Monthly Archives: March 2014

Best Places to Take a Break in Paris

Ahhhh those glorious days of sunshine we just experienced in Paris. If only they were here to stay.  We have to hold out a little bit longer until spring, so we thought we’d give you the inside scoop on how to stay relaxed in Paris until the flowers bloom.  Here’s our rundown of some chill places to take a break in Paris:


  1. Rêves d’Abyssinie (132 rue Saint Denis 75003) : Named in honor of Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee, this adorable little coffee shop is relaxed and houses a beautiful brass bar that will have you drinking cup after cup of their 1euro40 coffee (at that price, who wouldn’t?!).   With deliciously brewed coffee from Brazil, and soon to be offered Turkish coffee, this place offers a feel good experience with an international kick.  While coffee is often an exotic product that comes from afar, Reves d’Abyssinie serves creations that remain true to the origins of the coffee beans.  Throw in a  soup or sandwich and you’ve got yourself the perfect place to take a lunch break or grab a midafternoon espresso to reboot your morale.
  2. Les Galeries du Panthéon Bouddhique (19, avenue d’Iéna 75016) : Did you know that in the heart of the 16th, near Iena, lies a beautiful Japanese garden ? Neither did we! This Japanese garden is located next to the Guimet Museum, the French national museum of Asian art, and is a paradise that attracts Buddhist sages but is open to all.  Upon entering the garden one sees bamboo awnings, stone paths, wooden bridges, which are not to be overshadowed by the soothing sound of a stream. The garden is designed to represent Harmony (Wa), Respect (Kei), Purity (Sei) and Serenity (Jaku).   Each week there is a tea ceremony open to all who are curious about Buddhist teachings.  This unique garden makes for a perfect relaxation spot—best of all, it’s free.Budhha
  3.  Cupckarie Chloé. S (40 rue Jean-Baptiste Pigalle 75009) : Can one ever be unhappy when one is holding/eating a cupcake? Doubtful! Trade in your afternoon smoke session for a cupcake break.  At Cupckarie Chloe. S you can choose from among the M&M Chocolate cupcakes to the Black Tea cupcakes, just to name a few.  The icing is whipped to perfection and though you may go in with the intention of only buying one, you’ll probably exit this store with more.  You know what they say about temptation—avoid it or yield to it.  Cut yourself some slack and give in to these sugary delights. An added bonus: they put marshmallows in your coffee.  This girly boutique, which looks like a doll’s house, is sure to sprinkle your day with sweetness.
  4. Le 7th Ciel (12 rue Joseph de Maistre)  This list wouldn’t be complete without one rooftop bar.  After all,  cocktails with a view is one of the most relaxing and delightful combinations.  Head to Le 7th Ciel, where you’ll find a beautiful lounge set-up and a terrace that overlooks the city with a panoramic view.  Drinks don’t come cheap here but you’ll find an assortment of mojitos, whiskies, champagnes, and beer.  Risottos, salads, bruschetta, and tapas make for yummy munching food.  It’s best to take in the plants, sunshine, and view in the afternoon when things are slower and more mellow.  At night the bar fills up quickly and you’ll have to fight for a bench or table.  This is the perfect place to come for swanky drinks with friends who want to soak up the sun and enjoy the Parisian skyline from Montmartre.Place Dauphine 1
    5.  Place Dauphine (Place Dauphine)  Last summer I discovered the fun that is petanque.  What was once considered a game for older people has now become the newest hipster game of choice.  To play all you need is a friend or two, an open space, and the ability to aim and then throw the ball.  Someone throws the jack and the rest of the game is spent trying to throw your boules closer to that jack than the other players.  It sounds a little crazy I know, but it’s wickedly relaxing, especially at dusk with the sun setting behind you.  Place Dauphine has a great little area in which to play petanque.  Make a day or evening of it by bringing a picnic, some nice wine, and great friends.

An Expat Life : Jodie Hutchins

“I’m wearing a bright pink scarf” reads the text I receive as I walk to meet Jodie in front of the carrousel at métro Saint-Paul in the Marais. It’s early spring and the city is bustling with an optimism only the promise of warm weather can inspire. We’ve never met before and I am looking forward to hearing Jodie’s expat story. It’s the question we expats inevitably ask each other, “so what brought you to Paris?”

photo(9)Jodie spots me first and I turn to see Continue reading

Haï Kaï

As the sun comes out and the days get warmer, dining at a place like Haï Kaï on the Canal Saint Martin is the perfectly refreshing way to spend a weekday lunch.

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I popped into this adorable little eatery to have some food and a chat with the beautiful Danielle of Danielle Abroad. It was one of the first of a series of beautiful sunny days this year and we enjoyed our table by the window bathed in sunlight.  Continue reading

Best Of | Kids Shopping in Paris

It isn’t hard to noticed how well dressed some of the Parisian children are in this city. Moms-to-be as well as their offspring are dressed to the T and decked out in some of the hottest baby gear all year-round.

Maybe it is just because I am hitting the age where many of my friends are starting to have babies on the brain and I find myself shopping for baby gifts often lately but I have stumbled upon some really great shops for babies and kids. If you are expecting or in search of some great gifts for some miniature loved-ones, here are some of our top picks for kids shopping in Paris:

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Centre Commercial Kids


Centre Commercial Kids

Centre Commercial is a collaborative space bringing together products sourced from France, England and Denmark. Their children’s shop is filled with fun and festive clothing and unique Continue reading

New for Coffee and Cakes: Boot Café and Marlette

Nothing brings the city back to life like a little springtime sunshine. A collective sigh of relief is palpable as winter layers are shed and flowers begin to bloom. Doors open to let in fresh air, and in some cases to welcome you to a new favorite space. Here are few of Paris’ latest additions for coffee, brunch and beyond.


photo 2You may recognize Marlette for their gourmet organic bread and cake mixes carried Continue reading

Papergoods in Paris

This week I thought I’d check out the hidden gems of Paris in terms of stationary, paper goods, and gifty trinkets.  As easy as it has become to just send e-cards and do all of your contacts via the internet, why not spruce up your lines of communication by sending someone a little snail mail, or hand printing your own style of calligraphy?  With these funky stores you’ll find all you need to make and send the perfect message:



Papier Tigre is one of the most talked about and well known shops in Paris.  Known for their cool stationary and artsy accessories, Paper Tigre runs Continue reading

Secrets of the Louvre: Cat Mummies!

The Louvre may be one of the largest and most visited museums in the world, but there are ways to make this impressive institution feel much more intimate.

Ex-votos of the cat goddess Bastet

Ex-votos of the cat goddess Bastet

Finding an empty room is easier than you may imagine, the THATlou treasure hunt is a blast, and making a personal connection with the objects comes naturally when you stumble upon something that speaks to you. Continue reading