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Ger’s Paris trip Report Late February 2020

Ger’s Paris trip Report Late February 2020

Old Mar 7th, 2020, 07:56 AM
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Ger’s Paris trip Report Late February 2020

One morning early in February, I received news that Atelier des Lumières was staging a new event: Monet, Renoir... Chagall - Journeys around the Mediterranean.


It took me a nano-second to decide that I needed a weekend in Paris, as I had not been since April 2019.

I stated planning, using many sources, and found this site particularly useful regarding events in Paris each month this year:


My agenda ended up being as follows:

Friday 28th February:

- Travel via Eurostar to Paris in the morning

- Lunch in 1st Arr

- Harper’s Bazzar exhibition at MAD (Musée des Arts Décoratifs)

- Dinner with a Foderite

Saturday 29th February:

- Atelier des Lumières

- Lunch in the 2nd arr.

- Musée d'Orsay

- Dinner with another Fodorite and her husband

Sunday 1st March:

- Musée Marmottan Monet to see the Cezanne exhibition

- Lunch in the 16th arr.

- Musée d'Art Moderne (MAM)

- Eurostar Home
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Old Mar 7th, 2020, 08:06 AM
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Friday 28th February morning:

The Journey

I always take the Eurostar from Ebbsfleet in Kent, as it is just a 20-minute taxi ride from my home in South-East London and a much calmer experience than St. Pancreas (about 30boarded that morning). I booked ‘Standard Premium’, as I always do, as it well worth it for the usually small difference in fare over standard economy. I was glad I did. Economy was completely packed, while the Premium section was only about 50% full and I ended up with a seat at the table for four, with three spare seats. Great journey! On the way, to get me in the mood, I watched ‘The Midwife’ (Sage femme) starring the wonderful Catherine Deneuve, downloaded from BBC iPlayer).

Having only a small roll-on, I bought my tickets (16.90 for 10) and took the Metro from Gard du Nord to my hotel in the 6th . (Line 4 to Saint Germain des Pres).

Don’t forget to download the RATP app to your phone to find your way around Paris.

The Hotel

I have been I Paris about a hundred times and have stayed in hotels in every arr., from the 1st to the 16th and this time I chose the 6th, near the church. The hotel, booked on Hotels.com ( I am a Gold member, so often get reductions and accumulate free nights) was chosen based on its ratings and feedback from clients (Fabulous 8.6) and hovering around £120 per night, for a standard double with single occupancy.

Hôtel Saint-Germain-des-Prés

Hotel Saint Germain des Pres Paris *** - OFFICIAL SITE - 3 star hotel

Loved it and highly recommend!

The Madame on the front desk is charming and she completely accepted my introduction in French: ‘Hello Madame, I am ME and I have a reservation for two nights. Isn’t the weather awful!’, and proceeded to check me in, and give me all introductions to the hotel, in French!

I liked my room, which was spacious enough for two and had a recently renovated bathroom. Decor was ‘Cosy French’ hotel and spotlessly clean and my room looked out on Rue Bonaparte. TV had several English language news programmes, the best of which was DW from Germany, which interspersed some interesting art (Berlin Movie awards) and travel (Get to know German towns) between some of the usual awful stuff about the Corona virus, Brexit and the US Democrat thingy.

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Old Mar 7th, 2020, 08:21 AM
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Looks like you had a good trip even before going to the Atelier des Lumières. As most people know, Saint Germain-des-Prés is not at all my favourite area in Paris, but obviously there is nothing wrong with it other than overpaying for everything.
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Old Mar 7th, 2020, 08:33 AM
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Hello Kerouac:

I have stayed allover during my many visits to Paris. I just had a desire to stay here this time, as it brought back memories from many years ago, when I was a teenager on my first visit to Paris, with NO money. I'll tell more later.

Regards … Ger
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Old Mar 7th, 2020, 08:44 AM
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I had booked my lunch restaurant on Fork.com (Fouchette in France). I use this App regularly in France, Italy and Spain to book restaurants. It does not have the best restaurants, but usually the middle level. If possible, I book at the restaurant’s own website, if they have one, but often they don’t, or rarely check it and get back. The Fork is my fall-back and is useful if you find yourself wanting a restaurant and one can do a search on ‘restaurants within walking distance where I am’ .

Anyway, I had built up ‘points’ based on previous bookings and when I searched restaurants in the 1st arr (as I wanted to be close to my next destination), L'Absinthe, in the 1st, came up as willing to accept my points, to the amount of 25 Euros!

Absinthe | Accueil

Took the bus from the hotel, and eventually found it - 24 place du marché saint-honoré.

It was already full, predominantly of Parisian business types and a few ‘Ladies who lunch’. They acknowledge my reservation and seated me. They gave me an English menu and spoke to me in English, I responded and ordered in French 😊.

I was there for the steak: Pan-sautéed thick ribeye steak beef (300g) with béarnaise sauce. I also ordered a half-bottle of the recommend Bordeaux and water. No starter, no dessert. Just the meat and the wine! My version of the Paleo diet!

Although I was certain I could get through the half-bottle of wine, I honestly did not think I could get the through the entire steak, but I did, and it was excellent 😊.

To be frank, I was doubtful that the restaurant would honour the ‘Fork Yums’ of 25 Euros, but they did, which paid for the steak. So, all I paid for was the wine and the water, which was about 30 Euros. A great bargain.

Yes, I recommend this restaurant if you are in the 1st arr.

Then out into the bloody drizzling rain to the MAD (Musée des Arts Décoratifs) to see the Harper’s Bazzar exhibition, and perhaps the SHOE exhibition, as my ticket included both.
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Old Mar 7th, 2020, 08:48 AM
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Jumping on this bandwagon. Thanks for posting.
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Old Mar 7th, 2020, 08:55 AM
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I need a Paris fix as we are not going the first week in April. Looking forward to reading more.
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Old Mar 7th, 2020, 09:43 AM
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Harper’s Bazzar at MAD (Musée des Arts Décoratifs)

When I planned my trip, I consulted the following site for other interesting things that were happening in Paris at the same time:


Harper’s Bazzar at MAD (Musée des Arts Décoratifs) came up, but no opportunity at the time to buy tickets, until two days before.

I had a passion to visit this exhibit, as I have had a life-long passion for fashion and fashion photography as a form of art. One of my sisters trained as a fashion designer, and although she never pursued it as a profession, was gifted. 15 years older than I, she introduced me to art and fashion at a very young age, and she would spend her little salary on the bibles of fashion – Vogue and all the other fashion magazines.

I arrived at the front door, where I have always entered MAD in the past, but it was full of the Paparazzi outside, taking pictures of impossibly glamourous, tall, tin and gorgeous people as they exited. I clearly was not one of them, so a nice lad directed me to the new entrance, as the back of the building.

Nina Ricci was showing her collection at MAD, so that accounted for the thin and gorgeous!

I was glad I had bought a ticket the previous night, as there was a line-up.

It is well-worth seeing for those who love fashion, and is very well curated. It is also an important historic exhibit regarding the Women who were major influencers in the fashion industry.

Everyone there had a similar passion for fashion, so everyone behaved in a respectful manner re viewing the exhibits.

Here are my photos:


I had planned to also visit the ‘History of Shoes’ exhibition, so I made my way there. I think it may have been the last weekend and it was simply insane. There were hundreds of people with no ability to see anything and an overwhelming smell bodies . I just bolted through it, regretting that I had not seen it.
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Old Mar 7th, 2020, 10:52 AM
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Dinner with a Fodor’s Friend

B and I have met several times over the last two years and she always find the best restaurants.

This time, she suggested dinner at l’Antre Amis Paris in the 15th arr.


For the starter, I had the: Bar mariné à la crème d'olive et stracciatella, avocat et kumquat confit

For the Main, I had the : Magret de canard des Landes, mousseline de panais et jus réduit

The starter was exceptional and the main really good. I would probably have enjoyed it more but for the fact I had eater so much steak for lunch! I usually only have one main meal a day when I am travelling.

Excellent food and excellent company! With a bottle of Cotes de Rhone each, I think the bill was halved at 58 euros each. Not bad at all for this standard.

I took the Metro back to the hotel
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Old Mar 7th, 2020, 11:05 AM
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Sounded like a great first day. Thanks for the report and pictures - looking forward to the rest.
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Old Mar 7th, 2020, 11:49 AM
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Brava, Ger! Looking forward to the rest. The shutterfly link didn't work for me.
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Old Mar 7th, 2020, 12:02 PM
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I love your photos, Ger. Seeing the white Courrèges boots reminds me of 1966 & a friend, Linda from Mexico, who was a Courrèges model. She was allowed to borrow what she modeled & would show up in clothes hot off the runway, quite a contrast to the rest of us.
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Old Mar 7th, 2020, 12:03 PM
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Saturday 29th February morning:

No breakfast this morning, as I had eaten enough yesterday to do me for two days, and I had a lunch and dinner planned for that day.

Atelier des Lumières

I took the bus from hotel to Atelier des Lumières and arrive at 10, as it was just opening. I cannot stress enough how important it is to be the FIRST into this exhibition. You must try to buy to ticket for 10 am!


This was my third visit to the event. Previously, I have seen the Klimt and Van Gogh exhibitions.

This event did not disappoint and may be my favorite. Here are my poor photos:


Rearranging my schedule

I had originally planned an afternoon trip to Saint-Germain-en-Laye to visit the National Archaeology Museum, and had booked a table at a good restaurant in Saint-Germain-en-Laye

However, after seeing this exhibition in Atelier des Lumières, I just wanted to visit the source and inspiration for these works, in one of my favorite museums - Musée d'Orsay :


I got on my phone and booked a ticket to skip the line, as surely there would be hundreds trying to get in on this cold and rainy day.

Next: An awful lunch and a lovely afternoon in Musée d'Orsay
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Old Mar 8th, 2020, 04:59 AM
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Loving your report! Thanks so much!
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Old Mar 8th, 2020, 05:52 AM
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Ahhhh Paris! Your report has brightened my day. Your photos from Atelier Lumieres are just wonderful.

I need to be back in my favorite city soon. Waiting for more......
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Old Mar 8th, 2020, 06:23 AM
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Great report, thank you, following along!

It’s looking more and more like we’ll cancel our end of April visit. When we start travelling again, Paris will be our first stop.

Waiting for the next instalment (fix)!
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Old Mar 8th, 2020, 10:35 AM
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Many thanks for following along guys - truly appreciated

I will post my next installment in a few minutes.

Best regards Ger
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Old Mar 8th, 2020, 10:46 AM
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Saturday 29th February afternoon:

Lunch at Bistro Richlieu:

Bistrot Richelieu

It was pouring rain when I left Atelier, so I took a taxi to the restaurant.

I was there for two reasons: it was close to the D’Orsay and it had confit de canard on the menu. This restaurant gets great reviews, but I was very disappointed.

I knew I was in trouble when I noticed that there were no French people in the restaurant 😊.

It was bloody cold, so I wanted a hearty meal. I started with the French Onion soup, which was OK and followed with the confit de canard, which was odd. It wasn’t crispy and was covered with a sweetish purple-ish sauce. I ate very little of it. The salad was excellent though. Question: does anyone have a recipe for that yellow dressing (I assume it is French dressing!) they use over salad leaves? I have tried several recipes for French dressing, but I have never been able to replicate it.

Bill was about 40 Euros with two glasses of wine.

I also must admit that although I loved to eat these heavy meals in the past, I am no longer able for it.

Musée d'Orsay

I darted across the bridge to Musee D’Orsay expecting very long-lineups, as it was a wet and windy Saturday, which is why I pre-booked the ticket. What a surprise – there were only about 10 people lining up! Inside, the crowds resembled a weekday afternoon rather than a rainy Saturday.

I mostly concentrated on the Impressionist and post-impressionists. I never tire of the D’Orsay 😊. One of the things I simply love about vising Paris museums is seeing well-behaved young children being instructed by their parents about the exhibitions. It is simply marvelous that they instill an appreciation of art in them from such an early age.

Here are my photos:


Back to the hotel to rest and change to meet another Foderite and her husband over in the 11th – someone I have ‘known” for over 20 years on various sites and have never met in person.

Dinner with an old ‘Friend’, meeting for the first time in “real life”

We met in a wine bar, Le 11ème Domaine (https://www.11emedomaine.fr/) and shared an excellent bottle of Gigondas (only 24 Euros!) before grabbing a taxi and heading up to the 13th to a Vietnamese restaurant which I had found (recommended by Michelin) and she booked.

Pho Tai: https://www.facebook.com/photaiparis/


Décor is ‘kitchen tables and Limonium’ and the clientele is overwhelmingly Vietnamese, which is always a good sign. I don’t know Vietnamese cuisine at all but was fairly certain I’d like it. I have always wanted to taste pho (pronounced ‘Feu’ BTW) and have thought of making it, but it is a long process.

Similar to a Chinese menu, the list of dishes is endless and confusing if you don’t know the cuisine, so I left it to my companions to order. We shared some “Raviiolis” (similar to the Chinese Cheung Fun (Steamed Rice Noodles)) with a meat stuffing which were delicious. She and I ordered the ‘small’ bowls of pho, which were enormous, and we did not finish, and he had the larger bowl. Excellent food. Bill with beer and wine was 82 Euros. It was a great night and I was so happy to have met them both.

Tomorrow: Truly awful weather and a visit to the Musée Marmottan Monet and the Musée d'Art Moderne
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Old Mar 8th, 2020, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by MmePerdu View Post
I love your photos, Ger. Seeing the white Courrèges boots reminds me of 1966 & a friend, Linda from Mexico, who was a Courrèges model. She was allowed to borrow what she modeled & would show up in clothes hot off the runway, quite a contrast to the rest of us.

WOW! If I remember correctly you were a dancer in Paris during that time. What a fascinating time it must have been. My sister was a designer when I was a child, and there were always fashion magazines around. I loved browsing through the magazines and this exhibition brought the memory back. My sister could sew anything, without a pattern, and copied and wore some of the designs which were quite outrageous for Dublin in that era

Regards .. Ger
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Old Mar 8th, 2020, 11:09 AM
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Indeed, Ger, but wherever we are, whatever we're doing, it's just the life we've chosen proceeding. We make choices based on our personalities & inclinations and what may seem out of the ordinary to those looking on from the outside is just one foot in front of the other (no pun intended) from the inside. Looking back it's like the saying, "we most regret what we didn't do," & I'm grateful I learned the habits I did young. They've served me well for the most part. What an excellent example of what I'm describing your sister was and we're enjoying the fruits of your experiences & adventuresome nature now. Thank you.
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