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Healthy Parisian Living: Bringing Wellbeing to the New Year in Paris

HiP Paris Blog explores healthy living in Paris

Bento CoCoCo

Editor’s Note: Early January is the perfect time to focus on healthy living. Whether you’re recovering from the fêtes or making New Years’ goals for living a healthier life, we hope to provide inspiration and resources for being kinder to your mind and body. I hope this healthy roundup of Paris addresses helps you kick off a year of well being!

Every year, losing weight and eating healthy take the top spots of New Year’s resolution lists, even in Paris. But by the end of the month most of those get-in-shape goals have fizzled, by no means helped by the miserable weather that plagues the French capital in January. Here are a few fresh suggestions that can help you keep those healthy lifestyle resolutions.

Nottingham Trent University

Spin, don’t run. The popularity of indoor cycling is still going strong, and for a few good reasons. Spinning classes are a low impact, fun and extremely effective way of blitzing calories: expect to burn up to 650 in an hour. Dynamo was the first to pioneer New York’s SoulCycle model in Paris, followed by Let’s Ride (which has now been acquired by Dynamo), and Kiwill. There’s no shortage of studios and classes across Paris, but as the early morning sessions are often fully booked, it’s essential to sign up for the mailing list to be alerted of the new sign-up windows. SoulCycle adepts may have complained that spinning classes in Paris are more laid back than in New York, but these days all fitness levels are catered to and the more advanced sessions will leave you completely drenched in sweat. Those who fear their French may not be up to scratch to follow the instructors will appreciate the English-language classes at Kiwill on Sunday. All studios offer a free trial class and three welcome sessions for €45.

HiP Paris Blog Healthy Living Paris

Gezy-pics

Far from the madding crowd. If your idea of getting fit doesn’t include being cooped up in a sweaty gym, check out Power Hiking Paris. This non-profit group of international hikers meet up every weekend for power hikes in the countryside around Paris, in addition to weekends away elsewhere in France and trips to more exotic locations. These hikes are no stroll in the park; be prepared to walk 27 to 32 kilometers at a brisk pace, with just a few short breaks to catch your breath. However, less-demanding 20-kilometer hikes are offered once a month for newbies and those whose fitness level is not yet up to snuff for the more demanding hikes.

Despite having to get up early on Sunday mornings and power hike in any kind of weather, members swear by the concept saying it’s an inexpensive and convivial way to burn calories and stay fit.

Sign-up is free on the group’s meetup page, with a contribution of €3 per person per hike.

HiP Paris Blog explores healthy living in Paris

HiP Paris Blog explores healthy living in ParisNubio

Juice power. The days when fresh juice in Paris meant a glass of citron pressé diluted with tap water are long gone. Juice bars offering cold-pressed juices, smoothies and healthy snacks have cropped up in almost every arrondissement. But Atelier Nubio, one of the early arrivals to the Parisian juice scene, remains the only one offering LA-style, comprehensive detox cures that can be home delivered. Those who aren’t tempted by the thought of a liquid diet can stock up on tasty healthy snacks like coconut bacon, watermelon jerky and probiotic dark chocolate, as well as freshly made vegetable soups and colorful salads.

Not your average bento box. Japanese-food lovers usually head to rue Sainte-Anne to satisfy their bento cravings, but those who want an even healthier option now can opt for Bento CoCoCo, a serene cafe near the Palais Royal specializing in imaginative bento boxes that are organic, gluten-free and vegan (although a meat option is also on offer daily).

To create her simple, yet imaginative dishes the Japanese owner says she’s inspired by shojin ryori, the exquisite, beautifully presented vegetarian cuisine of zen Buddhist monasteries in Japan.

Like the bentos, the equally healthy dessert menu changes daily, ranging from traditional daifuku (glutinous rice cakes filled with a sweet red-bean paste) to homemade matcha ice cream and an extraordinary saké sorbet.

HiP Paris Blog explores healthy living in Paris

 

Hammam Pacha

Ladies only. If the ubiquitous presence of croissants and chocolat à l’ancienne as comfort against the cold threaten to derail your healthy-living resolutions, try to stave off temptation by heading to Hammam Pacha, a ladies-only day spa on the Left Bank. The entrance fee allows the use of the beautifully tiled baths, steam room, sauna and a Moroccan-style lounge area where you can chill out with a glass of mint tea. Additional packages like the traditional black-soap scrub- which will leave your skin as smooth as a baby’s- and different types of massage can be purchased as a top-up or as a package, as well as access to the annexed organic café proposing a range of authentic, yet healthy, tagines.

HiP Paris Blog Healthy Living ParisNubio

Dynamo Cycling – 14 Rue Saint-Augustin, 75002. By appointment only. Métro: Bourse (line 3)

Let’s Ride –  21 Rue des 3 Bornes, 75011. Open Monday to Friday 6h45 to 14h and 17h45 to 22h and Saturday and Sunday 9h15 to 14h and 16h30 to 19h30. Métro: Parmentier (line 3) +33 (0)1 84 05 81 91.

Kiwill –  27 Rue du Grand Prieuré, 75011. Open Monday to Wednesday 9h to 21h Thursday 7h to 21h Friday 9h to 21h Saturday and Sunday 10h to 20h. Métro: République (ligne 3, 5, 8, 9, 11) +33 (0)1 47 00 04 19. 

Power Hiking Paris – More information on their Facebook page.

Atelier Nubio 4 Rue Paul Bert, 75011. Open Monday-Friday 10h to 19h. Métro: Faidherbe Chaligny (ligne 8) +33 (0) 9 84 35 51 13.

Bento CoCoCo – 35 rue Coquilliere, 75001. Open Tuesday to Friday 12h-17h, Saturday 12h to 17h and 19h to 22h. Metro: Pyramides (ligne 7 and 14) +33 (0)1 72 38 49 71.

Hammam Pacha – 17 rue Mayet, 75006. Open Monday to Friday 11h to 22h, Saturday and Sunday 10h to 19h. Métro: Duroc (ligne 13) +33 (0)1 43 06 55 55.

 

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Written by Elena Berton for HiP Paris. Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, London, Provence, Tuscany, Umbria or Liguria? Check out Haven In.

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

Insider Addresses for Celebrating Valentine’s Day in Paris

Ariane Haas of The Naughty Notary and Lily Heise of Je T’Aime, Me Neither sit down to discuss their favorite addresses for a romantic (and sexy) Valentine’s Day in Paris. Still looking for a gift for your chéri(e)? Peek below for exclusive discount codes for HiP Paris readers! – Erin

HiP Paris, Adrian Scottow, Paris Valentines Day

Adrian Scottow

Ariane: A hidden secret of sensuality underneath your winter coat on Valentine’s Day — or any other day of the year — is perhaps the sexiest way to treat yourself, whether single or coupled up. Dollhouse is the perfect Parisian destination in the historic area of Le Marais, that combines the erotic worlds of lingerie, sex toys, and every other sexy bedroom accessory you can think of. Treat yourself or the one you lust after to a truly decadent and chic experience shopping at this eclectic boutique that is sure to pay off for nights to come. And with the possibility to privatize the dimly lit, magenta walled boutique, the options are endless for starting your day off with sexy on your mind.

Montage 1 Ariane

The Naughty Notary

Lily: Speaking of hidden, the Marais has some of the most seductive secret gardens of Paris. Many of these are found within a block north or south of rue Rambuteau/Francs Bourgeois, offering the perfect opportunity for a seductive stroll. You may want to start with the Jardin Anne Frank, tucked away at the end of a cul de sac behind the centre Pompidou. It is a relaxed and tranquil haven with cuddly lovers’ corners and a communal vegetable patch. Further up the road, you can play aristocrats in the gardens of the National Archives in the Hotel de Soubise palace. Once the gardens of the noble private mansions of this block, you can access this green oasis via the right of its stunning courtyard, creating an enchanting and opulent ambiance…. and the perfect place for some smooching.

Carry on back down Francs-Bourgeois, turn into #35-37 and there’s an entrance in the courtyard of the l’Hôtel de Coulanges to the Jardin des Rosiers-Joseph Migneret. In this secret garden you can surprise your sweetheart with one of the few remaining towers from the 12th century Philippe Auguste wall. Take the opposite exit onto rue des Rosiers — where you may want to pick up a falafel or other snacks to go — then loop down to rue Saint Antoine taking it east until you come to the Hotel de Sully, a fabulous former private mansion with a beautiful back garden. In the far right corner there’s a secret passageway into Place des Vosges, where you can end your amble by lounging on the grass or over a drink at one of its café terrace.

Montage Jacquemart Cour

Musée Jacquemart-André; Cour Damoye, Jim Linwood

Sexiness & Love off the Champs-Élysées

Ariane: Paris is famous for its cabarets and cancan dancers, but the true jewel of the burlesque scene is Crazy Horse. Situated in a former wine cellar in the ultra fancy Champs-Élysées neighborhood, the venue is small and intimate, the stage not far from the audience. Vignette after dreamlike vignette features the classically bobbed dancers as moving works of art, carrying out choreography with expert precision. Breasts and booties on display under twinkling lights, the female form takes precedence as the Crazy Horse stage indulges you in fantasies you never even knew you had.

Lily: On the other side of the Champs-Élysées is the showcase of another sort of passion, that of art collecting. As this new part of the city was being sketched out by Baron Haussmann in the mid-19th century, banker Edouard André bought a plot of land to build a sumptuous mansion. He and his future Nelie Jacquemart would gradually fill its elegant rooms with la crème de la crème of Old World artworks, amassing one of the world’s most important private art collections. Now open to the public, a visit to the Musée Jacquemart-André almost feels like you’ve been invited over by the society couple’s for afternoon tea — which you can actually have in its gracious café, or, weather permitting, in its terribly romantic courtyard.

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Lily Heise

Dimly Lit & Exotic Bastille

Ariane: If dim lighting, black and white tiled floors, and red walls aren’t enough to put you in a sensual mood, just tuck yourself into one of the leather Chesterfield couches at Le China. Though a full menu of Asian food is available, the real power of Le China is its cocktail list featuring all the classics (martini fans rejoice), and unique drinks thought up by top barmen (try the Balsamico Rosso for something truly special). The mark of any truly sexy bar? A sexy bathroom. Its soft yellow lighting, floral wallpaper, and a full length mirror punctuate the experience. Take advantage of the bathroom’s boudoir vibes by sending a quick message to whomever is waiting for you on a Chesterfield downstairs — don’t be afraid to let them know what activity awaits them later in the night.

Montage 2 Ariane

The Naughty Notary

Lily: If intimate, lowly lit places are what you’re after, then why not explore the Bastille area’s many hidden passageways. Located outside the old city walls, the land east of La Bastille became home to a large number of artisanal workshops, namely for woodworking and the decorative arts. You can embark on your stroll right in front of the Bastille métro with the Cour Damoye. A whimsical vine-covered and cobbled alley, it’s lined with offices, galleries and even one of the oldest coffee roasters in Paris, la Brûlerie Daval, in business since 1945… its wafting aromas might tempt you inside for a gander. Working your way along larger rue Faubourg Saint Antoine, you’ll find a series more rustic workshop passageways, like le Passage du Chantier, which still has some furniture makers and restorers. Slink down le Cour de l’Étoile d’Or, le Cour des Trois Frères and le Passage de la Bonne Graine to track down any vestiges of the former ateliers… or some dark corners to steal a kiss! Eventually you’ll make it to le Cour de la Main d’Or, one of my personal favorites, where you can grab a drink around the corner with the locals at l’Ami Pierre (5 Rue de la Main d’Or).

HiP Paris, Studio 28, sonofgroucho

Le Cinéma Studio 28, Son of Groucho

Lights, Camera… Action!

Ariane: Going to the movies is a pretty basic date night idea, right? Well, not when your movie going destination is the Max Linder theater on the Grands Boulevards. Built at the beginning of the twentieth century, the 580-seat room was known for showcasing burlesque cinema. Though it’s a century later and the movies on show are contemporary hits, nothing about the theater itself has changed. Kick back in a velvet chair in your choice of orchestra, mezzanine, or balcony seating, and take in all the grandeur of a basic date made much less basic by some art nouveau surroundings.

Lily: Another cinema with some fascinating — yet slightly less risqué — history is Le Cinéma Studio 28. Opened in 1928, this art house cinema on a quiet side street in Montmartre played an important role in early days of cinema by promoting the works of Abel Gance, Jean Cocteau and the Marx Brothers. It also caused quite a stir in its early days for being the first to screen Luis Bunuel’s controversial film “L’Age d’Or”, which was consequently banned. Today the small theatre screens a selection of mainly independent films and hosts events like Lost in Frenchlation, a group that presents a French film with English subtitles — a nice date idea which can get started off or close with a cocktail in the cinema’s garden bar.

 

Arabesque Relaxation

Ariane: Let’s face it, whether you’re part of a couple or not, the sexiest thing you can possibly do is to treat yourself. To relax, to indulge, and to spend time with and on yourself. There is no better way to gift yourself a day of pleasure than by going to one of the many hammams Paris has to offer, such as O’kari. Sweat out all your stress surrounded by tiled mosaics and soft lighting. Breathe in the subtle herbal aromas while your skin tingles as it plunges from tropical temperatures into a gently chilled pool. Leave feeling refreshed with impossibly soft glowing skin and a haze of relaxation that lasts beyond the hammam walls.

Lily: For a taste of the Orient without having to take off your clothes (not like there’s anything wrong with that!), make your way to l’Institut du Monde Arabe. This important center of Arab culture is housed in an avant garde building designed by French architectural star Jean Nouvel. It’s strategic location, design and collection have many intrigues for lovers. Take the elevator all the way its rooftop terrace and you’ll be granted one of the best views of la belle derrière of Notre Dame. All yours free of charge or you can savor the view over a cup of mint tea and delicate North African pastries in their stylish tea salon. Afterwards, admire the unique window design of the metal and glass windows, inspired by traditional Arab window shades. Then have a “One Thousand and One Nights” experience touring the museum — make a game with your sweetheart by seeing who can first spot the different representations of love and couples in some of the artworks… or find the magic genie lanterns to make some romantic wishes… to come true later on.

HiP Paris, Institut du Monde Arabe, Simon Blackley

L’Institut du Monde Arabe, Simon Blackley

Red Hot & Seductive Pigalle

Ariane: In the famed red light district of Pigalle, you’ll find Lipstick: a bar with all of the cliché signs of a sexy atmosphere. Red velvet, soft red lighting, a leopard print couch, and even a stripper pole. What could be tacky and cheap ends up feeling like a hidden boudoir, a total escape from the streets on the other side of the door. And the best part? The wallpaper: a collage of vintage tea stained erotic imagery, never letting you forget that though it’s a cocktail bar now, Lipstick was formerly a bar à hôtesse, a popular style of bar that existed as a loophole after brothels were made illegal. Steeped in a history of salacious activity, the soft red glow oozes with lust.

Lily: Pigalle indeed exudes naughtiness and sensuality, you can experience the swank side this at nearby Maison Souquet. Located in a former 19th century maison close, or brothel, this small boutique hotel has been designed by Jacques Garcia, of the Hôtel Costes fame, who aimed to recreate the boudoir lavishness of the Belle Epoque. Open to outside guests, you reach the bar and restaurant via an elaborate, tiled Arabesque foyer. The bar area is outfitted in plush red velours seating, period paintings, antiques and a fireplace. A glamorous place for an apéro or rather naughty nightcap.

HiP Paris, Lipstick

Lipstick

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, Lily is giving a 50% discount the kindle version of her new book, Je T’Aime… Maybe! From now until noon on February 15th, you’ll be able purchase the e-Book via Amazon here, from the site you can also read the book on your computer.

No need for Valentine’s Day to be the only day you put the emphasis on your carnal cravings; postcards from The Naughty Notary are a fun bold gesture any day of the year. Illustrated by Ariane, they’re sure to turn up the heat hanging on your wall as art or gifted to a lucky lover. From now until Friday at midnight, shop The Naughty Notary and get 20% off your purchase by entering the promo code HIP17 at checkout.

Written by Lily Heise for the HiP Paris Blog. Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, London, Provence, or Tuscany? Check out Haven In.

Posted in Parisian Living | 1 Comment »

Spa Therapy: Navigating Paris’ Hammam Scene

Still stranded in Paris? Step away from the ticketing hotline and treat yourself to a little trip to the steam baths. Guest blogger, writer and illustrator Badaude shares her favorite spots along with a little know-how on navigating the traditional hammam (North African steam baths). We can’t think of a better way to make the most of your bonus days in Paris!

It may be getting warmer, but some April days in Paris still start off pretty icy. But it’s not all bad. April is the last month I can indulge in my monthly treat at the only place you can get truly warm in the Paris winter – the hammam.

Paris has lots of hammams: traditional North African steam baths, not chi-chi hotel spas.  They cost on average €45 per session including massage or exfoliation (gommage) and pastries — and who could fail to be attracted by this combination?  There’s a hammam for every kind of Parisian, but how do you choose? I’m now a hammam veteran, but here’s what happened at my first visit to my favorite, the Hamman de La Grande Mosquée de Paris.

Badaude - HamamsIllustration by Badaude – Click on the image to view larger version

I step off the street through a hidden doorway behind the main entrance and hand over the notes to the cashier at the till in exchange for a handful of colored paper raffle tickets and a mysterious squishy black plastic sachet. I knew this was savon noir. I’ve seen it for sale in big plastic tubs at the marché at the Place des Fêtes in Belleville. What I don’t quite know is what to do with it. Or when. A visit to the hammam might make you warmer, but they certainly don’t hand out an instruction booklet.

My outside eyes take time to adjust to the blue patterns of the Moroccan tiles. Looking up through the steamy light filtering down from the small, domed window in the ceiling, I’m suddenly in fairyland, a Dulac illustration from Sleeping Beauty. Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 6 Comments »