Monthly Archives: December 2012

Neighborhood Guide | Faubourg St. Denis

Paris, Up Close & Personal’s first guest post is from Daisy de Plume of THATLou. Daisy de Plume is the founder + creative director of THATLou, which runs themed Treasure Hunts at the Louvre (among other museums). You can find her on her blog, twitter, Facebook or Pinterest. She lives on Faubourg St Denis with her Argentine husband and their toddler, Storsh, who shows his belly on request in any of his three languages.

The neighborhood of FSD (Faubourg St Denis) is in the southwestern corner of the 10th Arrt, just east of the 9th Arrt and above the 2ndArrondissement, 10 minutes by foot from another market-street covered in September’s Neighborhood Guide series, rue Montorgueil. It is grittier with a more vibrant nightlife than Montorgueil, less Yuppie and more Bobo. “Bobo” stands for Bohemian Bourgeois and represent a class of 20 to 30 year old Parisian who tend to work in the media, advertising, fashion, design. Politically they spew an open socialist lingo and tend to be over-educated, but despite having run-down leather jackets, dusty hair and intentionally worn jeans if you take a peek at the quality of their shoes you see that they’re not so close to the poverty line as they’d like you to think. They have a poof to their cheeks and an attitude of scruffy indifference. FSD is a budding hood which, for the moment, embodies the French Bobo, and has plenty of bars and restos that reflect their idea of cool, often with a tip to their hat to both NY and Brooklyn.

FSD - Sculpture with street sign, DdP

Among the grime there is a grand entrance to the heart of the quartier with the 17th century arch of Porte St Denis, reading Ludovico Magno (“To Louis (XIV) the Great”).  The neighborhood is small, running from the Grands Boulevards, where the arch is, and going up to rue de Paradis, stitched in to the west by rue d’Hauteville, and filled in with plenty of winding passages.  The following Neighborhood Guide focuses exclusively on food and drink in this small swath of Paris.

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Care “Free” in Paris: Eating Guide for Allergies and Restrictions


Paris is a vast world of culinary delicacies and fine craftmanship in a country that offers some of the finest wines, cheeses and breads found on this earth.  As this fuels the passion of many « foodies » around the world, this is not, however, good news for everyone.

In this modern day, we find ourselves in cities full of people with unique tastes, convictions and even dietary restrictions. Whether it be allergies/intolerance or simply choosing to live a healthy, eco-friendly lifestyle, you may hit some challenges head on.  As someone who lived, gluten free for a year and a half, I can attest to the potential frustration of living in this  “not so allergy friendly” environment.


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Le Cave à Manger | A New Way to Dine

Wine bars are not a new phenomenon in Paris but a recent trend of combination restaurant-wine bars have caught our attention. It seems like a natural pairing and it is a setup that seems to be taking Paris by storm.

The concept is this: restaurants that require advance reservations, some that are very difficult to acquire, open a conjoining wine bar that serves a small-plate or limited menu version of the restaurant’s cuisine. This in a less formal, no reservations atmosphere.

Like the idea? We love it. And so do many others. The concept seems to be spreading like wildfire. Below are three of the pioneers of this trend and our favorites to help you taste some of the best cuisine in town, without the hassle of snagging a reservation.


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Anybody Home? | Our Tips for Home Security

The festivities are in full swing and there is no shortage of details to be checked off the many lists.  And as it’s only natural to overlook some of the less obvious, yet equally important details during this bustling season, we have decided to do some of this thinking for you. (We will graciously accept your thanks in the form of chocolate, wine, etc…I joke, I joke.)

 At the top of this list of ‘unforgottens’ is Home Security.  Although it may not be the most enjoyable factor to consider, take it from us. It’s worth taking the steps to prevent a potentiel « not so merry » homecoming. We’ve all seen Home Alone. And yes, the bad guys may meet their demise, but there are no shortage of messes left behind.

 Start by asking yourself some simple questions: Who/what do I want to keep safe when I’m gone?  If you answered with a who, it should be safe to assume you have a pet (or plants).   Continue reading

Holiday Restaurant Closings

Most Parisian restaurants close up shop around the holidays, from right before Christmas Eve through after the first of the year. This can be inconvenient for anyone hoping to have a nice dinner out with their friends and family to celebrate Christmas or ring in the new year. Fortunately, there are some restaurants that remain open. We have created the following lists to help you navigate these closures and find the perfect, open restaurant.

First up, the holiday closures:


Les Bistronomes – closed 22 December through 2 January.
L’Ecume St. Honoré – closed 25 December and the 1-2 January (open the 24 December and 31 December, but no special menus).
Juveniles – closed 23-27 December, and on 1 January (open 31 December, but already completely booked).
Le Meurice – closed the 24 for lunch, 25for lunch and dinner, 31 for lunch, 1 for dinner.
O-Chateau – closed on 24-25 December and 1 January.
Olio Pane Vino –  closed 24-26 December and 1-2 January.
La Régalade – St. Honoré – closed 24-25 December and 28 December – 7 January.
Spring Restaurant- closed December 24-25 (open for lunch on the 26) and December 31-January 1 (open for lunch on January 2).
Les Fines Gueules – closed the 24-25 December and the 31 December-1 January

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Les Marchés de Noël

Christmas in Paris, what a remarkable thought!  Few places could hold a candle to the beauty and magic felt in our city during this special holiday season.   And although it seems as though the year’s end has snuck up on us, there are still  joyous memories to be made in the meantime. “So, what sets Paris apart at Christmas time?” you might ask.  As there is no short answer for this question, we’ll fill you in on one “pearl” that we at Savoir-Faire consider an unmissable event: the Christmas markets.

The traditional Christmas markets, that originated in France’s Alsacian region over 5 ½ centuries ago, can often be seen warmly lodged beneath wooden chalets decked with garland and sparking lights.  Visit one of Paris’ Christmas markets and you are sure to discover handcrafted toys and decorations, ornaments for your Christmas tree, handmade soaps and endless other gift items.  Not to mention the array of traditional holiday treats such as vin chaud and pain d’épices.

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