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Royal Monceau Hotels

 

She Loves Paris!

 

Sandra Gulland is the author of "The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B." She was recently in Europe researching her next novel and promises JW a report on Josephine's favored health spa still in existence in France. Sandra writes...


Paris is a cosmos, it's a carnival, it's a never-sleeping, never-ending comedy. I spent hours just watching the street activities from my window. It's a city devoted to pleasure: cafes and restaurants everywhere.

For me, it's the perfect city to travel in alone. The nights are open to a woman in Paris: I found I could walk and also ride the metro at night without feeling in the least bit uncomfortable (in large part because the streets I walked on were always bustling with activity). I came to love the metro, that world underground: each station so unique, buskers everywhere, filling the tunnels and trains with wonderful music (Once a jazz band even got on a train and began playing).

My Best Hotel!

In Paris I love to stay at:

Hotel des 3 Colleges
16, rue Cujas
75005 Paris
Tel: 1 43 54 67 30
Fax: 011 33 1 46 34 02 99

Journey women can expect a tiny perfect room and private bath, bright, fresh and nicely designed, including a desk. Singles are 370 ff (approximately $100 Cdn./$65 US )without a breakfast, but it can be ordered separately. The neighborhood is great: a student district (around the corner from the Sorbonne), a short walk to Luxembourg Gardens (lovely for breakfast on a sunny morning), a block from rue St. Michael. It's a good 5 minute walk to the metro (but in Paris, who cares?).

Some Eating Spots Are More Fun Than Others!

People are always shocked when I tell them I eat ethnic food in Paris, but the fact is, Paris is a truly international city, and the ethnic food is not only wonderful but cheap. My favorites, both French and otherwise, are within walking distance of the Hotel des 3 Colleges:

The Chinese restaurant on rue Cujas next to the hotel, toward rue St. Michael (sorry I don't know the name) has wonderful food. It's cheap (under $15 for a tasty and filling 3-course meal), has a nice atmosphere and is well-lit (for book reading if you're alone).

And the French cafe right near it is great for a splurge: very tasty French fare, intellectual Sorbonne clientele, chic and well-lit, the perfect atmosphere for writing poetry over lunch.

Nipoyake (21, rue Monsieur le Prince): good Japanese fare, always bustling, fast service and noisy, but in a lively way.

Cremerie Restaurant Polidor (41 rue Monsieur le Prince): Seating is at big tables with others, friendly, great atmosphere, (They claim James Joyce ate here), cheerful, but over-priced, I felt, for fairly medium French fare. Nevertheless, I invariably go there and enjoy myself.

Au Petite Ramoneur (74, rue St. Denis at rue des Pecheurs). Located in the heart of Les Halles-- this spot is a long walk from the hotel (but worth it). It's filled with tourists (interesting ones) and Paris regulars. Expect four courses plus wine (help yourself!) Only 58 ff. Both the decor and service charmingly basic and lotsa' fun!

I Can't Resist Bookstores!

Shakespeare and Company (37, rue de la Bucherie) is down by the Seine. Expect used books, an eccentric atmosphere bursting with fabulous, mind-expanding "reads." Proprietor, George Whitman is straight out of Dickens, his customers straight out of Fellini.

The Abbey Bookshop (29, rue de la Parcheminerie), the Canadian bookstore in Paris, is not far from Shakespeare and Company. You'll find a wonderful selection of new and used books in both French and English. Canadian books are featured, but other countries are represented as well. They frequently host author readings, so check their schedule.

Cafe Culture

It's Spring in Paris! At outdoor cafes, French men don't just simply sit. They've perfected their elegant slouch and pretense of casual indifference as they check-out the female passers-by.
Evelyn Hannon, Editor, Journeywoman Online


 

 

 

 

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