Having the opportunity to live in Paris is one that we will continue to be appreciative of. It’s not often that you can step out of your front door to the smell of freshly baked goods, the beauty of your usual apartment block and the chicness of the Parisians. These are all things we are very much grateful for and of course help us to fall in love with the city of Paris so easily.
However, like anywhere in the world, Paris has it’s ups and its downs. Although the lists of positives could go on forever we thought it would be useful, and at times funny, to share with you some of the biggest struggles of living in the city of lights and how to solve them.
The French have always been known for appreciating the finer things. Foie gras, champagne, tarte tatin, they know how to celebrate life. So what happens when a country known for fine wines produces a wine that is purposely made to be cheap and easy to drink? They drink a lot of it!
Over one million cases of Beaujolais Nouveau are shipped out around the world and are opened at one minute past midnight (per French law!). That’s over 65 million bottles! This accounts for nearly half of the region’s total annual production. But this wine wasn’t always so popular. In fact, it is simply the result of the world’s greatest marketing campaign.
In the 1950s, the distributors in the Beaujolais region, located just north of Lyon, started to compete in an annual race to deliver the bottles to Paris. By the 1970s, one distributor named George Dubœuf decided to publicize the race and the wine; he started events surrounding its production, made banners and flyers claiming “Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé!“, and set an official release date for the wine, originally November 15th, later changed to the third Thursday in November.
Once the wine and the race had gained publicity, it started being shipped around the world, with Japan being the biggest importer. To draw attention to their wineries during the annual race, the designated wine runners would try to “shake things up,” travelling by rickshaw, hot air balloon, Concorde jet, and even by elephant! But the question lingers: if the wine is not supposed to be a good, classic wine, with all the tannins and other oenophile vocabulary that I don’t know, why is it so popular? Why all the fuss? Simply put: because it is easy to drink. The way the wine is produced and the phenolic compounds result in a fruity wine that is actually closer to white wine than red. Plus the fact that it is usually chilled makes the wine is easy to drink in large quantities; it is not meant to be critiqued or “understood,” thus calling for celebration. Santé!
As the leaves turned beautiful colors of yellow and orange this fall, we spent less time outside and more time inside eating our way through some of Paris’ newest dining and drinking spots! From healthy juices and bagels to market-fresh fish and super creative ingredients to re-visiting some of France’s most traditional dishes, there is a restaurant for every palate and every occasion this Fall.
Here are some of our favorites from the past few months that I am sure will warm your stomachs and souls as the temperatures continue to drop over the next few weeks!
Shakespeare & Co Cafe
37 rue de la Bûcherie, 75005 Paris
The coffee, juice and culinary genius behind Bob’s Juice brands has taken over the space next to the legendary Shakespeare & Co bookshop on the left bank. Continue reading
One of the great things about Paris is you can spend years exploring and still stumble upon hidden gems. In this week’s blog post, we give you a treasure map to find some of those hidden gems: the villas of Paris! A “villa” is a private street; though not all are private or gated, the real estate on the streets is generally considered luxe.
Welcome to Belleville, one of the most culturally rich neighborhoods in Paris! This neighborhood, situated in 20th arrondissement along the border of the 19th, started as an independent wine-making village before being occupied by Paris’ many different cultures. First the Armenians, Greeks, and Jews, and later the North Africans, Sub-Saharan Africans, and Chinese, making for quite a melting pot! Here is our neighborhood guide to Belleville:
The easiest way to get to this neighborhood is on the Metro line 11 to the Belleville stop, landing you in the middle of Chinatown, steps from the three dim sum giants: Le Président (120 rue du Faubourg du Temple), Le Pacifique (39 rue de Belleville), and Wezhou (24 rue de Belleville). Continue reading
One of our most common requests here at SFP is a good place to get a haircut. I have been living in Paris now for over 14 years and, I hate to admit, I have yet to find the perfect hairdresser. I am in constant search of good recommendations for clients but also for myself so, we at SFP decided to scour some of the most recommended salons and hair stylists here in Paris to share our experiences with our lovely readers.
Photo courtesy of David Mallett
David Mallett | Best High End
14 Rue Notre-Dame des Victoires, Paris 2eme
Probably the most well-known and buzzed about salon in Paris, David Mallet is a prestigious and one-of-a kind experience. With a team that treats you like a queen (and a Continue reading
When we met Diana Antholis we were inspired by her amazing energy, positivity and admirable confidence in being a woman. Only minutes into the conversation we immediately felt inspired to unleash our sexy and look for our center. Diana recently moved her life to Paris ready to take on a new clientele, spread her mantras and encourage a healthy and active sense of well being. Fortunately, we were able to interview the lovely lady herself for our next expat life feature on the blog and with great excitement, we introduce you to Diana Antholis.
We have scoured all corners of the city for some great views of Paris over the past few years. Our advice? Skip the Eiffel Tower or even the Arc de Triumph and snag some photos at some of these great spots, for free instead!
View from the Institut du Monde Arabe. Photo Credit: Sandrine L.
1. Patio of the Institut du Monde Arabe
Visiting the Institut du Monde Arabe holds many treasures from beautiful exhibits, delicious Continue reading
For those of you who didn’t know, Friday September 25th 2015 was our 5th year birthday party at Savoir Faire Paris and we most certainly celebrated in style!
We decided to celebrate this special occasion by hosting a party with all of our wonderful clients and the amazing people we work with who have all helped us to get to where we are today! Continue reading
As Autumn is approaching and it’s getting more chilly outside, it’s time to start weening yourself off of those outdoor picnics, and start getting back into the kitchen! We know we have to ease ourselves in slowly so to start off we want to share one our of favourite recipes with you – Gougères.