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Holiday Dining in Paris: Christmas and New Year’s Eve Openings

hip-paris-blog-hol-resto-openings-bistrot-paul-bert-flickr-eric-folger

Bistrot Paul Bert, Eric Folger

It’s the holiday season and those who jump on vacation as an opportunity for international travel often flock to Paris this time of year. There is an undeniable charm that comes along with the winter chill in the city. Neighborhoods are decorated with draping christmas lights and other ornamentation and window shopping is taken to a whole new level with detailed shop displays embodying the spirit of the season to the most minute detail.

hip-paris-blog-hol-resto-openings-carina-okula

Carina Okula

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Posted in Food | No Comments »

A Different Kind of Christmas: First Holidays and New Traditions in France

HiP Paris blog. A different kind of Christmas. No matter where you care, you can always curl up with a cup of coffee and some Christmas cookies to ward off the holiday blues.

“If you put yourself in a position where you have to stretch outside your comfort zone, then you are forced to expand your consciousness.” – Les Brown

It’s not very cold out today. For lack of a better term (and one you’re probably hearing a lot this year), it’s unseasonably warm. There’s no Christmas tree in my apartment. No gifts either. No creatures stirring. Not even a mouse! This isn’t to say that the Christmas spirit is absent in Paris… It’s definitely here. The mayor’s office is fully decked out with amazing trees that are three times my height, covered in ornaments the size of my head. The shops in my neighborhood are lit up and filled with gifts, and there’s even Armée du Salut, or Salvation Army, workers jingling their bells. I’ll soon be traveling to Orléans to spend Christmas with my husband’s family, but until then I’ll continue my week just like any other.

HiP Paris blog. A different kind of Christmas, Fruit crepes are appropriate no matter what the season.

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Posted in Parisian Living | 3 Comments »

Summer In Italy: A Beach Escape To Terracina

HiP Paris Blog, Carin Olsson, Week in Italy

“Do you want help with that?” and Italian man asked me when I was trying to push three suitcases at the same time over a threshold at the airport. “Non, merci” I said and smiled. “I mean no, thank you. Or no, I mean no, grazie!”.

HiP Paris Blog, Carin Olsson, Week in Italy

I don’t know if it was adjusting to people actually asking me if I wanted help or if it was the language that confused me the most when I arrived in Italy from Paris. But let’s just say that I adapted to both the language and the kindness quite quickly.

HiP Paris Blog, Carin Olsson, Week in Italy

Almost every summer since I have been old enough to stand (and even before that) my family travels to Italy — to Terracina to be a little bit more precise. We go for the warm weather, the delicious food and the laid-back lifestyle. Terracina is located about an hour and a half south of Rome, which makes this little town a perfect escape for many Romans during summertime as well. Continue Reading »

Posted in Italy tips & suggestions, Travel | 11 Comments »

Working in Paris: Strikes, 35-hour Weeks and Real Lunch Breaks

35 hour work week – time for gazing at the Seine – Christophe Hue

Many associate French working life with 35-hour weeks, strikes, long long lunch breaks and even longer holidays. This is certainly the image that I’d carefully conjured in my idealistic head before setting foot in France.

The big question: does reality live up to this delightful worker-friendly dream?

Well, I can confirm that the 35-hour week does exist (at least for a privileged minority), strikes do take place on a not-infrequent basis, lunch breaks remain sacred, and holidays are considered to be an untouchable national right (right up there alongside liberté, egalité, fraternité).

However, beneath the shiny and appealing veneer, day-to-day work has its fair share of up and downs.

Carin Olsson

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Posted in Parisian Living | 4 Comments »