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Advice From Women Who Love Paris...


Tips on daily life in Paris...

  1. Try to use any French you know, your hands and confident smiles rather than initiating conversations in English. Locals will appreciate your efforts.
  2. Opt for comfortable flats and a business casual look with an accessory to spark things up. Please NO white running shoes or shorts.
  3. 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 côté.'
  4. 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.
  5. Prior to entering the subway station, have your money accessible to avoid becoming a target.
  6. 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).
  7. Get yourself a museum pass to jump the line in high season.
  8. Pack a face cloth for your hotel stays.

Evelyne Dufau, Founder of -- Explore the France of your Dreams in the French Southwest & Paris


An elegant Parisien lunch ...

In 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 L'Heure Gourmande, an elegant sanctuary with gold-washed walls and a lofty ceiling painted blue and white like the summer sky. What a lovely place for lunch!

Try 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.
Karen, Paris, France


Henri, a guide in and around Paris...

We "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
Rosalyn, Chicago, Illinois, USA


Hotel Muguet in Paris...

Hotel Muguet is our home away from home when we live in Paris. It's on the Left Bank in the 7th arr ( 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, Tour operator, Kathi Oliver's France (A Woman's Paris)


I loved my veggie meal...

If you are a vegetarian visiting Paris I recommend scheduling a meal at La Fourmi Ailée. 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!
Babette, Chicago, USA






More juicy tips about Paris 1/3/4

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