February 5, 2013
They say the best things come in twos. That rule doesn’t apply, however, when ordinarily respectable restaurants transform their dining rooms to seas of two-tops decorated with token red flowers in honor of Valentine’s Day. How boring!
Below you’ll find the two newest, most buzzed about brasseries to open in London, along with new retrospectives of two boundary pushing, innovative photographers’ work, and two rarely performed works by dance provocateur Pina Bausch presented at Sadler’s Wells. Continue Reading »
Posted in London | 4 Comments »
December 6, 2012
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland in London (flatworldsedge)
In the run up to Christmas there are sample sales, holiday markets and pop-up shopping events all around town. London is literally glowing at the moment. It seems as if there are twice as many Christmas lights as usual; so a walk around Mayfair to Hyde Park or the Southbank and Somerset House can’t fail to put you in the Christmas spirit. It helps that, at most events, people will want to ply you with mulled wine and roasted chestnuts. To round out your winter itinerary, make a trip to a restored landmark grand café, admire a curated selection of haute couture by Valentino, and don’t forget to pack your dancing shoes.
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland: Through January 6, 2013
At this time of year, Hyde Park is transformed into a winter wonderland and festooned with Christmas lights. The giant observation wheel could be mistaken for the London Eye, and the ice skating rink is the largest in the UK. There are two circuses, as well as a Magical Ice Kingdom where you can be pulled through an ice forest by a unicorn. Specific events are ticketed (unicorns don’t come cheap), but if you just want to wander the grounds and browse the Christmas market, entry is free. Continue Reading »
Posted in Arts, Events, London | 4 Comments »
October 10, 2012
As autumn draws in, the cultural goings-on of London start to head inside and ratchet the pressure up a few notches: bigger, heavier hitting fairs and events are scattered throughout the season. October brings out the big guns of Frieze Art Fair and the BFI London Film Festival. There are major, in-depth art shows, classic ballets and of course, fireworks lighting up the sky on Bonfire Night.
Royal Academy: Bronze 15 Sept – 9 Dec
The Royal Academy calls it “a celebration of bronze on a scale never attempted before.” This means works in bronze spanning the last 5000 years from every continent. Arranged thematically in groups, the exhibition includes Ancient Greek, Roman and Etruscan bronzes, rare Medieval examples, the Renaissance (Ghiberti, Donatello, Cellini), all the way through to the present day via works by Rodin, Boccioni, Picasso, Jasper Johns, Moore, Beuys and Bourgeois. Continue Reading »
Posted in Events, London | No Comments »
September 26, 2012
I was born in London, and have lived here all my life apart from extended sojourns to other parts of Europe that are more conducive to joie de vivre, and, well, Paris. I can’t help but compare the two lifestyles and poor London always comes limping in at second place, looking all harassed with its suit creased and carrying a can of lager and a half-eaten burger.
Left: Paris, right: Wright Brothers Oyster & Porter House in London (Andrew Griffith & Laurabot_wrigh)
The aspect of quotidian life that gives me the most pleasure in Paris and that has the potential to have me hopping on the Eurostar to Paris from London on a whim is… lunch.
At Le Comptoir in Paris (pussnboots)
In Paris: At 1pm lock up the office, switch your phone off and go for a two and a half hour lunch with your colleagues at a charming local restaurant, dining from the three-course prix fixe menu. After a leisurely coffee and some more chitchat, pay the reasonably priced bill (probably with luncheon vouchers), and it’s back to the office well rested and energized for the rest of the day’s work. (Note: I did say stereotypical.) Continue Reading »
Posted in London, Parisian Living | 1 Comment »
August 16, 2012
The Notting Hill Market in London (The Wolf)
Paris isn’t the only city with extraordinary food markets. One of our favorite things about traveling to a new or familiar destination is immersing ourselves in the food — hunting for delicious treasures, local recipes, and putting it all together from the comfort of our rented kitchens. Today, Julie Falconer of A Lady in London brings us her top 5 London food markets. Do you have any to add? Let us know in the comments! -Geneviève
1. Borough Market
Borough Market is London’s most famous farmers’ market. Located under the train overpass by London Bridge station, the market is packed from Thursday to Saturday with locals and visitors alike. Vendors sell everything from fresh fruit and vegetables to bread, baked goods, cheese, olives, and prepared foods. Continue Reading »
Posted in London | 6 Comments »
August 7, 2012
Jeremy Deller: Sacrilege (hellojenuine.)
August is a funny old month in London, and even more so when we’re hosting The Olympics. I’ve decided it’s impossible to escape the O word, even though I said last month I wasn’t going to mention “The Games” as we’re supposed to call them.
Where cultural events are concerned, a lot of those that would normally be scheduled to take place during “The Games” had to be scaled down or were cancelled because all the funding went to Olympic events. Continue Reading »
Posted in Events, London | 2 Comments »
July 5, 2012
Believe it or not, Paris is not the center of the universe (not all the time, anyway). There are actually a decent amount of things to do in another nearby metropolis, one with slightly worse weather and significantly more polite locals. This month, we bring you our first edition of our London events guide, courtesy of our friend Claire from the fantastic blog, Lola is beauty. -Geneviève
At the Chap Olympiad (Sadmafioso)
During the summer, London plays host to a jam-packed schedule of festivals, exhibitions and pop-ups, and this summer is no exception. With flagrant disregard for the realities of British summertime weather, many of these July events are actually scheduled to take place in the open air!
It’ll be fine as long as you check the weather forecast five minutes before you go out and layer up for all eventualities. Apparently during July there’s also something called Wimbledon and some other kind of major sporting event taking place, but we’re not talking about that here. There’s so much more going on in London, whatever you’re into (except sport.)
Continue Reading »
Posted in London | 1 Comment »
January 26, 2012
Pssst… Don’t tell anyone, but we’re making a move.
A move to London, our other favorite European city, just as full of great shopping, architecture, art, history, and (almost as much) great food. Francophiles need not fret, though — we’ll still cover Paris’ best hidden secrets, but with a little British flair thrown into the mix.
If you’re planning a trip to London, take a peek at our brand new Chelsea vacation rental flat, Brompton. With its private garden, two bedrooms and plenty of space to lounge and cook, it’s the perfect home base for exploring all that London has to offer.
We’re also still offering some fantastic last-minute discounts on February 2012 dates (for Paris and London), so contact us now and get up to 30% off your winter holiday!
Written by Genevieve Sandifer for the HiP Paris Blog. Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, London, Provence, or Tuscany? Check out Haven in Paris.
Posted in Homes, London | 4 Comments »
November 4, 2010
Boat ride on the Seine; photo by Maggie Battista
I’m dreaming of Paris. Again. This happens when I’m in the States.
I just returned from a month-long trip to France. I traveled up and down the south of France, exploring most of Provence while fighting the devious Mistral winds. I spent a fabulous girls weekend in Normandy, sipping cidre and finally visiting Mont Saint Michel. And I drank small cups of espressos and not-so-small glasses of red wine all over our favorite city, Paris. I’m home in cold, rainy New England, missing out on too many fun November events across the pond. Here’s a peek into what I’m missing:
1. I really wanted to learn how to make macarons in Paris, and La Cuisine Paris offers a wonderful class on the subject. I’m living through their wonderful posts on their Facebook page.
2. I adore the artist Basquiat, and spend tons of time in his old stomping grounds, downtown New York City. I was hoping to make it to the new exhibit at the Paris Musee de Art Moderne. The show is on through January 30, 2011, so perhaps you’ll be able to see it and report back?
Continue Reading »
Posted in Events, Food, Parisian Living, Travel | 14 Comments »
June 11, 2010
When Marsha Moore contacted me in April about her upcoming Paris guide book 24 Hours Paris, (note: To order 24 Hours Paris, click here), I was interested, but too busy to delve into it at the time. Little did I know, the timing could not have been more propitious. Not easily impressed by most travel guides, I had low expectations for 24 hours London, which I had on hand (thanks to Marsha’s generosity) for my first trip there in 8 years. Nevertheless I was rapidly wooed as Marsha successfully and succinctly helped me explore London’s cool, hip, lesser known areas and sites.
Paris, mind you, is another cup of tea (or should I say café au lait). My 17+ years here have me well acquainted with what the city has to offer, but I am always on the lookout for new things to do. Marsha’s 24 hours Paris truly digs into the depths of the city and unearths things that many a long term resident have yet to discover. Marsha even managed, along with mentioning many of my favorite Paris restaurants, shops, spots and events, to provide me with some new ideas and inspirations!
Encouraged and intrigued, I decided to interview Marsha to find out more about the woman behind the guides, the origins of her innovative concept and where she is planning on taking it all next!
Q: Why did you decide you wanted to write guide books?
When I first moved to London from Canada six years ago, there was so much to do here that it was a bit overwhelming. I’d read all the guide books and think: where should I start? So, along with Prospera Publishing, we started to think about a new kind of guide, a guide that would provide a kind of ready-made itinerary for activities around the clock – where you would only need to turn to the hour you were free, and just take your pick! That’s how the concept for the 24 Hours series began. We decided to start off with London since it’s where we were based, then move on to Paris since it’s such a popular tourist destination. We’ve had a great response so far!
Q: How would you say your guide sets itself apart from other more conventional city guides?
Traditional travel guides group their content by activity – shopping, drinking, etc. The 24 Hours series groups its content by time. It’s particularly useful during the nighttime hours, if you’re looking for something to do at 4 a.m., for example. Instead of flipping through a whole book to find a restaurant that’s open all night, you can quickly scan the 4 a.m. chapter. Also, we include lots of off-the-beaten-track activities for both locals and tourists – like anti-drawing classes or midnight movies – to help explorers take advantage of everything a city has to offer!
Q: What are your favorite things to do and see in Paris ?
I love the Promenade Plantée. It’s such a unique feeling – walking through trees and plants, even though you’re surrounded by buildings in the heart of the metropolis. The Bastille Artists’ Market is also one of my favorites, because I really like that you can talk to the artists directly and get some insight into their creative process. And as a writer, the Georges Brassens Market, where over 60 booksellers gather on the weekend, is paradise! If I can sneak one more in, the cruise on Canal St-Martin is also a great way to explore some of the more hidden parts of Paris. Continue Reading »
Posted in Parisian Living, Travel | 5 Comments »