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Her Paris Tearooms
tea for one...

The four "biggies"...

Don't forget about tearooms at teatime! Wherever you go, rest assured you will feel comfortable and welcome. A pot of tea and a glorious French pastry is just the thing after a long day of sightseeing. Here are the four most famous tearooms in Paris.

Mariage Fréres -- In business since 1854, the oldest French importer of tea. Nearly 500 varieties of tea are on the menu and also sold retail. Three locations--30, rue du Bourg-Tibourg, 4th arr; 13, rue des Grands-Augustins, 6th arr; 260, rue de Faubourg-Saint-Honoré, 8th arr.

Angélina's -- Oldest tearoom in Paris, still at 226, rue de Rivoli, 1st arr. Most famous item on the menu isn't even tea, it's chocolaté l'africain, a super-rich hot chocolate.

Ladurée -- A gorgeous, gilded jewel box of a tearoom. Famous for its macaroons -- one is sold every 25 seconds! Original location is at 16, rue Royale, 8th arr; a new branch is now at 75, avenue des Champs-Elysées, 8th arr.

Dalloyau -- A chic traiteur/tearoom. A traiteur offers gourmet take-out (think very fancy deli). Tearooms upstairs feature fabulous pastries that are also sold retail. Four locations --2, place Edmond-Rostand, 6th arr; 101, rue de Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 8th arr; 5, boulevard Beaumarchais, 4th arr; 69, rue de la Convention, 15th arr.

Ooh la la! French lessons...

Most French menus are more or less decipherable by most English speakers. But this list will help you with some of the trickier items often found on tearoom menus.

Tartes -- Tartes sucrées are made with pommes (apples), citron (lemon), framboises (raspberries) and fraises (strawberries), as well as abricot, chocolat, and rhubarbe, among other yummy things.

Tartes salées -- These are close to quiche. They can contain épinards (spinach), courgettes (zucchini), or poireaux (leeks), as well as tomates, carottes, saumon, and aubergines (eggplant). Sometimes called a tourte.

Oeuf -- Oeufs sur le plat may look like it means eggs on the plate, but no, these are fried eggs. Scrambled eggs are oeufs brouillés. Oeuf dur is a peeled hard-boiled egg; oeuf coque is a soft-boiled egg in the shell. Omelette and oeuf poché are self-explanatory. Anything served natur or nature is plain, so an omelette nature is a plain omelet.

Gratin -- These are hot casseroles with crusty breadcrumb tops. They can contain viande (meat) or poisson (fish), also riz (rice), betteraves (beets), champignons (mushrooms), and haricots verts (green beans).

Salades -- Salades are salads, of course. The most common kinds are verte (just lettuce), composée (lettuce with something else, sometimes just tomato), and niçoise (lettuce with, usually, tuna, green beans, hard-boiled egg, and anchovies).

Légumes -- Légumes cuit vapeur" are steamed vegetables. Crudités are raw vegetables.

Clothing advice from Nancy in Paris..

I live in Paris, and I just enjoyed reading the comments about the city that you have posted at the website. Let me share with other women around the world some of my clothing advice about Paris and France.

Although roughly half of the working population in France is now made up of women, they only obtained the right to vote in 1944 , and only got the right to work without the permission of their husbands in 1965.

One thing to understand about the way you dress in France, and Paris in particular, is that French men kind of worship women's beauty, and the way you dress still reflects your social position. We advocate dressing to suit the occasion.

Going to Les Halles district in a very conservative look will seem very old fashioned there.

Going shopping in a jogging suit on Montaigne avenue, at Dior or Chanel, will just earn disdainful looks.

In the evening, wearing jeans and a T-shirt to have a drink in a small bar or pub is no problem, but you need a more attractive and sexier look if you go to the bigger places -- Castel, Regines, Bar fly, Bario Latino or Man Ray.

Paris is a wonderfully fashionable city and it offers an incredible variety of styles. You can wear an Indian sari in Gare de L'est district, or an African bubu in the 18th district. Just remember to think first and dress appropriately.

Catherine, Paris, France

Travelling solo? We have some great activities to keep you busy.

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