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A Transatlantic Life: Williamsburg, Brooklyn vs. Ile St Louis, Paris

Hipster vs. Classic, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by The All-Nite Images, Brandie

Williamsburg & Île Saint Louis (The All-Nite Images & Brandie)

Of all the things to do in Paris, taking a stroll on the Ile St. Louis on a sunny day and grabbing a cone of Bertillion ice cream is on just about everyone’s favorites list, whether they be a tourist, expat or long time Parisian. Personally, I’m a devout fan of their chocolate noir.

Hipster vs. Classic, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Ana Luiza Oliveira

Île Saint Louis (Ana Luiza Oliveira)

The Ile St. Louis, smack dab in the center of Paris, is full of old Parisian families, award-winning butchers, and beautiful limestone buildings from the 1630s. It’s clean, peaceful, and just a bit removed from the whirr of Paris proper.

Hipster vs. Classic, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Jo Morcom

Williamsburg (Jo Morcom)

I like it even more than ever before because I somewhat miraculously found a flat here to rent last summer. Now that we are fully ensconced on the Ile as official residents, I’ve fallen in love with my little island in the way that almost everyone does with their own little corner of Paris.  Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living, Travel | 11 Comments »

A Summer Day in Rome

HiP Paris Blog, Carin Olsson, A Day in Rome

Every time I take my first stroll along the terracotta colored and ivy-clad streets in Rome I fall in love all over again. Despite the smoldering heat (you can’t expect much else if you’re going to the Italian capital in the middle of the summer, I know) and the never-ending groups of tourists, I always manage to enjoy the city when I visit.

HiP Paris Blog, Carin Olsson, A Day in Rome

My trick? Waking up early and strolling around before 10am. In the early morning hours, you can discover the city and the monuments almost tourist-free.

HiP Paris Blog, Carin Olsson, A Day in Rome

I found myself nearly alone in front of the beautiful Trevi fountain one morning! I also wake up at this time to get some good photographs of the city before the harsh light starts casting shadows over the streets (which is any photographer’s nightmare). Continue Reading »

Posted in Italy tips & suggestions, Travel | 4 Comments »

Summer In Italy: A Beach Escape To Terracina

HiP Paris Blog, Carin Olsson, Week in Italy

“Do you want help with that?” and Italian man asked me when I was trying to push three suitcases at the same time over a threshold at the airport. “Non, merci” I said and smiled. “I mean no, thank you. Or no, I mean no, grazie!”.

HiP Paris Blog, Carin Olsson, Week in Italy

I don’t know if it was adjusting to people actually asking me if I wanted help or if it was the language that confused me the most when I arrived in Italy from Paris. But let’s just say that I adapted to both the language and the kindness quite quickly.

HiP Paris Blog, Carin Olsson, Week in Italy

Almost every summer since I have been old enough to stand (and even before that) my family travels to Italy — to Terracina to be a little bit more precise. We go for the warm weather, the delicious food and the laid-back lifestyle. Terracina is located about an hour and a half south of Rome, which makes this little town a perfect escape for many Romans during summertime as well. Continue Reading »

Posted in Italy tips & suggestions, Travel | 11 Comments »

Romantic Getaways: Spend Valentine’s Day in Paris

This year, you could spend Valentine’s day the way you usually do. Or you could go to Europe. No, really.

If you were thinking of surprising a certain special someone this Valentine’s Day (yes, even if that special someone is you), we would love to help. Book any Haven in Paris apartment over Valentine’s day and enjoy our special Valentine’s Day Romantic Getaway Package:

An added bonus? Come a few days early and take advantage of les soldes, the twice annual city-wide fashion sale (running until February 12).

These discounts aren’t reserved exclusively for couples. Take a group of friends and make it the trip of a lifetime! Contact us today to start planning your trip.

Images by Carin Olsson and Haven in Paris.

Posted in Homes, Travel | 3 Comments »

Holiday Giveaway: Bound For Anything Custom Journals

HiP Paris Blog, Bound Custom Journals, Bound books Giveaway

Some people love stationery. A lot. These are the people who browse stationery stores like others do cheese shops, picking up notebooks and greeting cards, smelling, weighing, pressing the pages between their fingers, thrilled by the possibilities within. These people are often diligent list makers, brainstormers, budgeters and recorders of funny expressions overheard in the subway.

HiP Paris Blog, blog.boundforanything.com, Bound books Giveaway

I am one of those people. I carry around a total of four notebooks with me at all times: the day planner for appointments (never, ever trust your iphone to keep up with time-zone hopping), the list journal, the ideas journal, and the diary. I have slimmed down over the years, shedding the fuzzy-heart adorned secret-keepers of my youth in favor of lighter, more “mature“ versions. Ahem. I swear. Continue Reading »

Posted in Design, Shopping, Travel | 46 Comments »

Looking For An Excuse To Visit Brussels? Here Are Three

Michal Osmenda

Beer, frites, comics. Blah, blah, blah. No disrespect to lovers of ambers and ales, salty, fried foods, or Tintin, but there’s so much more to Brussels, capital of Belgium—capital of all of Europe—than these perennially touted attractions. Here are three lesser-celebrated reasons to hop on a train and make the 80-minute trip from Paris.

Chocolate boutique in Brussels (flavijus)

Architecture
At first glance, the architecture in Brussels is incongruous—ugly, even. But in that odd stew of styles are treasures from many eras. Continue Reading »

Posted in Travel | 5 Comments »

My Paris for Your…? Dos & Don’ts For a Successful Home Exchange

Paris (Haven in Paris)

The idea seemed too good to pass up. I’d exchange my Paris flat for a place in San Francisco for two weeks to visit family. Two whole weeks! Rent-and-hotel bill free! And we’d do it in August when no one really wants to be in Paris, anyway. I’d heard stories about fabulous swaps that didn’t end in identity or home accessories theft. With a little luck and a few well-lit interior pics, I was sure it could work for us, too. And so my search was on.

Paris (karigee)

After several near-commitments that folded at the eleventh hour (“I had no idea airfare would be that expensive…” and “Off to Rome instead. Sorry!”), we swapped for a sweet little house just over the Golden Gate Bridge. It sounded perfect: Three-bedrooms with a view of Mt. Tamalpais complete with a private dock on a small saltwater lagoon. Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living, Travel | 7 Comments »

Leaving Italy For Paris

Coffee is still good. Coffee is still cheap.

The sun is still shining. The Italians are still smiling. My taxi driver was friendly. I got to the airport too early. My check in was easy. Continue Reading »

Posted in Travel | 10 Comments »

Still in Italy, Paris Here I Come

I’m still in Italy.  The coffee is still fast and the Italians are still ever so sweet. I’m still in Italy, but not for long.

Bogliasco (above) & San Disiderio, Liguria, Italy

I will soon be leaving the country of sunshine, smiles and scooters where everything is possible and everything is doable.

Genoa, Italy

I will leave behind, gelato, pesto, focaccia, 1€20 cappuccinos and laundry hanging to dry in the street. I will be welcomed by flaky butter croissants, crispy baguettes, stinky cheese and laundry hanging to dry in my apartment. I will leave the sea, sun and heat for cold, rain and smog. Paris, here I come! Continue Reading »

Posted in Travel | 11 Comments »

Brocante Shopping in Normandy with My French Country Home

Brocante finds in action (Laurence Amélie)

At My French Country Home in Normandy, we love to go antiquing. We welcome guests from all over the world, from private shoppers looking to experience real French brocantes (flea markets) and hopefully bring back a special souvenir of their holiday in France, to professionals looking for hidden gems to add a little French je-ne-sais-quoi to their boutiques.

Bedrooms decorated with brocante finds

Here is how it went for a recent client, Jeni, who came to shop for her vintage rental company in California. She was only here for 24 hours, but thanks to careful planning and her ability to make quick decisions, she managed to purchase all kinds of amazing loot! Continue Reading »

Posted in Shopping, Tours and Classes, Travel | 13 Comments »