Paris and London questions

Old Dec 11th, 2003, 07:53 AM
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Paris and London questions

I am asking lots of questions...would appreciate advice on any of these.

1. What's the best way to get from CDG to the Latin Quarter for 4 people with big suitcases? I'm thinking that a taxi wouldn't be much more expensive than other options, since there are 4 of us.
2. Are there any Metro deals? We will be there from THIS Sunday thru the 17th.
3. I have 2 daughters in their 20's and will be looking to shop. Are there ANY outlets in either city? Do they sell fake bags etc. on the street, like NYC?
4. Favorite restaurants - either city (not too expensive) including vegetarian. They are picky eaters. I don't know what "mushy peas" are, but I'll bet they won't touch them!
5. Biggest entertainment highlights - do you have a favorite thing to do, besides the standard sightseeing? Of course, we'll do the theater in London. But, I have no idea in Paris, except for the boat ride, the Eiffel tower and standard sights. Someone mentioned the opera...any thoughts? Thanks!
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Old Dec 11th, 2003, 08:03 AM
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1. We always take a cab, nothing is worth getting on a train or a shuttle that stops here and there until we get to a stop then have to haul suitcases to the hotel...jet lagged. It is so worth it to spend the money. There will be a line of cabs outside the airport, they also have mini vans, so I am sure you will all fit with the luggage.
2. I am not sure what you mean by deals..they have Metro Cards that you can buy, as they do in LOndon.
3. While I am a shopper, I have never noticed discount shopping (aside from flea markets which can be tres expensive!) and I have never seen anyone selling fakes on the street the way they do here. But I always get great prices when shopping for anything made in France. They might be having sales at this time of year at the dept stores.
4. "Favorite restaurants - either city (not too expensive) including vegetarian."
Best place for good price and variety of non meat food is Indian. I love Indian food in London. We don't eat red meat so I can say that I have never had a problem with finding more than enough good food in Paris and London.
Best advice here is to do a search on Paris food or Paris vegetarians, there have been a lot of discussions on this here.
5. Biggest entertainment highlights -
Aside from sightseeing which takes all day and night, we always book tickets to the theatre in London and at least a ballet/Opera in Paris. Problem might be that you are waiting until the last minute and they book up way in advance. If you cannot get ito the Garnier to see a performance, take the Tour, it is sooo worth seeing!
Get a Paris Time Out and check what is going on at the time you are there.
They have concerts at St Chappelle in the evenings, try to get to one of those.
Have a wonderful time~

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Old Dec 11th, 2003, 08:06 AM
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PS*
St Martin in the Fields in London has candlelight concerts in the evenings. It is also fun to go to the cinema in London.
Paris..along the Seine on the Left Bank you will see stalls with people selling all sorts of books, posters and scarves, you might find something not very expensive ..( this is the closest thing I can think of to people selling stuff on the street)
Go to the Marais, great shopping!!
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Old Dec 11th, 2003, 08:15 AM
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Here's what I can help with:

2. If you search here for "carte orange" you can find out about that in Paris - it is only available for purchase after you arrive, and I'm not sure of cost or length of validity, so it may or may not be a good deal. We preferred to do a lot of walking in Paris, only using the metro for very long distances (London too for that matter) so we were fine with just buying carnets of 10 tickets at a discounted price and using those.

3. There are used clothing stores in Paris that you might enjoy - I also researched those here. And Monoprix can be fun for discounted clothing. I compare them to Target here in the states if you're familiar with those.

4. We really enjoyed eating in pubs in London for most meals. Mushy peas as I had them were sort of like canned peas - just overcooked really. Also in London on Kings Road is the Chelsea Kitchen. It has gotten mixed reviews on sites I've seen, but my husband and I loved it. I thought the food was very good, with a LOT of selection and very good prices. We also didn't have to wait to be seated. Desserts were good. We ate there twice in our last trip. For Paris, lunches in particular were usually sandwiches. They make really wonderful sandwiches at the bakeries there! Also, crepe stands offer crepes with ham and eggs, etc. that are good light meals. And all the dessert crepes are to die for!
5. Check out http://london.walks.com They have many night walks and are a lot of fun. We did the Chelsea pub walk, and many have reported that the Jack the Ripper walks are fun. It may be cold, so be sure to have warm clothes! There are probably similar walks in Paris, but we did not do them. See the Eiffel tower both day and night - it's amazing and totally different. And I agree that if you can see a concert at Ste. Chappelle do - we really liked it! But it was quite cold in there, so again, dress warm. It may be difficult if not impossible to get Opera tickets, but it's worth a try. We really wanted to see an opera at the Garnier opera house but had no luck.

Have a fun trip!
 
Old Dec 11th, 2003, 08:28 AM
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Degas
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Listen to Scarlett - that sweet gal knows her way around those cities.
 
Old Dec 11th, 2003, 08:42 AM
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1. Taxi, taxi, taxi. Just make sure it's a Taxi Parisien.

2. There are no deals on the métro that will work with your timeframe. Just buy a carnet (packet of 10 rickets). They're good on the bus system, too, which although not as fast as the métro, will allow you to be above ground and see Paris while you get from one place to another.
3. I've never seen anything in Paris I would describe as an outlet. The big stores are Galeries Lafayette, Printemps, Bon Marché, la Samaritaine, and Bazar Hôtel de Ville (BHV), but your girls might also enjoy the younger, hipper stores like Zara, Pimkie, Etam, C&H, etc. Yes, they sell fake bags illegally all over the city, but since the fliks are always chasing the vendors down, you'll have to act quickly.
4. A search on this site will divulge hundreds if not thousands of options.
5. You might want to check out Au Lapin Agile in Montmartre for an unusual but very Parisian evening: www.au-lapin-agile.com/
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Old Dec 11th, 2003, 08:45 AM
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Mushy peas are dried marrowfat peas (soaked overnight and then boiled). They are delicious with a splash, or two, of vinegar.
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Old Dec 11th, 2003, 08:55 AM
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OK, I really messed up by not knowing about the Opera earlier. Looking at tickets online, there's nothing playing at the Opera Garnier until the 18th, and we're leaving for London on the 17th. Doggone. Is the Opera Bastille just as good? Thanks.
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Old Dec 11th, 2003, 11:16 AM
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I love going to the movies in Paris. There are always themed festivals (with the movies shown in the original language) in the Rive Gauche. Last time I was there they were having Marx Brothers double headers. They should be easy to find in the local paper. And a lot of theaters in the tourist areas of the Rive Droit show first run films in the original language (ads will indicate this with "VO"). And it can be a hoot to try to figure out show times on the phone when coping with a combinatin of French and the 24-hour clock.

Hope you enjoy!
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Old Dec 11th, 2003, 11:26 AM
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At your arrival airport or railway station you can buy in London Time Out magazine and in Paris the similar Pariscope. These list all the music, whether opera, popular, or classical, and (for London) the theatre, including work on the fringe, some of which is good and all of which is cheap. You book buy phoning with a credit card.

I have on disc a note of cheap meals in pubs and colleges in London, which I can gladly send you if you e mail me.

Welcome to Europe

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Old Dec 11th, 2003, 11:33 AM
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I'm almost embarrassed to give myself away, but be careful of the VO movies in Paris. That doesn't mean they're in English, it means they're in the original language. I had just heard of a new film that was supposed to be great and it said VO, so I went only to discover it was a Spanish movie (or was it Italian, now I forget) with the subtitles in French. Duh!!
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Old Dec 11th, 2003, 11:59 AM
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St. Cirq: are Au Lapin Agile shows the racy French cabaret type (meaning nudity)? I went to the website and it appears very quaint and fun, but I'm curious.

One correction: while there have been numerous INQUIRUES on this forum about vegetarian restaurants in Paris, they have never led to a discussion (except to rail against vegetarians)! I have searched extensively on this because I'm going to Paris and my traveling partner can't eat meat, but have never gotten anything but names of places no one has been to, which is only slightly helpful since you have no idea if they're good or terrible!
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Old Dec 11th, 2003, 12:04 PM
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When I was at Lapin Agile a few years ago, there was nothing racy at all about the cabaret show. It has been panned on here for being too touristy, but I think it's a fun evening, regardless, and offers a glimpse of Paris in bygone years.
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Old Dec 11th, 2003, 12:23 PM
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Jeanne, about the Opera Garnier...even if there is no performance scheduled, you should still make a point of going to see it. The place is absolutely stunning inside.
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Old Dec 11th, 2003, 01:35 PM
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Hello Jeanne,

Here are my two cents...

Shopping: I second the recommendation for the ubiquitous Monoprix stores (there's one on the Champs-Elysées that's open until midnight), & the aforementioned dept stores. I frequented Tati (the one on rue du Temple, in the Marais), which doesn't exactly have "high quality" items but bargains have been found here & there. I think there's also one in Montmartre. Additionally, along with Zara, Etam, Promod, etc., there's H&M, one near the Grands Boulevards, & one on rue de Rivoli near the Châtelet metro, if I remember correctly. Abou d'Abi in the Marais, on rue des Francs-Bourgeois has nice designer stuff at affordable prices; your daughters might want to check that place out.

Veggie food: try Au Grain de Folie on rue de Vieuville in Montmartre (Abbesses metro), or my personal favorite, Piccolo Teatro (6 rue des Ecouffes, in the Marais). For additional veggie restaurants, try this page: http://www.nwfolk.com/vegparis.html

Entertainment: Again, I second the recommendation to purchase the week's Pariscope (about 0.40?). Since you will be arriving this weekend, you might want to go ice skating at the rink they have set up at the city hall (Hôtel de Ville metro) or the one in Montparnasse (I don't have any more info about the one).
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Old Dec 11th, 2003, 01:47 PM
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Roomatarles, could you comment on Piccolo Teatro a bit? I've heard good and bad things--some people rave, others complain... Same for Grenier de Notre Dame: any good? Thanks.
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Old Dec 11th, 2003, 01:51 PM
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mp:

No, the Au Lapin Agile show is nothing like the Moulin Rouge or Lido. There's no nudity, just singing and camaraderie, often with appearances from some of the local regulars.
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