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Negotiating à la Française: The Meaning of Non

Learning the different meanings of 'non' in Paris

victorillen

Anyone who has spent a serious amount of time in Paris knows the word well. Non, Monsieur, it is not possible to have green beans instead of fries with your tartare… Non, you can not have a reservation for 20h, we have two seatings: 19h30 or 21h30… Non, I do not take credit cards in my taxi…

Negotiating à la française is something of an art. Here are a few of the nons you may hear on your Parisian adventure, and my best advice for replying:
Learning the different meanings of 'non' in Paris

Guillaume DELEBARRE

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Posted in Parisian Living, Travel | No Comments »

Le Bougainville: Homemade, Grandmother-Style French Cooking

Le Bougainville: Unfussy French Cooking near Place de la Victoire in Paris

I recently found myself strolling near the Place des Victoires, a business district that appeared to have closed for the day. Continuing in the direction of the more promising Galerie Vivienne, my date and I spotted a 1950s-style café with mosaic tile floors, Formica table tops, and primary-color paint. We were dubious, but hungry, so we stepped in, pleased to find that behind Le Bougainville’s near-empty café was a welcoming restaurant with a trove of pleased diners.

Le Bougainville: Unfussy French Cooking near Place de la Victoire in Paris

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Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 5 Comments »

A Quaint Mix of Old & New in Normandy’s Seaside Village Honfleur

Honfleur, a quaint town in the Normand region of France, is the perfect weekend retreat from Paris.

In late November, as my several-month stint in Paris was coming to a close, I felt far from ready to leave. Perhaps it was due to the fact that fall had flown by, or that I had met a sweet Frenchman. Likely both. So when he propositioned we take an overnight jaunt outside of Paris a mere week before I my return to New York, I was torn.

Honfleur, a quaint town in the Normand region of France, is the perfect weekend retreat from Paris.

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Posted in Travel | 1 Comment »

Living, Loving, Learning: An American Photographer on Starting a New Life in Paris

HiP Paris blog. Living, Learning, Loving. A bride viewed from the top of a Parisian spiral staircase. Photo by Marjorie Preval.

I don’t come from a family of explorers, travelers, or adventurers. My wanderlust has definitely been a learned trait, something that I’ve discovered after spending countless hours Google searching destinations I wished to visit. Needless to say, my parents were a bit shocked when I told them that I had bought tickets for my daughter Kailin and me to move to Paris the winter of 2011. My mother’s concern was that I “didn’t know a soul in all of France,” my dad’s was that I wouldn’t survive without knowing the language.

Armed with their endless words of advice and a handful of helpful phrases, such as “s’il vous plait, aidez-moi trouver les toilettes”(thanks dad !), my then four year-old and I boarded our very first trans-Atlantic flight to the City of Light. I wasn’t prepared for the anxiety attack I would have midway through our redeye, or how much I would fall head over heels once I’d arrived. In a penthouse apartment situated right across from Sacré-Cœur, how could I not fall in love with all that Paris had to offer me?

HiP Paris blog. Living, loving, learning in Paris. One of Paris' most distinctive features: its rooftops. Photo by Marjorie Preval.

HiP Paris blog. Living, loving, learning in Paris. Take a seat and have a moment with Lady Eiffel. Photos by Marjorie Preval.

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Posted in Parisian Living | 8 Comments »

Myrthe: A Quality Cantine and 100% French Épicerie Along Paris’ Canal St-Martin

HiP Paris blog. Myrthe, a locally sourced epicerie and cantine off of the Canal Saint Martin. Street view of the colorful cantine.

Long-time friends Marion and Laura couldn’t have found a better spot for Myrthe, the half-cantine, half-épicerie they opened in December 2014. Sandwiched between specialty coffee shop Ten Belles and lush florist Bleuet Coquelicot, Myrthe is one of the Canal St-Martin’s newest tenants. And it’s a great fit for the area. In addition to serving sandwiches, salads, and gluten-free pastries on-site, Myrthe offers a selection of take-away apéro baskets that demand to be eaten canal-side. “The hardest part about opening a business in Paris is finding the right spot. We got really lucky with this one,” says Marion.

HiP Paris blog. Myrthe, a locally sourced epicerie and cantine off of the Canal Saint Martin. Grab a coffee, settle in and stay awhile.

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Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 2 Comments »

Hunting for the Best Boeuf Bourguignon in France

Paris may be experiencing unseasonably warm and sunny weather at the moment, but we’re still readying ourselves for the chilly months to come and dishing on our favorite addresses serving up boeuf bourguignon, a comforting winter French favorite. Enjoy! -ErinWhere to taste France's best Boeuf Bourguignon, a savory and rich traditional beef stew from Burgundy

Auprès du Clocher

Julia Child immortalized boeuf bourguignon in featuring it on her first French cooking show. At the start of the episode, she says in her distinct high-pitched trill, “it’s a wonderful show to begin our series on because it shows you so many useful things about French cooking.” Indeed by watching the 30-minute segment, a must-see on YouTube, you’ll learn how to brown meat, braise onions, sauté mushrooms, and make a wine sauce. However, it’s also clear this is a recipe that requires time and patience. “People don’t make it right because it takes too much time” is a phrase I heard often during visits to Burgundy, the birthplace of the beloved French dish. Luckily there are some places that are getting it right.

Boeuf Bourgignon France. Where to get the best of the Bourgignon.

Alan C.

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Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 3 Comments »

Le Procope: A Paris Dining Experience with a Side of French History

HiP Paris blog. A Paris dining experience with a side of French history at Le Procope. Look out the window on Paris of the present from Paris of the past.

It’s an absolute delight that, even after living here for almost a decade, Paris still surprises me. Sometimes the surprises are unwelcome; Parisians living up fully to their reputation of rudeness, the extent to which dealing with administration here can be Kafkaesque, or having a pigeon swan dive you as you ride your bike up Boulevard Barbès, to name a few. But most often these surprises are the kind that remind me why I moved my life to Paris.

Le Procope, a restaurant located in the touristy Odéon area, was my most recent unexpected discovery and a perfect example of how Paris is a city of hidden treasures. Founded in 1686, the site holds the honor of being the city’s oldest café. In fact, it was the first respectful address in Paris where you could get a coffee in good company, thanks to founder Francesco Procopio. A native Italian, Procopio came to France at an early age and, much like your average expat blogger today, got totally into the food scene. Coffee had arrived in France from the Middle East in 1644 and small coffee shops opened in Paris from that time on. Cutting his teeth at one of these early cafés, Procopio set out on his own, buying up several houses on the block where Le Procope still stands.

HiP Paris blog. A Paris dining experience with a side of French history at Le Procope. The epitome of Parisian elegance.

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Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 2 Comments »

Rediscovering the Art of French Cocktails at À La Française

HiP Paris A La Francaise Paris A-t-Il Brule cocktail

With its place firmly staked as one of the most happening areas of Paris, the 11th arrondissement does not lack in new, fresh spots to eat or drink. But with so many locations cropping up seemingly daily, all filled with inspiration spanning the globe, it’s nice to find a place aiming to keep alive the culture that the French people love so dearly. Tucked away in a nondescript side street off of the southern end of boulevard Voltaire, À La Française is a very French neighborhood favorite with a twist: incredible craft cocktails at exceptionally reasonable prices.

Owner Stephen Martin got his start in the restaurant industry at the age of 17, and has worked in numerous high-profile bars in France and elsewhere in Europe. He began to notice, however, that there was a lack of the true presence of French culture in bartending, so he dove into the project of rediscovering the art of classic French cocktails. Armed with his research and an impressive collection of cocktail books- some dating back to 1850- he opened À La Française to bring the Paris bar scene back to its formidable roots.

HiP Paris A La Francaise front view

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Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 5 Comments »

Eating Locally with My Paris Market Cookbook: A Chat with Author Emily Dilling

HiP Paris blog. My Paris Market Cookbook. French recipes with seasonal ingredients.

When Emily Dilling moved to France in 2005, she immediately started looking for ways to become involved in the French food movement. She was startled to discover that there was not as much out there as she had hoped. She was disturbed to see that the things France is known for, like eating in season and from the land, were becoming further and further displaced. There were fewer local producers at markets and good, quality bistrot food was seemingly becoming obsolete. To chronicle her discoveries of local produce, wine, cheese, coffee (to name a few), she launched a blog called Paris Paysanne. Emily wanted to prove that it was possible to live a local and sustainable lifestyle in an urban environment.

HiP Paris blog. My Paris Market Cookbook. The author hard at work.

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Posted in Food, Green, Markets, Parisian Living | 1 Comment »

Rude or Simply French? Debunking the Cultural Clichés

HiP Paris blog, Rude French, Brasserie terrace

What is it about Paris that incites such strong feelings? With the exception of New York, no other city seems to have such an effect on people. Sharing the fact that I live in Paris tends to invite strong opinions, ranging from those who have spent a considerable amount of time in France’s capital to those who have never set foot on French soil, offering their impression on what Paris is, or specifically what the French are like.

HiP Paris blog, Rude French, Parisian restaurant terrace Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 18 Comments »