Friday, June 28, 2013


Métro: Saint-Paul (Line 1)
Address: 4 rue des rosiers, 75004 Paris
Hours: 10 am to 7:00 pm - Closed on Sunday

 Okay, okay, it's a Swedish brand but you will find that it's mostly Parisian women shopping there especially because "C'est les Soldes"! France has semi-annual sales. It's a huge deal here! Right now the Summer Collection is on sale to allow some room for the Winter Collection. You will find that most stores have huge deals ( up to 70% off by the end of the sales). So count on some long lines and angry women! Anyway coming back to COS, I love this brand. It's all about the cut. You will notice that in Paris most women wear neutral shades: black, grey and white with a tiny touch of color (especially this year with fashion). What matters is the cut! Gotta be super trendy and flattering. Can't go wrong with COS!

Passage Molière

Métro: Rambuteau  (Line 11) or Etienne-Marcel (Line 4) or Châtelet (RER A, line 14)
Address: 157 rue Saint Martin 75003 Paris
               82 rue Quincampoix 75003


I love passages in Paris. Passages are little alleys between streets. No crazy cars, no noise, no rush... just you and the moment.

Passage Molière is actually listed as a historical monument. It was opened in 1791 and kept its charm.

  Check out the boutiques and enjoy a drink at the corner café!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Mary Gelateria Naturale

Métro: Temple  (Line 3) or République (Line 3, 5, 8, 9 or 11)
Address: 1 rue Charles Dupuis 75003 Paris
Hours: 1:00 pm to 8:00 pm - Closed on Monday
Cost: 3.90 euros for 2 scoops

Nothing better than Italian gelato after a long day. Much to my shame, I have to admit I did not have time to take a picture of my gelato because I had my hands full and a burning desire to eat my gelato ASAP. I knew you'll understand. Mary is from Milano and her gelato is the real thing. She will greet you and speak to you almost all in Italian which to me added to the fun by a million.She is a bit shy at first but when you ask her about gelato, oh boy, you unleash passion. It's 100% natural and she will repeat it to you a dozen times: it's not powder. I took a scoop of Golden Kiwi and it was paradisio on earth. I almost wanted to turn back and take a scoop of every flavor. My new spot for Italian gelato.

Parc de Bercy

Métro: Cour Saint Emilion (line 14)
Address: 128 quai de bercy 75012 Paris
Hours: everyday 8 am - 9:30 pm during summer
Cost: Free

Right across from Bercy village is the Parc de Bercy. It is probably one of my favorites in Paris because it's a people's park. Locals sun bathe on the lawn, read on a bench and kids are running around. There is a sweetness to it and it feels like Sunday's family gathering every day.

The park is composed of different sections so it's almost like visiting 20 parks in one. There is a maze, a veggie garden, pools, a wind garden, a fire garden, an aromatic garden and so on. You can't afford to miss a little corner of it!

I love seeing palm trees and the orange trees. It really makes me feel like I am on vacation.

In the beginning, this was a giant vineyard during Roman time, then under Louis XIV, it also became a huge wine cellar and market. You may be able to see the rails which were used by trains to transport the wine. Ah French people and their wines, it is truly a love affair.

"La maison du Jardinage" used to be the Tax office (well, got to tax the wine of course) but is now a place where you can take gardening classes on the week-end.

The park is so big that it is divided in sections. To reach another section, just use the bridges but be super super careful, those steps are slippery and uneven. I almost fell 3 times.

There is still a vineyard which they still harvest in the fall. What I really loved was all the daisies around it. I wanted to roll myself in them but I don't think the guard thought it was a good idea.

After a fun afternoon in the park, you can just cross over to Bercy Village for a treat!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Bouillon Racine

Métro:  Cluny-La Sorbonne (Line 10)
Address: 3, rue Racine - 75006 Paris
Hours: everyday noon - 11 pm

Founded in 1906, Bouillon Racine is one of the oldest restaurants in Paris. It is actually an historical monument. Be careful, there is actually 2 entrances to this building, one to a bar and one to Bouillon Racine (Right door). 

I love Art Nouveau Décors so I first decided to try out this place based on the décor alone. I felt like I went back in time. Aren't those the coolest floors ever!? Perfect setting for some traditional French cooking.

I chose the Daily Market Menu for lunch (Monday-Friday) at 15.50 euros which included an appetizer and a main course (or a main course and dessert). It was cold and so I thought soup would cheer me up.

I ordered the Cream of Carrot Soup and I about fell off my chair, it was soooo good. The best soup I have ever eaten and everyone knows we eat plenty of it. It was creamy and delicate. I would have bathed in it if I had been given the opportunity. The main course was alright (Duck with potatoes). I later learned that they are really well-known for their waffles so I feel it is my duty to go again for some soup and a waffle!

Thursday, June 20, 2013


 The Saint-Jean's gate

Transilien:  Provins (leaving from Gare de l'Est)
Bus Services: Link
Address: 77 482 Provins
Cost: Free- 11 euros

                                                           11th-14th century ramparts
Provins is a medieval city just a few miles away from Paris. From the train station, there is a few buses to take you up to the old town but we decided to walk (a bit steep but just a 15 minutes walk) and enjoy the lower town as well. We went there in February and although we had mostly blue sky, the strong winds were a killer. The nice thing about going off season is that there is no one there! I remember going in the midst of summer and it was, well, a touristy place. However during summer season, you can all the cool medieval Shows.

You can walk around for free which we usually do but this time we took the museum pass and it was way cool. The pass is about 11 euros. However they have a family pass for 33 euros so if you have a big family, that's an awesome deal. It allows you to visit all the museums and monuments.

                                                        9th-12th  century Caesar's Tower 
 With your pass you can visit the tower. It was the watchtower and the prison. It's pretty bare inside but the view is spectacular. If you decide to go all the way up in the bell tower, make sure you are not claustrophobic because those are the tiniest and most uneven stairs.

                                                    11 th century Saint-Quiriace Church


                                                      11th century  Saint-Ayoul Church

Provins was a powerful and influential city in the Middle Ages, mostly due to its trading and markets. Merchants from all over France and even Europe (Italy and Netherlands) would come the sell and buy products making it one of the richest towns in France at the time.

                                                  16th century Notre-Dame-du-Val Tower

This tower is the only remains from Notre-Dame Church which was mostly destroyed during the French Revolution.

We had such a blast there. Lots of walking but we enjoyed every minute of it. Don't forget to visit the underground tunnels especially if you like the Francs-Maçons.

Bercy Village

Métro:  Cour Saint-Émilion (line 14)
Address: Cour Saint-Emilion - 75012 Paris
Hours: everyday 11 am - 9 pm
Restaurants are opened until 2am.

 This is actually a place where the locals hang out. You will find very few tourists and yet, if you are a Parisian it feels so un-Paris to be there.

Bercy Village used to be a market specialized in Wine up until the 1960's where it was abandoned. In an effort to restore it, it was decided that it would become a shopping mall. I approve of this brilliant idea.

You will find boutiques for all your needs: cooking, decorating, design, clothes, sports as well as a giant bookstore (FNAC) and lots of cafés/restaurants. My favorite store is Oliviers & Co where you can find the best truffle oil and my husband could spend hours at Boardriders.

The "terrasses" (decks) are where people enjoy a drink in the shades of those fabulous buildings and it's really affordable (that's my favorite part). There is also a megacomplex movie theater. So it sounds like the perfect way to spend an afternoon: shopping, movie and a dinner.

They have loads of free activities for kids on Wednesday, week-ends and during school vacation. There's also free concerts and activities on most evenings (week-ends mostly). Check their website for details.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Musée Zadkine

 Métro: Vavin (line 4) or Notre-Dame-des-Champs (Line 12)
RER B: Port Royal
Address: 100 bis, rue d'Assas 75006 Paris
Hours: everyday 10 am - 5:30 pm - Closed on Monday
Cost: Free (unless there is a special exhibit)

 Located in the house of the artist, the Zadkine Museum is a nice break away from the fast pace of the city. It's only a couple blocks away from the Garden of Luxembourg.

 Ossip Zadkine (1890-1967) is a Russian sculptor who moved to Paris in 1928 where he stayed until his death in 1967. He belongs to the "Primitifs" movement.


 This is a small museum but it represents well what Zadkine was about. Good news is that the access is free.  It will take you about 30 minutes to go through it.


 It has a small garden with a few of his bigger work which leads to his studio.

 In all honesty, even if you are not an admirer of his work, it is worth discovering this little gem. I wish that property was for sale because this is my dream house. It bathes in natural light (unlike most of the Parisian museums) and is so refreshing.

However, there is always a nice reminder that we are in France. The museum officially is open from 10am to 6pm. Last ticket sold at 5:30pm. Ironically, it was closed at 1pm when I arrived. We're in France; people, everything is relative! What happened was that there were 1 short and that is just not acceptable. So the 8-9 remaining staff members had to close the museum in order to get their 2 hours lunch. "C'est la vie"

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