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Breadlovers’ Paris: Our Top Picks in Montmartre’s Abbesses ‘Hood

Jonathan Pielmayer

If you ask any Montmartrois what the neighborhood is famous for these days, most likely their response will be “bread.” Some locals attribute the quality of the water in the Butte Montmartre for baguettes that are regularly rated among the best in the capital. Others, more pragmatically, point out that this is a rare arrondissement where ambitious artisanal boulangers can find the perfect combination of lower rent and carb-loving customers.

Here are four of the best boulangeries in the Abbesses area.Philippe Ramakers

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Posted in Food | No Comments »

The Best (Organic) Bread in Paris

The best organic bakeries in Paris, serving up baguettes and pastries that are healthy as well as delicious

Maison Kayser

Healthy, organic food is sweeping through Paris in the form of health food stores, juice bars, and vegetarian cafés, and not even boulangeries are immune to this food craze. The city’s top bakers are making baguettes and other loaves in biologique (organic) varieties in an effort to offer healthier products and protect the environment. Those who come to Paris hoping to forget about their diets and indulge in the city’s legendary baguettes and pastries should not be dismayed; the switch to organic flour doesn’t mean a sacrifice in taste.

The best organic bakeries in Paris, serving up baguettes and pastries that are healthy as well as delicious

Du Pain et Des Idées

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Posted in Food, Markets | 3 Comments »

10 Reasons to Love August in Paris

HiP Paris Blog, August in Paris, Isabel Miller-Bottome plages, pause

Paris Plages/Pause Cafe, Isabel Miller-Bottome

For those who cherish the peaceful atmosphere resulting from the mass exodus of holiday-goers, August is Paris’ most prized month. In the past, I haven’t always embraced this sentiment, mainly because I love the charge of the city. I adore the hustle and bustle of the busy streets; the fashionable Parisians strutting down the sidewalk, chatting over a glass of wine or coffee on café terrasses, and shopping in the stylish boutiques. However, perhaps these August-lovers have it right? Here are 10 reasons to convince any reluctant critics (myself once included) why August is the best month to be in Paris:

HiP Paris Blog, August in Paris, Isabel Miller-Bottome, reuilly, vosges

Jardin de Reuilly/Place des Vosges, Isabel Miller-Bottome

1. There’s so much going on for free

Free movies, free concerts, free exercise lessons, free…! Your social calendar will be packed with the outdoor cinema screenings at la Villette or the Clair de Lune festival, pétanque or dancing at the Canal de l’Ourcq, running on Les Berges, and more. It might just be the best month to be in Paris on a budget, and since the weather tends to be nice you can save on dining costs by picnicking.

HiP Paris Blog, August in Paris, Palmyre, Lucernaire 5,4

Le Lucernaire, Briag Courteaux

2. You can actually get a table en terrasse

I noticed the other day when scoping out the cafés on rue Montorgueil at the peak of lunch hour that there were a surprisingly large number of tables available. And same luck at apéro; we had our pick of the usually highly coveted tables. Next I plan to try some of the notoriously tough-to-get-into venues like le Perchoir; perhaps we’ll have repeat good fortune.

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Posted in Parisian Living | 1 Comment »

Folks and Sparrows: A Trendy Café-Épicerie-Concept Store in Paris’ 11ème

HiP Paris Blog, Folks and Sparrows, Isabel Miller-Bottome, sandwich bag 1

The latest buzz on the Paris coffee scene this summer is Folks and Sparrows, a café-épicerie-concept store tucked away on a quiet street in the 11ème, one of my favorite neighborhoods.

HiP Paris Blog, Folks and Sparrows, Isabel MIller-Bottome, sunflowersHiP Paris Blog, Folks and Sparrows, Isabel Miller-Bottome, drinks

I had the pleasure of spending a couple of hours here on a drizzly Tuesday afternoon last week. I relaxed into a leather easy chair in the corner, admired the sunflower and lavender arrangements around me, and enjoyed a perfectly satisfying cappuccino – smooth, creamy, and served in a hefty mug for two hands. Folk music played in the background and I felt immediately transported to another place, a cabin in the rural woods of New England perhaps.

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Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 2 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 »

Rosa Jackson stays in Erica’s Haven in Paris Montmartre Flat

Rosa Jackson, the fabulous food writer and chef, is based in Nice where she conducts market tours and succulent Provençal cooking classes. She travels to Paris frequently (as one must) in order to keep up with the restaurant scene. Last year, she stayed at Haven in Paris’ very own Houdon flat. This lovely write-up ensued on her blog

Vacation Rental Paris Montmartre Houdon

I have a vision of my perfect Paris apartment. It would be high up – stairs don’t scare me – with a small balcony and a sweeping view over the zinc rooftops, punctuated here and there with church spires and glimmering domes. There would be parquet floors, big windows on both sides (east and west, ideally) and a sunny kitchen that opens onto the living space. Oh, and it would have central heating.

When I first laid eyes on Erica Berman’s apartment just south of Abbesses Métro station, I felt slightly breathless. That might have had something to do with the five flights of stairs required to reach it, but it also came from the certainty that this was my dream apartment. I loved the antique table and mismatched chairs, I loved the contemporary paintings and well-tended plants, and I especially loved the vintage wooden pâtisserie sign above the kitchen, which Erica found at a market in Provence.

Vacation Rental Paris Apartment Montmartre Houdon

It’s no surprise that Erica’s flat should seem so effortlessly tasteful, given that she is the owner of the hippest apartment rental agency around: Haven in Paris. I first met Erica when she came to do one of my food tours in Nice, and I immediately realized that we had many things in common: our love of Paris, Provence and Italy (especially Liguria), our fondness for off-the-beaten track bed-and-breakfasts, and our insatiable curiosity about new Paris restaurants.

When I dropped by her Paris apartment before a meal at the nearby bistro Le Cul de Poule (here is a report on the Haven in Paris blog), she beckoned me onto the balcony for a glass of Italian wine. Erica has lived in Paris for 17 years and there is almost nothing she doesn’t know about the city, as proved by her frequently updated blog. We chatted about good and not-so-good meals she has had in the Pigalle and Montmartre area: her current favorites are Le Miroir (94 rue des Martyrs, 18th) and Guilo Guilo (8 rue Garreau, 18th), the second run by a renowned chef from Kyoto.

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Posted in Homes, Parisian Living, Travel | 8 Comments »

Paris Foods You Must Eat – Part 2

I miss Paris – the gorgeous gray buildings, the bridges over that little river, the cranky taxi drivers. Oh, let’s be real for a moment; I miss the food more than anything else. And since my initial post on Paris Foods You Must Eat (part 1) did so well, I thought an encore was in order.

Maggie Battista - Chocolate Mousse ParisMaggie Battista

Let’s start with the chocolate mousse, that luscious mix of cream, sugar, cocoa and air. Only this mousse is featured in a chocolate mousse bar – that’s right, folks, an entire bar of mousses made from all different types of chocolate – that is scooped out by the spatula-full into a tiny paper cone (or into pint containers, if you’re so inclined). You gotta try this good stuff, made in a shop tucked away on a sleepy section of St. Germain. Chocolat Chapon is located at 69 Rue du Bac, 75007 Paris, Tel: 01 42 22 95 98‎.

Erica Berman - PozzettoErica Berman

If thick chocolate mousse is not quite your speed, try the best gelato in Paris. I waited in line for 30 minutes in order to spoon some creamy deliciousness from Pozzetto (39 Rue du Roi de Sicile, 75004 Paris, Tel: 01 42 77 08 64‎) into my waiting belly. Well, I spooned it into my mouth and it traveled into my belly and… I loved it.

If sweets aren’t your thing, perhaps cheese is? It better be if you’re in Paris. And frankly, there isn’t anything better than a selection of cheeses from your local fromagerie, a fresh crispy baguette and a bottle of organic French wine. The moment you visit Paris, put the fancy restaurants on hold and gather supplies for your own makeshift picnic in your rented flat or hotel room. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food | 7 Comments »

Back in Paris: Adjusting to Life at a French Pace

doudinguesmontmartreErica Berman

After seven months away, I’m back in Paris for a while and am greedily soaking up every minute of it. After two weeks, I’ve slipped back into many of my happy habits, though I’ve come to realize that settling back into my Parisian life does require a few active adjustments. For instance:

1. Dietary shifts. You’d be surprised how fulfilling a diet composed solely of butter, cheese, Dijon, bread, chocolate and macarons can be. Although I must admit, a steady stream of coffee and wine leave me perpetually dehydrated. Note to self: water is the essence of life, even in Paris.

BP-3-neige-macarons-140210idata.over-blog.com/wallpaper.com/parisviewfinder.blogspot.com

2. Embracing linguistic limbo. When I get back to France, I regularly find myself in situations where two, three, or four languages are being spoken simultaneously. While the linguistic mélange is always exciting, I find that my English often starts to slip before my French has time to pick up the slack, and I am therefore left in a strange language-less limbo. Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 5 Comments »

Brunch in Montmartre at Le Coquelicot

Guest Blogger Nichole Robertson (of Little Brown Pen fame) discovers one of our favorite bakeries in Montmartre. Make sure to come early to snag one of the outside tables, and enjoy Paris people watching at its best.

breakfastphoto courtesy of Meg Zimbeck

On Saturday, we braved the Amelie obsessed tourists on Rue de Abbesses in Montmartre to visit Coquelicot–a sweet little bakery recommended by Clotilde Dusoulier of Chocolate and Zucchini. I adore Clotilde’s blog and books, and her Paris picks never let me down. She raved about the baguettes at Coquelicot, and her blessing coupled with a glimpse of their charming website, was all we needed to pen a visit into our schedule. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 10 Comments »