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Getting Paris Right the First Time

We've asked journalist, podcaster, and Paris dweller Oliver Gee to share his advice on how to pull of the perfect first trip to Paris.Grant Lemons

Editor’s Note: Memories of a first trip to Paris never fade. The indelible experience of discovering one of the world’s most beautiful cities unfailingly leaves its mark. No matter what you do, once you’ve seen Paris it will never leave you. Having said that, there are ways to approach your first time to Paris that will assure you get the most out of the experience and guarantee a maximum of memories you’ll hold dear for years after your first steps on Paris’ cobblestone streets. We’ve asked journalist, podcaster, and Paris dweller Oliver Gee to share his advice on how to pull off the perfect first trip to Paris. Happy reading.

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Posted in Parisian Living, Travel | No Comments »

June Events in Paris: Solidays, Playa del Ourq, We Love Green & More

June Events in Paris

Solidays, Seb

Paris has been dealt an unfortunate hand recently, from nationwide strikes to the Seine flooding its banks. However, the city is still very much alive and kicking off June with some wonderful events.

June Events in Paris

Fête de la Musique, Croix Rouge Française à Paris

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Paris Picnic: Inside the City of Light’s First Made-to-Order Artisinal Picnic Delivery

Paris Picnic: Artisanal Picnic Delivery Service

Le Square du Vert-Galant

What’s more Parisian than spreading out a blanket on the Champ de Mars or along the Seine and sharing a leisurely meal of fresh baguette, cheese, charcuterie, wine, and maracons? Paris Picnic, the first service picnic delivery service of its kind, will bring an artisanal picnic – complete with locally sourced goods, wine, cups, cutlery, and a cotton blanket – to the location of your choice. Simply select and customize your picnic online, request a delivery location and time, and voila: a picture-perfect picnic experience made easy.

Since its founding in 2013, Paris Picnic has become the 3rd highest rated restaurant on Paris’ TripAdvisor. The team serves up to 40 clients on a given day, from honeymooners, to families, to bachelorette parties, to corporate events. We sat down with the folks behind Paris Picnic to find out more.

Paris Picnic: Artisanal Picnic Delivery Service

Sandwiches from Paris Picnic

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Posted in Food, Parisian Living | 1 Comment »

Paris by Boat: Discovering the French Capital’s Beautiful Waterways

Exploring Paris by boat

Edhral

Paris is a city easily explored by foot, with seductive small streets and cobblestoned alleyways inspiring you to extend your stroll just a little longer. However, some of the most enchanting views of Paris can be seen from water level, and those who are looking to rest their weary feet will be rewarded by a fun way to explore the capital’s waterways and gardens. Luckily, there is a wide variety of options for those who are ready to take sail and see the city in a new way. Here are a few options for families, groups of friends, and adventurous travelers.

Exploring Paris by boat

Cristian Bortes

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The Perfect Weekend Along Paris’ Canal St-Martin

Canal St Martin and Quai de la Seine Paris

Quai de la Seine

Every Sunday the city of Paris inhales deeply, taking a short break to live life at a different rhythm as shops close and entire neighborhoods are labeled pedestrian zones. Museums and monuments become a refuge for art lovers and sight-seeing tourists, while many Parisians head for the greener pastures of local parks.

A weekend along Paris' Canal Saint-Martin, an upcoming neighborhood with markets, boutiques, cafes, and more

A weekend along Paris' Canal Saint-Martin, an upcoming neighborhood with markets, boutiques, cafes, and more

Hôtel du Nord; Le Comptoir Général

The 15th-century canals in Paris’ 19th arrondissement, Canal St-Martin and Canal de l’Ourcq, are great areas to slowly drift into the relaxing weekend beat. Start your day at the Marché de Joinville, where vendors announce prices for perfect picnic pickings. If the day has promised sunshine, rent an electric boat from Marin d’Eau Douce and head north, swans to port and cormorant starboard as you savor your market fare and take in the display of the local street art scene unfolding in this urban countryside.

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Posted in Markets, Parisian Living | 3 Comments »

Inaro: Local, Artisanal, and Organic Small Plates and Wine by Paris’ Canal St. Martin

Inaro, Tables

Opened in June of 2012, Inaro, a cosy restaurant specializing in apéro dinatoire style dining, has recently made itself more available to neighbors and lovers of all things local. Starting this month, the space is open in the afternoon, providing French-origin lunch options with a menu that is entirely locally sourced. Organic bread and artisanal ingredients are available for take away or to enjoy sur place in the comfortable dining space, which is lined with wood brought from Brittany and constructed by owner Johan Bonnet’s carpenter uncle.

Inaro, Aperitif

At Inaro, the constantly changing seasonal menu is accompanied by a wine list that favors organic and sustainably produced wines. Working with small, independent producers is at the heart of the restaurant’s philosophy (despite the fact that Nespresso managed to secure a place at the espresso machine, a familiar elephant in the room for dining establishments in Paris) and the perfect-for-sharing menu makes this a great spot for a quick drink or a laid-back dinner.

Inaro, Interior

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10 Reasons to Love August in Paris

HiP Paris Blog, August in Paris, Isabel Miller-Bottome plages, pause

Paris Plages/Pause Cafe, Isabel Miller-Bottome

For those who cherish the peaceful atmosphere resulting from the mass exodus of holiday-goers, August is Paris’ most prized month. In the past, I haven’t always embraced this sentiment, mainly because I love the charge of the city. I adore the hustle and bustle of the busy streets; the fashionable Parisians strutting down the sidewalk, chatting over a glass of wine or coffee on café terrasses, and shopping in the stylish boutiques. However, perhaps these August-lovers have it right? Here are 10 reasons to convince any reluctant critics (myself once included) why August is the best month to be in Paris:

HiP Paris Blog, August in Paris, Isabel Miller-Bottome, reuilly, vosges

Jardin de Reuilly/Place des Vosges, Isabel Miller-Bottome

1. There’s so much going on for free

Free movies, free concerts, free exercise lessons, free…! Your social calendar will be packed with the outdoor cinema screenings at la Villette or the Clair de Lune festival, pétanque or dancing at the Canal de l’Ourcq, running on Les Berges, and more. It might just be the best month to be in Paris on a budget, and since the weather tends to be nice you can save on dining costs by picnicking.

HiP Paris Blog, August in Paris, Palmyre, Lucernaire 5,4

Le Lucernaire, Briag Courteaux

2. You can actually get a table en terrasse

I noticed the other day when scoping out the cafés on rue Montorgueil at the peak of lunch hour that there were a surprisingly large number of tables available. And same luck at apéro; we had our pick of the usually highly coveted tables. Next I plan to try some of the notoriously tough-to-get-into venues like le Perchoir; perhaps we’ll have repeat good fortune.

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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.

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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 »

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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 »