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    by mkataoka Fodor's Editor | Posted on Nov 28, 16 at 01:31 PM
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  4. 4 Trip Report FOCUS ON FRANCE: Paris and South of France
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Trip Report Belated Paris Trip Report

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Our trip to Paris at the very end of August/early September was planned as a treat for surviving two weddings in 13 months. My plan: to walk and discover new people and places in the city I love. My husband’s plan: to consume as much wine, foie gras, and French cuisine as possible.

New Places:
Squat 59 at 59 rue de Rivoli…fascinating that this place exists and truly worth the time to visit and explore this building full of artists’ studios (including musicians).

Palais Royal Gardens & Galeries…not sure how I never made time for this before, but the sculptures and gardens are lovely and the stores…well too pricey for me, but great people watching.

Simon…I am including this because I have searched for years for an authentic mustard/salt & pepper caddy like they have in the cafes. This kitchen supply store had the real deal.

Musee des Arts et Metiers…possibly one of the best discoveries of the trip. If I tell you it is devoted to technology and science, you will probably start yawning, but believe me, this is well worth the trip! History and developments in transportation, sciences, communication, construction, mechanics…all are displayed here and completely fascinating. Great for kids, too, I would think.

Memorial des Martyrs de la Deportation…have tried and tried over the years to visit this, but it was always closed. FINALLY open this trip and absolutely worth it; haunting, beautiful. Reassuring to see others from around the world there, so that these people are not forgotten.

Berges de Seine…we walked the entire length from Pont de l’Alma to the Musee D’Orsay and what a creative use of space and materials…play areas for kids, gardens, food stalls, joggers, picnickers...beautiful.

Canal St. Martin…I have been here a few other times, but the new part was that we walked the entire length of the canal, with the reward (for my husband) being a visit to the Paname Brewing Company for wonderful cold craft beers and a beautiful view of the boats and people on the canal.

Hotel d’Aubusson…one of the reasons I can return to Paris so often is that I stay in budget friendly hotels. My husband wanted to kick it up a notch, so he found the d’Aubusson. He wanted a hotel with a bar to relax in at the end of the day. The bonus for me was that I have wanted to go here for years to hear the jazz performances. Can’t say enough about this hotel and the staff! And the jazz in the evening was like being in an old movie in the 40s.

O Chateau Champagne Cruise on Vedettes de Paris…this just seemed like a great touristy thing to do and it was. We were on the forward part of the boat in our own private area, drinking champagne as we glided past iconic points of interest…had a great time chatting with three young ladies from Australia who were starting off their party evening in style. Only downside here was the speakers in the front of the boat could not be muted, so the ongoing narrative from the Vedettes guide made it difficult to hear our O Chateau host.

Bonpoint…having only window shopped at these beautiful children’s clothing stores over the years, actually going into the shop on rue de Tournon was an adventure! From the outside, it looks like a small shop, but once inside, you discover that it is huge! The clerk spoke very little English and my French is better in my head than what comes out of my mouth, but we did communicate pretty well. She was so kind and patient with us. Our goal: to find something adorably French for our first granddaughter due in January. My husband seemed to enjoy this as much, if not more, than I did!

Cuisine:
La Palette 43 rue de Seine…we like to have lunch here when we are going through Day One of jet lag. Classic and good. And I love the artwork on the inside.

Fish La Boissonnerie 69 rue de Seine…our Day One dinner spot…always good food and kind service.

La Petite Chaise 36 rue de Grenelle…old school menu and service and wonderful food.

La Table d’Eugene 18 rue Eugene Sue…recently received its 1st Michelin star and what a wonderful, decadent meal! Multiple courses paired with multiple wines. Plan on several hours here, but totally worth it.

Le Jardin at Les Crayeres (Reims)…lunch here during a day trip to Reims was completely disappointing. Not sure what all the fuss is about, but any café could beat the lackluster food.

Chez Fernand Christine 9 rue Christine…to die for Boeuf Bourguignon and warm, friendly service. One of our BEST and most enjoyable meals.

Je The Me 4 rue d’Alleray…we go for the offal but meat, fish, and fowl are all so tasty! Welcoming chef and I believe his wife was our server…lots of fun…doesn’t matter what you order…it is all great!

Le Violon d’Ingres 135 rue Saint-Dominique…worst dinner I had anywhere; my husband’s meal was fabulous. So there you go. I have loved the other Constant restaurants, so I won’t swear off them, but won’t return here.

Pottoka..4 rue de l”Exposition…my continuing favorite restaurant in Paris. Love the food & flavors and the ambiance and the service. Always seem to meet the most interesting fellow diners here.

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