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Winter in Paris: Ice Skating at Grand Palais and Eiffel Tower

Winter in France, Ice Skating at Hotel de Ville, the Eiffel Tower, and the Grand Palais in Paris

After a mild November, temperatures in Paris have dropped to a respectable winter weather, thermostats hovering around 0° Celsius, bien sûr! Advent calendars have been cracked open and Paris is all dressed up for winter! After the lighting of the trees along the Champs-Elysées and the perfume of hot, spiced wine from the Christmas markets, everyone is putting on their party shoes (aka ice skates) to enjoy some pretty sensational ice skating rinks that have rolled in for the holidays, ensuring a White Christmas for anyone who seeks it.

Winter in France, Ice Skating at Hotel de Ville, the Eiffel Tower, and the Grand Palais in Paris

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Nichole Robertson on The Paris Journal & Book Giveaway

We at HiP Paris have been big fans of Nichole Robertson’s work for quite some time. She is now one half of the wife-husband duo Obvious State, creating literary-focused posters and some of the most gorgeous Paris photo-story books you can imagine. Nichole shares an introduction to The Paris Journal with us below, as well an excerpt from the book. We are also thrilled to be giving away copies to five lucky readers! More details on the giveaway below. -Erin

The Paris Journal, French Lifestyle Book by NIchole Robertson

“The Paris Journal is a labor of love. From the beginning, we had one mission in mind: To take people to Paris. The narrator is an anonymous traveler and we get to follow along as she explores the city she loves. Book one is comprised of 17 journal entries and over 144 full-color photos and explores the two islands at the heart of Paris, the Île de la Cité and the Île Saint-Louis. Below is a sample from the book. I hope you enjoy it!” -Nichole Robertson

RUE JEAN DU BELLAY RUNS DIRECTLY INTO THE BRIDGE THAT CONNECTS THE TWO ISLANDS, PONT SAINT-LOUIS. 

Outside of Café Saint-Régis, which faces the bridge from the Saint-Louis side, the staff prepares for the morning customers. It’s chillier here. The sun won’t reach the interior of the island for hours. The only warmth emanates from inside the café, carrying good smells with it. A waitress, clearly in charge, directs the staff as she organizes the one-shot cups on top of the espresso machine. 

The two waiters drag tipsy stacks of cane chairs to the sidewalk. There’s very little street traffic on the island, but on its perimeter, the sound of cars and mopeds steadily builds. Morning has arrived, and everyone moves quickly now. 

The Paris Journal, French Lifestyle Book by NIchole Robertson

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Posted in Parisian Living | 6 Comments »

Day Trips from Paris: Château de Fontainebleau, Château de Malmaison & More

Backside of Vaux-le-Vicomte

Backside of Vaux-le-Vicomte Casey Hatfield-Chiotti

From strolling the various quartiers to visiting museums to checking out the new “it” restaurants, there is no end to what you can see and do in Paris. Still, I must admit, some of my favorite days have been spent escaping the city. Many fascinating day trips are reachable by an easy train or car ride and while Versailles is by far the most famous and popular, there are other great places to visit that are just as interesting, and far less crowded.

Paris Day Trips, Palais de Fontainebleau, Chateau

Paris Day Trips, Palais de Fontainebleu Sculptures, Chateau Visit

Château de Fontainebleau, Richard White

Approximately 7,500,000 people visited Versailles in 2013. That’s 15 times more than the number of people who visited the Château de Fontainebleau, which is truly a bit of a crime. The only royal and imperial chateau in France to have been continuously inhabited for seven centuries, Fontainebleau’s history is deep and rich. It dates back to the 12th century, but much of what you see today was the work of King Francis I, who had the palace renovated during the early 1500s. And the Francis I Gallery, with its frescoes framed in stucco by Rosso Fiorentino, serves as a beautiful example of Renaissance art and architecture.

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Celebrating Local and Seasonal at La Récolte, Paris’ New Sustainable Food Shop

La Récolte, Fresh Produce

In the two years that led up to La Récolte‘s opening in summer of 2014, owner Mathieu Mulliez tirelessly explored France, visiting independent producers. His goal was simple: find dedicated artisans practicing sustainable agriculture and bring their fresh, seasonal products to Parisians. The concept may seem simple, but it is shockingly difficult to find shops like La Récolte in Paris.

La Récolte, Carotte de Gwénolé

Bringing together quality products from France (and sometimes neighboring countries) as well as maintaining opening hours that correspond to busy city dwellers’ work schedules is a rare combination in Paris. Mathieu, who has worked his fair share of 9-5 jobs and has a love of cooking with quality ingredients, decided to meet this demand head on and create a shop that could welcome customers who are on their way home from work or looking for a quick, healthy lunch.

La Récolte, Montage, Bento Italian & Noisette Chocolat

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Posted in Food, Green, Parisian Living | 2 Comments »

December Events in Paris: Jeff Koons Retrospective, Paris Magnum, Pop-up Holiday Shop

December Events in Paris, Ice Skating, Hotel de Ville, Jean-Phillippe Bourque

 

Hotel de Ville, Jean-Philippe Bourque

The holiday season has begun in Paris and while the usual lineup of seasonal pop-up events – from ice skating at Hôtel de Ville to the Christmas markets scattered around the city – are back, this December brings a handful of other wonderful events as well.

The Centre Pompidou recently opened a retrospective of cult American artist Jeff Koons’s work. The exhibition is on view until April 27 and features some of the Koons’s most iconic pieces, from a Michael Jackson sculpture to the ever-recognizable oversized balloon animals.

December Events in Paris, Cinematheque Francaise, Luke McKernan

Cinematheque Francaise, Luke McKernan

December 3 – January 25: The Cinémathèque Française kicked off a month-and-a-half-long series of screenings honoring American filmmaker John Ford. You can attend a screening of Ford’s Hollywood classics up until January 25th at the Musée du Cinéma in the 12ème.

December Events in Paris, Centre Pompidou, Björn Olsson

Centre Pompidou, Björn Olsson

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The Elegant Eighth: Affordable Food and Superb Culture in Paris’ Chic Business District

Elegant Eighth, Paris courtyard

8th arrondissement, Rebecca Plotnick

For many Parisians, a people who don’t typically identify themselves with their jobs, the Eighth Arrondissement represents the office. True, it’s pretty with row after row of Haussmannian edifices and wide, tree-lined boulevards. But isn’t so much of Paris just that?

Elegant Eighth, Paris street view

8th arrondissement, Rebecca Plotnick

Covering an area of 3.88 km² with a population a bit larger than 40K people, the Eighth is one of the wealthiest arrondissements in Paris. Second only to La Défense as home to multinational firms and banks, the Eighth also caters to tourism (Champs-Elysées), culture (Musée Jacquemart-André, Salle Gaveau/Pleyel, the Petit and Grand Palais), fashion (avenue Montaigne is home to all Haute Couture houses. period), churches (La Madeleine, St Augustin, and my own favorite, the little-visited royalist Chapelle Expiatoire), and luxury (George V, Plaza Athenée, the Bristol, Hôtel de Crillon).

Elegant Eighth, Paris flowers

8th arrondissement, Rebecca Plotnick

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Posted in Food, Parisian Living, Restaurant Reviews | 1 Comment »

La Jeune Rue: The Latest Cultural and Culinary Initiative in Paris’ Marais

La-Jeune-Rue-Vertbois

Rue de Vertbois, Emma Stencil

Three quiet streets in ParisMarais neighborhood are the site for one of the most interesting projects of the year. The name Cédric Naudon, French entrepreneur and millionaire, was splashed all over the French press this spring with the announcement of his sensational initiative La Jeune Rue.

La Jeune Rue, Empty Street

La Jeune Rue, Isabel Miller-Bottome

Not much is known about this low-profile businessman who is said to have made his millions in real estate and finance in the United States. The Gatsby-esque aura surrounding Naudon is reinforced by his reticence in interviews, as well as the flamboyant decision to purchase 36 storefronts over the course of a year to realize his vision for La Jeune Rue, a project that is estimated to cost over 30 million.

La Jeune Rue, Buildings

La Jeune Rue, Isabel Miller-Bottome

La Jeune Rue is set to transform three neglected Parisian streets – Rue Volta, Rue du Vertbois, and Rue de Notre-Dame-de-Nazareth – into a mecca for bohemian-bourgeois shoppers in search of locally-sourced and artisanal products.

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Posted in Food, Parisian Living, Restaurant Reviews, Shopping | 1 Comment »

Online Dating in Paris: Finding Mr. French Might Be Easier Than You Thought!

Online Dating in Paris, Couple at Tuileres, Damien Roué

Damien Roué

After 20 years of happily ever after, my husband awoke one morning in our Paris apartment a changed man, a man in a midlife crisis. Family? Non, merci! He wanted to work endless hours, have a wife without children, hang with 30-year olds. We already had two kids and I was the other side of 40. In six weeks I went from that lady at dinner parties with an adoring husband whispering, “You are the most beautiful woman in the room” to single mom-dom.

Online Dating in Paris, Couple Paris Plage, Francois Digital

François Digital

Which is how I found myself dating online in Paris. My friends in the US had warned me that online dating is a nightmare. Men want young girls, or mothers to help them with their kids, or just a one-night stand. One-night stands sounded pretty good to me; after two decades of marriage, I suspected it would do me good to play the field. So I checked out my online options.

Online Dating in Paris, Couple at Parc des Buttes Chaumont, Charles Talbot

Charles Talbot

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Fabulous Indian Food in Paris: Bollywood Kitchen’s Sanjee (and a Recipe)

Indian Cuisine in Paris, Sanjee in her epicerie choosing herbs

Sanjee shops for the perfect ingredients

Paris might be fully deserving of its title as one of the culinary capitals of the world, but one thing that’s lacking on its food scene is good, reasonably priced Indian food in pleasant surroundings.

Indian Cuisine in Paris, Sanjees dahl

Dahl and rice

The hole in the market is one of the reasons Sanjee, the upbeat 34-year-old Paris-born Indian Chef, foodie extreme, and mother decided to launch Bollywood Kitchen, an Indian food blog and catering business.

Indian Cuisine in Paris, Sanjee Cooking

Samosas!

A hit since she started the business in 2011, Sanjee has been invited on many TV programs and has been featured in countless magazines, earning her the “showbiz chef” reputation.

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Before & After: The Renovation of Haven in Paris’ Victor Hugo Luxe Apartment

Victor Hugo Luxe Living room more

Salon, Julien Hausherr

Haven in Paris’ newest four-bedroom apartment, Victor Hugo Luxe (emphasis on the luxe), is found on a quiet street just minutes away from the Eiffel Tower and the Bois de Boulogne. The owner and interior decorator took the HiP Paris Blog through the nine-month renovation process of this spacious, Belle Époque gem. 

Victor Hugo Luxe Kitchen and Balcony

Kitchen and Balcony, Julien Hausherr

Built in 1903, the apartment was owned by the same family for 50 years and had not been remodeled since 1970. The design team wanted to revamp the out-of-date 70s-style interior and revive its elegant, turn-of-the-century charm.

Victor Hugo Luxe Dining Table

Dining Room, Julien Hausherr

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