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Paris’ Best Natural Wine Bars & Shops

Natural Wine Bars in Paris

La Buvette

While it is exciting to live in a city that is increasingly open to international influences and imported ideas, it’s also reassuring to know that Paris holds its own as a trendsetter in certain fields. The natural wine scene is definitely one of the domains in which the French capital has gained and maintained solid footing. Senior natural wine sellers such as La Quincave and La Cave des Papilles established themselves as reliable outposts for vin nature in the early days of the movement, bringing low-intervention wine from small-scale vineyards to the city. These role models have inspired a new wave of wine bars to open in Paris, making natural wine increasingly present and accessible.

Natural Wine Bars in Paris

Le Mary Celeste

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Posted in Restaurant Reviews, Wine | No Comments »

Arrive and Imbibe: In-the-Know Wine Tastings and Classes in Paris

The Best Wine Classes and Wine Tastings in Paris

Wine Tasting in Paris, Thierry Givone

I’ve always found local wines and spirits an enjoyable way to sip myself into a different culture. So my travel M.O. is “arrive and imbibe,” whether it’s beer in Belgium or Unicum in Hungary. One of the best things about being in Paris is that “going local” means enjoying some particularly good French wine. Every once in awhile I like to crank that experience up a notch with a little help from a professional. While wine courses and tastings can be found all over Paris, here are a few of my favorites for education without intimidation.

The Best Wine Classes and Wine Tastings in Paris

Wine Tasting in Paris, Thierry Givone

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Posted in Wine | 4 Comments »

Wine in Bulk and Bottled Cocktails: Hip Alternatives for Drinking Chez Vous

Drinking at Home, En Vrac, full bottles

En Vrac

With everything from simple corner cafes to trendy nightclubs, Paris is a paradise for those with a taste for the nightlife. Even so, sometimes a night off is in order. Fortunately, that doesn’t mean you have to eschew a bit of sipping, as Paris offers some interesting alternatives for your home-drinking pleasure.

 Drinking at Home, La Maison du Whisky, pac 930

La Maison du Whisky Fine Spirits

Natural Wine in Bulk: En Vrac 

While wine by the box may not be new, this popular bar and restaurant is providing a new perspective on buying wine in bulk in its two Paris locations. En Vrac means “in bulk,” and here customers choose from a selection of natural wines that can be sampled on-site or taken off-site in fun French lemonade inspired to-go bottles (or bring your own). At prices that start around 5 Euros a bottle, it’s easy to take a chance on a few and spend a casual evening holding your own private wine tasting. And, for those seeking something stronger, they also offer up a selection of bulk spirits like Poire Williams, Vodka, Rhum, and more in a variety of sizes.

 

Drinking at Home, La Cave à Cocktail, sign

La Cave à Cocktail

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Posted in Parisian Living, Wine | No Comments »

La Table de Cybèle: Fresh and Local Dining in Boulogne

HiP Paris Blog, Table de Cybele, Palmyre Roigt -3

It’s seems that Boulogne, a relatively staid suburb of Paris, is becoming spunkier as a different breed of establishment seems to be seeping into the area. Concept stores, pizza joints with NYC aspirations, a combo cookie shop/tattoo parlor and the like are making a bit of a buzz that has caused some to liken the area to the “Brooklyn of Paris.”

HiP Paris Blog, Table de Cybele, Palmyre Roigt-4

Never having lived in Brooklyn, but being very aware of its use as a trendy descriptor (one of which I’ve been guilty myself), I asked friends who have lived both in Paris and New York for their take on this latest cultural comparison. I received some interesting and enlightening responses like: “Boulogne is by no stretch of the imagination ‘The New Brooklyn.’ One might, with a little reach, say it is trying to become Williamsburg-wanna-be-sur-Seine.”

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Women In Food & Wine: Ladies Of the Paris Dining Scene, Part I

Ladies in Food, Holybelly, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Holybelly, Kim Laidlaw 2

Lise Kvan and Sarah Mouchot at Holybelly (Holybelly & Kim Laidlaw)

As we know well, the promise of gastronomic delights is enough to inspire travelers to explore the world, seeking out hard-fought reservations and off-the-beaten-path restaurants in the name of really good food.

Ladies in Food, Yamtcha, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Didier Gauducheau

Adeline Grattard of Yam’tcha (Didier Gauducheau)

It’s easy to forget that behind these curated culinary experiences there is a team of dedicated professionals committed to using their talents and passions to improve and diversify the general landscape of food and dining. Certain events, TV shows, publications, and guidebooks spotlight some of these talented and resolute food professionals.

Ladies in Food, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by La Buvette

La Buvette

While these “foodie guides” are becoming more and more ubiquitous, they are unfortunately not always comprehensive as they far too often exclude women from their lineup. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Parisian Living | 2 Comments »

Table for One: The Best Places To Dine Solo in Paris

Solo Dining, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Lazare

Lazare

Who says Paris is just for lovers? With world-class museums, jaw-dropping architecture and monuments galore, exploring the City of Light alone can be fun, freeing and fulfilling.

Solo Dining, HiP Paris Blog, Maison F photo by Sylvano

Maison F (Sylvano)

But the one thing that can still strike fear into the solo traveler heart is the phrase: “table for one.” The easiest way around this dilemma is to skip the table all together and head straight for the counter seating at one of these picks from some of the city’s latest hotspots.

Solo Dining, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Lazare

Lazare

For a leisurely lunch for one, check out Caillebotte, the latest from the team behind popular le Pantruche. Tucked away on a quiet corner in trendy SoPi, sit at the tiny counter to watch the busy kitchen turn out seasonal and fresh dishes like foam-topped skate, pumpkin soup with chestnut cream or tarragon ice cream desserts. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Parisian Living, Restaurant Reviews | 9 Comments »

Happy New Year 2014! HiP Paris Best Of 2013

HiP Paris Best of 2013 Carin Olsson

Carin Olsson

Before everyone gets a proper start on their New Year’s resolutions, we wanted to take a moment to look back over the past year and to thank all the wonderful and brilliantly talented contributors who help to make this blog what it is.

HiP Paris Blog, Forest Collins, Wine-Food Bar Roundup, Josephine 2 copyForest Collins

Before launching into all the exciting things we have in the works for 2014, here are some of our favorite moments of 2013:

HiP Paris Blog, Café Lomi, photo by Keith Isaacs of Forms+Colors, Montmartre Round Up copy

Cafe Lomi (Keith Isaacs)

We did our best to keep up with a number of exciting new restaurants and bars, including our picks of Paris’ best new cocktail bars, wine bars, hotel bars, and the best places to get really good coffee.

HiP-Paris-Blog-Diane-Yoon-Braden-Perkins-Interview-22
Braden Perkins and Laura Adrian (Diane Yoon)

We interviewed the lovely Laura Adrian and Braden Perkins of Verjus, Chef Haan Palcu of Le Mary Celeste, and reviewed the scrumptious sandwiches from Verjus and Frenchie, but the opening of Paris’ first cat café really stole the show. Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 12 Comments »

A Day in SOPI: Eating, Drinking & Shopping in Paris’ HiP South-of-Pigalle Area

HiP Paris SOPI Sebastien Gaudard4 Didier Gauducheau

For decades, Pigalle was known mainly for its sex shops, seedy shows and working girls. During WWII, this sketchy section of Paris earned the nickname “Pig Alley” thanks to its bawdy rep. But these days, Pigalle has earned a few new monikers as well as a cleaner reputation. Now, in NYC fashion, trendy locals refer to it as either NoPi (North of Pigalle) or SoPi (South of Pigalle).

HIP-Paris-SOPI-Rocketship2-Didier-Gauducheau

While both North and South have plenty to offer, it’s SoPi that’s become the latest neighborhood to watch.  Moving beyond nighttime entertainment, SoPi is packed with plenty of destination restaurants, food shops, cafes and enough to make an itinerary that runs from morning until nighttime.

HiP Paris SOPI Rocketship3 Didier Gauducheau

To get a day’s worth of enjoyment out of one the city’s hippest ‘hood, kick start things with some caffeine at Rocketship. Like many places in Paris, they don’t open until later in the morning, so make your way there leisurely. In keeping with the neighborhood’s NY-inspired nickname, this concept coffeeshop works a Brooklyn vibe and offers chai lattes alongside coffee from Coutume.

HiP Paris SOPI Rocketship1 Didier Gauducheau

After coffee, take time to browse the boutique. Benoit, the owner, prides himself on finding unique treasures and includes a good number of pieces from SoPi-based artisans.

Le Rocketship, 13 bis rue Henri Monnier, Paris, 75009, +33 1 48 78 23 66

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Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews, Shopping | 13 Comments »

Paris’ Freshest Culinary Trend: Seafood & Cocktails

HiP Paris Blog, The Fish Club, Seafood and Cocktails

The Fish Club

Beef bourguignon. Escargot. Bordeaux. Burgundy. France’s gastronomic culture stems from strong tradition. The French meal has even earned a place on UNESCO’s cultural heritage list.  And while there’s nothing like a great classic, sometimes you just want to shake things up.

HiP Paris Blog, Diane Yoon, Seafood and Cocktails

Le Mary Céleste (Diane Yoon)

Fortunately, a formidable group of young food and drink folks have picked up on international culinary trends to create some new and vibrant options for Paris’ drinks and dining scene. The summer’s buzziest trend? Fresh fish with a South-American twist.

HiP Paris Blog, The Fish Club, Seafood and Cocktails

The Fish Club

Just in time for Paris’ warmer summer months, these new hotspots are offering weather-appropriate fare like ceviche and lighter cocktails to go with the hot sunny days. Move over, tired old moules frites!  There’s a new style of seafood in town and it’s being paired with some mighty fine drinks. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Parisian Living | 2 Comments »

Drinking in Style: Paris’ Best Hotel Bars

HiP Paris Blog, Forest Collins, George V, 5 Best Hotel Bars in Paris

George V

What is it that makes hotel bars so appealing? Is it the sense of travel and adventure? Is it the ease with which you could drop into a bed after drinks at the bar? Do the guests, themselves passing through for just a moment on the way to their next destination, imbue the spaces with an edgy sense fluidity and transience?

HiP Paris Blog, Forest Collins, Hotel St James, 5 Best Hotel Bars in Paris

Hotel St James

The best Parisian hotel bars do more than just pour a decent drink; they combine old-world ambiance, stellar service and sophisticated décor to guarantee an exceptional experience. And here are some of the city’s finest choices to fit any occasion:

HiP Paris Blog, Forest Collins, L'Hotel, 5 Best Hotel Bars in Paris

l’Hotel

For a Romantic Escape: Hotel Saint James
With its modern-romantic decor, the Saint James is the perfect place for a dreamlike escape from the daily grind. Hidden away in a quiet corner of the city that once served as Paris’ first airfield, this neoclassical chateau still manages to transport visitors. In summer months, patrons canoodle in the garden under hot-air-balloon-inspired canopies over nicely priced bottles of white. In winter months they whisper over whiskey in quiet corners of the dark wood library bar amidst some 12,000 old books. Though the Saint James is a private club, you don’t have to be a member to enjoy a drink after 7pm – just call ahead and reserve. Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 12 Comments »