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Champagne at the Galleries Lafayette and other Paris questions?

Champagne at the Galleries Lafayette and other Paris questions?

Old Jun 14th, 2004, 06:31 AM
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Champagne at the Galleries Lafayette and other Paris questions?

Two weeks until Provence and Paris. My husband and I are very excited. I just love this board. The information that you fodorites share is wonderful and informative. I have several questions for the Parisian experts. I thank you in advance.

1)Someone told me that I must go to the Galleries Lafayette for champagne at one of their bars/restaurants? Is this a good idea and if so where is the store? If I were rich I would love to drink Cristal. Now I settle for Friexenet or Henkell Trocken.

2)We want to see both Versailles and Giverny. I have checked both official websites and the Paris Vision tours. Being Canadian the exchange rate kills us. Are these sites difficult to do on our own by train? Once we arrrive at the respective stations is it difficult to get to the sites? We will be staying at the Hotel D'Aubusson, which is close to a metro, so I don't think getting to a train will be difficult.

3)This question will be offensive to Paris purists but never having been to Las Vegas I would really like to go to the Moulin Rouge and see a show. Is this entirely ridiculous? Has anyone been to the dinner and show combo?

4) A friend also recommended the Procope restaurant. Have any of you experienced this restaurant?

Thank you for your advice.

linda
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Old Jun 14th, 2004, 06:49 AM
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..versilles is very simple to do by public transportation. there is an RER "almost to the front door". you can check the specifics in the michelin green guide or by doing a search on this sight..im sorry i can remember the specifics.
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Old Jun 14th, 2004, 06:49 AM
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1-
GF is on Blvd Haussman, near the Opera. It is a lovely building, aside from good shopping. We never had champagne there, we did have a snack at the Salon de The.
I would be more open minded about the champagnes though, somehow I feel that there might be even better choices than Frixinet. *I am not a champagne drinker, so what do I know
2-
It is SO easy to get to Versailles from Paris. You take the RER train, maps and directions are in guide books and anyone you ask in your hotel can help you. ( you are not too far from the train - staying in your location.)It is about 2-30 minutes away-you walk about 5-10 minutes to the Palace. Spend the day there, it is amazing!
I am still waiting to go to Giverny.
3-
Never been to the Mouline Rouge or to something like it in Las Vegas, but I will say that whatever notions you have about comparing the two-don't. There is really nothing in the world like Paris.
La Procope is one of or the Oldest cafe in Paris. We have had a glass of wine and just relaxed there ..

Enjoy your trip!
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Old Jun 14th, 2004, 06:56 AM
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The Moulin Rouge could make a very nice night... go for it.
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Old Jun 14th, 2004, 07:08 AM
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Do not let anyone "talk you out of" the Moulin Rouge idea. There are, unfortunately, a few people here who will tell you it is a tourist trap, blah, blah, blah, and how they would "never" go there (of course they never reveal how they got all their info in the first place)...anyway, go and enjoy it and if it turns out to be less than expected..well, that's part of your Paris experience as well.

You can also do some advance pulblic/Metro transport planning by going to www.ratp.fr and clicking on the English version. This will show you how to get to Versailles (using the route finder) and a wealth of other Metro and RER information.

Have a great trip.
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Old Jun 14th, 2004, 07:13 AM
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The two big department stores, Galeries Lafayette and Printemps, are next to each on the Boulevard Haussman. There's a direct entrance to GL from both metro station Havre-Caumartin and RER station Auber. That said, you can also enjoy a glass of champagne at any bar or sidewalk cafe, so if you see one that looks nice, go for it.

I would not recommend Procope. Yes, it is historic, but my two experiences there were equally bad: unpleasant ambience, hurried service, and surprisingly bad (over-salted and over-cooked) food.
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Old Jun 14th, 2004, 07:29 AM
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Hello fellow canadian!

Yes, as others have said, going to Versailles by RER is not a big deal. It is about a 1/2 mile walk from the station to the chateau. One of the benefits of going by train is that you can get there before the otur buses, and so avoid some of the crowds. They also have special shows with the fountains as well as concerts at night, you might want to look into these

Went to Giverny by car, so can't comment.

One thing I have done, for champagne, is to order a 'Kir Royale' at a restaurant. It is a mix of champagne and blackberry liqueur...yum. Even a regular kir (white wine and liqueur) isn't too bad either. I have had this at a couple of restaurants.

My sister went to the Procope and liked it. Expensive, but nice and located in a very neat little area of St. Germain.

I have been to the Lido, so my comments probably apply...it will be expensive, decide if you want the dinner and show or just the show. The dinner looks pretty expensive, I think you might be able to get better and cheaper elsewhere.

Hope this helps.

Enjoy your trip
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Old Jun 14th, 2004, 07:40 AM
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The train that you want to Versailles is the RER Line C. There is more than one train going there, so make sure you take the one to Versailles-Rive Gauche. It will have a "V" or "Vick" on the front of the train. This is very easy, and as others have said, it's a short walk to the Palace.

Verailles is covered by the Museum Pass, but if you're not getting that, you can buy a combination Metro/Palace entrance ticket at the Metro station.

Don't know about champagne at Galeries Lafayette, but in addition to shopping, it's nice to go there just to see the gorgeous stained glass ceiling. Have fun!
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Old Jun 14th, 2004, 07:50 AM
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Flexinet is from Portugal so you won't be served that. I dined upstairs on the wrought iron balcony at the procope.T location is 13, Rue de L'Ancienne Comédie, dates back to 1686. It good enough for Voltaire .

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Old Jun 14th, 2004, 08:13 AM
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I don't know why your friends told you specifically to have champagne at Galleries Lafayette. Yes have some champagne and certainly visit the store but not sure you need to drink there.

There have been many debates about Moulin Rouge vs Lido etc. By typing Moulin Rouge AND Lido you'll find many of these previous threads debating the pros and cons. Here's one

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34490879

General consensus is whichever you choose, don't go for dinner because the food's not great and it's very expensive. The downside to that is the diners get the best seats.

I notice no one has told you about Giverny. While, like Scarlett, I've not made it there yet, by doing a text search here discovered you can take a train to Vernon and from there a shuttle bus or taxi to the gardens. Here's an excerpt from a post by clevelandbrown

"a morning train to Vernon, get the shuttle bus from the station to Giverny, enjoy a lunch, then tour the gardens. If you really want to do it right, visit the Marmottan museum the next day and see Monet's paintings of the gardens."
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Old Jun 14th, 2004, 08:45 AM
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That is the general summary of how to do Giverny -- it's easy on your own, although Versailles is even easier and closer.

I can't imagine why someone said you must have champagne in Galeries Lafayette dept. store. That store has quite a few places to get something to eat or drink now -- I've eaten lunch there at their branch of Angelinas because it was easy while shopping. They do have a small bar over in a corner of the first floor which is mainly touted as a "water bar" because it has a lot of imported mineral waters, and you can get a glass of champagne there, also. If you like to have champagne while shopping or want a break, why not, but I wouldn't go out of my way to go there. It's not very large and has no view, it's nothing special.

If you really like champagne and want something a little more pleasant, I'd suggest you go to the only champagne bar in Paris which is quite near there -- Bubbles on rue Edouard VII just west of the Opera Garnier. They have a restaurant and a large terrace, and that would be more enjoyable as a destination.
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Old Jun 14th, 2004, 09:31 AM
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Monet's Garden is spectacular in the spring when the wisteria on the japaneese bridge is in bloom.
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Old Jun 14th, 2004, 09:50 AM
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Hi linda,

Here is the official link to Versailles. It gives directions on how to get there from Paris. Your hotel will tell you how to get to the closest RER line C stop.

http://www.chateauversailles.fr/en/

Here is a link to Monet's house in Giverny, with directions on how to get there from Paris.

http://giverny.org/gardens/fcm/visitgb.htm#info

>I would really like to go to the Moulin Rouge and see a show. Is this entirely ridiculous?<

No, not entirely. I suggest that you go just for the show. The food is expensive and only so-so.

You can make reservations at Procope from this link
http://www.welcometoparis.it/06/Rist.../index.uk.html



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Old Jun 14th, 2004, 09:52 AM
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PS,

You might find this thread useful

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34483572
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Old Jun 15th, 2004, 07:21 AM
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And your follow-up post - - http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34506632 - - which I have transferred here...

=========================

Dear Fodorites,

Boy do I feel stupid. I just talked to my friend who suggested that I should have champagne as soon as I arrived in Paris. It was Fouquets she suggested I go to not the Galleries Lafayette.

I'm sorry to have caused all of you confusion as to why someone would want to have champagne in a department store. Thank you for not ridiculing me and special thanks to those who answered my questions about Versaille, Giverny and the Moulin Rouge.

Now if people would like to give their suggestions about their favourite champagne without breaking the bank that would be nice.

====================

... is better placed here as an answer to yourself, so that it can be read in context.

Best wishes,

Rex
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Old Jun 15th, 2004, 08:16 AM
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Fouquets is the ultimate "see & be seen" bar/restaurant. Sit down at an outside table and enjoy the view of ave. Champs Elysees. Save your bill; people will never believe the price you have to pay for a glass of bubbly! Just remember, you are renting a table at one of the most expensive pieces of real estate in all of Paris.
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Old Jun 15th, 2004, 08:28 AM
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I personally would rather go here on the rooftop terrace with view of the Eiffel Tower & the Arc de Triomphe. Each glass will be about 20e though.

http://www.worldsbestbars.com/city/P...RaphaelBar.asp
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Old Jun 15th, 2004, 08:53 AM
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Givenry
It is easy to get to by public transport.
We went there twice by train, taking the bus from Vernon station to the garden. 3 Euros for was the return bus fare in May.

http://giverny.org/transpor/index.htm
has good instructions for by train

We love the gardens, our favorite place in France.
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Old Jun 15th, 2004, 08:58 AM
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well, I didn't think it was stupid, and I thought maybe somebody did think it was cool to have champagne at the Bar a Bulles in Galeries Lafayette, as you don't find too many water/champagne bars in dept. stores.

I really don't like Fouquet's, to be honest. I don't like anything about it from the ambience to the prices to the location. It is an institution, and I have stopped in there for a coffee or something when in the area, but I don't like it.

I would still rather go to Bubbles which at least is a real champagne bar, or many other places, some of which are nice cafes (such as Cafe de la Paix)--Closerie des Lilas in Montparnasse would also be nice. There are a lot of trendy bars in top hotels or elsewhere, also. For views, the bar at the top of Montparnasse Tower would be an experience, and there is a bar in the Eiffel Tower, also on the 1st floor. For other places with a view of the Eiffel Tower from the terrace, that could be Le Totem restaurant near Trocadero which is probably about the same price as Fouquet's. I'd much rather go there.

Here are a few web sites for some of these names:

www.bubbles-paris.com
www.cieldeparis.com
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Old Jun 15th, 2004, 09:08 AM
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Well, I did think it was odd that someone would suggest having champagne at the Galleries Lafayette, but never having done that, I also thought maybe there was some kind of "experience" attached to it that I was unaware of.

Personally, I'd have my champagne in the large back room of the Café de la Paix, with the piano and that astonishing chandelier.
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