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Paris Summer Romance Giveaway: Je T’Aime, Me Neither by Lily Heise

Lily Heise doesn’t date; she stumbles clumsily into romantic mischief. Her latest book, Je T’aime Me Neither, chronicles her sometimes absurdly funny, often racy, always entertaining amorous adventures in Paris. In honor of the book’s release, we’re giving away a copy to one lucky reader today. To mark the occasion, Lily has compiled a list of her favorite romantic activities in Paris — although we’re sure you don’t need too much help finding romance in the City of Love. For your chance to win, see instructions at the bottom of the post. -Geneviève
HiP Paris Blog, Lily Heise, Je t'aime, me neither

While Paris makes for a wonderful romantic backdrop any time of year, there is something particularly special about the summer months. Perhaps it’s the long days or the short skirts, the champagne or the strawberries — whatever the reason, there is definitely increased romance energy during l’été.

HiP Paris Blog, Lily Heise, Je t'aime, me neither

… Something I’ve found out first-hand over the years. Strolling along the Seine into the setting sun is enough to pull heartstrings at any time of the year, but here are my favorite tips for the perfect summer je t’aiming.

HiP Paris Blog, Lily Heise, Je t'aime, me neither

Le Pique-nique – but where?
Picnicking might just be tied with pétanque as the official summer sport of les parisiens, though I think it would definitely win out for the romantics. While there are many excellent places to lay your blanket, the city’s various waterways provide fitting spots for varying degrees of heartbeats.

HiP Paris Blog, Lily Heise, Je t'aime, me neither

New amoureux will cherish the semi-privacy found on the pelouse of the Square Vert Galant, located at the western tip of Ile de la Cité, or they can escape the crowds piled on Pont des Arts by heading to the Solferino bridge. Long time lovers might prefer to lounge and people-watch under a shady corner of the Canal Saint Martin. Lonely hearts will enjoy the lively atmosphere of overflowing groups along the Canal de l’Ourcq or just upstream from Notre Dame on the Quai de la Tournelle. Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 47 Comments »

Choosing Cheap Wine in Paris: 5 Things You Need To Know

Carin Olsson

I have a friend who goes to the supermarket with a set budget and sensible shopping list.

Not me. I’m a marketers dream. Bright packets of budget biscuits jump into my basket; heavily reduced items beseech me to take them home.

Carin Olsson

You can’t even imagine what I’m like in the wine section. In Paris, the shelves are lined with pretty, shockingly cheap bottles of vin. I stumble between reds from Bordeaux, sweet whites from Alsace, and row upon row of cerise coloured rosés from Provence.

Play See Feel Live & Chatirygirl & Scpgt

There is an overwhelming selection of cheap wines to choose from. My schoolgirl French does not serve me well in decoding their sexy, enticing  labels. I lunge at the looming wall of indistinguishable wines and pick a bottle based on its price-bracket and whether or not the label features a château. On the way home, I wonder if my wine will double as a paint-thinner. Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 10 Comments »

Paris Picnic Etiquette: the Dos and Don’ts of Dining Al Fresco

Parc des Buttes Chaumont (Celine NYC)

If you’re in Paris in summer, you’ll pretty quickly realize that as soon as the sun starts to glimmer, Parisians grind into picnic gear. However, despite informal appearances, there is a complex and unspoken code of conduct to be adhered to in order to avoid unforgivable picnic faux pas.

Do dress appropriately.

It is important to give the air of not trying very hard. For girls: a categorical ‘no’ to heels and look-at-me makeup.  For guys: forget smart suits or bling sportswear, it’s all about skinny jeans and scarves. Subtle colour and pattern coordination are à la mode. Hats highly recommended.

Gail Tang

Do arrive late.

It is useless to turn up anywhere near the appointed picnic hour. It is best to saunter up several hours in, give a slightly (don’t overdo it) apologetic smile, whilst simultaneously giving the impression that your diary is over-spilling with très fun engagements and that the organiser should therefore be delighted that you’ve managed to squeeze them in.

Karigee

Do invite lots of friends.

The concept of ‘the more the merrier’ is de rigueur. Whereas the biting winter winds keep Parisians at home or drives them (penguin-style) into crowded, sweaty bars, the warm summer weather democratizes social gatherings, which are known to take on gigantesque proportions!

Do not buy ready-made sandwiches.

It is unacceptable to pop to the supermarket and pick up a long-life cellophane-encased creation that deigns to call itself a ‘sandwich’. A fresh baguette, some cheese and charcuterie are the bare minimum. Continue Reading »

Posted in Green, Parisian Living | 17 Comments »

Pass the cheese! Paris’ Best Outdoor Picnic Spots Part 2

Riverside picnicking by the Seine (Malias)

Summer is at last upon us, and with it comes the opportunity to partake in the favorite past time of many Parisians: Le Pique-nique. The possibilities for picnics in Paris are endless -from benches and bridges, to parks and promenades- so when the weather is warm, there are few better ways to wile away the long summer evenings than by gathering some people, bread and wine and picnicking like it’s the last supper. Here are a few places to enjoy the perfect picnic…

Picnicking staples: le vin, le pain, le paté! (Kari Geltemeyer)

The medieval gardens at the Museum of the Middle Ages
The institution of the picnic dates back to medieval Europe, when outdoor feasts were served before hunting, so what better place to have a picnic than where it all began? The medieval-inspired gardens beside the Musée National du Moyen Age, right in the heart of the Latin quarter, offer a tranquil haven from the bustling Boulevard Saint Germain. Split into three sections, the names of the gardens sound like something straight out of King Arthur. Past the ‘carpet of a thousand flowers’ and through the ‘sunken lane’ you come to a courtyard headed by a silver reed fountain. Within lie a quartet of square gardens with period-inspired themes: a medicinal garden, a celestial garden, a vegetable patch and a garden of love. When it comes time to unpack your basket, head beyond the courtyard to the shady glades of the ‘unicorn forest.’ Hidden behind a woven wicker fence, medieval plants like hazel, elder, holly and medlar reign supreme here. Through the ‘forest’ you can even glimpse the ruins of the only remaining Roman baths in Paris.
Musée du Moyen Age. 1 rue de Cluny, Metro: Cluny la Sorbonne (line 10)

Gardens of Cluny museum – Erica Berman

Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Parisian Living | 7 Comments »

The Perfect Parisian Picnic: Our Top Spots

Paris Picnic by the Seine Ile de La CitéMark Nunez

Picnic season is in full swing in Paris, and because nearly everything (eating included) is better when done outdoors, now is the time to take advantage of the city’s myriad picnic spots. While lunch in Paris is often a serious sit-down affair, summer loosens people up, and you’ll notice everyone from schoolchildren to businessmen grabbing a sandwich and a spot on the nearest bench to mellow out for a bit.

Summer Picnic in Paris: Ile St LouisMark Nunez

And while benches and sandwiches are great, pro picnickers prefer to take it to the next level. We want real grass to sit on (I’ll make exceptions for the right cobblestones), hours to waste, an assortment of delicious things to sample, and lots of friends to come and go as they please. Oh, and lots of wine.

Many of my more memorable afternoons and evenings in Paris seem to have involved those elements. They often began somewhat spontaneously, and then suddenly, five hours had passed and we’d discussed everything from the latest exhibit at the Pompidou to the rise of bionic cats (my friends are a little weird). But this is what picnics are for—musing, lounging, making sense, not making sense, and practicing the ever-important art of doing nothing.

Summer Picnic in Paris SeineMark Nunez

Here are a few spots where picnickers of all kinds can find their bliss. Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 5 Comments »