Author Archives: Kristen

Craving some Spice? Authentic Mexican Food in Paris


“Je voudrais un burrito, s’il vous plait.”, is not a phrase you overhear often in Paris. Mexican food, however, is on the rise in this Mecca of gastronomic talent. Coming from a land where green and red chili flow like milk and honey, it was shocking that a place so rich in culinary talent was nearly a desert land for good, authentic, SPICY, Mexican food. Fortunately, with time and many a recommendation, we at Savoir Faire have accumulated a pretty good list of restaurants “muy delicioso”!

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Candelaria (Photo – Derbyhotels.com)

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Forget Me Nots | Small Museums of Paris


Paris is almost as saturated with museums as it is with wine and cheese. 173 – that’s right. This fact, coupled with the unlikely, yet surprisingly true thought that one might ‘forget’ they live in Paris, something must be done – intentionality. We know. Sometimes there are just too many people. So, we’ve come up with a few more discreet, yet no less grande in cultural riches and diversity. Find a more intimate experience in this tiny slice of the vast museum universe.

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View of the Garden – Musée Carnavalet (Photo by Kristen)

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Restaurant Closure Schedule | Where to Dine this Summer


Summertime in Paris can be glorious, not only because of the long awaited sunshine but also because of the seemingly empty, yet peaceful streets. At the same time, the absence of traffic and human beings due to being away on vacation can in turn make doing…well, ANYTHING in Paris a real pain. Dining is at the top of that list. In hopes that your summer plans flow easy as pie, we’ve compiled our list of restaurant closing dates for this summer, 2013. Although this list “should” be accurate, it goes to say that sometimes the dates are subject to change. Make sure to call ahead before making any moves, just in case!

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Jardin des Tuileries (Photo by Kristen Gonzales)

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La Dame de Pic – July 26-August 26

Fish Club / Beef Club – open all summer

O Château – open all summer

Spring – August 11-19

La Rose de France – opened all summer

Verjus & Verjus Bar a Vin – July 29-September 1

Pirouette – August 4-25

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Blend – Open all summer

Frenchie – August 10-28

Frenchie To Go – August 11-25

Aux Lyonnais – July 28-August 26

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Nanashi – August 1-21

Glou – Open all summer

Candelaria – Open all summer

Le Mary Celeste – Open all summer

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Le Dome du Marais – August: lunch only Tue.-Sun.; lunch & dinner Sat. & Sun.

Le Sergent Recruteur – August 8-20

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Terroir Parisien – August 4-26

Les Papilles – July 28-August 26

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Agape Substance – July 23-August 12

Le Comptoir du Relais – open all summer

La Compagne de Bretagne – Open all summer

Little Breizh – July 29-September 2

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L’Arpege – open all summer

L’Atelier Saunt-Germain de Joel Robouchon – open all summer

Cafe Constant – open all summer

Les Cocottes – open all summer

Jean-Francois Piege – August 3-25

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Chez Grenouille– open all summer

Hotel Amour – open all summer

Le Pantruche – August 1-26

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Abri – July 21-August 26

Au Conservatoire – August 1-27

Le Galopin – August 20-September 10

La Tete dans les Olives – August 1-27

Le Verre Volé – open for dinner only August 1-15

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Au Passage – July 28-August 18

Bones – August 10 – September 3

Le Chardenoux – open all summer

Le Chateaubriand – open all summer

Le Dauphin – open all summer

Jeanne A – July 30-August 27

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Chez Gladines – July 28-August 21

L’Auberge du 15 – August 5-25

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L’Assiette – July 29-August 28

La Régalade – August 1-16

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Atao – August 11-27

Bistro des Dames – open all summer

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Jeanne B – open all summer

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Au Beouf Couronné – open all summer

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Roseval – August 3-September 2

Le Baratin – August 11-?

Mama Shelter – open all summer

Chatomat – August 10-September 10

 

An Expat Life | Kim Nails It


Pink polka dots, leopard print or glitter fade? I can’t make up my mind. Meet Kim Laidlaw, English expat, blogess extraordinaire, and recent razzle dazzler of the Paris manicure. I’m sitting across from her now at the Who’s Next fashion trade show, and she has a catherine-wheel of beautiful options. “Go for the glitter fade”,  she says with a smile. “It’s a versatile one.” What started as a personal passion for Kim has turned into a surprising career path: Parisiennes can’t get enough of her skillful and imaginative designs. So far she’s set up shop at the Wanderlust village, Jack Jumble’s Sale (The House that Jack Built) at Candelaria, and Who’s Next with Nailmatic, as mentioned before.

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C’est Éclair! | The modern Face of the French Classic


“Éclair” is surely a word that quickly catches the attention of curious eyes and sparks the appetit of fellow “gourmands”.  This is exactly our goal.  After a month hiatus from Paris Up Close and Personal,  we’re excited to share our recent discoveries into the modern universe of the French éclair. With the help and expertise of a friend and brilliant pasty chef, Frances (of whom you will certainly hear more about), we set out on a Parisian adventure with the purpose of refining our pallets and allowing our taste buds to run wild!

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Listed below in order from right to left

Allow me to add that this project was less about finding THE best eclair, but rather experiencing what all the hype is behind the innovative hands who have given the eclair a noticeable “face lift”. Without further ado, the line up is as follows:

L’Atelier de L’Eclair: mini foie gras + pistachio apricot (1 and 3 in above photo)

L’Éclair de Génie: passion fruit raspberry

Stroher: strawberry raspberry

Pâtisserie Sadaharu Aoki : black sesame

La Pâtisserie des Rêves: coffee with milk chocolate coating

Miscellaneous bakery: “control” chocolate

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L’Éclair de Génie

I will attempt to keep this short and…sweet (Sorry, I couldn’t resist). Out of the 6 éclairs, there was a four way tie for best, in our opinion, each for different reasons. To start, the tiny foie gras éclair from L’Atelier de l’Eclair was huge in flavor. With just a hint of sweetness and a tomatoey kick, this expensive little guy was surprisingly worth the splurge. We decided it was Napoleon sized! The pistachio apricot choice was light and flavorful without being too sweet. However it was a bit messy and had the almond flavor was just a bit too overpowering for my taste.  Next is L’Éclair de Génie with the passionfruit raspberry éclair.  The only disappointing element in tasting this one was that it had to end! Although it’s fairly small for the price, it’s absolutely worth it. The texture of the filling, the finesse of the glaze and no question the precision of the presentation were all exquisite.  Delicious!

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La Pâtisserie des Rêves

Stohrer is said to be to be the oldest bakery in Paris and has graced the public with it’s royal delicacies since 1730. The strawberry raspberry éclair here was definitely beautiful and delicious. It’s a winner in terms of classicism, however we weren’t wowed by the flavor as it was a bit too sweet.  At Pâtisserie Sadaharu Aoki, we found a black sesame éclair that was absolutely a breath of fresh air for our taste buds. The presentation and quality were brilliantly classic. Yet the innovative sesame flavor was light and rich. I will be back for another! Taking the cake in terms of size and flavor, we have La Pâtisserie des Rêves with their chocolate wrapped coffee éclair. This is what we would call a proper dessert. The chocolate covering was surprising not messy and the coffee flavor was perfect. The quality of craftsmanship of this éclair was incredible. They also win for innovation.  Lastly, we had the “control” chocolate éclair from “random bakery”.  If you’re going for size and like chocolate pudding, this ones for you!

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Black Sesame éclair from Pâtisserie Sadaharu AOKI

Hopefully you find yourselves inspired by our sweet finding.  Remember, there are endless flavors we didn’t try just waiting to be discovered.  Let us know what you find!

As always, bon appetiteSFP Egg 1!

Atelier de L’Éclair 
16 Rue de Bachaumont
Paris 2a
 
L’Éclair de Génie
14 Rue Pavée
Paris 4a
 
Stohrer
51 Rue Montorgueil
Paris 2a
 
Pâtisserie Sadaharu AOKI
35 Rue de Vaugirard
Paris 6a
 
La Pâtisserie des Rêves
93 Rue du Bac
Paris 7a

 

Luxembourg Gardens


The Luxembourg Gardens hail from the left banks of Paris in the 6th arrondissement, stretching across 60 acres (23 hectors). Inspired by the present time Queen Marie Medici’s childhood home in Florence, Palazzo Pitti, these public gardens were designed by Jacques Boyceau, one of the theorists behind the art of the Jardin à la Française, the popularized approach using symmetry and imposing order over nature…how French!

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View of the Montparnasse Tower from Luxembourg Gardens
(Photo by Kristen Gonzales)

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Top Paris iPhone Apps


In today’s age of  “there’s an app for that”, an application can be found to help you do or find just about anything you can imagine. We’ve shared a few tips in the past about easier living in Paris due to applications such as LeCab and Time Traveler Tours.  Amongst the vast array of Paris centered applications, we’ll divulge our top picks, all available at the touch of a finger!

My Little Paris iPhone Application

My Little Paris iPhone Application

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Wanderlust | How it’s Evolved


Wanderlust – a name every Parisian has surely heard over the past year, and perhaps even has memories associated with it.  That would come as no surprise!  Since our first blog post in June, 2012 about the freshly opened doors of Wanderlust, it has blossomed into one of the hottest commodities in the night life, party throwing, artist collaboration and event space scenes.  And that’s just the half of it!

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Photo from the Wanderlust Facebook page

For starters, the restaurant is a perfect example of the eclectic, global  approach ringing through every strand of Wanderlust’s being.  Four guest chefs are invited every year, each creating a customized, exclusive menu.  The first of the four this season (from April 16 to June 21) is Bertrand Grébaut, head chef and owner of Septime.  The location along the Seine can’t be beat and it’s a perfect brunch spot to check out on weekends.

The global, sustainable mentality of Wanderlust is self evident in the many creative ateliers offered weekly. Partnering with Grow Little and Liliana Motto, just to name a few, they offer classes on DYI green cosmetics, creating terrariums, yoga, etc.  In addition, children are not excluded from the fun!  From origami and capoeira to seed bombs and green living – there is a rich variety for any little one!

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Last, but certainly no least, we have Wanderlust events, or more commonly called “parties”.  Now, this is a multi-faceted world on its own. Let me give you a few examples.  Mondays, they host a DJ for some evening ambiance then show a featured film on a giant screen behind the bar outside.  Brilliant!  Saturdays, when the mega parties happen, this will include hours of live music from the hottest DJs, stands set up offering services from people like Rubi (She Lets her Hair Down), who does hair, and Kim (Unlock Paris), who does nails. Then a “make your own t-shirt” area, a vintage clothing market, video games and perhaps bingo can be enjoyed by the crowd. Many of these events are free entry as well, which is an added bonus.

Partnering with A Nous Paris, Doolittle, Datagif, and BurnWanderlust has proven itself to be all it promised to be from the beginning and much, much more.  Not it’s up to you to take advantage of these happenings that can only be found at 32, quai d’Austerlitz.

WANDERLUST
32 quai d’Austerlitz 75013 PARIS
07.88.12.36.36
 
Metro: Quai de la Gare, Gare d’Austerlitz
 
Open every day

 

 

English Books | Where to Find Them in Paris


Let’s take a little tour around some lesser known, possibly overlooked English book stores. In a city where over 120,000 anglophones resides, and millions of tourists visit, famous places like Shakespeare & Co. and WH Smith seem to get all the attention. But there are those of us who would prefer to avoid the crowds and find our own more discrete, faithful land of books to explore. There is such a diverse choice in Paris, it’s just not always so obvious where to find things.

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A good starting place is Galignani, near the Jardin des Tuileries. This gem is known for being the first English bookstore to be established on the continent and also the oldest. A long narrow store with English books all the way down one side and French on the opposite side, they have a huge selection of art, history, politics, travel and cookbooks plus a large section of poetry, classics, bestsellers and crime/thriller/sci/fi paperbacks in a cute little section at the back of the store. Simply charming!

San Francisco Books is a second-hand English bookstore on the left bank of Paris, offering refreshingly affordable prices and taking pride in their high quantity and quality fiction section. You will stumble upon some rare finds among the diverse collection.  They even have a free box if you’re in a real bind!

For a stop in the Marais, The Red Wheelbarrow is a must, as it has topped the charts of English bookstores. Although nowhere near as old as some of our beloved favorites, this slight newcomer has proved itself with its selection of  books on current affairs, British and American history, as well as biographies, literary criticism and essays, poetry, drama and thrillers. The Red Wheelbarrow also has a comprehensive French-interest selection of history, gastronomy, literature and guidebooks. Shopping for a little one? They also stock children’s books and even takes special orders for their customers.

For you language buffs, teachers, etc., Attica is the place for you. They have resources for learning and teaching over 200 languages. Situated in the 11e, Attica also offers a wide range of DVD for children and adults including many titles in their original version (VO) and language.

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Apart from these specifically English bookstores, there are also loads of French bookstores with English sections, for example Les Buveurs d’Encre, in the the 19e. It’s always worth popping in to ask what they have! This is how you discover secrets and hidden gems of your own…in this case hidden between two covers in the form of a book.

Please, if you know of some addresses that we don’t, feel free to share.  We’d love it!

 

“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.”

― Jorge Luis Borges

 

Galignani 
224, rue de Rivoli
75001 
 
San Francisco Book Co.
17, rue M. le Prince
75006 
 
The Red Wheelbarrow
22, rue St. Paul
75004 
 
Attica
106 bd Richard Lenoir
75011 
 
Les Buveurs D’Encre
59, rue de Meaux
75019