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Our Search For a French Country House, Part II (I Blame Peter Mayle…)

HiP Paris Blog Paige Country House Montage-2++Paige Bradley Frost

You know the story. Disillusioned ad exec flees rainy London for the sunshine and lavender fields of Provence. Hilarity ensues in the shape of a dilapidated stone house, a village populated by idiosyncratic Frenchmen and lots of good food and wine.

HiP Paris Blog, Finding a French Countryhouse,  Dan ZinkDan Zink

Indeed, Peter Mayle’s Provence seduced many dreamers to set off in search of their own little piece of France.

HiP Paris Blog, Finding a French Countryhouse, ChrisGoldNYChrisGoldNY

And as it turns out, I’m one of them.

Continue Reading »

Posted in Homes | 1 Comment »

Top Chien: Learning to Love a Dog in Paris

Owning a Dog in Paris, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Nick Harris

Nick Harris

I’m what you might call a reluctant dog owner. I didn’t grow up in a house of happy canines; never longed for one of my own. I know, I know, a dog is Man’s Best Friend.

Owning a Dog in Paris, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Jeff Westo, Katchooo

Jeff Weston & Katchooo

But all that face licking, barking and pesky fur on the furniture? Not to mention the shoes that would be mistaken for chew toys. It wasn’t for me. A dog would cramp my style, limit our freedom. And worse, he could get sick or injured and break everybody’s heart. No, I could enjoy other people’s dogs, just not my own.

Alas, my husband and two kids had other ideas. And so they began a doggie campaign. They promised to train him and take him on long walks. They’d feed him, bathe him, even pick up les crottes. Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 4 Comments »

Paris Style: Secrets to Decorating Like a Parisian

Parisian Deco, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Carin Olsson

Carin Olsson

When we decided to move to Paris, one of the things I was most excited about was decorating my own Parisian apartment. It would be classic Haussmannian with herringbone floors, marble mantels, high ceilings and moldings – the works.

Parisian Deco, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Haven in Paris

Haven in Paris

Scrolled iron balconies and a rooftop view were also on the wanted list. After a few weeks of scouring (and drooling over) listings from afar, I fell hard for an appartement familial in the 7ème. We negotiated with the rental agent and sealed the deal even before laying eyes on our future home.

Parisian Deco, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Haven in Paris 1

Haven in Paris

It was better than I’d imagined: a light-filled double salon and a killer view of the Dome des Invalides, even a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower in all its iconic beauty. But the fun was just beginning. It was now time to decorate. Continue Reading »

Posted in Homes, Parisian Living | 10 Comments »

La Maison des Frigos: Hidden Lunches In a Former Artist Squat

La Maison des Frigos, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Didier Gauducheau

“I don’t cook for everyone; I cook for those I love.” So says Mariko, the Osaka-born owner/chef/gallerist who helms La Maison des Frigos, the tiny café on the ground floor of the artist squat, Les Frigos, in a rejuvenated section of Paris’s 13ème. Indeed, to eat in her dining room is to be invited into her world and – word to the wise – to follow her rules.

La Maison des Frigos, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Didier Gauducheau 8

(No chatting on your cell, no photos, no credit cards, and – in an overheard admonishment to some fellow diners: Chez moi, we eat our main course before the melon…).

But for Mariko, a former painter and longtime Paris transplant, cooking is a labor love, inspired by the riot of color and creative chaos that defines the building she inhabits. It’s a unique place. Continue Reading »

Posted in Restaurant Reviews | 6 Comments »

Bio Chic: Our Favorite Organic Beauty Boutiques in Paris

HiP Paris Blog, Didier Gauducheau, Senteurs de Fée, Bio Beauty

Senteurs de Fée

It’s no secret that French girls love their products. Here in Paris, you can find a cream, serum or supplement for just about anything that ails – from cellulite to les cernes to an old fashioned case of the blues.

HiP Paris Blog, Didier Gauducheau, Mademoiselle Bio, Bio Beauty

Mademoiselle Bio

Traditionally, most of these (often fabulous) remedies have been found at the parfumerie or pharmacie. (Remember Tory’s post on French pharmacy favorites?) But a fresh breed of organic, natural and holistic goodies is making its mark on the Parisian beauty scene and finding a niche at the intersection of bio and la beauté.

HiP Paris Blog, Didier Gauducheau, Senteurs de Fée, Bio Beauty

Senteurs de Fée

As for me, I’ve long been a skeptic when it comes to natural beauty goods, wary of pasty products and cardboard packaging filled with good intentions but questionable effectiveness. But the more I read about carcinogenic cosmetics bearing unpronounceable ingredients, I’ve started to wonder: Could these Parisian bio boutiques change the mind (and even the skin) of a conventional beauty brand devotee? I decided to investigate. Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living, Shopping | 5 Comments »

Parisian Style: Chic Shopping in Paris on a Budget

HiP Paris, tinou bao, Amelien (Fr), Shopping on a budget in Paris

tinou bao & Amelien (Fr)

No matter what brings you to Paris, chances are you plan to do some shopping while you’re here. But what if your budget was eaten up by airfare and accommodations? Pas de problème.

HiP Paris, ejorpin, Shopping on a budget in Paris

ejorpin

There are plenty of ways to score fashionable finds in Paris without breaking that stretched bank account. Just shop like a local. Here’s our cheat sheet for chic (and wearable) souvenirs on a shoestring.

HiP Paris, anw.fr, Shopping on a budget in Paris

anw.fr

Consign here, please
If the thought of trolling the racks at Goodwill or picking through piles of malodorous cast-offs makes you break out in hives, have no fear. Paris has taken resale to a whole new level. In virtually every quartier, you’ll find several consignments shops (dépôt-vente). Continue Reading »

Posted in Fashion, Parisian Living, Shopping | 22 Comments »

French Lessons: Discovering Paris’ Private Schools

HiP-Paris-Blog-Olly-Aston-Private-School-in-Paris-lead

Olly Aston

When we first arrived in Paris, I couldn’t wait to enroll my kids in French public school. They were still very young — just three and five — so starting them in our local maternelle seemed like a no brainer.

HiP Paris Blog, tonbut, brieuc_s, Private School in Paris

tonbut & brieuc_s

Language immersion was guaranteed, the school was just a stone’s throw from our apartment and, best of all, it was free! Plus, who knew what kind of students they would prove to be? Only time would tell. Within a week of our arrival, my two little Americans began their French education.

HiP Paris Blog, ChrisGoldNY, Private School in Paris

ChrisGoldNY

Turns out, it was an education for me, too. One that led us to make some very different choices and enroll our petits Parisiens in private schools this Fall. Here are a few lessons from my family’s journey in French schooling. Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 3 Comments »

Les Berges: Paris’s New Playground by the Seine

HiP-Paris-Blog-Didier-Gauducheau-Les-Berges-1-lead+

Early fall has always been my favorite season in Paris. Residents return for “La Rentrée,” tanned and smiling (at least for now) after les grandes vacances and itching for some quality terrace time in their still seasonal summer looks.

HiP Paris Blog, Didier Gauducheau, Les Berges

Kids go back to school (hence the smiling parents), the weather is often lovely and the energy in the air is palpable. There’s always a lot happening – from restaurant openings to new exhibitions and film releases.

HiP-Paris-Blog-Didier-Gauducheau-Les-Berges-3rd

One of my favorite discoveries this rentrée is “Les Berges,” the newly pedestrianized waterfront that spans the Left Bank from the Pont de l’Alma to the Musee d’Orsay. Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 3 Comments »

Food, Art & Film In the 19eme, Paris’ Latest “It” Neighborhood

HiP Paris Blog, Didier Gauducheau, La Cantine Vagabonde 2Cantine Vagabonde (Didier Gauducheau)

It’s no secret that some of the most interesting things in a city happen off the tourist grid. New restaurants, music and, of course, lots of art gets made in places where the rents are cheaper, the residents funkier and the tourists far fewer. Paris is no exception. Such is true of the area in north eastern Paris in and around the 19eme. Thanks to some major cultural attractions and a smattering of fun eateries, it just may be on the brink of its moment.

HiP Paris Blog, Didier Gauducheau, La Cantine Vagabonde 4Cantine Vagabonde (Didier Gauducheau)

Setting off from Metro Stalingrad one recent afternoon, I discovered a quartier in exciting transition. Where its once dilapidated streets were lined with international call centers and cut rate shops, a new energy is palpable in a smattering of neighborhood boutiques, vegetarian eateries and performing arts centers.

HiP Paris Paige Frost Le Louxor Erin DahlLe Louxor (Erin Dahl)

Here are the highlights.

Le Centquatre. In 2008 the Marie de Paris unveiled Le104 (Le Centquatre), a performing and visual arts center that serves as the creative hub of the area. It’s a vast and luminous space that features rotating exhibitions and installations from this summer’s epic Keith Haring retrospective to “interactive” work that quite literally invites audiences to experience art first-hand. Continue Reading »

Posted in Arts, Events, Food, Restaurant Reviews | 4 Comments »

Parenting Like a Parisian: Take the Best, Leave the Rest

HiP Paris Blog, 33 Avenue, Parenting Like a Parisian

Malou Lasquite of 33 Avenue

When we decided to move to Paris, I knew parenting here would be different. Not only would the moms (and les petits enfants) be better dressed, they’d enjoy luxuries not known to their American counterparts like guaranteed, paid maternity leave and high quality, state-subsidized childcare.

HiP Paris Blog, Gwenael Piaser, Parenting Like a Parisian

Gwenael Piaser

The impact of these family benefits cannot be overstated. And yet, I was still surprised to discover just how different parenting is here on issues big and small.

HiP Paris Blog, philippe leroyer, Parenting Like a Parisian

philippe leroyer

Some of the differences shocked me (and not in a good way). There’s an iron-fist disciplinary style that makes little ones quake in their parents’ presence and a culture of yelling that left me drop-jawed. The word “non” (shunned, albeit somewhat absurdly, by some American friends) is central to French parenting. Many smoke openly in front of kids and don’t shy away from spanking to discourage unwanted behavior. Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 13 Comments »