scarves, Raymond Chandler novels, strolls along the Kurfuerstendamm and macarons from Spruengli. Most of all, there is nobody witter or more charming I would wish to share a pot of Afternoon Blend Tea with than Jan, especially as he also puts the (cold) milk in first. He also now lives in Berlin, one of my favourite cities, and if we cannot meet regularly at the Literaturhaus for coffee or have bouillabaisse at Galeries Lafayette, then at least I have his blog to console myself with until our next meeting.
Below are some highlights from my recent trip to Berlin.