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Winter Strolls: Three Itineraries for Soaking Up the Festive Atmosphere + Giveaway

Winter Strolls to Soak Up the Festive Season

Passage Jouffroy; Lily Heise

There’s something particularly special about Paris over the holidays. Of course there’s the sparkling street lights, the enticing window displays, the abundance of heavenly holiday treats, but it’s also something more than that. Spirits ride on this wave of joie and les parisiens can’t help but have a little extra joie de vivre. Here are three itineraries that will take you away from (most of) the crowds and allow you to take in that same joy, guilty pleasures, and offbeat sites that will make the holiday season in Paris truly shine.

Hip Shopping, Food and Culture in the Marais

Skip the mayhem of les grands magasins and do your holiday shopping as you take this creative meander through the Marais. Embark on your foray at the trendy concept store Merci, where you can pick up some of their carefully selected holiday ideas and perfect stocking stuffers like a candle version of their trademark red fiat bearing a roof-load of presents or a Christmas tree, thin garland thread, offbeat snow globes and an vast array of other cool gift ideas.

Winter Strolls to Soak Up the Festive Season

Merci Concept Store; Lily Heise

Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Markets, Shopping, Travel | 9 Comments »

Where To Fall in Love: A Phase-by-Phase Relationship Map of Paris

Nicolas Blain

I fell in love in Paris—such a cliché, I know. But luckily, the person I fell in love with has no tolerance for Parisian clichés, so I know this is the real deal. Could we have fallen in love in, let’s say, Detroit? Yes, it just wouldn’t have been quite so awesome.

Here’s how it went down, in case you’d like to consult my love map as you chart your own course.

Aux Folies & Café Charlot (Akuppa; Winter d’Adulescent)

Nice To Meet You: We actually met twice—first at a house party, and then a year later at one of my most-frequented bars, La Perle (made famous by John Galliano’s rant). Our next meet-ups were at Aux Folies and then at Chez Jeanette. It’s no coincidence that these are still my preferred Parisian watering holes.

First Date: Ours was on-the-fly. After a long day of wandering around Parc Monceau and the Musée Camondo, we drifted over to Café Constant, and finished the night at La Mer à Boire. Not a bad way to spend a day.

Parc Monceau (Christophe Alary)

Romantic Getaway: Early on, we took an impromptu road trip to Normandy. When we mistakenly drove three hours in the wrong direction without caring one bit, we knew we were really in love. Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 4 Comments »

Our Favorites: Tory’s Top Ten Paris Spots

la pagode cinema paris julien hausherrJulien Hausherr – La Pagode theater’s Japanese style garden

While this list might appear to be a whimsically chosen, feel-good assortment of Parisian places and experiences, I’ll have you know that I agonized over the decisions herein. For instance, I couldn’t bring myself to include two houses of taxidermy (for fear of revealing myself to be a complete freak), so I had to make a heart-wrenching choice: Deyrolle or the Musée de la Chasse? A weighty conundrum indeed. Regardless, I’ve done my best to crystallize my love affair with Paris into ten snippets. Enjoy!

1. Bang-for-your-buck meal: The 12-Euro prix fixe lunch at Robert et Louise. Entrée, plat, roaring fire, convivial conversation with neighboring diners. Can’t do much better than that.

2. Inner-child indulgence: Is it just me, or does the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature make you believe in magic? I’m convinced that the taxidermy fox curled up on a Louis XV chair knows the meaning of life, if only I could get him to open up about it.

3. Street food: Roast chicken from the place on rue Mouffetard (just south of the produce stand on rue de l’Arbalète). Simply put: the chicken that changed my life. Pair with a little Dijon and you will instantly be transported to heaven. Chicken heaven.

la pagode julien hausherr parisJulien Hausherr – La Pagode garden and gilded screen room

4. Rainy day activity: Sneaking off to a film at La Pagode, a charming art house theater that was originally erected as an Eastern-themed ballroom in 1896. Dusty and elegant, it’s the perfect escape. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Parisian Living | 13 Comments »

Three Discoveries on a Secret Paris Séjour

Paris Museum: Musee de la chasse et de la natureJulien Hausherr – Musee de la Chasse et de la Nature

Surprise! I made a super-quick trip to France last month. I only told a handful of friends that I was going because I had just 6 days to do what I do in Paris, which is nothing (blissfully). Or at least, nothing planned.

Per usual, I didn’t look at my watch (my figurative watch… I don’t actually have one) the whole week. I did, however,  manage to make three new discoveries that I’m pretty thrilled about:

1. Aux Deux Amis is a wonderfully understated neighborhood wine bar and resto that embodies everything I love about eating in Paris. The regularly-shifting menu is written in chalk, the waiters offer candid advice about what’s good and what’s even better, the place is full (but not annoyingly so), and we left feeling healthier, happier, and somehow lighter (the paradoxical effect of good French cuisine). 45, rue Oberkampf, 11eme. Tel: 01 58 30 38 13.

Paris Secret Sejour - Cafe Baci RestaurantJulien Hausherr – Cafe Baci

2. The mind-blowingly awesome Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature (Museum of Hunting and Nature). I really have no excuse for not visiting earlier: The moment I stepped inside, I felt like the place had been constructed, designed, and curated for me and me alone. Its lavish interiors are filled with taxidermy animals of all shapes and sizes (fox! polar bear! owl faces on the ceiling!), ornate weaponry and other “curiosities.” And you can touch things! I’ve been accused of saying this too often, but it’s my new favorite place in Paris. For real this time. 62, rue des Archives, 3eme. Tel: 01 53 01 92 40.

Paris Museum - Musee de la chasse et de la natureJulien Hausherr – Musee de la Chasse et de la Nature
Paris Museum - Musee de la chasse et de la nature
Julien Hausherr – Musee de la Chasse et de la Nature

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Posted in Food, Parisian Living | 7 Comments »

Playtime in Paris: Kid-Friendly Activities for the Whole Family

Erica Berman - BonpointErica Berman– Bonpoint Boutique Paris rue de Tournon

There’s no doubt about it: Parisian kids have a good thing going on. They’re well-dressed, well-fed and, by virtue of being French, are destined for terminal coolness.

I used to spend afternoons at a little park in the 5th where the same group of schoolchildren always had their post-lunch play hour. In retrospect, I probably looked incredibly creepy as I sat there observing them, but I was totally mesmerized by the scene: their demeanor (distinctly Parisian, but innocently so), their adorable school clothes, their clear, deliberate French. I’m convinced that Paris—with all of its sensory pleasures—would be a fascinating place to grow up.

KtylerconkKtylerconk

But what about Paris for visiting kids? Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 4 Comments »