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April Events in Paris: Foire de Paris, Paris Marathon, Rhum Fest, & More

An old French saying advises that those struck with spring fever exercise restraint and cover up and stay warm until the month of May- an act of willpower made easier by the fact that this month is full of fun indoor activities.Fabrizio Verrecchia

April arrives in Paris with scattered showers and springtime colors. While the city isn’t known for its flora and fauna, Parisians take pleasure in the arrival of cheery yellow daffodils sold on street corners and the signs of the season- from fresh asparagus and shy strawberries- showing up at market stands. The city’s public gardens come back to life in the springtime, with delicate pink cherry blossoms and other buds bringing color to the lingering grey sky.

An old French saying advises that those struck with spring fever exercise restraint and cover up and stay warm until the month of May- an act of willpower made easier by the fact that this month is full of fun indoor activities.Fabrizio Verrecchia

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Posted in Events | 2 Comments »

February Events in Paris: World’s Largest Wine Tasting, Salon de l’Agriculture, Lady Gaga & More

HiP Paris Blog rounds up the top events in Paris this FebruaryMaja Petric

The doldrums of winter set in with the arrival of February but fortunately we can count on France to serve up some gastronomic delights to hold us over until the arrival of spring.

The month kicks off with a plethora of wine events in the Loire Valley that inspire Parisians to plan a weekend getaway to the countryside. La Dive Bouteille, which takes place on February 4th  to 5th, is the largest natural wine tasting known to man and brings together hundreds of winemakers from France and around the world. If the idea of that many people makes you feel claustrophobic, try the more intimate “off” tastings that happen during the same weekend in nearby Angers.

HiP Paris Blog rounds up the top events in Paris this February

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Posted in Events, Parisian Living | No Comments »

The Five Best Apps for Food-Lovers in Paris

Rebecca Plotnick

Rebecca Plotnick

Le Fooding

Restaurant reviews on the Le Fooding website and in the printed guide essentially decide where food-loving Parisians eat during the year. Focusing on new talent and restaurant trends, the guide is descriptive, humorous, and well-informed.

Fooding 2015, a smartphone application available in English and French, allows users to search an immense database of restaurants, cafés, and hotels, and read insightful reviews from the website. Search by category (sushi, pizza, vegetarian, wine bar, etc.) or by average price. You can access a map to locate restaurants in your area or near a metro station, and bookmark your favorites.

An amusing features lets you shake your smartphone to discover a restaurant by chance, and the news section provides in-the-know tips on hotspots and restaurant openings.

The helpful, easy-to-use application is available on the iTunes app store and Google Play for $3.99. The only con is the constant sponsor ads.

Paris apps, velib, Jean-Francois Gornet

Jean-François Gornet

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Posted in Food, Parisian Living, Restaurant Reviews | No Comments »

Happy New Year 2015! The Best of HiP Paris 2014

HiP Paris Blog Wishes You a Happy New Year 2015 and Bonne Année from Paris! Check out our favorite restaurants, wine bars, neighborhoods, and Parisian boutiques from 2014.

abac077

It is hard to believe that yet another year has come to a close, and in ringing in 2015 we find ourselves both grateful for the year past and eager for all this new year will bring.

HiP Paris Blog Wishes You a Happy New Year 2015 and Bonne Année from Paris! Check out our favorite restaurants, wine bars, neighborhoods, and Parisian boutiques from 2014.

Mori Yoshida, Sivan Askayo

We at the HiP Paris Blog could not be more thankful for our wonderfully talented writers and photographers, as well as the continued support of our readers, all of whom make this blog what it is.

HiP Paris Blog Wishes You a Happy New Year 2015 and Bonne Année from Paris! Check out our favorite restaurants, wine bars, neighborhoods, and Parisian boutiques from 2014.

Le Bon Georges, Palmyre Roigt

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Interview and Giveaway: My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz

Emily Dilling and Erica Berman sat down with famed chef David Lebovitz inside his (actual) Paris kitchen to get some insider details on the inspirations for his latest cookbook, My Paris Kitchen.We’re also giving away a copy of the book to one lucky reader! For your chance to win, see instructions at the bottom of this post. Happy cooking! -Geneviève
David Lebovitz Interview, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Erica Berman 4

Erica Berman

In French the word cuisine has a double meaning- referring both to the room in your house where food is prepared and the type of cooking that you do there.

David Lebovitz Interview, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Ed Anderson 1

Salted Butter caramel Chocolate Mousse/ David Lebovitz (Ed Anderson)

David Lebovitz’s new book My Paris Kitchen, is all about his cuisine, in both French senses of the term. David’s stories of equipping his Paris kitchen, from the double basin sink he drove all the way to Lille to retrieve to the industrial lighting fixtures that were procured after hours of wily web searching, set the scene for the 100 recipes to come.

David Lebovitz Interview, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Erica Berman 5

Kitchen Utensils & Chocolate Cake with Dulce de Leche filling (Erica Berman)

Much like the recipes in My Paris Kitchen, the accessories and ingredients in David’s kitchen all have a story; the sole salad tong still looking for its mate, the spices shared from friends abroad, the olive oil from an organic producer in Sicily, the vintage cutlery and glass garlic holder, all props in the story of David’s life in Paris. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Parisian Living | 48 Comments »

Avoiding Bad food In Paris: 5 Things You Need To Know

Dinner Series & Mike Fleming

I have a friend who travels for the museums, spending each day snapping photos next to ancient art, otherworldly architecture, and every single monument she comes across.

All I can say is: pfft.

While I adore her, if you’ve seen one thousand-year-old building, you’ve seen them all, right? Okay, I’m teasing. But for me, history, art and language are pleasant fringe benefits best served on the side. Call me names and throw Monets at me, but I travel for the food.

jimmyweee & ktylerconk

In one flavorful bite, I experience history, art and years of culture passed down from generation to generation. For this humble foodie, an entire plate will tell me a story far longer and more interesting than the line at the Louvre on a free Sunday. You stand in line, mon amie, and I’ll skip around the corner to a 500-bottle wine bar to taste and learn the history of French wine.

Sadly, all Paris food spots don’t tell such fine tales. In fact, Paris food can be – gasp! – kind of bad sometimes. If you’ve dreamed of perfect foie and crispy frites on every corner, wake up, lovely. You actually do have to work for your food. And since I’ve narrowly escaped a lot of bad dishes, I’d like to share here five bits of advice that may help with your next visit to Paris – or any city, for that matter.

pdbreen & Sarah and Iain

1. Charm doesn’t mean quality. Quaint Parisian bistros may bewitch you, but often the beautiful facade is not reflected in your plate. In fact, it feels like there’s a direct and opposite correlation between the two: the higher the cheesy charm quotient, the worse the food. I found charm and deliciousness at Coquelicot, Le Baron Rouge, Bistrot Paul Bert and Le Petit Pontoise. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food | 14 Comments »

Falling In Love With Paris In a Day

Carin Olsson

Paris. The city of romance. With picturesque cafes on almost every corner, countless bridges crossing the Seine begging for twilight strolls and stolen glances, architecture that dazzles for days, and the omnipresent accordion harking back to sweeter, slower days, how could you not fall in love? In a day no less. And we’re not talking about the dashing young men in lively conversation over espressos. You’re falling in love with no one other than yourself. Here is our guide to romancing yourself in the city of Light.

Stephane

9am. To the heart by way of the stomach. Begin your day with a croissant or pain au chocolat still warm from the oven from a local boulangerie. For the best pastries Paris has to offer, head to Le Grenier a Pain, strategically scattered throughout the city. I recommend the Montmartre location, which won the award for best baguette in 2010! Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 20 Comments »

HiP Paris Holiday Gift Guide: David Lebovitz’s Favorite Food Gift

If the twinkling lights all over Paris didn’t give it away, we’re happy to declare that it’s officially holiday season. We’ve got holiday shopping on our minds and, lucky us, several fabulous bloggers who are as enamored with France as we are have graciously agreed to share their favorite French-inspired holiday gifts with us here. We’ll publish several irresistible gift posts over the next few weeks, with the goal of helping you bring a little of la vie française to every person on your gift list.

David Lebovitz, food writer, blogger and author of The Sweet Life in Paris, is kicking off our series (thanks, David!) and we hope you’ll stay tuned to the Hip Paris Holiday Gift Guide. We love helping you spend your hard-earned argent… in the right places, bien sûr. -Maggie

Most are familiar with Maille, whose cute little shop in the Place de la Madeleine dispenses mustard from a line-up of spigots into little earthenware pots. Maille is also available in just about every supermarket in town, and for those who don’t care about crockery, you can begin a wine glass collection with every pot you purchase.

But Amora is the brand that locals seem to prefer. Shortly after I arrived in Paris and was stocking my petite cuisine, I got on the bus carrying my bulging bag of groceries, filled with basics. I had picked up a hefty jar of Amora mustard, mostly because the glass had graduated lines on it, noting its future use as not a wine glass, but a more practical measuring cup. (Although sometimes in Paris, I find myself using one more than the other.) The woman next to me on the bus looked into my sack, smiled, and said, “Monsieur, c’est très, très fort, mais très bon.” – “It’s very, very strong, but very good.” And I knew I had made the right choice.

Yet most of the “Dijon” mustard sold in France – and the rest of the world – isn’t necessarily made in Dijon anymore, but produced elsewhere. Edmond Fallot Mustard is made by a company which was founded in 1840 in Burgundy, where the soil conditions are favorable for mustard seed cultivation. Nowadays, most other companies get their seeds from elsewhere in France, or from as far away as Canada.

In Paris, upscale supermarkets carry it as well as épiceries around town, and it doesn’t cost more than a few euros a jar. Specialty stores in America carry it and you can find it online. In Paris, I buy it at my very favorite food shop, G. Detou, that carries just about every flavor they make.

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Posted in Food | 5 Comments »

7 Little French Things That Make Life Better

Fleur de Sel Foodfreak.de / Diptyque Candles Frankincensy

The plight of the Francophile is that, more often than not, he or she doesn’t live in France. In fact, it’s quite possible that he or she has never even been to France, or at least, not with any frequency. But because separation makes the heart grow fonder (and sometimes downright obsessive), we must come up with coping mechanisms to keep the French dream alive, no matter where we are.

If I were super-motivated, I’d be hosting regular French film soirées and presiding over a French lit-themed book club, but alas, that all sounds much too Type-A. For now, I will indulge in the little things that help me feel closer to the country where I really belong (and where I would be, if there were any justice in this world).

1. Tarragon Mustard. Maille whips up a delightful version, but I am partial to the Edmond Fallot variety, which I slather on whatever happens to be lying around.

Caudalie / Tarragon Mustard  Julien Hausherr

2. Roger & Gallet products. Their Tilleul (Linden Blossom) moisturizing cream changed my life, and I will forever associate its scent with my cozy little studio on rue Mouffetard. Abroad, you can find these products in department stores and boutiques that carry high-end bath products.

3. Fleur de Sel de Guérande. Keeping a container of this fancy sea salt in the kitchen ups the ante of just about any dish, and will inevitably impress your foodie friends. Sassy food blogger David Lebovitz explains why this salt is all it’s cracked up to be.

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Posted in Parisian Living, Shopping | 13 Comments »

Croissant Smackdown: Paris’ Best Croissants

Amy Thomas, Paris’ sweets goddess, recently organized a croissant tasting for a blessed few. To our great dismay, we were out of town and unable to partake in the buttery festivities. To make up for it, we’re sharing her write-up here so you can live vicariously through the smackdown with us…

flickr-robopy
Buttery, flaky deliciousness… The Croissant. Photo by Robopy

One of the first things many tourists do upon arrival in Paris is go to the nearest café and order a café au lait and croissant. We expats like to whisper conspiratorially, “Only tourists order café au lait, it’s really un crème…” If we’re nice about it, we even advise our visiting friends of this nuance so they can be more local than tourist.

But when it comes to the croissant part of the equation, there don’t seem to be many insider tricks or tips. As omnipresent as croissants are in Paris, they don’t inspire the same loyalty and rivalry as macarons, the same adoring squeals of delight as petit gateaux, or the same declarations of the very, very best like baguettes or cocoa.

So on a recent Saturday morning, I gathered a group of bloggers and friends from all pockets of the world to at least begin making comparisons and declarations—it was the third edition of an American Smackdown in Paris. What did it reveal?

4montagemore redThe contenders: (clockwise from top left): Gerard Mulot, Au Levain du Marais, sample plate of the mystery contender, and the inside of the Gerard Mulot croissant. Photos by Amy Thomas.

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Posted in Food | 17 Comments »