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Paris Souvenirs: What You Shouldn’t Leave France Without

Souvenirs from ParisImages courtesy of Marvin Shaouni, Cesarastudilo, Quinn.Anya

Just like any other major city, Paris has its fair share of kitschy souvenirs on offer. Indeed, the word souvenir itself is French. And I’ll be the first to admit that I still have the mini Eiffel tower that my best friend brought back for me years ago. In recent trips, however, I haven’t looked twice at the knickknacks on display all over the city. Instead, when the time comes for me to return home from Paris – as it did earlier this month – my suitcase is packed with a different species of souvenirs to enjoy back on American soil. And they basically all have to do with food.

Sel de GuerandeSel de Guérande – Fritish

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Posted in Food, Shopping | 15 Comments »

Romantic Paris: Valentine’s Day in the City of Love


Paris has long been known as the City of Love, and with good reason. It is a place full of beauty, from the winding Seine river reflecting the city lights to the Sacré-Coeur Basilica perched upon the hill and the iconic Eiffel Tower that distinguishes its famous skyline. Even the classic rooftops inspire a feeling of romance among visitors and inhabitants alike. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we wanted to share with you some of our favorite romantic spots and things to do in Paris. Whether you are a foodie, movie buff, hopeless wanderer, or just someone who enjoys spending a relaxing night at home, Paris has something to offer. And this year, with Valentine’s Day falling on a 3-day weekend in the US and fantastic last minute deals on Paris apartments, you just might be able to hop over for a spontaneous romantic getaway! Continue Reading »

Posted in Arts, Events, Parisian Living | No Comments »

Maison & Objet: Home Fashion Invades Paris

object_collection_hiresObject of Sound collection by NOCC studio. Image courtesy of NOCC.

As if Parisians weren’t already chic enough with their fabulous clothing and accessories, this weekend the city throws its twice annual home fashion show, Maison & Objet. And fashion show it is indeed – much like the runway shows, Maison & Objet has a degree of exclusivity and is invitation-only. Sadly, the invites are available only to professionals in the home & furnishings industry. Luckily, our secret sources have slipped us a few photos of pieces that will be on exhibit, and we just couldn’t resist sharing them with you. Of note is NOCC, an up-and-coming Paris-based design studio that we love and that has been selected as one of the Talent à la Carte designers to be featured at the show. They will be displaying their Object of Sound, Radiation, and Undished collections. Don’t have an invitation to Maison & Objet? Fear not, you can find them at their studio in the 12th arrondissement… more information on their website.

Maison & Objet-1Items from NOCC’s Object of Sound collection. Images courtesy of NOCC.

More photos from other designers after the jump… all images below courtesy of Maison & Objet.

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Posted in Design, Events | 1 Comment »

Vincennes en Anciennes: Vintage Cars Come to Paris

Traversée de Paris Sacre CoeurThe 2009 Traversée de Paris in Montmartre.
Photo courtesy of Association Vincennes en Anciennes

Next Sunday, January 10, head over to check out the Traversée de Paris, an event put on by the Association Vincennes en Anciennes. Starting at about 8:15 in the morning, 500 vintage cars, motorcycles, and buses of all nationalities will parade through Paris, starting out at the Château de Vincennes and then driving along the right and left banks of the Seine, before heading up to the Champs Elysées and Montmartre. The show, now in its tenth year, features vintage automobiles ranging from the common Renault or Citroën to one-of-a-kind Bugattis and other luxury makes.

They’re slated to parade up the Champs-Elysées twice, so if you head over any time between 9 and 11 am, you can expect to check out the goods on display. Or try Montmartre between 9:30 and 10:30 to see them in a quieter setting.

The cars will end up at one of two endpoints, either Trocadéro, in the 16th, or Place Rueff, near the Eiffel Tower in the 7th, and will remain on display there into the afternoon.

For a map of the route, see the official website at

Written by Sarah Raymond for the HiP Paris Blog. Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, Provence, or Tuscany? Check out Haven in Paris.

Posted in Events | 2 Comments »

Une Lichette de Beaufort

Beaufort Slice of Beaufort, much like the lichette sliced by my fromager.
Photo courtesy of

On my last trip to Paris, I was on a mission to try as many new cheeses as possible. The problem, though, was that I was there alone; and more often than not, I was buying cheeses that I would be finishing myself. So in an effort to minimize the size of my waistline, each time I would purchase a new cheese at the fromagerie I would ask for only a small bit. A few days before leaving, I made a trip to the Pascal Beillevaire shop on the rue des Moines, near our Pilleux studio (where I was staying), to pick up a few new favorites. As I explained that I wanted just “un tout petit peu” (very little bit) of Beaufort, the fromager kindly replied: “Une lichette, alors?

Une lichette indeed! It was a word I had heard recently for the first time, and was exactly what I wanted. According to my Larousse Poche French dictionary, une lichette is a familiar term for a small quantity of a particular food. Since that trip to the Fromagerie Pascal Beillevaire – which, incidentally, has wonderful products and several locations throughout Paris – lichette has become one of my favorite words, and I find it much more fun to use than morceau (morsel), tranche fine (thin slice), or any other term indicating small quantities.

So – next time you want just un tout petit peu of a certain food, give une lichette a try. I promise you will be satisfied!

Written by Sarah Raymond for the HiP Paris Blog. Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, Provence, or Tuscany? Check out Haven in Paris.

Posted in French 'mot' du moment, Parisian Living | 1 Comment »

Introducing MenuPages Paris: Profiles & User Reviews of Parisian Restaurants – in English!

BistrotMiroirImage Erica Berman

Last month saw the introduction of MenuPages for diners in Paris and London. With restaurant listings by arrondissement, neighborhood, and cuisine, this English language website proves to become a valuable resource for Anglophone travelers to Paris. Long a staple for residents of and visitors to New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and other American cities, the MenuPages team has finally crossed the pond to include sites for two of the most visited European cities.

Upon a quick glance at the new Paris MenuPages, already some of HiP’s tried and true spots are included in the listings. Le Verre Volé, Juvénile’s, Chez Janou, Rose Bakery, and many other longtime favorites get mention on the site, which features user reviews, online menus, addresses, and phone numbers – in addition to other key details.

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Posted in Food, Parisian Living | 2 Comments »

Le Beaujolais Nouveau Est Arrivé! (Well, almost…)

beaujolaisPhoto courtesy of French Wine a Day

While those of us in the U.S. look forward to the fourth Thursday of November – our beloved Thanksgiving holiday – in France, it is the third Thursday of the month that has become a day to celebrate. It is on this day that producers of Beaujolais Nouveau, a wine hailing from the region near Lyon, are first allowed to sell their wine made from this year’s harvest. So this coming Thursday, exactly one week before we sit down and tuck into our feasts of turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, and apple pie, our French counterparts will be uncorking bottles of Beaujolais Nouveau and tasting this year’s version of the young, often light red wine made from grapes harvested earlier this fall.

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Posted in Events | 4 Comments »

Cheese: Secrets for Storing Your Finds from the Fromagerie

cheese plate parisClockwise from the blue cheese: Roquefort;
Bouchon de Sancerre; Tome Fermière; Rocamodour

Ever wonder why, when you buy cheese in a proper cheese shop, it comes wrapped in a piece of lined wax paper?  Until I lived in France, I always thought that plastic wrap was the way to go.  It was only when a kind fromager in Lyon introduced me to this aspect of French life that I learned I had been killing the character of my cheeses with the clear, clingy wrap.  This week, Nora Singley, the resident Cheesemonger over at The Kitchn, explains the reason behind the wrapping and why plastic wrap is a no-no – regardless of how stinky the cheese. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Parisian Living | No Comments »

La Petraia: An Unforgettable Tuscan Meal with Chef Susan McKenna Grant


Photos courtesy of La Petraia, Michael Grant & Sarah Raymond

In the US, the vast majority of food & grocery shopping is done in supermarkets. We cook with canned beans or tomatoes, pre-butchered meats, and shrink-wrapped cold cuts – or consume industrially prepared foods – rarely stopping to consider where exactly these things come from. One item could be fresh from a nearby farm, another from halfway across the world. While many Americans are becoming increasingly aware of how and where their food is produced, there is still a sense of detachment between the food we eat and its origins. Recently, however, following an eye-opening Italian dining experience at La Petraia – in Tuscany’s Chianti region – I was inspired to rethink how I purchase, prepare, and consume food.


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Posted in Food, Italy tips & suggestions, Restaurant Reviews, Travel | No Comments »

Italian in Paris: La Pizzetta (più grande)

pizzettapiugrandePhoto Erica Berman

Many people come to Paris craving traditional French cuisine: boeuf bourgignon, croque monsieur, omelettes at lunch… the list goes on. And it’s true that the French create amazing dishes. Sometimes, though, it’s nice to have a bit of variety. This impulse is what led a group of us to La Pizzetta Più Grande for dinner a couple of weeks ago, which in turn inspired me to try their smaller sister restaurant in the 9th arrondissement, La Pizzetta.

As you might suspect from the names, these restaurants do pizza – and do it well. However, their menus go beyond pizzas, boasting creative appetizers, excellent pasta dishes, main courses of meat and fish, and intriguing desserts. I tried La Pizzetta Più Grande first – literally, the bigger Pizzetta. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Parisian Living, Restaurant Reviews | 2 Comments »