on daily life in Paris...
- Try to use any French you know, your hands and
confident smiles rather than initiating conversations
in English. Locals will appreciate your efforts.
- Opt for comfortable flats and a business casual
look with an accessory to spark things up. Please NO
white running shoes or shorts.
- Asking for 'un café,' will
only get you an expresso. For a traditional North American
coffee, ask for 'un café noir avec le lait à
- If you want to dine in the company of Parisiens
do not bother to show up at the restaurant before 8.30PM.
No need to tip, service is included.
- Prior to entering the subway station, have your
money accessible to avoid becoming a target.
- Have your passport with you when shopping as
you will have to fill out one form per store whenever
you wish to claim your VAT (value added tax) back (minimum
purchase of about $150 per store applies).
- Get yourself a museum pass to jump the line
in high season.
- Pack a face cloth for your hotel stays.
Founder of http://www.ExperienceAuthentique.com
-- Explore the France of your Dreams in the French Southwest
Parisien lunch ...
the heart of the Latin Quarter, a quiet pedestrian passage
runs from the lively rue Dauphine west to rue Mazarine.
To find it, head south on the rue Dauphine from the Pont
Neuf and keep an eye out for a tall iron gate on your
right. Step through (it's always open during the day)
and mid-passage there's , an elegant sanctuary
walls and a lofty ceiling painted blue and white like
the summer sky. What a lovely place for lunch!
one of the five quiches, a generous salad, or an assiette
chaude (hot plate) served between noon and 3:00 p.m. What
kind of hot plate? Well, there's the Mezzaluna (mushroom-stuffed
ravioli with cream sauce), the Frileux (chopped steak
with cheese sauce and scalloped potatoes), and for vegetarians
there's the Jardin (a large plate of steamed vegetables).
Please leave room for dessert -- cheesecake, chocolate
tart, fruit crumble, or ice cream (not just any ice cream,
but the famous Berthillon brand -- well worth the calories
and besides you'll walk them off in Paris!). Address:
22, passage Dauphine, 6th Arrondissement n.
a guide in and around Paris...
"discovered" Henri when renting an apartment in Paris
through his sister-in-law (who is an agent in Seattle).
Henri is retired, lives in Normandy (where he is also
happy to be a guide) and speaks fluent English. He is
absolutely charming! Spending a day with Henri is always
full of little surprise stops and interesting anecdotes.
He will help you plan your outing, or, give him a general
idea of your interests and he will go from there. One
day we were driving through the Champagne area on our
way to Reims and I thought it was probably time for the
"vendage" -- when the grapes are being picked. The next
thing we knew, we were in the fields talking to the locals
who were, in fact picking the grapes! Henri Leers can
be reached by phone at: +011-33- (0) 2-33-20-55-76 and
by fax at: 011 33 2 33 20 44 87
Muguet in Paris...
is our home away from home when we live
in Paris. It's on the Left Bank in the 7th arr (http://www.hotelmuguet.com).
Here we feel so safe and comfortable in this smart, stylish
two-star hotel. The spotless rooms are air-conditioned,
a rarity indeed in two-star hotels. Each room has its
own bathroom. A two minute walk down the street brings
you to the rue Cler with its shops and bistros and everything
you could require to make your stay perfect: cleaners,
wine shop, cheese shop, bakery. It is a perfect stop for
a woman on her own, situated in an upscale residential
neighbourhood close to two metro stops, Latour-Maubourg
and Ecole-Militaire. 11, rue Chevert, 75007.
Kathi Oliver's France (A Woman's Paris)
my veggie meal...
you are a vegetarian visiting Paris I recommend scheduling
a meal at . This is
a charming and informal writer's getaway type of place
filled with shelves of books. There's a non-smoking section
upstairs, something still very rare in Paris. La Fourmi
Ailée features a wonderful, varied menu that includes
several thoughtfully crafted vegetarian items. I had a
lip-smacking tofu lasagna with just enough cheese and
Roma tomatoes to hold the ample noodles together. Look
for La Fourmi Ailée between Notre Dame and the
entrance to the Latin Quarter neighborhood at 8, rue du
Fouarre - Paris 75005. The metro (subway) stop is Maubert-Mutualite.
A votre santé, everybody!