Thursday, September 26, 2013

L'atelier de l'éclair

Métro: Sentier (Line 3) or Etienne Marcel (Line 4)
Address: 16 rue Bachaumont, 75002 Paris
Hours: everyday from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm
Cost: around 4.50 euros per éclair

Another pastry shop dedicated to éclairs! I was jumping up and down when I learned about L'atelier de l'éclair because I just adore its competitor l'éclair de génie.

The plus:

1/ a trendy tea room where you can enjoy your éclair.
2/ the choices: not only do they do sweet flavors but also savory ones like salmon and dill.
3/ the size: on a diet? no problem, you can order a bite size one (still 3.00 euros) or order their giant one for a party.
4/ you can order online including gift boxes

The not so good points:

I tasted the Mango-Passion bite sized one as well as the Raspberry one. I was a bit sad because it did not compare to the delicacy and subtility of its competitor l'éclair de génie.  And the staff was less than pleasant.

My thoughts: it's a fun concept and nice marketing but taste is everything so I am not so sure I will return. Let me know if you try a different flavor that was a killer!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Musée de Montmartre

Métro: Lamarck-Caulaincourt (line 12)
Address: 12, rue Cortot, 75018 Paris
Hours: everyday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Cost: 9.00 euros per adult (see website for details)

Just steps away from the Sacré Coeur is the Museum of Montmartre. It's unpretentious mirroring its past of bohemian life of its famous inhabitants. Yet you will find it homey and with a soul contrasting with the sterile environment of some other famous museums of Paris.

La Balançoire by Auguste Renoir (source Wikipedia)

Yep this is it! The spot where Renoir painted "La Balançoire". You can seat on THE swing. Renoir lived and had his studio there in 1876. Surprisingly, this painting was not well received by the critics of the time and was bought by his friend and fellow painter Gustave Caillebotte.

 The landscape has been redone to look like it was during Renoir's time and has been named after him. Renoir wasn't the only artist to have his studio there. Among others, Suzanne Valadon, Maurice Utrillo or Raoul Dufy also worked in this cozy space.

The museum is made of a few houses dating from the 17th century. In the museum, you can admire artwork relating the life of Montmartre including famous posters from Toulouse-Lautrec or Modigliani to name a few.

The vineyard of Montmartre already existed in the Middle Ages. There truly is a love story between the French and their wine! However, it's been restored in 1933. So I guess you can say it is new wine! ;)

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Parc de Bagatelle

Métro: Pont de Neuilly (line 1)
Address: Château de Bagatelle 75016 Paris
Hours:  Tuesday-Friday from 9:30 am to 8:00 pm (summer season)
Closed on Monday and holidays
Cost: 5.50 euros during high season, free the rest of the year.

It was about time that I mentioned this little oasis. Well not so little since it is about 25 hectares big. I went during Spring time to see all the tulips in full bloom for free but unfortunately during high season, you have to pay a fee (5.50 euros per adult).


“C'est une bagatelle!” It's a French expression which means “it's nothing” (as in financially). It takes its name after this park. It came about from a bet between Marie-Antoinette and her brother-in-law the count of Artois, future Charles X. The property cost about 4 millions and buildings were edified in 64 days in 1777. So as the French know best how to use their ironic sense of humor the expression stayed. A Bagatelle stands for not much or without significance.


Mostly spared during the French Revolution, it was sold in 1830 to a British Lord, Lord Seymour who added the fountains and waterfalls then bought back by the city of Paris in 1905. The city of Paris designed the rose garden where you can admire a collection of over 9000 varieties of the fragrant flowers. And you always feel young compared to the 140 years old trees! You can also mingle with the peacocks. They're everywhere, even in the high branches which took me by surprise. Try the mating season (around June) for a colorful show. 


Click HERE to download the map of the park as well as a calendar of what is in bloom each month.



Saturday, September 7, 2013

Le Petit Palais

Métro: Champs Elysées (line 1 or 13)
Address: Avenue Winston Churchill, 75008 Paris
Hours:  Tuesday-Friday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm (last entrance at 5:00pm)
Closed on Monday and holidays
Cost: Free

Did you know that Paris did not have any museum until 1880? It seems so surreal to me. Sometimes I think museums are as old as homo sapience. I know pretty naive. It's was of the purpose of the Universal Expo of 1900: to make Paris a city of culture, refinement and art. Le Petit Palais translated the Small Palace (little sister of the Grand Palais located across the street) was build for that purpose and was part of the Universal Expo of 1900. After the expo, the city of Paris decided to keep the building and transformed it into the Museum of Fine Arts of Paris. Pfff, close death avoided. It became the second museum of the city of Paris, right after Carnavalet.

Le Petit Palais is literally 2 steps away from the Champs Elysées and the main collection are free. Only the temporary exhibit have a fee. Like all the free museums of Paris, you will still need to get a ticket before going in.

Ah the garden court! Probably one of my favorite spot. You can seat at the little café, eating a pretty affordable and good meal enjoying the view of the lush garden. The magnificent fresco represent the months as well as the hours of Night and Day using Renaissance techniques. 

Construction of the Dome started the day after World War I was declared and represent the History of French art with portraits of famous French artists as well as their work.

Now that we drooled over the splendor of the architecture, let's faint in front of the beauty of its collection. I love this museum because you get a bit of everything and I just can't get over it. Your eyes get constantly stimulated by what they see. 

La Femme au singe (1908) by Camille Alaphilippe

Le Noueau-né (1881) by Angré Gill

You can find paintings from Rembrandt, Rubens, Monet, Manet, Mary Cassatt, Boudin, Cézanne, Corot, Courbet, Signac or Sisley just to name of few. Yeah I know, you're about to pass out. But I'm not done, you can also admire pieces from Roman antiquity, Medieval art or Renaissance. You can also admire wonderful sculptures (from Rodin, for example) or prints (from Dürer). Did I mention it is free? You have NO excuse not to go.

L'église de Moret (1894) by Alfred Sisley

Beau temps à Pern (1901) by Henry Moret

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Le Passe Muraille

Métro: Lamarck Caulaincourt (line 12)
Address: Place Marcel Aymé, 75018 Paris
Hours:  24/24
Cost: Free

Marcel Aymé (1902-1967) is a French novelist who wrote Le Passe Muraille (translated in English as The Man Who Walked through Walls). It's the story of a man, Dutilleul, who suddenly realizes that he can walk through walls and uses his gift to impress the girl whom he loves by stealing objects at the hotel she works at. He ends up loosing the girl and doing so, his gift. You can find a sculpture representing Marcel Aymé's character in Montmartre where he resided. The surrounding streets are just gorgeous with elegance and romanticism and will lead you to the Sacré Coeur area. But before you pass your way, don't forget to touch Dutilleul's hand. Who knows you might be able to catch his gift and go through walls. I tried and it did not work, too bad!

Monday, September 2, 2013

l comme Liza

Métro: Bourse (line 3)
Address: 14 rue de la Banque, 75002 Paris
Hours:  Monday-Friday from 12:00 pm to 3:00pm
Cost: around 11 euros for full menu. Around 5 euros for a sandwich.

I am back from my vacation, feeling rested and energized. Energy is what you need in Paris because there is so much to see and so much to do. When I say so much to do, I mostly refer to food! How do French women stay so skinny when there is so much temptation around?

I, myself, will worry about my weight later because as for now I feel it is my duty to talk about this great eatery: l comme liza. Paris has a soft spot for Lebanese food and so do I. To me it feels so exotic yet so homey to eat there. It's fresh and light yet so filling and satisfying.

Liza has actually two restaurants side by side. One is a real sit-down restaurant which I vowed to try soon and the other one is more of a fast-food eatery. Décor is modern and check out those super cool lamps! They're made of recycled bottles of water. How cool is that!? Since there is only about 10 tables plan on being there right at the opening or a little later than lunch.

You can have a full lunch menu for about 11 euros including an appetizer, entrée and drink or a fruit salad. I personally highly (and I mean HIGHLY) recommend the dates and rose water drink. So refreshing that we usually order a second one.


Click here for the menu!  So what is Lebanese Food exactly? No worries, I've tried them all so I can help you out:

Baba ghanouj: Dip made of char-grilled eggplants and garlic.
Falafel: patties made of ground chickpeas and spices (my husband's favorite and only vegetarian meal he will ever eat).
Halloumi: brined cheese made from a mixture of goat's and sheep's milk.
Hummus: dip made of blended chickpeas, sesame tahini and lemon juice.
Kafta: meatballs made with lamb or/and veal (sooooo good)
Labneh: strained yogurt, garnished with good olive oil and sea salt.
Man'ouché: sandwich
Shawarma: pretty similar to gyro's
Tabbouleh: diced parsley salad with burghul, tomato and mint.

 Labné with pita bread as my appetizer.

 And a super good Kafta! My favorite of all times!

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