Monthly Archives: January 2014

Entering The Chamber | Paris’ PopUp Cocktail Club


This past Wednesday, we left the office early and headed to an apartment in the 8th arrondissement to check out a new popup cocktail club called The Chamber brought to you by our friend, Forest, from 52 Martinis.

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The concept is a membership where when you sign up you get invited to unique and interesting cocktail-based events created exclusively for members of The Chamber. In addition to exclusive Continue reading

Neighborhood Guide | Balade through Les Batignolles


This week I decided to check out a quartier that is tres close to me: Les Batignolles.  This little neighborhood is squeezed between the bustling Place de Clichy (south), the door of St. Ouen (north), and the chic 17th Wagram and Malesherbes (to the west).   Les Batignolles have a calm and charming feel, though at first glance the place seems like the mecca of MacLaren strollers, perfect families, and bountiful organic markets.  But first impressions are meant to be broken.  This neighborhood may not have the hype that the Marais, Canal St. Martin, and Belleville have going for them, but Les Batignolles is home to it’s own bobo attitude.  There is a good mix of lively bars, hip restaurants, and exclusive shops.  This area is branche—but not overly so. You get the village vibe with tiny streets and hidden art gems, while still preserving a sense of community with the quaint church and mairie that can be found near the beautiful square.

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It goes without saying that the first thing I look for in a new quartier is top notch nourriture.  You’re resident gourmande Continue reading

Eiffel Tower Prestige


Sure, everyone knows what the Eiffel Tower is and where it is located.  It has been said that it is the most visited monument in the world, with some 7 plus million visitors a year.  And while this landmark may be the most emblematic image of Paris and France, there are tons of hidden gems about it’s history that are less common knowledge.  Because I’m lucky enough to see this architectural feat from my window, I thought I’d look into the historic depth that doesn’t immediately meet the eye.  Here’s the list of facts you may not have known about that iconic iron structure!

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1. In 1960 , President Charles de Gaulle negotiated a secret agreement with the Mayor of Montreal Jean Drapeau to temporarily remove the Eiffel Tower and to ship it to Canada on for the Universal Continue reading

Cleansing into 2014 with Bob’s Cold Press Juices


After the heavy eating and high amounts of sugar over the holiday season followed by a 2-week vacation in the US, I was in need of a healthy jump-start into 2014. Being a huge fan of Marc and Amaury from Bob’s Juice Bar and Bob’s Kitchen I jumped on the opportunity to try their Bob’s Cold Press Juice Cleanse.

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I filled out their order form and immediately got a response for a PayPal transfer and was on my way to a healthier new year! Bob’s Cold Press (BCP) uses 100% organic produce to make their raw juices through a process known as “cold pressing” in which massive hydraulic pressure is applied at low Continue reading

Galette des Rois Goodness


It is a typically French tradition to celebrate l’Epiphanie: this holiday celebrates the day on which the three kings Gaspard, Balthazar and Melchior came to pay their tribute to the world-famous baby born just a couple of weeks before. In French those wise men go by the cool name of Les Rois Mages (the Magi).

Though this holiday has lost much of its religious significance in most French families, it has gained a sweeter, much more buttery one in the bargain: on the day of the Epiphany, families share a Galette des Rois, a flaked pastry pie filled with frangipane, a butter-rich, smooth mixture of crème d’amande (almond cream) and crème pâtissière (pastry cream).

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The actual date on which to have the galette has gotten fuzzier and fuzzier: some families celebrate on the 6th, some on the first Sunday in January, but it’s mostly considered fine to celebrate it all through the month of January.  So, in keeping with this, we’re offering your our favorite recipe for making your very own Galette des Rois.  Last year we went with this recipe.  This year, we strongly recommend turning to expert pastry chef David Lebovitz for his sweet sweet recipe.  Here are his tips to get that crispy crust just right!

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Treize…A Baker’s Dozen


In search of a weekday after work apéro on a cold December day, two friends and I decided to test out the newly opened Treize…A Baker’s Dozen. Located in the back of a charming 6th arrondissement courtyard, Treize is not easy to find unless you know what to look for. But then again, that is part of its charm.

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We walked into this tranquil and cozy eatery just at closing time but the lovely owner, Laurel, and her sister generously welcomed us in for a glass of wine while they closed up. We sat on the high Continue reading

Les Soldes


Tomorrow morning, France will kick off it’s new year by ushering in the soldes.

As you may know, les Soldes in France are a pretty big deal. In short, they are countrywide, biannual sales on all unsold seasonal merchandise. The word soldes in French technically means ‘balances’ (as in a check balance or budget balance) but is used as les soldes (always with the les) to mean ‘sales’ in a shopping context. What’s quite exceptional about these French sales is that they are countrywide. France goes on sale.

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They are a national sport. French women organize their vacation time in order to take off a few days at the beginning of the sales period to ensure they are the first ones to the counter.  I would be lying if I said I weren’t going to be the first person in line at Sandro on Wednesday…. I’ve been told that groups of friends go in to the stores of their choice in advance of the Soldes, try on the clothes they like and organize among themselves who will buy what. Each day one member of the group takes the collective list into one of the stores to purchase for the group during the first week before the merchandise is sold out.  Not sure I’m quite ready for that level of intensity yet.

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Even though the Soldes last for five weeks twice a year, most of the shopping is done within the first week. A rather counter-intuitive process, if you think about it, as the prices are slashed progressively throughout the five-week Soldes period. Of course, by the time we arrive at the end of the sales, there is hardly anything left to buy at 60% or 75% off. I suppose the French women know what they are doing.

So, if you’re ready to take on the soldes madness, let me direct you to a few of the places that are bound to carry lots of winter favorites:

Boulevard Haussman et les grands magasins:

Boulevard Haussmann is a classic for Parisian shopping enthusiasts , and one of the best places to find deals. You will find many brands such that H & M, UNICLO , Mango ,  and Zara along Boulevard Haussman.  Also, lest we forget, the Boulevard Haussmann houses Galeries Lafayette and Printemps, two temples of fashion and undoubtedly two of France’s most famous department stores.

Luxury boutiques:

For boutiques, you have options aplenty:   You can head to Avenue des Champs Elysées or Avenue Montaigne where all the luxury brands have set up their flagship stores (Louis Vuitton, Prada, Dior, Chanel etc). You need head no further than Place Vendôme and Rue Saint-Honoré to check out all the luxury labels, though I can’t guarantee their sales will make things much more affordable.  Peruse at your own peril…

Châtelet-les-Halles and rue de Rivoli:

Not only does this lively area house most major brands, but it is super central and easy to get to.  Plus, when you’ve done enough shopping or simply need a break, Chatelet has plenty of restaurant and movie options to give you a reprieve.  What I find nice about shopping in this area is that you inevitably pop into the Beaubourg Museum or Hotel de Ville to catch and expo.  This way you can justify your shopping via a cultural pit stop.

Le Marais:

For those looking for a more “boutique” or “bobo” shopping experience, the Marais is your one stop shopping haven.  You can’t miss all of the creative shops that dominate the 4th arrondissment: Zadig and Voltaire, Comptoir des Cotonniers, Maje, Sandro, Isabel Marant etc.  This can be a very pleasant shopping options if you’re looking to escape the madness of the department stores.   The plus to shopping here during the soldes is that these boutiques almost never have sales, so go find yourselves some semi-annual deals! Don’t forget about the department BHV, right by Hotel de Ville, for other fashionable bargains.

 

Where are you planning on doing your soldes shopping??

Vive les Soldes!

Lockwood | A Hybrid Coffee Shop-Bar


It is well known that the SFP Team love their coffee and their cocktails so you can only imagine the excitement when we heard buzz of a new place that combined both under one roof! The eagerly anticipated Lockwood opened its doors just before the holiday season and we popped in for a coffee and a cocktail with our friend Meg of De Quelle Planète Es-Tu?


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Lockwood is a coffee shop by day, cocktail bar by night hybrid opened by the three Lehoux brothers who have earned some serious street cred over the past few years individually with places Continue reading