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Winter Strolls: Three Itineraries for Soaking Up the Festive Atmosphere + Giveaway

Winter Strolls to Soak Up the Festive Season

Passage Jouffroy; Lily Heise

There’s something particularly special about Paris over the holidays. Of course there’s the sparkling street lights, the enticing window displays, the abundance of heavenly holiday treats, but it’s also something more than that. Spirits ride on this wave of joie and les parisiens can’t help but have a little extra joie de vivre. Here are three itineraries that will take you away from (most of) the crowds and allow you to take in that same joy, guilty pleasures, and offbeat sites that will make the holiday season in Paris truly shine.

Hip Shopping, Food and Culture in the Marais

Skip the mayhem of les grands magasins and do your holiday shopping as you take this creative meander through the Marais. Embark on your foray at the trendy concept store Merci, where you can pick up some of their carefully selected holiday ideas and perfect stocking stuffers like a candle version of their trademark red fiat bearing a roof-load of presents or a Christmas tree, thin garland thread, offbeat snow globes and an vast array of other cool gift ideas.

Winter Strolls to Soak Up the Festive Season

Merci Concept Store; Lily Heise

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Posted in Food, Markets, Shopping, Travel | 9 Comments »

Hunting for the Best Boeuf Bourguignon in France

Paris may be experiencing unseasonably warm and sunny weather at the moment, but we’re still readying ourselves for the chilly months to come and dishing on our favorite addresses serving up boeuf bourguignon, a comforting winter French favorite. Enjoy! -ErinWhere to taste France's best Boeuf Bourguignon, a savory and rich traditional beef stew from Burgundy

Auprès du Clocher

Julia Child immortalized boeuf bourguignon in featuring it on her first French cooking show. At the start of the episode, she says in her distinct high-pitched trill, “it’s a wonderful show to begin our series on because it shows you so many useful things about French cooking.” Indeed by watching the 30-minute segment, a must-see on YouTube, you’ll learn how to brown meat, braise onions, sauté mushrooms, and make a wine sauce. However, it’s also clear this is a recipe that requires time and patience. “People don’t make it right because it takes too much time” is a phrase I heard often during visits to Burgundy, the birthplace of the beloved French dish. Luckily there are some places that are getting it right.

Boeuf Bourgignon France. Where to get the best of the Bourgignon.

Alan C.

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Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 3 Comments »

February Events in Paris: Le Jeu de la Bouteille, Les Jeudis Arty & More

February Events in Paris 2015: Valentine's Day Events, Festival of Firsts, Les Jeudis Arty, Paris Face Cachée, Le Jeu de la Bouteille with Paris Popup, A Nous Paris Fireworks

Paris Face Cachée

Ah, February. Paris just saw its first snow of the season, Valentine’s Day is around the corner…it’s a great time to be in the city.

February Events in Paris 2015: Valentine's Day Events, Festival of Firsts, Les Jeudis Arty, Paris Face Cachée, Le Jeu de la Bouteille with Paris Popup, A Nous Paris Fireworks

Table Ronde

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Posted in Events, Parisian Living | 1 Comment »

January Events in Paris: Les Soldes, Paris Déco Off, SmART-PHOod & More

The Best January 2015 Events in Paris: Les Soldes, Film Festivals, Expositions, Dance Performances, International Design and Decoration

Paris Déco Off

With the holiday season coming to a close and wintery weather setting in, January can easily feel a bit drab. But fear not! There is plenty to do in Paris this month, and here are our favorites:

January Events, the Truffaut Exposition at La Cinematheque Francaise

La Cinémathèque Française, Julien B.

Les Soldes: Ah, the twice-annual shopping extravaganza hits Paris again this year, starting this Wednesday. Still longing for that plush wool coat you didn’t get as a gift this Christmas? This is the perfect time to indulge.

The Best January 2015 Events in Paris

Paris Soldes, Melle Bé

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Posted in Events, Parisian Living | No Comments »

Winter in Paris: Hot Chocolate, Melty Cheese, and Fireplace Bars in the City of Love

A Romantic Winter in Paris: Sip a mug of hot chocolate, enjoy ice skating on the Eiffel Tower, visit Le Carnavalet, and snuggle with your lover at Paris' fireplace bars

niall62

With the temperatures dropping and the light dimming, winter in Paris might not seem like the most romantic time of year. In many ways, however, it can actually be a lovers’ paradise, even if you’re not skating hand in hand in front of Hôtel de Ville, strolling the streets brightly decorated for the holidays, or huddled together sipping vin chaud. Here are five fun ideas to warm up (and spice up) your couples’ outings in the chilly city of amour.

A Romantic Winter in Paris: Sip a mug of hot chocolate, enjoy ice skating on the Eiffel Tower, visit Le Carnavalet, and snuggle with your lover at Paris' fireplace bars

A Romantic Winter in Paris: Sip a mug of hot chocolate, enjoy ice skating on the Eiffel Tower, visit Le Carnavalet, and snuggle with your lover at Paris' fireplace bars

Sophie Asia; hpc_

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Posted in Parisian Living | No Comments »

Winter in Paris: Ice Skating Around the City of Light

Winter in France, Ice Skating at Hotel de Ville, the Eiffel Tower, and the Grand Palais in Paris

Esti Alvarez

After a mild November, temperatures in Paris have dropped to respectable winter levels, thermostats hovering around 0° Celsius, bien sûr! Advent calendars have been cracked open and Paris is all dressed up for winter. After the lighting of the trees along the Champs-Elysées and the perfume of hot, spiced wine from the Christmas markets, everyone is putting on their party shoes (aka ice skates) to enjoy some pretty sensational ice skating rinks that have rolled in for the holidays, ensuring a White Christmas for anyone who seeks it.

Winter in France, Ice Skating at Hotel de Ville, the Eiffel Tower, and the Grand Palais in Paris

Simon Hooks

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Posted in Parisian Living | No Comments »

December Events in Paris: Jeff Koons Retrospective, Paris Magnum, Pop-up Holiday Shop

December Events in Paris, Ice Skating, Hotel de Ville, Jean-Phillippe Bourque

 

Hotel de Ville, Jean-Philippe Bourque

The holiday season has begun in Paris and while the usual lineup of seasonal pop-up events – from ice skating at Hôtel de Ville to the Christmas markets scattered around the city – are back, this December brings a handful of other wonderful events as well.

The Centre Pompidou recently opened a retrospective of cult American artist Jeff Koons’s work. The exhibition is on view until April 27 and features some of the Koons’s most iconic pieces, from a Michael Jackson sculpture to the ever-recognizable oversized balloon animals.

December Events in Paris, Cinematheque Francaise, Luke McKernan

Cinematheque Francaise, Luke McKernan

December 3 – January 25: The Cinémathèque Française kicked off a month-and-a-half-long series of screenings honoring American filmmaker John Ford. You can attend a screening of Ford’s Hollywood classics up until January 25th at the Musée du Cinéma in the 12ème.

Centre Pompidou in Paris

Centre Pompidou, Björn Olsson

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Posted in Events, Parisian Living | No Comments »

Paris Farm-to-Table Restaurants: Delicious, Local and Fait Maison

Farm to Table, Le Timbre 25

Le Timbre, Palmyre Roigt

Over the past few years there has been a lot of conversation around the startling statistic that around one-third of France’s cafes, brasseries and restaurants are actually using pre-frozen ingredients or entire meals that only need a microwave before reaching your plate. In typical French fashion, this was a drawn out discussion that needed a government vote and while restaurants now can mark on their menus “fait maison,” when items are truly made from scratch, you might not always be able to see the menu before sitting down.

Farm to Table, Verjus 4

Verjus, Diane Yoon

A few months ago, I attended a question and answer session about French food and the fait maison/frozen food question was raised. A few people said, “you just should know where to go.” But without any mandate and as a visitor to Paris, “knowing where to go,” is easier said than done. And for first-time tourists, it’s easy to end up somewhere that is beautifully authentic and appears to be using all fresh ingredients but well, isn’t. Here are five tips to keep you street smart when eating fresh, seasonal and farm-to-table in Paris.

Farm to Table, Verjus 5

Verjus, Diane Yoon

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

Planning for Paris: Spoiled by Luxury Services in the City of Light

Haven in Paris Victor Hugo Luxe

Haven in Paris, Julien Hausherr

I’ve just booked my Haven in Paris apartment for a week in the City of Love. Sigh… Going to Paris has always been a dream of mine, and I want it to be just perfect. I am working with Haven in Paris to fill my days with the luxury service discounts they are offering during this winter’s low season. While my activities aren’t fully booked, I have already started daydreaming about how I will spend my days. 

Luxe, Paris Wine Company

Luxe, Montage, Palmyre - Les Deux Stations, Le Bon Georges

Champagne from Paris Wine Company; Les Deux Stations/Le Bon Georges, Palmyre Roigt

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Posted in Tours and Classes, Wine | 3 Comments »

Winter in Paris: Pleasure or Pain?

Winter Paris (Pauldc); Chocolat Chaud (yuichi.sakuraba)

I’m beginning to understand that I’m a bit of a masochist. I’m bored by things / people / places that make life too easy, which is probably why I like ornery cats, most fictional villains, winter and (if I’m being honest) the French.

To clarify, I have nothing against Golden Retrievers, damsels in distress, summer or … who’s fun and non-controversial?… the Swedish. It’s just that I also like a challenge. I like to be initially offended but ultimately won over. I like things that don’t care if I like them or not.

Paris under the snow (Christophe Verdier)

And thus, I love winter in Paris. It provides a dark, dismal, unapologetic, multi-month challenge that pushes you to your breaking point, but offers various olive branches along the way—pretty hanging lights, vin chaud, chocolat a l’ancienne, and a great excuse to drink serious red wines and then crawl into bed.

Philosophically speaking, Epicurus saw pleasure as the absence of pain, and Descartes considered the two to be linked on a continuous spectrum. I have to agree. Getting caught in a freak hail storm a few weeks ago (while wearing ballet flats) made arriving home to our cozy apartment on the Ile St. Louis that much more of a triumph. And going days (weeks?) without seeing the sun makes me feel totally justified in my decision to devote entire afternoons to the following “indulgent” activities: Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 13 Comments »