Tag Archives: Out and About in Paris

A Day in Paris with Lunch at Le Lobby

Print pagePDF pageEmail page

It’s nearly 9 am and we’re about to go to Paris for the day which we don’t do very often. To our immense surprise, the ground is covered in snow!  I run around taking photos and videos while Jean Michel makes sure all the bird feeders are well stocked. This is our first snowfall for the season and totally unexpected.

The roads aren’t too bad although they haven’t yet been sanded and we have to keep in the middle lane until Orléans. As we approach Paris, the sky is a brilliant blue but it’s only a few degrees so quite cold.

Driving past Notre Dame on our way to Au Vieux Campeur
Driving past Notre Dame on our way to Au Vieux Campeur

Our first stop is  Paris’ best-known sports store – Au Vieux Campeur near Saint Germain des Prés – because we need to replace our falling apart Meindl Capri walking sandals to go to Australia next month. We tried to buy the same ones on the Internet, to no avail. Buying sandals in winter is not a great idea.

Pick the new sandals!
Pick the new sandals!

Despite the churlish, know-it-all salesman – even Jean Michel thinks he is terrible – we manage to find a suitable pair of sandals before we each go our separate ways. I have to admit the new Teva ones are much more stylish. Jean Michel is having lunch with a former colleague and I am meeting up with my lovely friend Mary Kay from Out and About in Paris who is soon to go and live in Prague. I am not the only person who will miss her.

The conciergerie from Notre Dame bridge
The conciergerie from Notre Dame bridge

As I walk across the Seine to Notre Dame then past the Conciergerie and over the river again to the right bank and my metro at Hôtel de Ville, I can’t stop taking photos, the sky is so clear and sharp.

The Arc of Triumph
The Arc of Triumph

I emerge at the Arc of Triumph  which is also looking good with so much blue sky around it and head for the 5-star Peninsula Hotel on Avenue Kléber where Mary Kay and I are having lunch in Le Lobby recommended by Janine Marsh in a recent post in her blog, The Good Life magazine, relayed by Susie Kelly on No Damn Blog.

The Peninsula Hotel
The Peninsula Hotel

After 5 years of renovation, the lobby of the Peninsula is, indeed, a splendiferous setting. The welcome and service, of course, are impeccable. I can even forget my iPhone on the table while I wash my hands and find it still waiting for me.

Our sword fish to rhyme with sworn
Our sword fish to rhyme with sworn

We choose the 60 euro set meal that includes a glass of wine and bottled water. A very tasty Jerusalem artichoke and foie gras soup is followed by beautifully cooked sword fish (which the waiter pronounces to rhyme with sworn) on a bed of vegetables. We finish with cheesecake on a strawberry crust which is somewhat disappointing especially as I’m not a big fan of France’s favourite fruit.

The Oiseau Bleu biplane on top of the Peninsula
The Oiseau Bleu biplane on top of the Peninsula

Mary Kay, who has been to the L’Oiseau Bleu restaurant and bar several times then takes me up to the roof of the building. The view of the rooftops of Paris with Sacré Cœur in the distance is stunning. I make a vow to come back here for a drink in the summer.

The Oiseau Bleu summer terrace with Sacré Coeur in the background
The Oiseau Bleu summer terrace with Sacré Coeur in the background

L’Oiseau Bleu is named after the biplane that disappeared on 8th May 1927 with its two French pilots, Charles Nungesser and François Coli, during the first attempt to fly non-stop across the Atlantic from Paris to New York. Less than two weeks after their disappearance, Charles Lindbergh was the first to make the crossing, but in the other direction, on board the Spirit of St Louis. No trace of the Blue Bird has ever been found. There is a replica of the plane on the roof.

The main square in Paris alive with music
The main square in Prague alive with music

I am sad to leave to leave Mary Kay but hope to see her again before too long, perhaps in Boston or New York now that Leonardo and Black Cat are both living there. Much as I enjoyed the week I spent in Prague several years ago, it isn’t on the agenda again for the moment, but who knows?

Sunday’s Picture and a Song: Bastille Day (La Fête Nationale) 2013 – On the third day she rested … Bicycling in Provence: A Very Sad Au Revoir –

Print pagePDF pageEmail page

I haven’t been publishing the usual Wednesday’s Blogger Round-up for the last month because I simply didn’t have time to read any other blogs! Cycling and visiting all day and writing posts at night took up a good part of every 24 hours.

Although we arrived back on Sunday night just in time for Bastille Day, we decided to pass on it this year but Mary Kay from Out and About in Paris took some of her usual stunning photos. Meanwhile, Sylvia from Finding Noon was off on a Greek Island, eating lobster and discovering a wonderful English library. While we’ve been cycling along the Danube, Maggie LaCoste from Experience France by Bike has been bicycling through Provence. Enjoy!

Sunday’s Picture and a Song: Bastille Day (La Fête Nationale)

by Mary Kay from Out and About in Paris, an American by birth, Swiss by marriage, resident of Paris with a Navigo Pass for the metro that she feels compelled to use

bastille_dayLiberté, égalité, fraternité.

There was a REVOLUTION of sound and explosions on the Champ de Mars last night. If you would like to relive Bastille Day (La Fête Nationale) 2013, here’s the spectacular firework show in its entirety! Read more

On the third day she rested…

by Sylvie from Finding Noon, an American living in Paris who appreciates fine art, good music, succulent food, and breath taking scenery

greeceNot that I’m comparing myself to the Great Creator, but s/he created the world in 6 days before taking a break, where as on holiday in Santorini, Greece last week, I only made it to three before needing a holiday from our holidays.

When I told a friend our destination she gave me a rather dry look, adding, “You know, you can’t wear heels.” The map of the nearest big city had a “No Heels” logo on its legend.  What wasn’t explained, and what I didn’t ask, is why. Read more

Bicycling in Provence: A Very Sad Au Revoir

by Maggie LaCoste from Experience France by Bike, an American who loves biking anywhere in Europe, but especially France, which has the perfect combination of safe bike routes, great food, great weather and history.

provenceProvence is a very easy place to fall in love with, and a very difficult place to leave. Four days here was only enough time to confirm that I should have planned on staying no less than a couple of weeks! Even though it never rains here in the summer, it rained in Bonnieux this morning. Maybe the rain was supposed to help me not feel so bad about leaving. But as I watched the fog settle over the hills, it made me want to stay even more. I was dreading the 7 km downhill ride on wet pavement. Read more

Original souvenirs from Paris – A hymn – Last minute change of plans from Burgundy to Belgium and from wine to beer

Print pagePDF pageEmail page

This week, in my bloggers’ round-up, Pierre from Paris on Demand suggests some original souvenirs from Paris, Sylvia from Finding Noon takes us to a Chagall exhibition in Paris that is on until 21st July and Mary Kay from Out and About in Paris describes her last-minute trip to Belgium, especially Ghent and Antwerp, instead of a boat trip along a canal in Burgundy, cancelled due to severe flooding. Enjoy!

Original souvenirs from Paris…

by Pierre from Paris on Demand, aimed at helping tourists and Paris lovers to get to know the city of Light under a different perspective, offering news and updates on exhibitions, museums, restaurants, off-the-beaten-track addresses, events and tips to prepare their trip and understand the Parisian way of life.

souvenir-from-parisIf you’re looking for chic and trendy souvenirs from Paris, look no further, “Les Parisettes” is for you! “Les Parisettes” is a concept store specialized in different types of products: kitchen accessories, stationery, tote bags, jewelry, candles, games, cushions and home decoration ideas. Everyone can find an original gift, in the colors of Paris and the Eiffel Tower. Maryse Bazzoli and Sophie Ollé-Laprune, the creators of the store, pay a lot of attention to select refined, Eiffel-Tower fashioned, quality items, only for you! Read more


A hymn…

by Finding Noon, an American living in Paris who appreciates fine art, good music, succulent food, and breath taking scenery

chagallRich blue sapphires, golden topazes, apple red rubies…. No, I did not go jewelry shopping this weekend, rather I spent a lovely hour (or so) with a fairly dense crowd at the Musée du Senat in the Luxembourg gardens diving into the sumptuous colors at the Chagall exhibit.

I like Chagall. I am aware that he is not for everyone. Upside down chickens and flying musicians do not reflect classical realism, nor modern abstract purity and it all requires a willing suspension of disbelief. But I love his gem stone palette, and I find his fantastical characters, often dancing, kissing, playing music absolutely delightful. His work has been known to make my make heart do a little jig. I suspect I am not the only one and that this is perhaps why he was chosen to paint the ceiling at the Opera Garnier. His stained glass windows add the perfect counterpoint of colorful light to the cold grey stones at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Reims, making it my favorite cathedral in France. Read more

Last minute change of plans from Burgundy to Belgium and from wine to beer…

by Mary Kay from Out and About in Paris, an American by birth, Swiss by marriage, resident of Paris with a Navigo Pass for the metro that she feels compelled to use

ghent“I just spoke with someone at Le Boat. They had to cancel our reservation because the water level in the Nivernais Canal is too high. Can you find somewhere else for us to go?”

My heart sank when Stéphane called last Monday to tell me that our much anticipated boating trip in Burgundy with our daughter had been cancelled. Gone were visions of the three of us cycling to quaint villages for lunch and leisurely sipping red wine on the deck in the evening. Instead, I was charged with the task of finding an affordable last minute alternative during one of the busiest travel weeks in Europe. Even after hours spent scouring the internet, Sara and I couldn’t find a getaway that cost less than 1,790 euros per person. In desperation, I called Stéphane and told him that we were going to have to get creative, to think outside the box. “How about driving to Belgium?” I proposed. Read more

Top 5 beautiful parks in Paris – Details at the Fete des Gardians – An Archipelago of Floating Gardens on the Banks of the Seine

Print pagePDF pageEmail page

In this week’s bloggers round-up, fellow Aussie Andrea from Rear View Mirror shares five beautiful parks to visit in Paris, Heather Robinson from Lost in Arles brings us some stunning photos from the Fête des Guardians in Arles and Mary Kay from Out and About in Paris gives us an update on an archipelago of floating gardens soon to be opened on the banks of the Seine. Enjoy!

 Top 5 beautiful parks in Paris

by Andrea from Rear View Mirror (formerly Destination Europe), a fellow Australian who, after 6 years of living in France, has given up herParis apartment to live a nomadic life slowing travelling around Europe, experiencing each destination like a local

paris-parks-26Spring has finally arrived in Europe and it’s currently rewarding us with gorgeous pink cherry blossoms, sweet-smelling wisteria and orange blossoms as well as beautiful spring flowering bulbs like tulips and hyacinths. It’s times like this I miss living in Paris and being able to visit my favourite French parks and gardens like the Jardin du Luxembourg.

I’ve never met a garden in Paris I didn’t like but here are my top 5 parks when it comes to spring flower displays. Read more

Details at La Fete des Gardians

by Heather Robinson from Lost in Arles, an American writer and photographer living in Arles who offers us meanderings through all that makes life in a small town in Provence worth while

arlesHow I am entranced by the swish of silk and shine of satins at the Fête des Gardians, held each year on the First of May in Arles. The women sway like tender reeds under the weight of their finery while the men clench their jaws as they guide their horses through the maddening crowds. We all gather and pull to catch glimpses of a past and present mingling, sighing wishes just for a little bit of better, a mist of more mystery. Our everyday garb says much of the times we are in–of uncertainty, of fatigue. So how wonderful to get lost in this particular dream. Read more

An Archipelago of Floating Gardens on the Banks of the Seine

by Mary Kay from Out and About in Paris, an American by birth, Swiss by marriage, resident of Paris with a Navigo Pass for the metro that she feels compelled to use

port_du_gros-caillou-jardin_flottant“Paris is the most beautiful city in the world, n’est–ce pas?”, announced the driver of bus number 62 as he eased to a stop behind the rush hour traffic on Pont Mirabeau. Pointing towards the Eiffel Tower in the distance, he let out a long sigh that was clearly audible over the public announcement system. Like a group of jet-lagged tourists visiting Paris for the first time, all of the passengers automatically swiveled their heads in unison to admire the sweeping view of their city. It is stunning. I can’t fault Parisians for being so proud. And thanks to Mayor Delanoë’s plan to “reclaim one of the most beautiful urban and river landscapes in the world”, the cityscape is about to become even more remarkable. Read more

Paris kiosks celebrate 150 years – An excellent fortress: Chinon

Print pagePDF pageEmail page

Only two posts on this Wednesday’s Bloggers Round-up (I’m a little pressed for time). Mary Kay from Out and About in Paris, brings us a very interesting interview with a kiosquier as Paris celebrates 150 years of newsstands. Niaill and Antoinette from Chez Charnizay take us on a visit of Chinon castle in theL oire Valley. Enjoy!

Paris kiosks celebrate 150 years. My interview with “kiosquier” Jacky Goubert.

by Mary Kay from Out and About in Paris, an American by birth, Swiss by marriage, resident of Paris with a Navigo Pass for the metro that she feels compelled to use

kioskFrom April 17 until April 21, Paris is celebrating the 150th anniversary of one of the most iconic symbols of the French capital – its kiosks. On Friday, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jacky Goubert and his daughter Gaelle, who operate the kiosk on the Boulevard Saint-Germain between Café de Flore and Les Deux Magots. It’s where I buy the International Herald Tribune whenever I’m in the neighborhood.

MK: This has to be one of the best kiosks in Paris. How were you able to get the concession for it?
Jacky: Normally, it’s not possible to pass a kiosk from parent to child because they are only licensed and not purchased from the city. But somehow my mother arranged for me to take it over when she retired. She started working here in 1972. Read more

An excellent fortress: Chinon

by Niaill, a Scotsman, and Antoinette, a Dutch American, from Chez Charnizay, who live in the village of the same name in southern Touraine  and blog about their adventures in the Loire Valley

chinonWe like Chinon and we stopped by again earlier this month. We’ve always liked Chinon from our very first forays into the Loire Valley as tourists in the early 1990’s. This despite the fact that every time we approach it from the south side of the river Vienne and pass the SuperU [it wasn’t a SuperU then but some other chain] on the left-hand side of the road where it runs between huge plane trees we’re reminded of our failure at the time to get to grips with the French custom of closing on the dot of noon for lunch. At least 3 times we were doomed to disappointment at that supermarket, arriving just as the doors were firmly closing.

The fortress walls as we see them today are mostly due to Henry, Count of Anjou, later King Henry II of England. It was one of his favourite fortresses, which is hardly suprising given its strategic location on the crossroads between 3 regions: Anjou, Touraine and Poitou. Read more

House Hunters: Castle Chapter – The perfect gift for someone who is addicted to social media! – Paris Photo Giveaway

Print pagePDF pageEmail page

The three posts on my Wednesday’s blogger round-up today were all written by fellow bloggers whom I met up with in Paris this week. Searching for Home is a young blogger who presents some of my favourite châteaux in the Loire in an original and amusing way. Mary Kay from Out and About in Paris has encouraged me to revise my (over)use of the iPhone with comments from her children while offering the perfect gift for a smart phone user! Carina Okula, a most talented Australian photographer and blogger living in Paris is running a photo giveaway that you shouldn’t miss.

House Hunters: Castle Chapter

by Searching for “Home”, a  half Swiss, half American citizen of Earth who shares the adventures and musings of an adult TCK* finding a place in the world.

castle_take-off“A man’s home is his castle and fortress, et domus sua cuique tutissimum refugium (and each man’s home is his safest refuge)”

– Sir Edward Coke

Come one, come all, Ladies, Gentlemen, step right up, step right up. Looking for a palace to live out that “happily ever after” fantasy? Look no further. We’ve got the castles you want at the prices you’ll most likely never afford. Read more

The perfect gift for someone who is addicted to social media!

by Mary Kay from Out and About in Paris, an American by birth, Swiss by marriage, resident of Paris with a Navigo Pass for the metro that she feels compelled to use

jules_verne_viewIt’s not always easy being the mother of adult-aged children, especially when they start discussing my foibles like I’m not even in the same room as them. I mean seriously, don’t they know that my hearing is still intact?!

Sara (sighing): Mom keeps tweeting.
Philippe (in an exasperated voice): I already told her that she had to stop tweeting at the table a long time ago.
Sara: Well, she hasn’t tweeted at the table…yet…but she has been tweeting on the metro…and the bus. And she even tweeted in the D’Orsay Museum even though I told her not to.
Me: (attempting to get a word in edge-wise) I was checking me email not tweeting.
Philippe: (completely ignoring my explanation) She would have never let us tweet at the table when we were young. Read more

Paris Photo Giveaway

by Carina Okula, an Australian photographer and rhildren’s craft creator living near Paris. She also has a blog

januaryGiveawayparisLight1848carinaokula3I’ve decided to have a giveaway, only I’m going to vamp it up somewhat.

Whenever I’ve run a giveaway in the past, I wanted everyone to win but there was only ever one gift waiting to go out. It got me thinking about how I might be able to make it possible to do a giveaway on a larger scale,  and then it came to me; I could give away images!

Instead of choosing one person to send a gift to, I’m going to give everyone – yes everyone – an image of Paris, and I’m super excited about it.

Rather than select one person to send a printed photo to, I’ll send everyone a high resolution image that you can use however you wish. You’ll be able to print it out and frame it, or,  use it as a screen saver. I don’t even mind if you want to use it on your blog – I just ask that you credit and link back to me if it used online for non-commercial purposes. Read more

Lunch Cruise on the Seine – Paris Restaurants: My Short List for What Stays Open in August (2012) – Gigondas: perfect food, wines & weather… and a good idea

Print pagePDF pageEmail page

The wonderful weather is more or less lasting so make the most of it! Mary Kay from Out and About in Paris, took a lunch cruise on the Seine this week, Abby from Paris Weekender checked out a few places to eat and drink that are staying open in Paris during August, when nearly everything shuts down, while fellow Australian, Lincoln from Vinosolex, whose blog I have just discovered, tells us about a wonderful food pairing celebration in Gigondas. Enjoy!

Lunch Cruise on the Seine: Tourists Get to Have all the Fun!

by Mary Kay from Out and About in Paris, an American by birth, Swiss by marriage, resident of Paris with a Navigo Pass for the metro that she feels compelled to use

Dinner at Le Dôme, shopping at Galeries Lafayette, riding around the gardens of Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte in a golf cart – sometimes it seems that tourists get to have all of the fun. Fortunately, my father-in-law’s visit gave Stephane and me a very good reason to momentarily forget about the long list of things that we still need to do before we travel to the U.K. on Thursday and savor the beauty of Paris.

If you haven’t already done a Bateaux Parisian lunch or dinner cruise on the Seine, I hope that this photo report will give you a good idea of what to expect: panoramic views of many of the most important monuments, live musical entertainment and a better-than-expected meal. Read more.

Paris Restaurants: My Short List for What Stays Open in August (2012)

by Abby from Paris Weekender, an American living in Paris who offers suggestions for Paris weekends, either staying put or getting out of town

Paris is notorious for shutting down in the month of August.  Last year, I gave you my short list of top restaurants that stay open for all or a good part of the month.  And I figured it would be helpful to have an update for 2012!  See my Crème de la Crème list for more details on each establishment. Read more.

Gigondas: perfect food, wines & weather… and a good idea

by Lincoln from Vinosolex, an Australian now living in Provence visits France’s vineyards on a 1968-model Solex motor bike. Discovering the magic of France at the right pace, with a focus on the Rhone valley.

There are good ideas and very good ideas.
This was a very very good idea.

The young vignerons of Gigondas convinced four of the region’s best cooks to come along to the village’s central square and cook to their hearts’ content. Then they got twenty of the appellation’s vignerons to roll out their barrels and pull out their corkscrews. They threw the gig open to the public for the very modest price of 25€ and waited to see if anyone bit.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...