Monthly Archives: May 2013

The Fish Club


Thanks to some fabulous gentlemen, we got reservations for the buzzed about new restaurant by Romee, Olivier and Pierre-Charles, the masterminds behind the cocktail movement in Paris. Their first food venture was The Beef Club that opened last year and just this past Tuesday, the boys opened it’s sister restaurant, The Fish Club, just next door!

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The interior is filled with geometric prints and octogonal low dining tables very reminiscent of the decor at Cafe Pinson and our new coffee favorite Loustic (not a big surprise since the Continue reading

Luxembourg Gardens


The Luxembourg Gardens hail from the left banks of Paris in the 6th arrondissement, stretching across 60 acres (23 hectors). Inspired by the present time Queen Marie Medici’s childhood home in Florence, Palazzo Pitti, these public gardens were designed by Jacques Boyceau, one of the theorists behind the art of the Jardin à la Française, the popularized approach using symmetry and imposing order over nature…how French!

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View of the Montparnasse Tower from Luxembourg Gardens
(Photo by Kristen Gonzales)

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Acting Like a Local | Tips for Tourists in Paris


So, you have decided to take a vacation to Paris. Your plane tickets are purchased, your hotel or apartment is booked and you have a rough itinerary sketched out. All that’s left is to finalize some plans and get your stuff packed. To help you with that and make sure your trip runs as smoothly as possible, here are some of our tips!

How to look like a tourist (photo: Lingoistics)

How to look like a tourist (photo: Lingoistics)

Plan in Advance

Buy your tickets ahead of time: Tickets for places like the Eiffel Tower, boat tours and Giverny are sometimes cheaper (but definitely more convenient) if you book ahead of time. All of these tickets can be purchased online before you take your trip. Skip the lines at the Musée d’Orsay, Louvre and other popular destinations by buying tickets online ahead of time. If you plan on going to a lot of museums, buy a Paris Museum Pass for 2, 4 or 6 days. It is accepted at a variety of places around Paris and will help save you money.

Make reservations in advance: Although wandering around Paris and stumbling into a local brasserie is a great way to get a taste of local life, if you are a foodie there are probably some must-try restaurants on your list. For the more in-demand restaurants, reservations are necessary and should be made far in advance of your arrival. Luckily, a lot of places like Frenchie have started to take online reservations.

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Top Paris iPhone Apps


In today’s age of  “there’s an app for that”, an application can be found to help you do or find just about anything you can imagine. We’ve shared a few tips in the past about easier living in Paris due to applications such as LeCab and Time Traveler Tours.  Amongst the vast array of Paris centered applications, we’ll divulge our top picks, all available at the touch of a finger!

My Little Paris iPhone Application

My Little Paris iPhone Application

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Wanderlust | How it’s Evolved


Wanderlust – a name every Parisian has surely heard over the past year, and perhaps even has memories associated with it.  That would come as no surprise!  Since our first blog post in June, 2012 about the freshly opened doors of Wanderlust, it has blossomed into one of the hottest commodities in the night life, party throwing, artist collaboration and event space scenes.  And that’s just the half of it!

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Photo from the Wanderlust Facebook page

For starters, the restaurant is a perfect example of the eclectic, global  approach ringing through every strand of Wanderlust’s being.  Four guest chefs are invited every year, each creating a customized, exclusive menu.  The first of the four this season (from April 16 to June 21) is Bertrand Grébaut, head chef and owner of Septime.  The location along the Seine can’t be beat and it’s a perfect brunch spot to check out on weekends.

The global, sustainable mentality of Wanderlust is self evident in the many creative ateliers offered weekly. Partnering with Grow Little and Liliana Motto, just to name a few, they offer classes on DYI green cosmetics, creating terrariums, yoga, etc.  In addition, children are not excluded from the fun!  From origami and capoeira to seed bombs and green living – there is a rich variety for any little one!

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Last, but certainly no least, we have Wanderlust events, or more commonly called “parties”.  Now, this is a multi-faceted world on its own. Let me give you a few examples.  Mondays, they host a DJ for some evening ambiance then show a featured film on a giant screen behind the bar outside.  Brilliant!  Saturdays, when the mega parties happen, this will include hours of live music from the hottest DJs, stands set up offering services from people like Rubi (She Lets her Hair Down), who does hair, and Kim (Unlock Paris), who does nails. Then a “make your own t-shirt” area, a vintage clothing market, video games and perhaps bingo can be enjoyed by the crowd. Many of these events are free entry as well, which is an added bonus.

Partnering with A Nous Paris, Doolittle, Datagif, and BurnWanderlust has proven itself to be all it promised to be from the beginning and much, much more.  Not it’s up to you to take advantage of these happenings that can only be found at 32, quai d’Austerlitz.

WANDERLUST
32 quai d’Austerlitz 75013 PARIS
07.88.12.36.36
 
Metro: Quai de la Gare, Gare d’Austerlitz
 
Open every day

 

 

Day Trips Around Paris


Anyone who lives in Paris will tell you that they love it but that sometimes they need an escape from the crowds, noise and pollution for a little bit. It is not always possible to take a weekend, or longer, away from life in the city but there are a variety of wonderful places right outside the city to escape for a day. If you need a break from the hectic city life or if you are a tourist looking to see beyond Paris, here are 4 of our favorite places to check out.

Fontainebleau

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Just a 45 minute train ride outside of the city, this château has all the beauty and glory of Versailles with less people. One of the largest royal palaces in France, it still retains a lot of the furniture that was added by Napoleon I, including the last surviving furnished throne room. Fontainebleau is known not only for its luxurious furnishings but also for the surrounding acres of gardens. There is a sculpted French garden, similar to those of Versailles but on a smaller scale, as well as a wild, English garden full of winding paths to walk. The gardens and chateau will take up a good portion of your day, but if you have some extra time, be sure to check out the town as well. There is a little shopping area with stores similar to those in Paris but a lot less crowded.

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English Books | Where to Find Them in Paris


Let’s take a little tour around some lesser known, possibly overlooked English book stores. In a city where over 120,000 anglophones resides, and millions of tourists visit, famous places like Shakespeare & Co. and WH Smith seem to get all the attention. But there are those of us who would prefer to avoid the crowds and find our own more discrete, faithful land of books to explore. There is such a diverse choice in Paris, it’s just not always so obvious where to find things.

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A good starting place is Galignani, near the Jardin des Tuileries. This gem is known for being the first English bookstore to be established on the continent and also the oldest. A long narrow store with English books all the way down one side and French on the opposite side, they have a huge selection of art, history, politics, travel and cookbooks plus a large section of poetry, classics, bestsellers and crime/thriller/sci/fi paperbacks in a cute little section at the back of the store. Simply charming!

San Francisco Books is a second-hand English bookstore on the left bank of Paris, offering refreshingly affordable prices and taking pride in their high quantity and quality fiction section. You will stumble upon some rare finds among the diverse collection.  They even have a free box if you’re in a real bind!

For a stop in the Marais, The Red Wheelbarrow is a must, as it has topped the charts of English bookstores. Although nowhere near as old as some of our beloved favorites, this slight newcomer has proved itself with its selection of  books on current affairs, British and American history, as well as biographies, literary criticism and essays, poetry, drama and thrillers. The Red Wheelbarrow also has a comprehensive French-interest selection of history, gastronomy, literature and guidebooks. Shopping for a little one? They also stock children’s books and even takes special orders for their customers.

For you language buffs, teachers, etc., Attica is the place for you. They have resources for learning and teaching over 200 languages. Situated in the 11e, Attica also offers a wide range of DVD for children and adults including many titles in their original version (VO) and language.

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Apart from these specifically English bookstores, there are also loads of French bookstores with English sections, for example Les Buveurs d’Encre, in the the 19e. It’s always worth popping in to ask what they have! This is how you discover secrets and hidden gems of your own…in this case hidden between two covers in the form of a book.

Please, if you know of some addresses that we don’t, feel free to share.  We’d love it!

 

“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.”

― Jorge Luis Borges

 

Galignani 
224, rue de Rivoli
75001 
 
San Francisco Book Co.
17, rue M. le Prince
75006 
 
The Red Wheelbarrow
22, rue St. Paul
75004 
 
Attica
106 bd Richard Lenoir
75011 
 
Les Buveurs D’Encre
59, rue de Meaux
75019

Getting Married in France | Tips on Catering


One of the most memorable parts of a wedding is the food. So you want to make sure that the meals served at your wedding are perfect, right? Here are some of our tips when dealing with caterers in Paris.

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Caterers in Paris are usually supplied by the venue that you choose. Sometimes they have a few options for you to choose from or sometimes when you sign the venue contract, you are signing an imposed catering contract as well. Naturally, this stressed me out a great deal. That said, the reality is that in all likelihood a venue would not exclusively work with a caterer that was not good, right? Most likely. Either way, here are some of our suggestions to make sure you have a flawless caterer:

1.  Request a sample menu or a menu of choices as soon as possible. This will allow you to get an idea of the options and type of food the caterer serves.

2. Make sure you have a tasting! Try to do this before you sign the contract, if possible. That way, if it is awful, you can still get out of it. Continue reading