Paris - A Report

Old Sep 8th, 2003, 05:21 PM
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Paris - A Report

I am working on a literary narrative about this trip but I don't want to subject everyone that so will try a little different approach with this report. I will include some highlights as well as some lowlights.

Hotel:
Hotel de Turenne
20 Ave de Tourville
7e

This is a budget hotel! Do not have any exceptions otherwise. We stayed in a double with bath for $75 per night. It was NOT part of any (supposed) renovation, it was in need of new carpet, new paint, new bed, and new wardrobe, but it was cleaned daily. However, it was obvious that the maid never shut the bathroom door when they cleaned, as it was filthy with dirty handprints. That being said...we spend little time there, it was cheap and the location was great. If you have a strict budget as we did, I would say go for, just realize it is not the Ritz.

Meals:

Flo
36 ave de la Motte Picquet
7e
Had a nice meal "ensuite" that we purchased at Flo. Some quiches, salad, wine, and some nice little tarts.

Bistrot du 7e
56 blvd de Latour-Maubourg
7e (Duh)
We both had a nice meal, 3 course with wine. Really Inexpensive. Around 50 Euro. If you are out and about, (we had just finished walking along the river) it isn't a bad stop for a quality meal.

Creperie de Josselin
Rue du Montparnasse
14e
Absolutely great. This place was packed, but worth the wait. Every bit as good as any crepe or galette I had in Bretagne. Everyone shares a table and we met some nice folks as a result. I had a bit too much Cider but I couldn't stop.

Dave
12 rue de Richelieu
1e
I can't figure out why this place has attracted so much attention. I am convinced that the French don't appreciate good Asian cuisine. This was Chinese done wrong. I don't care what movie stars eat here, it isn't worth it.

Bofinger
6 rue de la bastille
barely in the 4e
Wifey set up some deal on the Internet to get a 10% discount. Thank God or I would have been pissed. All I could think of while eating this meal was "European Vacation" when they showed the kitchen of the French restaurant and the chef was microwaveing "Lean Cuisines" and putting them on the plate with little French flags. It didn't taste fresh and the sauces lacked any character and appeal. Maybe, we both ordered the wrong things but I wouldn't recommend this place to anyone.

L'escargot Montorgueil
38 rue Montorgueil
1e
Excellent escargot as one may imagine. I really enjoyed the meal. Good onion soup. The wife had never had Canard a l'orange so we splurged and it was very good. I would happily recommend this place to anyone.

Le P'tit Troquet
rue de l'exposition
7e
Nice meal, nothing exotic or grand, just fresh and well prepared. The fois gros was actually quite good. We sat in the back room with an interesting older French couple who made the meal even better. For the money, this one is worth it.

La Serre
rue de l'exposition
7e
Once again, good meal, fresh, reasonably priced. I had Ostrich and it was really good. Who knew? I would recommend to anyone looking for a nice meal without breaking the bank.

L'Alsace
39 ave des champs elysees
8e
I really wanted Choucroute and Chez Jenny was closed for renovations. I wasn't over enthusiastic about this one. It was okay, but over-priced. The blood sausage was good and the choucroute was reasonable.

Chez Paul
13 rue de Charonne
11e
If you aren't young, hip and most importantly French do not plan on sitting downstairs. We were seated upstairs! The meal was good, not great, not special but good. Service was less than good (I don't expect Parisian wait staff to forget several items through the course of the meal. This just never happens. Maybe it was just an off night but I was surprised).

One Lunch worth a mention
Suzette
24 rue des Francs Bourgeois
border of 3e and 4e
Good cheap creperie. Interesting 20 euro lunch with hipsters and fashion models.

Museums and Monuments:

Louvre
We just went to see the apts. of Napoleon III as they have been closed the last couple of times we have been there. One word: Sumptuous!

Musee Jacquemart Andre
I loved this place. This was easily the most interesting museum for me. I love architecture and interior design and this place has them in spades.

Musee Conde (Chantilly)
It is a beautiful chateau especially the exterior. The tour "in french" was difficult to follow (my French is poor and wife's is nonexistent), and a little long However, it's the only way to see the apts. so it was mandatory for us. We were disappointed as the Vatel kitchen was closed the day we were there. A real downside was that there was no schedule for the bus that takes you back into town, and we waited at the bus-stop for 45 minutes only to find out there were no more bus running that day even though it was only mid-afternoon.
So it was a long walk back to the station.

Fountainebleau
The gardens and pond were great. It was a beautiful day so; we spend way more time walking around the outside than we did in the Chateau. The interior was grand but, after so many grand places, one tends to have a hard time distinguishing one from another. The grand hall was really incredible and we really enjoyed the chapel. We rented a car @ gare de Lyon and drove out so after the chateau we made our way to Barbizon. We had lunch at a nice little creperie "Barjole". We just walked around the town and looked at all the great houses and there happened to be an antiques fair that day so we looked around and I barely escaped buying a silver set.

Moret sur Loing
Not a museum or monument, but we stopped here on the day we did Fountainebleau and Vaux le Vicomte. The Wife's favorite artist is Sisley, and as this was where most of his most famous paintings were done, we had to go. It was a great little town and there is a walking tour of the different sights where Sisley had painted. At each of the sights there was a copy of the original, so you could look at the painting then the inspiration for them. If anyone likes Sisley or Impressionists in general, I would say this is a good day trip.

Vaux le Vicomte
We arrived late on Saturday evening for the candlelight visit. This is not to be missed. We had a quick meal in the cafeteria and then went out through the garden while it was still light. At 8 PM the open the inside, which to our surprise was also candle lit. It was really impressive. It gave a different perspective on how these despots lived. We moved through the chateau pretty fast and then went back out to the garden to look at it in the dark lit up by the candles. It was truly incredible. I couldn't recommend this enough to anyone interested in architecture or design.

Musee Nissim de Camondo
Another fabulous house of a rich guy. It was also fantastic, but not quite as overwhelming as Jacquemart-Andre. It seemed a bit more accessible. It backs up to Parc Monceau, which we took a long walk through. They had an incredible Sevres porcelain set that was the wife's favorite.

More Later!


Digital_Traveler is offline  
Old Sep 8th, 2003, 05:30 PM
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"another fabulous house of a rich guy"

This is good! More More!
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Old Sep 9th, 2003, 03:39 AM
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Nice report - keep it coming!
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Old Sep 9th, 2003, 04:41 AM
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Great report Digital Traveler. Thanks for sharing your honest opinions and experiences.
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Old Sep 9th, 2003, 05:15 AM
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ira
 
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Thanks for sharing DT,

Let's hear more.
ira is offline  
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