back from Paris

Old Apr 21st, 2004, 10:13 AM
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back from Paris

Hi, All (this is very long)
We just got back from Paris on the week-end. Thanks to all who gave me such great tips!
We spent the first day, walking from the D'Orsay metro stop, where we'd gone to purchase Carte Orange and Mobilis passes. We walked from the D'Orsay to Rodin's home and walked in the garden for which we paid 1 Euro, as we weren't buying the Carte Musée until Monday. It was a beautiful day, and we walked behind Les Invalides to get to the Avenue Breteuil. What a lovely walk... I imagine it will really be beautiful when the trees, when the trees that line both sides of the avenue are blooming.

The next day, we went to the Arène de Lutèce and watched some young men playing soccer there. As we were leaving, the ball went out of the parc and under a truck parked in the entrance. I found it and kicked it to them, and they hollered "Merci, Madame!", after us. We headed for the Jardin de Plantes, where the flowers were in bloom. It should be really beautiful soon, though, as I noticed many roses that weren't yet blooming. After that, we headed for the rue Mouffetard and walked down through the market in front of Eglise St. Medard. Roasted chickens, piles of vegetables and fruits, cheeses and breads combined to make a tempting smell. We might have eaten something, but we had reservations for La Coupole in just an hour and had already stopped for tea and pain au chocolate at Pain Quotidien. From the rue Mouffetard, we headed for Boulevard Montparnasse. We ended up lost way below Montparnasse, but it was beautiful... we walked along tree lined Boulevard Arago. We had only a vague idea of where we were. We walked toward the busy intersection we saw in the distance and came to a sculpture of a lion that I recognized. We had arrived at the Place Denfert-Rouchereau, where I had wanted to go anyway From there, it was an easy walk to Boulevard Montparnasse and La Coupole. La Coupole was quite an experience. The food was good, not great, but we loved the restaurant and the waiters We both had the lamb currie that they're well known for. After lunch, we walked to the Cemetery Montparnasse, which was lovely. That night, we had dinner at another Brasserie Flo restaurant, Brasserie Balzar -- poulet roti with frites and haricots vert, and tarte tatin with crème fraiche for dessert. My husband had a lemon tarte, and it was also very good.

On Monday, we met friends for breakfast at La Carette, and then headed for the Batobus, a good value, with our Carte Orange, at 9 Euros. Without the Carte Orange, it's 12 Euros. We got off at the Saint Germain stop and found the Pont Neuf, walking across it to the Place Dauphine to have lunch at Le Caveau du Palais. We had a lovely lunch of confit de canard and crispy fried potatoes, with a pichet of the house wine -- I believe it was Brouilly, and quite good. Tarte Tatin for dessert again, with loads of crème fraiche. That's the only dessert I ate in Paris, and my husband tried a different one each time. We got off at Hotel de Ville and spent hours, walking the streets of the Marais. We spent some time sitting in Place des Vosges and walked over to the Hotel de Sens and Village St. Paul. We stopped for tea at Epices et Délices at 53 rue Vieille du Temple. It was a pleasant place, with a shady terrace. Inside, they have a collection of teapots on display. We'd like to go back there, as they have an interesting sounding menu, as well as a delicious looking wedge of dark chocolate cake, served with loads of cream. We headed back to the Batobus and rode it to the Saint Germain stop, where we got off to walk back to our hotel. We had dinner that night at Fontaine de Mars. The meal was good, and the restaurant attractive, with its red and white checked tablecloths. However, we decided if we went back, it would be for lunch, as we always have trouble getting back to the 6th from that area at night. On the way back to CDG, at the end of the week, the shuttle stopped to pick up someone from a hotel right around the corner... I noticed that it was also near Café Constant. Looks like a great location.

The next day, we took the Eurostar to London. We'd booked a tour bus, but next time would probably not book a tour, as we ended up taking the taxi several times. We loved them! They're so luxurious, compared to the Paris taxis or any that we've taken in the US. We watched the Guard in front of Buckingham Palace. They stood at attention so long, they almost looked like toy soldiers. We had lunch at the Sherlock Homes Pub and tea and a scone with clotted cream at the Quod in Piccadilly. We took a taxi out to Harrod's and spent awhile, walking through the food section. We bought some hard candy in lovely tins, with pictures of Harrods on them, to take back to the kids. After that, we had the taxi drop us off at Hyde Park, where we spent some time walking. It was a gorgeous day for it.

On Wednesday, we spent the morning in Montmartre, taking the Paris Walks tour. Our guide, Malcolm, was wonderful! He took us to places we'd never have found on our own. We went to L'été en Pente Douce for lunch, which is very near to the Sacre Coeur. The restaurant had been well recommended, and I believe it was even written up on the epicurious website, but we didn't enjoy the food much. We ordered quiche, with champignons. Well, the champignons covered the top of the quiche and were burned black, the quiche was very blande, and the crust was soggy. I wouldn't recommend the restaurant based on what we ordered, but perhaps other dishes were better. We enjoyed the experience anyway, though, as we made friends with a darling little dog, with expressive eyes. We had dinner that night at Restaurant Perraudin, and we had a lovely experience, talking to a Franco/American couple, who live in Paris. We had a pleasant evening there. The food is simple, but good, and our waitress and the owner were so pleasant. I had roast chicken and fried potatoes, and my husband had roast lamb with potatoes au gratin. They were delicious, and loaded with gruyère cheese. Our salad had chopped garlic on it. It was very good, and I will try it on my salad at home

The rest of our trip, we tried to relax a little and spent time at places in the area around our hotel, such as Jardin du Luxembourg and St. Sulpice. We went back over to the Marais area, close to the Bastille, for dinner at Baracane. It was excellent, and it was one of our most friendly welcomes in Paris. In fact, I think our favorite restaurants were Baracane and Perraudin, just because the staff was so pleasant.


On Thursday night, we went to Le Bilboquet to listen to Jazz, which was located just a few steps from our hotel. We arrived at about 10:30 PM, and were seated way down in front by the stage, as we were just having drinks -- 18 Euros for the first drink, in lieu of a cover charge. The group that was playing was excellent, and I bought a CD. We were so close that I could have put my feet on the stage, but we loved it anyway

We finally made it to Parc Monceau on our last full day in Paris, and it is wonderful! Gorgeous flowers and a waterfall and bridge. We didn't have time to go in the Musée Jacquemart-André, but we did walk past it, so we'll know where it is next year. Our last night, we went to L'Opera Garnier, which was wonderful. It turned out that we had box seats up very close, so we had a good view. We bought them through Mosaico World, and they arrived by DHL, just 2 days before we were to leave.

www.mosaicoworld.com


Our last morning, we took a final walk through Luxembourg and Saint Sulpice, and headed back to the hotel to finish packing. We weren't ready to leave Paris, but it's always good to get home.

Best,
Sandy
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Old Apr 21st, 2004, 10:19 AM
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Sandy, great report. You sure did it up right. Thanks for sharing such a nice trip.
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Old Apr 21st, 2004, 10:29 AM
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Hi,
Sounds wonderful!! Where did you stay? I am off to Paris tomorrow and Balzar is one of those that is on my list of possibles - same with Perraudin.
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Old Apr 21st, 2004, 11:04 AM
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Mmmmm, I've had that same meal at Balzar. . . mmmmm
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Old Apr 21st, 2004, 12:24 PM
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Hi sandy,

Nice report.

What hotel?
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Old Apr 21st, 2004, 12:39 PM
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welcome back sandypaws
Bon voyage westiedogs,
from another paw lover.
Brouilly is my favorite beaujolais!
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Old Apr 21st, 2004, 01:00 PM
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Sandy, your report brought back many fond memories of Paris, as we did many of the same things.
I especially related to your comments about Perraudin. We, too, have fond, fond memories of our dining experiences there and agree about the charming owner. We enjoyed the experience so much that we returned later in our stay.
For anyone who plans on dining, go when it opens (7:30?). Both times we ate there, it was filled up within a half hout....mainly by locals, I might add.
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Old Apr 21st, 2004, 04:13 PM
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Thanks so much for the positive comments on my Paris trip report! Glad it brought back good memories, Howard Yes, Perraudin does fill up very quickly. The hotel we stayed in was the Hotel Crystal, half a block from Café de Flore at 24, rue Saint Benoît. Comfortable, very friendly staff, and compared to other hotels in the area, not horribly expensive, though with the exchange rate, it's higher than it used to be. Westiedogs, have a wonderful trip!

Best,
Sandy
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Old Apr 21st, 2004, 08:23 PM
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Thanks for a great report. Nice to know you really enjoyed your trip. Perraudin hasn't come up on my radar before, but it's going onto the list for the next trip.

I've enjoyed Le Bilboquet in the past as well, and if you stay in the same area next time, you may want to eat at Relais de l'Entrecôte across the street. Simple no choice menu, but good.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2004, 12:51 AM
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What a wonderful report; Thanks for the trip down memory lane!
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Old Apr 22nd, 2004, 06:10 AM
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shellio & klondike,
Thanks! Glad you both enjoyed my trip report, and you're very welcome I've noticed Relais de l'Entrecôte, and I wondered how it was. Thanks for the recommendation!

Best,
Sandy
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Old Apr 22nd, 2004, 06:15 AM
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Shellio,
We've not only noticed Relais de l'Entrecôte when we've been walking by, but noticed that it fills up quickly. I think you'll enjoy Perraudin... it's just such an overall pleasant experience, including very good food.

Best,
Sandy
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Old Apr 22nd, 2004, 06:29 AM
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Just one caution about Perraudin: They don't take credit cards (unless they've recently changed their policy--have they, Sandy?).
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Old Apr 22nd, 2004, 09:41 AM
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Howard,
As far as I know, Perraudin is still cash. I'd read that on a website, and we used cash. I didn't see anyone else pulling out credit cards.

Best,
Sandy
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Old Apr 22nd, 2004, 10:04 AM
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Just came back from Paris did go to the Restaurant Perraudin on rue St. Jacques and I just found my credit card receipt so they definitely take cc. Great meal!
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Old Apr 29th, 2004, 07:11 AM
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katk,
Thanks! Glad to know that... I had seen that it was cash only on another website. Must be outdated.

Best,
Sandy
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