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On Becoming Parisian: 10 Signs I Belong in the City of Light

HiP Paris Blog, Becoming Parisian, meg hourihanLa Seine, meg hourihan

Falling in love with romance-infused Paris – the grandiose Haussmannian architecture, the Marais’ winding streets, and the city’s bistro scene – is easy. But if you’re not born here, living in Paris is another story. It’s a whole other lifestyle, a mentality. And although it is hard not to love Paris for its compelling beauty alone, not everyone takes to Parisian life like a duck to water. While most will relish in its temptations, others will see its grayer side. The very visible problem of homelessness, the significantly different humor, the mentality…even the party chitchat is different. The grimy metro, overflowing museums, and the onslaught of hipsters all take some getting used to as well. Paris may not be very far away from London, my hometown, but when I moved here, everything seemed far removed from what I knew. The unashamed indulgence in pleasure, the variety and standard of the food, the slower pace of life, the abundance of cultural activities, and the city’s manageable size are features I had a hard time finding elsewhere.

HiP Paris Blog, Becoming Parisian, drburtoniHiP Paris Blog, Becoming Parisian, Roseval, Didier Gauducheau PL9A3093Drburtoni/ Roseval, Didier Gauchucheau

And then one day, I woke up Parisian. In other words, living a dichotomy of loving and hating the city, yelling at people for inconsiderate behavior on public transport, eating out most days, and when the sun shines, running to the nearest grassy spot no matter how crowded are now commonplace. Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 1 Comment »

La Fine Mousse Restaurant: Craft Beer & Innovative Bites in Paris’ 11th Arrondissement

HiP Paris Blog, La Fine Mousse, Alexandre Martin 523_003

As French parliament considers an amendment that would place beer among the country’s protected gastronomic traditions, one wonders why craft beer isn’t available in more restaurants in Paris. While a few forward-thinking places like Septime and Frenchie To Go offer craft beer, only one has made it as important as the main course—La Fine Mousse Restaurant. It shouldn’t come as a surprise; this is the latest venture from the fellows behind Paris’ first craft beer bar of the same name, located across the street in the 11th arrondissement. LFM has set itself a lofty goal: bring beer to the dinner table and prove that it’s a worthy companion to exceptional food.

HiP Paris Blog, La Fine Mousse, Alexandre Martin 423_159HiP Paris Blog, La Fine Mousse, Alexandre Martin 005, 030

On a Friday evening in late June, the restaurant’s front windows were thrown wide open, casting a soft summer light on the high wooden tables in the India Pale Ale Room. On the other side of the bar, in the Barley Wine Room, a few diners settled into low booths, ready to experience the six-course tasting menu. In the India Pale Ale Room, I decided to sample the small plate menu, which changes weekly according to what’s in season and Californian chef William Ransome’s inspiration. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | No Comments »

Paris Picnics: Our Top Tasty Take-Out & Secluded Outdoor Dining Spots

HiP Paris Blog, FB, Blend Burger picnicBlend Burger

Every year, as the sun starts to sizzle, a picnic pandemic hits Paris. Although undeniably chic, the pique-nique parisien often comes with a lot of fuss. Those agonizingly slow-moving queues at the supermarket and the fight to find a decent grassy spot, can mean that by the time you actually sit down to eat you’ve lost your enthusiasm (and your appetite!)

HiP Paris Blog, Benjamin Dumas, Parc MonceauParc Monceau, Benjamin Dumas

So what’s the answer? Well, there’s one simple formula; fast food (real fast food, not McDo.) Paris’ street food scene has exploded in recent years, with a huge range of fresh and flavorsome options now available to Parisians a emporter. So here’s a guide to some of our favorite fast food take outs, all accompanied by a little-known lunch spot within a short walk, to ensure that perfect fast food, fuss-free Parisian picnic.

HiP Paris Blog, FB, Blend Burger BurgerBlend Burger

Burgers in the Marais

1) Blend burgers are some of the most notable on the ever-expanding Parisian burger scene. Made with locally sourced meat from one of the city’s best butchers, Yves-Marie le Bourdonnec, Blend doesn’t joke about fast food. Select your burger, fries and drink (not forgetting your preferred cuisson) and within minutes a fresh, cooked-to-order patty smelling tantalizingly tasty will appear before you.

Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Parisian Living | 1 Comment »

Parisian Perspectives: A Stroll Through Paris In Black & White

Paris in Black & White, Bicycle, Michael Kandel

Paris is beautiful no matter how you view it, but through a monochrome lens, its true elegance and character become strikingly apparent.

Paris in Black & White, Eiffel Tower, Michael Kandel

Removing color from a place so rich in fashion, art and culture impresses a fresh perspective upon both the tourist and seasoned resident.

Paris in Black & White, Pain Vin Fromage, Michael Kandel

You see things differently, and find magnificence between shades of gray that you may have missed walking the colorized streets in person.

Continue Reading »

Posted in Arts, Parisian Living | 2 Comments »

Shopping Break: Our Favorite Paris Lunch Spots Near Le Bon Marché

Restaurants near Le Bon Marche, Mamie Gâteaux, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Carin Olsson 2

Mamie Gâteaux

Aristide Boucicaut opened the world’s first department store in the 1850′s. Le Bon Marché was an instant and enduring success, changing shopping habits (and the neighborhood) forever.

Restaurants near Le Bon Marche, Mamie Gâteaux, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Carin Olsson 4

 

The magnificent Hôtel Lutetia was built across the street to host out of town shoppers, and restaurants opened to feed them. Little has changed in the last 150 years and there are still a lot of great lunch options in the area, making it hard to choose just one!

Restaurants-near-Le-Bon-Marche-HiP-Paris-Blog-Photo-by-Carin-Olsson

Café Varenne -  Although they all have similar menus, not all cafés are created equal and Café Varenne is a cut above the rest, using fresh, quality ingredients for simple, seasonal meals. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Parisian Living, Restaurant Reviews | 3 Comments »

The Organic Revolution in Paris: The Best Bio Shops In the City of Light

Bio Shops in Paris, HiP Paris Blog, Emily Poulain

L’épicerie du Verre Volé

With more and more people in Paris paying attention to the quality and origin of their food, it’s no surprise that independent, organic stores are increasingly popular. A focus on ingredient-based cooking in restaurants has inspired a focus on ingredients in the home and specialty food shops like Terroirs d’Avenir and L’épicerie du Verre Volé provide the everyday consumer with options for locally sourced and artisanal ingredients.

Bio Shops in Paris, HiP Paris Blog, Emily Poulain

If you’re looking to go “bio”, or organic, in Paris, there are several options for certified organic shopping. Three open-air markets, Marché Batignolles, Marché Raspail, and Marché Brancusi, are exclusively organic- with everything from fruits and vegetables to meats and cheeses all cultivated respecting traditional and natural methods. If you can’t make it to the market, there are quite a few options for organic shopping in Paris. Chain stores such as the Monoprix group owned Naturalia and the swiftly expanding Bio C’ Bon abound and are easily found in most neighborhoods, but if you’re looking for something with more of a family-owned feel here are a few independent and ethically engaged organic shops that you shouldn’t miss:

Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Parisian Living | 1 Comment »

My Montmartre: Erica’s Favorite Spots In Montmartre

My Montmartre, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Erica Berman

Montmartre. My Parisian neighborhood. My home, on and off, for more than 20 years. Over the years, many things in the neighborhood have changed and evolved but I have remained faithful and dedicated to this little slice of Parisian happiness.

My Montmartre, Photo by Erica Berman, Erica's Montmartre view

Erica’s Montmartre view

SoPi has exploded and Montmartre has gentrified. Real estate values are up. Abbesses now evokes hip, funky and stylish. Parisians come here for a weekend outing, no longer shunning it for the potential dangers of hoodlums and prostitutes.

My Montmartre, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Erica Berman

L’Objet Qui Parle & Chairs from l’Objet Qui Parle and flowers from Des Fleurs Pour Soi

I wince at the increasing number of chain stores, the Starbucks that popped up around the corner, and the Subway sandwich shops exploding everywhere like mushrooms… Quelle horreur! Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 14 Comments »

Hidden Paris: Enjoying Springtime Paris Off the Beaten Tourist Track

Paris in the Spring, Jardin Albert Kahn, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Hotels Paris Rive Gauche 1

Jardin Albert Kahn (Hotels Paris Rive Gauche)

Immortalized in literature and song, there might not be a better time to be in Paris than the Springtime.

Paris in the Spring, Les Berges, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Raïssa

Les Berges (Raïssa)

Les Parisiens bask in the warm rays and take in the spring air and blossons in any way they can, usually camped out on the sunniest terraces or leisurely strolling through the most popular parks and along the waterways.

Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | No Comments »

The Sweet Life: Japanese Pastry Chefs Are Making Waves in Paris

Japanese Pastries, MORI YOSHIDA, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Sivan Askayo

Mori Yoshida

Walking through the streets of Paris, past famous monuments and cult patisserie shops, it’s hard not to notice the lines filling up with tourists. The Japanese, in particular, have become huge fans of French sweets in recent years, thanks in part to the now-global reach of brands like Ladurée.

Japanese Pastries, MORI YOSHIDA, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Sivan Askayo

Mori Yoshida

The influence between the two cultures is far from one-sided, however. Asian ingredients and flavors are no longer rare on French menus, as French chefs and patissiers are won over by the restraint and precision that dominate Japanese cuisine – a refreshing alternative to over-the-top traditional fare.

Japanese Pastries, Ciel, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Sivan Askayo

Ciel

This symbiotic relationship has not escaped the pastry arena in Paris. Among the most popular pastry shops in Paris today, you’ll find more than one Japanese star leaving its mark on French and international palates. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Parisian Living | 4 Comments »

Women In Food & Wine: Ladies Of the Paris Dining Scene, Part I

Ladies in Food, Holybelly, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Holybelly, Kim Laidlaw 2

Lise Kvan and Sarah Mouchot at Holybelly (Holybelly & Kim Laidlaw)

As we know well, the promise of gastronomic delights is enough to inspire travelers to explore the world, seeking out hard-fought reservations and off-the-beaten-path restaurants in the name of really good food.

Ladies in Food, Yamtcha, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Didier Gauducheau

Adeline Grattard of Yam’tcha (Didier Gauducheau)

It’s easy to forget that behind these curated culinary experiences there is a team of dedicated professionals committed to using their talents and passions to improve and diversify the general landscape of food and dining. Certain events, TV shows, publications, and guidebooks spotlight some of these talented and resolute food professionals.

Ladies in Food, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by La Buvette

La Buvette

While these “foodie guides” are becoming more and more ubiquitous, they are unfortunately not always comprehensive as they far too often exclude women from their lineup. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Parisian Living | 2 Comments »