delighted with the many tour operators
leading female-friendly adventures
to France who are also members of
our Journeywoman network of classified
advertisers. These are the experts,
the people we go to when we need advice
about travel to Paris and the French
countryside. We asked each of these
savvy tour planners to share one of
their 'travel to France' secrets with
us. Keep this advice handy. You never
know when the urge to be in Paris
or France, in general becomes too
great to resist.
A CUP OF CHOCOLAT CHAUD -- The
Fall is one of my favorite times
of the year to explore Paris.
So what could make a quiet,
relaxing fall or winter day
in Paris even better? Sipping
an unbelievably rich cup of
hot chocolate in a cozy café
while you watch the world go
by. I’m always on the
lookout for a truly delicious
'chocolat chaud' (pronounced
My latest find is a comfy little
located around the corner from
the beautiful Palais Royal.
The chocolat chaud is wonderful
and generously served in a pitcher,
ask for the Viennoise if you
prefer delectable whipped cream.
It is pure milk and cocoa, no
artificial powdery stuff here,
Parisians take their chocolat
seriously. Visit in the late
afternoon and linger peacefully
over your chocolate feeling
pampered and very Parisian.
Ragueneau, 220 rue St Honore,
75001; Paris. Tel: 01.42.61.29.76
IN PARIS IS A HOOT! -- Discover
Paris in a 2 CV.
Venice has its romantic gondolas,
London its impressive double-deckers.
What will you ride in Paris
to feel sooooo French? There
is no better way to discover
the city than to ride a 2 CV.
It is not the most comfortable,
it is not the most luxurious,
but it is the Frenchest. Even
with a 9-hour jetlag, there
is no way you will fall asleep
and miss the view in the bumpiest
car in the world. And you know
what -- you’ll love it!
'4 roues sous un parapluie',
your chauffeur will take you
to the best parts of Paris (also
available in Lyon), French style.
Many different tours are available
(from 30 minutes to 4 hours,
and even weekends). Click
MANAGEABLE MUSEUM -- One
of our favourite places in Paris
is the Marmottan
situated in the up-scale 16th
arrondissement. We take the
#63 bus from the Rue Cler area
to its end in the 16th and walk
a block to this lovely old mansion.
It’s small and manageable
-- just three floors including
the best works by Claude Monet
and works by Camille Pissarro
and Renoir and Sisley. The highlights
are scenes from Monet’s
garden at Giverny including
his famous water lilies. After
our visit we usually meander
through the delightful Jardin
du Ranelagh where children are
given rides on donkeys and the
world stands still for a few
moments in time. We stroll down
rue Passy admiring the stately
19th and 20th century buildings
along elegant tree-lined streets.
The 16th is less crowded and
more devoted to the local clientele.
Some stores to visit in the
area are Etam for bags and shoes
and Franck et Fils a very old-world
department store as well as
L’Entrepot with its abundant
HOT CHOCOLATE -- If
you're looking for the best
hot chocolate in the Paris,
or even the world, look no further
a lovely Viennese café
on the Rue de Rivoli just opposite
the Tuileries Garden and the
Louvre. It's the perfect post-museum
spot to luxuriate in the rich,
thick hot chocolate served in
a pitcher with a mound of whipped
cream on the side. The pastries
there are equally sumptuous.
Try their signature dessert,
the Mont Blanc, a true zenith
of a dessert, comprised of a
meringue base piled with chestnut
puree and whipped cream. Address:
226 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris.
WITH THE LOCALS IN HIDDEN KITCHENS
-- When you
are next in Paris why not eat
with the locals -- even better,
in their own hidden home kitchen.
to be popping up around the
globe (US/NYC, Italy, Asia for
starters) and the latest one
in Paris is receiving rave reviews.
When you make your arrangements
to go for dinner at someone's
private home, this is truly
an underground experience (home
by day, restaurant by night).
Step one is to request a seat
by e-mail, they set the stage
and the menu, you pay for the
meal prepared, not knowing what
the menu will consist of or
who will be seated next to you.
The price of dinner is 80 Euros,
this includes an aperitif, the
ten-course tasting menu, wine
pairings with most courses and
coffee or tea to finish. The
dinner is set is a large, beautiful
Haussmanian Parisian apartment
that seats up to 18. It is the
perfect venue for groups traveling,
solo travelers and also for
meeting new people. They do
either communal seating (one
big table) or two separate tables
depending on the occasion. This
experience is highly recommended
when you are in Paris, definitely
find your way there! See: http://www.hkmenus.com/english.html
Save money in this cafe...
an American living in Paris
for three months. I learned
the 18th arrondissment) from
my girlfriend who lives here
permanently and knows about
the little out of the way places
that are moderately priced.
is open for lunch on week days
only. It's run by Katrine and
her daughter and their specialty
is quiche and salad (5.50 euro).
In a word, yum! I had 2 pieces
of quiche (1 would have been
enough) with greens, a creamy
desert of sour cream and chocolate
bits, plus an espresso. Everything
is home-made. It was out of
this world. All for 9 Euro.
The quiche is
the real deal. No fillers. The
deserts are beautifully displayed
and you help yourself. The coffee
is made as you order it. The
menu is quite extensive. Now,
if you're in a hurry, forget
it. There are only the two women,
they do everything, and the
place is crowded. If you need
an extra napkin, get it yourself.
I absolutely love, love, loved
the experience, and almost hate
to tell anyone about it. There
are plants outside the door,
it has a wonderful 'down home'
atmosphere, and I walked out
with a smile. Guess where I'm
going for lunch tomorrow? Address:
82 Joseph de Maistre.
M. Terry Terrell,
Save on soap in Paris...
soaps from France are inexpensive
but lovely. Along with bathsalts,
they can be found in just
about any parapharmacie in
Paris. Parapharmacies carry
all sorts of beauty and health
care items, and the perfumed
soap comes in a variety of
scents such as hazelnut, almond
and water lily. They are packaged
in vibrant colors, making
very attractive gifts. One
parapharmacie I can recommend
du Forum des Halles,
305 Porte Lescot (Metro/RER
Les Halles). The Forum des
Halles is a large underground
shopping center; just find
the FNAC electronics store,
and the parapharmacie is right