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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 »

Romantic Summer in Paris: Offbeat Itineraries

HiP Paris blog. Summer in Paris. Offbeat Romantic Itineraries in the City of Light- Parc de BercyParc de Bercy

Parisians seem to have perfected the art of enjoying summer. The long days keep them basking in the sunshine in the city’s many bucolic gardens or on one of its ever-growing number of hip terraces and rooftop bars, not to mention the abundance of festivals which quickly fill up agendas. If you’re looking to enjoy the season with your amoureux in alternative ways and away from the crowds, try out one of these three romantic itineraries.

HiP Paris blog. Summer in Paris. Offbeat Romantic Itineraries in the City of Light- La Cité FloraleLa Cité Florale

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Café Cour: A Hidden Pop-up with Terrace in Paris’ Marais

Café Cour: A Hidden Terrace in Paris' Marais

Is there anything more Parisian than lunch or drinks on a terrasse? The warmth of the sun offset by the breeze on your face, the tables spilling out onto the sidewalk…  It’s a perfect place to people-watch. But sometimes it’s nice to feel more secluded without having to move inside; that’s where the courtyard terrasse come in. Set just enough off the street to feel like you’re in a private space, it’s the perfect place for a summer apéro as the surrounding buildings create a cool oasis from the heat of the Parisian streets.

Café Cour: A Hidden Terrace in Paris' Marais

The Marais’ newest pop-up, Café Cour, offers exactly that. Opened the first of June and tucked away off of rue des Francs-Bourgeois in the heart of the neighborhood, the terrace offers half-sunlit, half-shaded seating up until around 17h, when the sun sinks just low enough to be hidden. There’s interior seating too, if you’re looking for a place to set up your computer and get some work done in a peaceful environment.

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Posted in Food, Parisian Living, Restaurant Reviews | 2 Comments »

Capucine: An Italian Café and Wine Bar Tucked Away in the 11ème

Capucine: An Clandestine Italian Café and Wine Bar in Paris' Faubourg Saint-Antoine

Emma Stencil

During a warm week in April I enjoyed a last meal at Paris’ favorite Italian restaurant, Caffè dei Cioppi, before it closed its doors for good. Although long-time fans of Fabrizio Ferrara’s flavorful cuisine were disappointed by the move, the good news is that the space has reopened as a relaxed Italian café and wine bar in the hands of Stefania Melis, already known to the Paris gastronomic scene as coupled with Simone Tondo of Roseval fame.

With the change of hands, the terrace tucked away in an alley off rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine hasn’t lost any of its charm. Folding metal tables and chairs are replaced by wicker stools and round café tables. A smart green awning reads Capucine in a curly script.

Capucine: An Clandestine Italian Café and Wine Bar in Paris' Faubourg Saint-Antoine

Melissa Leroux

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Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews, Wine | 1 Comment »

Cartel: Japanese Tapas Along Paris’ Canal St-Martin

Cartel: Japanese Tapas Along Paris' Canal Saint-Martin

With the mercury punching above 100, Paris’ terraces are mercilessly packed with sun-seekers from dawn till long after dusk. But this great little place that just opened along the Canal Saint Martin still has a few spots left for the taking, although not for long.

A cross between a South Floridian speakeasy and a cool contemporary Tokyo eatery, Cartel isn’t to be confused with the neighborhood’s fencing group or the new 8th-arrondissement nightclub. Modeled after a Japanese izakaya bar with more covers and a touch of prohibition era glamour, the slick contemporary interiors by Alexander Schrepfer and Feng Shui master Carine Lamassourie are an understated play on contemporary Asian and European cultures.

Cartel: Japanese Tapas Along Paris' Canal Saint-Martin

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Brasserie Barbès: Changing Times in Paris’ Barbès Neighborhood

Enjoy a meal or an apero at Brasserie Barbès, a terrace overlooking Paris' up-and-coming Barbès neighborhood

What must be this year’s most anticipated brasserie address in Paris finally opened its doors this April after a two-year refurbishment. While Brasserie Barbès has been criticized for being too expensive, contributing to making the unpolished Barbès neighborhood too “bobo,” and for having to queue for a table, the staff makes patrons feel welcome just as they are – whether they’re from this generation or the one before last, and whether they’re wearing scruffy trainers from their teenage years or have seemingly just stepped out of Vogue.

Enjoy a meal or an apero at Brasserie Barbès, a terrace overlooking Paris' up-and-coming Barbès neighborhood

The brasserie sits on a street corner in the 18th arrondissement’s Barbès neighborhood, in the location of the former Vano discount shop and just across the street from the Louxor cinema, an Art Deco masterpiece. In fact, the new venue also comes with its own South Floridian Art Deco swing, echoed in its enormous bay windows, glitzy brass lighting fixtures, and flower-patterned carpets.

Enjoy a meal or an apero at Brasserie Barbès, a terrace overlooking Paris' up-and-coming Barbès neighborhood

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Before & After: The Renovation of Haven in Paris’ Victor Hugo Luxe Apartment

Victor Hugo Luxe Living room more

Salon, Julien Hausherr

Haven in Paris’ newest four-bedroom apartment, Victor Hugo Luxe (emphasis on the luxe), is found on a quiet street just minutes away from the Eiffel Tower and the Bois de Boulogne. The owner and interior decorator took the HiP Paris Blog through the nine-month renovation process of this spacious, Belle Époque gem. 

Victor Hugo Luxe Kitchen and Balcony

Kitchen and Balcony, Julien Hausherr

Built in 1903, the apartment was owned by the same family for 50 years and had not been remodeled since 1970. The design team wanted to revamp the out-of-date 70s-style interior and revive its elegant, turn-of-the-century charm.

Victor Hugo Luxe Dining Table

Dining Room, Julien Hausherr

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Posted in Apartment, Homes, Parisian Living | 1 Comment »

Paris’ 20ème: History, Culture, and Shopping in Belleville and Ménilmontant

20eme, Rue Denoyez Street Art

Rue Denoyez

The 20ème is one of the largest neighborhoods in Paris, covering the areas of Nation, Gambetta, Ménilmontant, and Belleville. Largely overlooked by tourists, this unique quartier is full of locals-only bars and restaurants, art galleries, theaters, charming backstreets, hidden pockets of nature, and a diverse population. As much as I love the familiar streets of the Marais and the Latin Quarter, after spending three months living here this summer, a part of me will always be called back to the 20ème. Here are a few of my favorite historic and cultural spots worth discovering.

20eme, La Bellevilloise

View from La Bellevilloise

A historically working class neighborhood, the 20ème was the center of opposition to Emperor Napoleon III during the eve of the First World War, and the very last neighborhood to surrender during the Paris Commune of 1871. Predominantly an immigrant community for the last century, nowadays young entrepreneurs, artists, and bobos flock to the area for its affordable rents, active nightlife, and thriving arts scene.

20eme, Rue Denoyez

Rue Denoyez

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Posted in Parisian Living, Shopping, Tours and Classes | 1 Comment »

We have a crush: Haven in Paris’ New Saint Germain Flat

Saint-Germain-Apartment-Servandoni-Living-RoomSaint Germain – Servandoni 2-bedroom

Haven in Paris has just added a gorgeous new apartment to its portfolio – this lovely Servandoni 2-bedroom. Located on a quiet cobble stone street directly between the historic church of Saint Sulpice and the glorious Luxembourg Gardens, the apartment has its own private roof deck, complete with couch, armchairs and table — perfect for relaxing entre amis after a long day of sightseeing. The best part: it’s still available for parts of August and September!

The living room has a pull-out couch for extra guests, and a flat-screen TV and professional sound system for entertaining on nights in.

Saint Germain Servandoni KitchenSaint Germain Servandoni – eat-in kitchen and master bedroom

The eat-in kitchen has everything you need to cook up a delicious French feast gathered from a day’s worth of market shopping, and the pull-out dining room table conveniently makes room for an intimate dinner served chez vous.

Saint Germain Servandoni Master bedroom

The two bedrooms both include queen beds and en-suite bathrooms with rain showers. I can’t think of a better way to cool off after a long day of shopping…

Saint Germain Servandoni Bedroom and TerraceSaint Germain Servandoni – Bedroom with terrace access

Well, maybe an apéritif on the private terrace wouldn’t be so bad!

Saint Germain Paris apartment Servandoni terracePlaning a last-minute trip? Click here for the Servandoni apartment’s availability calendar. We also have some great deals going on many of our other fabulous flats for those last dates available in August and September.

PS: Be sure to also check out our brand new luxury two bedroom flat on the rue des Beaux Arts. We are also in love with this wonderful apartment situated in the heart of the St Germain des Pres neighborhood. Happy traveling!

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Written by Geneviève Sandifer for the HiP Paris Blog. For our amazing rentals in Paris, Provence & Tuscany check out our website Haven in Paris.

Posted in Homes, Parisian Living | 4 Comments »