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The French and Their Cigarettes: The Growing Anti-Smoking Movement in France

Smoking in ParisGH Cheng

I first learned about the complex relationship between the French and their cigarettes as an English assistant in a high school in the French countryside. The staff was split on the question of whether or not smoking should be banned in the teachers’ lounge, where profs had been enjoying cigarettes for as long as the school had existed.

As a young American living in France for the first time, I was adjusting to several cultural changes. Seeing teachers pass bottles of red wine between them during lunch break in the cafeteria (something students did themselves until alcohol in school cafeterias was banned about 60 years ago) was one example of such differences. The smoking in the teachers’ lounge debate was the next one to add to the list.

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Posted in Parisian Living | 9 Comments »

Le Bon Saint Pourçain: Back with New Owners and a Traditional-Modern Mix

HiP Paris blog. Le Bon Saint Pourçain. On the corner.

For years, dining at Le Bon Saint Pourçain was like stepping into a time machine set to the 1950s. Neighbors would come, their dogs and children in tow, spending as much time with the owner/waiter catching up on the local gossip as placing their order for a very traditional meal, invariably served with a glass of Bon Saint Pourçain wine. Suddenly, without word, the windows were white-washed over, rumors spread of a health issues (the owner’s, not the kitchen’s) and the neighborhood was left bereft.

HiP Paris blog, Le Bon Saint Pourçain, Eating in the restaurant

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Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 4 Comments »

The Five Best Apps for Food-Lovers in Paris

Rebecca Plotnick

Rebecca Plotnick

Le Fooding

Restaurant reviews on the Le Fooding website and in the printed guide essentially decide where food-loving Parisians eat during the year. Focusing on new talent and restaurant trends, the guide is descriptive, humorous, and well-informed.

Fooding 2015, a smartphone application available in English and French, allows users to search an immense database of restaurants, cafés, and hotels, and read insightful reviews from the website. Search by category (sushi, pizza, vegetarian, wine bar, etc.) or by average price. You can access a map to locate restaurants in your area or near a metro station, and bookmark your favorites.

An amusing features lets you shake your smartphone to discover a restaurant by chance, and the news section provides in-the-know tips on hotspots and restaurant openings.

The helpful, easy-to-use application is available on the iTunes app store and Google Play for $3.99. The only con is the constant sponsor ads.

Paris apps, velib, Jean-Francois Gornet

Jean-François Gornet

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Posted in Food, Parisian Living, Restaurant Reviews | No Comments »

A Provençal Villa and Working Wine Vineyard in the Heart of Côtes du Rhône

A Provençale Villa and Vineyard in the Heart of Côtes-du-Rhone

Settled amongst the vines of the Rhone Valley, where the fresh air is perfumed with the scent of the surrounding fruit orchards and olive groves, you’ll find Nick and Sabine’s slice of paradise in France’s Côtes du Rhône region.

A Provençale Villa and Vineyard in the Heart of Côtes-du-Rhone

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Posted in Homes, Travel | 2 Comments »

The Parisian’s Paris: Discovering the 15ème Arrondissement

The best of the 15th arrondissement in Paris

Parc André Citroën

10% of all Parisians live in the 15th arrondissement, making it the most populous arrondissement in the city, with more citizens than the city of Bordeaux. They come because it’s easy, with spacious boulevards and lovely buildings. They stay because it is a vibrant neighborhood away from the hustle and bustle of all the tourist sights, with great restaurants, excellent public transportation, and plenty of entertainment.

HiP Paris Blog, 15eme, Palmyre, LA CANTINE DU TROQUET 21

Montage HiP Paris Blog, 15eme, Palmyre, CANTINE DU TROQUET 45

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Posted in Parisian Living, Restaurant Reviews | 6 Comments »

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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Posted in Parisian Living | 1 Comment »

Table for One: The Best Places To Dine Solo in Paris

Solo Dining, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Lazare

Lazare

Who says Paris is just for lovers? With world-class museums, jaw-dropping architecture and monuments galore, exploring the City of Light alone can be fun, freeing and fulfilling.

Solo Dining, HiP Paris Blog, Maison F photo by Sylvano

Maison F (Sylvano)

But the one thing that can still strike fear into the solo traveler heart is the phrase: “table for one.” The easiest way around this dilemma is to skip the table all together and head straight for the counter seating at one of these picks from some of the city’s latest hotspots.

Solo Dining, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Lazare

Lazare

For a leisurely lunch for one, check out Caillebotte, the latest from the team behind popular le Pantruche. Tucked away on a quiet corner in trendy SoPi, sit at the tiny counter to watch the busy kitchen turn out seasonal and fresh dishes like foam-topped skate, pumpkin soup with chestnut cream or tarragon ice cream desserts. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Parisian Living, Restaurant Reviews | 9 Comments »

Le Ciel de Paris: A Stylish (and Delicious) Dining Room With A View

When friends come to visit in Paris, I always get a little nervous. It’s Paris after all, the most-visited and eulogized city in the world. They’re expecting a lot. And I live here.

That means I’ve got the place wired, right? No exhibition ticket should be too hard to acquire, no chic table impossible to book. Such were my anxieties as I prepared for a recent visit from my sister and brother-in-law. We’d have ten days together but only a couple of kid-free evenings. Those dinners had to be perfect.

And so I searched. I scoured reviews, made calls and asked friends for recommendations. Of course I know plenty of great restaurants. I have dozens of favorites and an ever-growing list of places to try. But could I select the perfect place to eat? The one that says “this is the best of Paris” – that elusive combination of great food, distinctive atmosphere and, most importantly, a place where I could actually score a table on the night we had free?

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Posted in Restaurant Reviews | 8 Comments »

Surviving Valentine’s Day in Paris

So in love, they don’t even need the sidewalk (Dutotime)

You know what I love about February in Paris? Well, for one thing, by some quirk of nature the sky that has been threatening to cave in on Paris for the past 4 months of winter suddenly breaks and Paris is blessed with a few almost-warm days of uninterrupted sunlight. All the left bank vampires come out of their lairs, café terraces once again fill up with sunglass-toting-espresso-drinking Parisians and for a small window of time we can almost imagine that one day it will be Spring again.

The second reason why I like Paris in February is that storefronts, restaurants and TV commercials remain remarkably red-heart free until, say, a week before the Big Day – which seems like a completely reasonable amount of time to either start fretting or preparing for the year’s Day of Love.

Paris: the capital of park-bench romances (Trevino)

This also means that you and I are free to either glide blissfully unaware past Valentine’s Day or design a holiday that actually means something, devoid of the pressure of a month’s worth of intense, color-and-sound coordinated marketing tactics — all leading up to one pretty intense day that once, in some lost galaxy far, far away, was intended to give us pause to reflect on how lucky we are to have love in our lives.

So. Far from my candy hearts and hallmark cards and overpriced roses and expensive restaurant reservations made 3 weeks ahead of time, I would like to propose an alternate holiday of sorts, made up of all the things I love most about Paris and, if I’m lucky (but this is not central to the plan), someone with whom to share these indulgences. Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 10 Comments »

Bistrot Fixe: A Coveted Corner in Paris’ 1st Arrondissement

Amy Thomas, the fabulous blogger behind God I love Paris, dishes here on four must-try restaurants in Paris’ 1st arrondissement.

Paris Restaurant: La Regalade
Josephine Docena, La Régalade

Now that it’s the end of summer, it’s time to welcome Spring—and I’m talking Daniel Rose’s forever-anticipated restaurant, not the season.

For over a year, Rose and his co-chef/girlfriend, Marie-Aude Mery, have been dealing with French red tape and staying busy with the Spring Boutique, while an insatiable dining community licked its chops in anticipation of the restaurant’s reopening. The 24-seater finally debuted late this summer with a five-course market-driven tasting menu. For my recent lunch (I’m too cheap to spend 64 Euros for dinner; the 38 Euros lunch is more my speed), that meant palate-pleasing dishes like a creamy, lemony caviar d’aubergine, a juicy and tender duck breast accompanied by crispy thigh bits and poached peach, and a deconstructed lemon tart topped with crème anglaise, praliné shavings and plump blueberries.

Spring Paris RestaurantJosephine Docena, Spring

Though the kitchen is visible as it was in the petite ninth arrondissement spot (the massive stainless steel appliances and copper pans provoke beaucoup de jalousie) Spring’s new incarnation, with stark white walls, brushed concrete floors, and sharp angles, feels more “downtown chic” than “neighborhood gem”. (Spring Restaurant, 6 rue Ballieul, 1st. 01 45 96 05 72, Spring Boutique, 52 rue de l’Arbre Sec, 1eme, 01 58 62 44 30)

Gourmands might be familiar with this little nook of the city as it’s where Chez la Vieille has been sating local celebrities for 50 years. Whereas Spring brings a fresh sensibility to the plate, this two-story bistro is all tradition. Beatnik tiled floors and black and white framed photos envelop cozily packed tables, and an affordable lunch menu (29 Euros for three courses) is as irresistible as ever. The traditional fare includes a heaping lentil and chicken salad and pan-fried dorade with endives, along with seasonal items like cold pea soup thrown in for good measure. (Chez La Vielle, 37 rue de l’Arbre Sec, 1eme, 01 42 60 15 78) Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 1 Comment »