Paris Pastry Shops – 10 Best


This is a guest post by the wonderful Lou in Paris. Originally from the UK, she moved to France in 2009 and works in communications and publishing. We hope you drool over this post as much as we did!

It’s no secret that Paris has some very talented pastry chefs. The French have high expectations and the profession is known for its rigorous training programmes and unsociable working hours.

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In my 6 years living here, I have not yet managed to taste everything that the city has to offer. However, I have tested enough to compile this top ten list of French pastry shops, just in case you’re planning to be in Paris in the near future.

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La Pagode


This is a guest post by Sara McCarty at Context Travel. They have shared some of their expert advice on some fun new ways to discover the City of Light. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Paris has no dearth of historic jewel-box cinema houses where you can escape the summer heat and take in a film amidst grandeur from a former age.

Photo Credit: Mart

Photo Credit: Mart

One such house is La Pagode, a late 19th century gem commissioned by François-Émile Morin, the director of Le Bon Marché department store, as a gift for his wife. The building Continue reading

La Petite Ceinture


La Petite Ceinture is a Parisian secret known to few tourists, other than those who do their homework! What was once an abandoned railway has become an incredibly picturesque garden, below street level, circling the urban jungle that is Paris. Between the graffiti and and overgrown grass, La Petite Ceinture, or “little belt,” is way off the beaten path.

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La Petite Ceinture was built in 1869 for military purposes, facilitating the shuttling of soldiers between train stations. Trains stopped running along most of la Petite Ceinture in 1934, though one area continued to be used until 1985. It is now full of wild flowers and fauna, with more than 200 species of plants and 70 species of animals.

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Most of the railway is off limits, but for those seeking adventure, it is easy to find research on entry points to the abandoned areas. The areas open to pedestrians are accessible at 99 rue Olivier de Serres in the 15th Arrondissement.

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There has been a lot of discussion in the past 10 years about whether to open the railway to the public, or keep it off limits and preserve a piece of Parisian history. We love this hidden gem of old Paris. Check it out yourselves and let us know what you think!

Swimming Pools in Paris


Now that the weather has warmed and the sun is shining, what better way is there to spend these beautiful Parisian summer days than pool-side?

For those of us who plan on spending the summer in Paris instead of escaping to the beach, we have curated a list of our favorite swimming pools in Paris to share with you! Grab that new bikini, slather on some sunscreen and splash around in these great, truly Parisian, swimming pools this summer.

Photo: Marc Verhille - Mairie de Paris

Piscine Joesphine Baker | Photo: Marc Verhille – Mairie de Paris

Piscine Josephine Baker

Probably the most well-known of Paris swimming pools, this stylish aquatic center alongside the Seine and overlooking Bercy opened the same year as Paris Plage. The pool is a bit smaller than Continue reading

Musée Marmottan Monet


Our latest museum spotlight is on the Musée Marmottan Monet located in the 16th arrondissement right behind the beautiful Jardin du Ranelagh. The museum holds the largest collection in the world of Monet’s work and is located in a stunning mansion just outside the Bois de Boulogne. The museum, which used to be a hunting lodge, opened in 1934 when the house and the art collection were donated to the Académie des Beaux-Arts by father and son Jules and Paul Marmottan.

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The permanent collections include various pieces focusing on the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist periods, Continue reading

An Expat Life | Stefanie Talley


Stefanie is one of those people we love to follow and find out what the latest trends and activities are in the City! Originally from Oklahoma City and currently living in Paris, Stefanie has opened our eyes to the fun and inexpensive things to do in the city through her blog – Free in Paris. Thanks to a giveaway on her Free in Paris blog, we were able to meet the lovely lady herself and decided follow on with an expat series on the life of Stefanie Talley.

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Stroll through Pigalle & SoPi with Context Travel


This is a guest post by Lily Heise at Context Travel. They have shared some of their expert advice on some fun new ways to discover the City of Light. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Over the past few years the streets just south of Pigalle, known as SoPi, have paved their way onto the cool map of Paris with locavore gastrobars, designer shops and hipster hangouts. However, this seemingly new bohemian blood has actually been flowing through its veins since the quartier’s inception two hundred years ago, when it went by the name La Nouvelle Athènes. Discover the eclectic history of this hip neighborhood on this little stroll, and why not stop to have a look at Savoir Faire Paris’ guide to the 9th arrondissement and some of the great boutiques along the way or finish with an artisanal beer?

Paul Gavarni in Place saint georges

Photo courtesy of Context Travel

With the shadow of the France’s defeat at Waterloo fading, coupled with an advancing industrial age and growing middle class, Paris began experiencing a resurgence in the 1820s. This grow naturally forced the belt of the city’s borders a notch or two wider. The prime real estate pocket just between the Grands Boulevards and the sleepy village of Montmartre became the hub of La Nouvelle Athènes and this nouvelle zone soon became the intellectual, political and artistic hub of the Romantic movement and, as such, critical to the social and artistic revolutions of the 19th century.

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The Booming Coffee Culture in Paris Continues


 

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At Savoir Faire Paris we love our daily coffee’s to get us through the weeks, as the hashtag goes #ButFirstCoffee – a moto that we live by daily! Fortunately for us, the future of coffee in Paris has been rapidly changing, meaning that finding your nearest cup of quality coffee is never too far away. The 1€ espressos from over roasted coffee beans at the bar of your typical brasserie are loosing out to those carefully crafted coffees by experienced baristas opening up “specialty” coffee shops all around Paris.

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Le Bon Marché: The Other French Revolution


This is a guest post by Lindsay Poulin at Context Travel. They have shared some of their expert advice on some fun new ways to discover the City of Light. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Chanel, Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Louis Vuitton, Hermès… These names remind us that fashion and Paris are synonymous, with styles and trends changing as quickly as the temperamental Parisian weather.  Every year hundreds of thousands of visitors flock to the grands magasins to shop designer labels; given their grandeur, these stores seem to have been a fixture in the fabric of French fashion history since the whimsical styles of Marie-Antoinette’s court. However, the concept of shopping at a department store is actually a more recent – and revolutionary – development, a facet docent Virgina Vogwill, who has spent over a decade working as a costumer in the French film industry, explores on our new walk covering the history of fashion in Paris.

Up and Down.Throughout the 18th and early 19th centuries, the business of fashion was dominated by designers such as Rose Bertin, Charles Worth and Jacques Doucet, who held court in their ateliers on rue de la Paix and rue Saint-Honoré. Their expensive and made-to-order styles attracted royalty and aristocracy from all over the world, establishing Paris as a true fashion capital. So when did this change? Continue reading

Viaduc des Arts


Paris is one of those cities where there is so much going on and so much to see in all the neighborhoods that, naturally, there are some areas that get overlooked. For me, that area is the Viaduc des Arts in the 12th arrondissement.

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I had been to the Bercy shopping area, to Bastille, to the Bois de Vincennes, and though I had driven by it a thousand times, I had never actually stopped and walked the Viaduc des Arts, a vast stretch of artists and artisans and cafes lining one side of Avenue Daumesnil. Continue reading