The young and old, rural and cosmopolitan all agree: A perfect Summer evening is spent in the company of good friends around a game of pétanque, glass of Pastis in hand. Walk five minutes in any direction in Paris in July and you’ll find a round of boules in full swing and picnic in tow. If you’re new to the sport, fret not, we’ve got you covered here in our guide to Paris pétanque.
• A set of 6 hallow metal boules and the little wooden cochonnet.
• A hard dirt or gravel terrain, roughly 40 feet long.
• Pastis or rosé. Pastis is an anise flavored liqueur served with ice-cold spring water, it is popular throughout France but often associated with the Provençal lifestyle. A chilled rosé is the go-to alternative for the anise adverse.
Object of the Game
To score the most points by placing your boule nearest to the cochonnet and keeping your opponent’s boules away. This is achieved firstly by strategically placing your boule and secondly by knocking your opponent’s boule further from the cochonnet.
Over at Savoir Faire Paris, we are always looking for fun activities in Paris for our clients. That is why when we were invited to try a cooking class at one of Paris’ English-speaking cooking schools by a friend one Saturday morning we enthusiastically attended!
Located deep in Montmartre, Cook’n With Class is a fun, unpretentious, laid back cooking school with two beautiful, fully equipped kitchens. Their friendly staff helps you with your reservation and sends you detailed directions on how to find their location.
Paris is arguably the most visited city in the world. Warmer weather brings with it droves of tourists. What this often means for locals is crowded streets, a cramped métro, and English spoken everywhere. Parisians are used to tourists but you often hear the same complaints tourist season after season. Here is our list of the 10 best ways Continue reading
Coretta is the cosmopolitan creation of Mexican born chef Beatriz Gomez and her husband Matthieu Marcantin, as well as Jean Francois Pantaléon in the up and coming Batignolles neighborhood of Paris. The contemporary French restaurant brings both simplicity and elegance to the 17th. With a two floor set up that overlooks the Martin Luther King park, this spot is appropriately named after MLK’s wife, Coretta. On the first floor you’ll find the open kitchen and half of the tables, while upstairs you’ll find the rest which sit below twinkly lighting, white marble, and light wood. The décor is glamorous in an understated way, and best of all: everything is eco-friendly. The Sinatra music that drifts in the background and the honeycomb wine racks that line the wall transport you to another era.
The menu is limited to five different entrees, plats, and desserts and is expected to change every month. This month they’re serving up everything from lieu jaune de ligne (pollack), to cabillaud demi-sel (cod) to poitrine de cochon Capelin (pork belly) to foie gras de canard (duck foie gras). I chose the cabillaud demi-sel while my friend picked the ris de veau crousti fondant (crisp veal). Both dishes were colorful and packed with flavor. My cabillaud was lean and sweet with a creamy sauce, while my friend’s cote de veau was tender and covered in a rich sage jus. Both went down nicely with a bottle of Roussanne. For dessert I opted for the fine feuille chocolat Madong, a delectable piece of chocolate cake with spicy pineapple. It was an interesting and surprisingly pleasant fusion of flavors. My friend chose the mille-feuille vanille, which was so good that I nearly reached across the table to lick the caramel au beurre demi-sel sauce off of the plate. Glasses of Calvados made for nice post dinner digestifs, and our sweet waitress brought us Hershey kiss cookies to round out a thoroughly enjoyable meal.
With lunch menus starting at around 24€ (entrée/plat or plat dessert) and dinner menus at about 39€ (entrée/plat or plat/dessert), you’re sure to get tasty and aesthetically divine dishes. The bright airiness and spaciousness of the place makes it perfect for relaxing and catching a sunset from behind sleek glass windows. When the weather warms up this place is sure to have a packed terrace. Definitely a must try!
151 bis rue Cardinet
Nestled behind the Mayor’s offices in the 3rd arrondissement of Paris stands the Carreau du Temple. This building and the site it occupies are rich in history, which is why the plan to raze the place in the 1970s for a parking lot went down in flames. Community action saved the monument from destruction and decades of planning have given us the exquisite multi-purpose cultural center that opened last month.
The Carreau du Temple owes its name to the Templar Knights of Pariswho constructed their European headquarters on this land in the 12th century. By the time of the French Revolution the Continue reading
Ahhhh those glorious days of sunshine we just experienced in Paris. If only they were here to stay. We have to hold out a little bit longer until spring, so we thought we’d give you the inside scoop on how to stay relaxed in Paris until the flowers bloom. Here’s our rundown of some chill places to take a break in Paris:
- Rêves d’Abyssinie (132 rue Saint Denis 75003) : Named in honor of Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee, this adorable little coffee shop is relaxed and houses a beautiful brass bar that will have you drinking cup after cup of their 1euro40 coffee (at that price, who wouldn’t?!). With deliciously brewed coffee from Brazil, and soon to be offered Turkish coffee, this place offers a feel good experience with an international kick. While coffee is often an exotic product that comes from afar, Reves d’Abyssinie serves creations that remain true to the origins of the coffee beans. Throw in a soup or sandwich and you’ve got yourself the perfect place to take a lunch break or grab a midafternoon espresso to reboot your morale.
- Les Galeries du Panthéon Bouddhique (19, avenue d’Iéna 75016) : Did you know that in the heart of the 16th, near Iena, lies a beautiful Japanese garden ? Neither did we! This Japanese garden is located next to the Guimet Museum, the French national museum of Asian art, and is a paradise that attracts Buddhist sages but is open to all. Upon entering the garden one sees bamboo awnings, stone paths, wooden bridges, which are not to be overshadowed by the soothing sound of a stream. The garden is designed to represent Harmony (Wa), Respect (Kei), Purity (Sei) and Serenity (Jaku). Each week there is a tea ceremony open to all who are curious about Buddhist teachings. This unique garden makes for a perfect relaxation spot—best of all, it’s free.
- Cupckarie Chloé. S (40 rue Jean-Baptiste Pigalle 75009) : Can one ever be unhappy when one is holding/eating a cupcake? Doubtful! Trade in your afternoon smoke session for a cupcake break. At Cupckarie Chloe. S you can choose from among the M&M Chocolate cupcakes to the Black Tea cupcakes, just to name a few. The icing is whipped to perfection and though you may go in with the intention of only buying one, you’ll probably exit this store with more. You know what they say about temptation—avoid it or yield to it. Cut yourself some slack and give in to these sugary delights. An added bonus: they put marshmallows in your coffee. This girly boutique, which looks like a doll’s house, is sure to sprinkle your day with sweetness.
- Le 7th Ciel (12 rue Joseph de Maistre) This list wouldn’t be complete without one rooftop bar. After all, cocktails with a view is one of the most relaxing and delightful combinations. Head to Le 7th Ciel, where you’ll find a beautiful lounge set-up and a terrace that overlooks the city with a panoramic view. Drinks don’t come cheap here but you’ll find an assortment of mojitos, whiskies, champagnes, and beer. Risottos, salads, bruschetta, and tapas make for yummy munching food. It’s best to take in the plants, sunshine, and view in the afternoon when things are slower and more mellow. At night the bar fills up quickly and you’ll have to fight for a bench or table. This is the perfect place to come for swanky drinks with friends who want to soak up the sun and enjoy the Parisian skyline from Montmartre.
5. Place Dauphine (Place Dauphine) Last summer I discovered the fun that is petanque. What was once considered a game for older people has now become the newest hipster game of choice. To play all you need is a friend or two, an open space, and the ability to aim and then throw the ball. Someone throws the jack and the rest of the game is spent trying to throw your boules closer to that jack than the other players. It sounds a little crazy I know, but it’s wickedly relaxing, especially at dusk with the sun setting behind you. Place Dauphine has a great little area in which to play petanque. Make a day or evening of it by bringing a picnic, some nice wine, and great friends.
“I’m wearing a bright pink scarf” reads the text I receive as I walk to meet Jodie in front of the carrousel at métro Saint-Paul in the Marais. It’s early spring and the city is bustling with an optimism only the promise of warm weather can inspire. We’ve never met before and I am looking forward to hearing Jodie’s expat story. It’s the question we expats inevitably ask each other, “so what brought you to Paris?”
Jodie spots me first and I turn to see Continue reading
As the sun comes out and the days get warmer, dining at a place like Haï Kaï on the Canal Saint Martin is the perfectly refreshing way to spend a weekday lunch.
I popped into this adorable little eatery to have some food and a chat with the beautiful Danielle of Danielle Abroad. It was one of the first of a series of beautiful sunny days this year and we enjoyed our table by the window bathed in sunlight. Continue reading
There are two parks in Paris large enough to be considered woods. They are found on opposite sides of the city, with the Bois de Vincennes in the east and the Bois de Boulogne in the western 16th arrondissement. The Bois de Boulogne is more than twice the size of New York’s Central Park Continue reading
It isn’t hard to noticed how well dressed some of the Parisian children are in this city. Moms-to-be as well as their offspring are dressed to the T and decked out in some of the hottest baby gear all year-round.
Maybe it is just because I am hitting the age where many of my friends are starting to have babies on the brain and I find myself shopping for baby gifts often lately but I have stumbled upon some really great shops for babies and kids. If you are expecting or in search of some great gifts for some miniature loved-ones, here are some of our top picks for kids shopping in Paris:
Centre Commercial Kids
Centre Commercial is a collaborative space bringing together products sourced from France, England and Denmark. Their children’s shop is filled with fun and festive clothing and unique Continue reading