Monthly Archives: April 2014

Hidden Gardens of Paris

As spring approaches, all we want to do is go see the flowers blossom and picnic in beautiful gardens.  Sure everyone’s heard of the Tuileries and Luxembourg gardens, but what about checking out some of the lesser known and equally stunning spots in Paris? We’ve compiled a few of our favorite hidden gardens in Paris.  Don’t forget to grab the baguette and bottle of wine before you mosey on over.

Le Jardin des Serres d’Auteuil :

Located on the Avenue de la Porte d’Auteuil, the Serres d’Auteuil garden is a haven of exotic peace. Dedicated to the art of gardening, the Serres d’Auteui garden is home to nearly 6,000 plants from around the world. Above all, the beauty of this garden lies in its eclecticism as you can travel to China, India or Japan via its abundance of greenery.  The grounds are varied and you’ll find gardens, sculptures AND greenhouses.

To get there: 3, avenue de la Porte d’Auteuil or 1, avenue Gordon Bennett, Porte d’Auteuil (line 10).


Le Jardin du Musée Rodin

For art aficionados the Rodin Museum houses an incredible 3-hectare garden which of course is filled with the sculptor’s masterpieces.  Wander through the gardens and you’ll see Rodin’s the Thinker, The Burghers of Calais, Balzac, Adam Eve, and many more.  The gardens are divided into two thematic sections arranged from east to west.   The first section, the “Garden of Orpheus,” is filled with plants and rock structures.  The second section, the “Jardin des Sources,” houses plants and water in the form of fountains and a small pond. The Rodin gardens also feature a beautiful rose garden that is perfect for all your romantics looking to take a summertime stroll with the apple of your eye.

To get there: 79 rue de Varenne, Varenne metro (line 13) or Invalides (line 8, 13 or RER C).

The Panthéon Bouddhique

If you’re stressed out, visit the Buddhist Pantheon, where you’ll be able to relax in peace. The place, which is an add on to the Guimet Museum (National Museum of Asian Arts), hides a small Japanese-style garden complete with basins, stone bridge and giant bamboo awnings. Inside, you can admire a collection of 250 Japanese works, compiled by Emile Guimet.  The pavilion also houses free tea ceremonies as a way to check out Buddhism.  Check out more on in our blog post.

To get there: 19 avenue d’Iena,  Jena Metro (line 9) or Boissiere (line 6).


Le Jardin d’agronomie tropicale à Nogent-sur-Marne

The Garden of Tropical Agronomy located in Nogent-sur-Marne borders the Bois de Vincennes. This beautiful green area hides Chinese, Tunisian, and Indochinese remnants from the French colonial era.  In this garden you’ll feel like you’re a million miles from Paris and you’ll also feel like you’ve traveled back in time: the early twentieth century atmosphere permeates every corner of this garden. Forget the Buttes Chaumont and other popular parks of Paris, here you’ll bask in the quiet, away from the hordes of tourists.

To get there: 45 bis avenue de la Belle Gabrielle, RER A Nogent-sur-Marne Nogent or RER E – The Perreux.

The Garden of the Great Mosque of Paris

Turquoise mosaic floors, shaded arches, waterfalls, fountains, lush vegetation, the Gardens of the Mosque of Paris is an oasis located in the heart of Paris. After tasting the essential Moroccan tea, venture to check out the greenery which is inspired by Spanish and North African design.  Another exotic choice of garden, where you’ll feel as though you’ve been completely transported from Paris.

To get there:  Jussieu metro (line 7 and 10) or Place Monge (line 7).


Multi-Dimensional Dining – A New Parisian Trend

After Lockwood opened at the beginning of last year, people couldn’t get enough of the new multi-dimensional space. Coffee shop, lunch, apéro (or ‘aperitivo’ as they call it) and hip cocktail bar all in one! Parisian’s flocked to this new location and it seems to have sparked the opening of two new spots in the 11th arrondissement.

photo 1Recently opened on Rue de la Folie Mericourt, Café Chilango is open for breakfast, lunch and coffee throughout the day serving up coffee from Cafe Lomi on their Marzocco and granola, cakes Continue reading

The Top Ten Oldest Places in Paris

We all know Paris is old. The city is brimming with ancient art and architecture, some dating back more than a millennium. Here is our top ten list of the places in Paris that have stood the test of time.

1. The Oldest House

The house of Nicolas Flamel, a famed alchemist who claimed to have found the Philosopher’s Stone, was built in 1407 at 51 rue de Montmorency in the 3rd arrondissement. The house, with tavern at ground level still stands and was restored in 2007.

Métro: Etienne Marcel (line 4) or Rambuteau (line 11)

image_1-22. The Oldest Square

In the beginning of the 17th century Continue reading

Paris Pétanque Rules!

The young and old, rural and cosmopolitan all agree: A perfect Summer evening is spent in the company of good friends around a game of pétanque, glass of Pastis in hand. Walk five minutes in any direction in Paris in July and you’ll find a round of boules in full swing and picnic in tow. If you’re new to the sport, fret not, we’ve got you covered here in our guide to Paris pétanque.


The Necessities

• A set of  6 hallow metal boules and the little wooden cochonnet.

• A hard dirt or gravel terrain, roughly 40 feet long.

• Pastis or rosé. Pastis is an anise flavored liqueur served with ice-cold spring water, it is popular throughout France but often associated with the Provençal lifestyle. A chilled rosé is the go-to alternative for the anise adverse.

image_1-5Object of the Game

To score the most points by placing your boule nearest to the cochonnet and keeping your opponent’s boules away. This is achieved firstly by strategically placing your boule and secondly by knocking your opponent’s boule further from the cochonnet.

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Cook’n With Class

Over at Savoir Faire Paris, we are always looking for fun activities in Paris for our clients. That is why when we were invited to try a cooking class at one of Paris’  English-speaking cooking schools by a friend one Saturday morning we enthusiastically attended!

photo 4photo 2Located deep in Montmartre, Cook’n With Class is a fun, unpretentious, laid back cooking school with two beautiful, fully equipped kitchens. Their friendly staff helps you with your reservation and sends you detailed directions on how to find their location.

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Coretta is the cosmopolitan creation of Mexican born chef Beatriz Gomez and her husband Matthieu Marcantin, as well as Jean Francois Pantaléon in the up and coming Batignolles neighborhood of Paris.  The contemporary French restaurant brings both simplicity and elegance to the 17th. With a two floor set up that overlooks the Martin Luther King park, this spot is appropriately named after MLK’s wife, Coretta.  On the first floor you’ll find the open kitchen and half of the tables, while upstairs you’ll find the rest which sit below twinkly lighting, white marble, and light wood.  The décor is glamorous in an understated way, and best of all: everything is eco-friendly.  The Sinatra music that drifts in the background and the honeycomb wine racks that line the wall transport you to another era.


The menu is limited to five different entrees, plats, and desserts and is expected to change every month.  This month they’re serving up everything from lieu jaune de ligne (pollack), to cabillaud demi-sel (cod)  to poitrine de cochon Capelin (pork belly) to foie gras de canard (duck foie gras).  I chose the cabillaud demi-sel while my friend picked the ris de veau crousti fondant (crisp veal).  Both dishes were colorful and packed with flavor.  My cabillaud was lean and sweet with a creamy sauce, while my friend’s cote de veau was tender and covered in a rich sage jus.  Both went down nicely with a bottle of Roussanne.  For dessert I opted for the fine feuille chocolat Madong, a delectable piece of chocolate cake with spicy pineapple.  It was an interesting and surprisingly pleasant fusion of flavors.  My friend chose the mille-feuille vanille, which was so good that I nearly reached across the table to lick the caramel au beurre demi-sel sauce off of the plate.  Glasses of Calvados made for nice post dinner digestifs, and our sweet waitress brought us Hershey kiss cookies to round out a thoroughly enjoyable meal.


With lunch menus starting at around 24€ (entrée/plat or plat dessert) and dinner menus at about 39€ (entrée/plat or plat/dessert), you’re sure to get tasty and aesthetically divine dishes.  The bright airiness and spaciousness of the place makes it perfect for relaxing and catching a sunset from behind sleek glass windows.   When the weather warms up this place is sure to have a packed terrace.  Definitely a must try!

151 bis rue Cardinet
75017 Paris

The Carreau du Temple Re-Opens to the Community

Nestled behind the Mayor’s offices in the 3rd arrondissement of Paris stands the Carreau du Temple. This building and the site it occupies are rich in history, which is why the plan to raze the place in the 1970s for a parking lot went down in flames. Community action saved the monument from destruction and decades of planning have given us the exquisite multi-purpose cultural center that opened last month.


The Site

The Carreau du Temple owes its name to the Templar Knights of Pariswho constructed their European headquarters on this land in the 12th century. By the time of the French Revolution the Continue reading