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Getting Your Vegetarian Indian Fix in Paris: Krishna Bhavan

Kim Laidlaw, the hip British expat (and Paris insider) behind the I Heart Paris blog recently gave up her favorite Paris Indian rec, an unassuming spot in the La Chapelle area: Krishna Bhavan. As Parisians know, it can be frustratingly hard to get serious Indian food in this otherwise limitless foodie capital. Eager to share her find, here is her post below…

Indian Food Paris Krishna BhavanKrishna Bhavan Indian Food – Kim Laidlaw

When it comes to Indian food, I’ve got high standards. For a start, I come from the UK, the country whose national dish is chicken tikka. I’m a well seasoned traveller on the Indian sub continent and even when I nip back to London, a trip to the Brick Lane curry houses is usually on the cards. So what’s a gal to do when she craves Sag Aloo in Paris, where Indian food isn’t the foreign fare of choice and when it is they put Laughing Cow cheese in their naan bread? Go to La Chapelle in North Eastern Paris, that’s what. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 10 Comments »

The Paris Effect

Merce and the Muse Paris Erica BermanMerce and the Muse – coffee and cakes – Erica Berman

Those who have lived in Paris know: we are endowed with a magical power.

Once you’ve been a Parisian (or a faux Parisian), you automatically have the ability to cast a spell over any American you subsequently encounter, simply by sprinkling key phrases into conversation:

“Well, when I lived in Paris…”
“I used to live in Paris, so…”
“In Paris (I used to live there)…”
“…reminds me a little bit of Paris, but…”

Yes, you will sound slightly (or completely) pretentious. But more importantly, you will elicit a distinct blend of jealousy and awe from whomever you are addressing, because quite simply, you have lived their dream. In fact, you have lived many an American’s dream.

One and Only Paris LoveLove along the Seine river- One and Only Paris Photography

From this side of the Atlantic, the darker realities of Parisian living (endless strikes, French bureaucracy, the exchange rate, the French attitude) cease to exist. It’s all fresh-baked baguettes and macarons and aimless strolling and sunsets over the Seine and, of course, L-O-V-E. Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 26 Comments »

Art Paris: Monet at the Grand Palais

Lily Heise from the Paris walking tour experts Context Travel recently stopped by the Monet exhibit currently taking place at the Grand Palais. Since Paris is currently overrun by an imminent shortage of petrol, enduring public transport strikes and the madness known as contemporary art week, we thought it would be fitting to give you a little dose of tranquility, starting with Monet’s lovely waterlilies…

Monet Grand Palais Paris

Every season ushers in a series of new exhibits in Paris and one of the most talked about this autumn is certainly “Claude Monet 1840-1926″ at the Grand Palais. Slightly skeptical due to all the buzz, I visited the show last week to see if it was actually worth all the hype… and left two and a half hours later completely enchanted by the artistic impressions of the master impressionist.

The retrospective is certainly a must for impressionist art-lovers, bringing together over 200 works from 70 international collections, it offers a once in a lifetime chance to see so many of his paintings united side by side. Many of the works come from the Musée d’Orsay, however, dozens come from North America, where an avid appreciation of the Impressionists developed much ahead of France.

I was rather lucky to tour the exhibit with artist Marie Theres Berger who gave us some wonderful insight into the works on display, the artist’s career and his personal life. The show was beautifully curated, with the works organized thematically instead of purely chronologically, demonstrating how Monet’s style evolved through his subject matter, often revisiting the same subjects years later, such as the stormy Normandy coastline. Continue Reading »

Posted in Arts, Events, Tours and Classes | 15 Comments »

Guilo Guilo – Eight Courses and Four Reviews of this Japanese Gem

Amy Thomas (God I love Paris), Kim Laidlaw (I Heart Paris), Forest Collins (52 Martinis) and our very own Erica Berman recently got together for a very special meal at the elusive Montmartre restaurant, Guilo Guilo. Renowned for its Japanese wunderkind chef Eiichi Edakuni, its fixed menu (which changes daily), and the near-impossibility of scoring reservations if you’re not prepared to make the treck up to Montmartre in person, it did not fail to impress these serious food-blogger dames…

guilo guilo montmartre mainAmy Thomas – Guilo Guilo’s open kitchen and staff

Eight Courses and Four Reviews of Japanese Gem Guilo Guilo

What do you get when four foodie bloggers come together for reservations at one of Paris’ most under-the-radar yet hard-to-get-into spots? A mélange of approving opinions and happy bellies. A review of Guilo Guilo, sliced four ways:

Let’s start with the food

Forest: Chef Eiishi Edakuni concocts beautiful, intricate, tasty, tidy, subtle, little mystery-mouthfuls. Not being certain about all the ingredients is part of the fun— but maybe not for the vegetarians!?

Kim: It was a seemingly never-ending flow of courses presented in bite-sized gems, bursting with flavor. I love this style of eating where you get to try so many different tastes. It’s a real success at Guilo Guilo where you are able to sample a far more interesting side of Japanese gastronomy than you would in sushi-centric joints.

Erica: Creative, original and delicious. The chef expertly pairs diverse and unexpected ingredients to create some of the best food I have had in 18 years of Parisian living.

Amy: Oh, how I love experiences like this. Every little dish was a gift: pretty to look at, thoughtfully constructed and artfully crafted, creative but pure and, bien sur, delicious. And the hits just kept coming! Eight courses? Gift after gift…

Guilo Guilo ParisErica Berman – Guilo Guilo delicious morsels

And to go with the food?

Forest: For a nice change from French bubbly, crystal clear sparkling sake isn’t as strong as expected but it still delivered a delicate kick with a dry, clean and refreshing finish. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 6 Comments »

Our Favorites: Tory’s Top Ten Paris Spots

la pagode cinema paris julien hausherrJulien Hausherr – La Pagode theater’s Japanese style garden

While this list might appear to be a whimsically chosen, feel-good assortment of Parisian places and experiences, I’ll have you know that I agonized over the decisions herein. For instance, I couldn’t bring myself to include two houses of taxidermy (for fear of revealing myself to be a complete freak), so I had to make a heart-wrenching choice: Deyrolle or the Musée de la Chasse? A weighty conundrum indeed. Regardless, I’ve done my best to crystallize my love affair with Paris into ten snippets. Enjoy!

1. Bang-for-your-buck meal: The 12-Euro prix fixe lunch at Robert et Louise. Entrée, plat, roaring fire, convivial conversation with neighboring diners. Can’t do much better than that.

2. Inner-child indulgence: Is it just me, or does the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature make you believe in magic? I’m convinced that the taxidermy fox curled up on a Louis XV chair knows the meaning of life, if only I could get him to open up about it.

3. Street food: Roast chicken from the place on rue Mouffetard (just south of the produce stand on rue de l’Arbalète). Simply put: the chicken that changed my life. Pair with a little Dijon and you will instantly be transported to heaven. Chicken heaven.

la pagode julien hausherr parisJulien Hausherr – La Pagode garden and gilded screen room

4. Rainy day activity: Sneaking off to a film at La Pagode, a charming art house theater that was originally erected as an Eastern-themed ballroom in 1896. Dusty and elegant, it’s the perfect escape. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Parisian Living | 13 Comments »

An Original Farm-to-Table Spot: Cooking Classes on a French Farm


France Culinary Retreat Camont CharcuterieKitchen at Camont – Tim Clinch

While I love the pace of a vibrant city like Paris, I’m a New England girl at heart. As such, there’s nothing like a big green vista or a vast ocean to make me feel at home.

On my latest trip abroad – which started off with a bang last week at the lovely Chateau de Raissac (more to come on that later) – I’m scheming up several more excursions beyond the fairest city to see the landscapes of Normandy and explore the farms and vineyards of Provence. While bopping across the country, I’m hoping to make a short jaunt to visit a new virtual friend, Kate. We met on Twitter, but I already feel like we’re best friends.

Culinary Retreat France Camont RadishesKitchen at Camont – Tim Clinch

Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Green, Tours and Classes, Travel | 9 Comments »

Three Discoveries on a Secret Paris Séjour

Paris Museum: Musee de la chasse et de la natureJulien Hausherr – Musee de la Chasse et de la Nature

Surprise! I made a super-quick trip to France last month. I only told a handful of friends that I was going because I had just 6 days to do what I do in Paris, which is nothing (blissfully). Or at least, nothing planned.

Per usual, I didn’t look at my watch (my figurative watch… I don’t actually have one) the whole week. I did, however,  manage to make three new discoveries that I’m pretty thrilled about:

1. Aux Deux Amis is a wonderfully understated neighborhood wine bar and resto that embodies everything I love about eating in Paris. The regularly-shifting menu is written in chalk, the waiters offer candid advice about what’s good and what’s even better, the place is full (but not annoyingly so), and we left feeling healthier, happier, and somehow lighter (the paradoxical effect of good French cuisine). 45, rue Oberkampf, 11eme. Tel: 01 58 30 38 13.

Paris Secret Sejour - Cafe Baci RestaurantJulien Hausherr – Cafe Baci

2. The mind-blowingly awesome Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature (Museum of Hunting and Nature). I really have no excuse for not visiting earlier: The moment I stepped inside, I felt like the place had been constructed, designed, and curated for me and me alone. Its lavish interiors are filled with taxidermy animals of all shapes and sizes (fox! polar bear! owl faces on the ceiling!), ornate weaponry and other “curiosities.” And you can touch things! I’ve been accused of saying this too often, but it’s my new favorite place in Paris. For real this time. 62, rue des Archives, 3eme. Tel: 01 53 01 92 40.

Paris Museum - Musee de la chasse et de la natureJulien Hausherr – Musee de la Chasse et de la Nature
Paris Museum - Musee de la chasse et de la nature
Julien Hausherr – Musee de la Chasse et de la Nature

Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Parisian Living | 7 Comments »