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Paris/Dijon Trip Report, long on accommodations, short on specifics.

Paris/Dijon Trip Report, long on accommodations, short on specifics.

Mar 29th, 2007, 09:35 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,324
Paris/Dijon Trip Report, long on accommodations, short on specifics.

We had a wonderful two weeks in Paris and Dijon, March 11-24. I am not going to go into all the details of what we did since we have been there many times and just hung out more than anything else. It's a sad commentary to tell you that I spent more time in BHV with a 30% off sale than at the Louvre. But, I did rent two of the best apartments I've ever stayed in and I know many of you will be interested in that. Both of them I had found on Fodor's.

Paris Apartment:

The apartment in Paris was on Rue Beaune, in the 7th, but really on the border of the 6th. It was a wonderful location, walked to absolutely everywhere on both sides of the river and a pretty quiet street (except the day that they tore it wide open) but that certainly isn't the owners fault. The apartment was beautifully decorated, very classic and functional, extremely clean. The bedroom had two twins made up as a king, very comfortable with nice linens and it looked out onto a silent space between the buildings, we were able to sleep with the windows open every night. There was a small flat screen tv in the bedroom as well. The kitchen had just been redone and it had a washer, separate dryer and a dishwasher as well as a microwave , fridge and oven. I planned to cook, but didn't, but could have, it was well equipped for cooking as well as having dish soap, washing machine soap and oil, vinegar and spices.coffee and sugar. We did enjoy wine and cheese as well as toasted day old baguettes, which were delicious...I had no idea that the stale bread was so good toasted since I had never had a toaster before. The front room had a nice big down couch, a french trundle bed that was extremely comfortable that my niece and nephew spent a few nights on , a nice big table that we set up with the computer , there was high speed Internet connection. The bathroom was all remodeled and new, split up between two rooms, one with the toilet and sink and the other with the tub/shower and sink. This really works well with more than one person getting ready in the mornings. It was just so nice I hate to tell all of you and run the risk of not being able to stay there but since I have gained so much from this board I feel I needed to. It wasn't the cheapest place I have ever rented but you certainly get your moneys worth.

Paris was having spring weather the second week of March, it was about 65 everyday, sunny and beautiful. We really didn't even need our coats during the day. We had a few absolutely standout dinners. I really admire all of you who can recount each and every dish, sorry that I can't but I can remember where it was and the prices and recall a little bit about the best dishes.

The first was La Regalade, in the 14th. We had a wonderful dinner there and would return. 4 of us went that night, started with a nice pink champagne, a turine of some kind of pate, very rustic and delicious was brought over with good country bread. We all had first courses, main courses and two or three deserts and a bottle of white wine and it came to 50e pp, not bad for the amount and quality of food, great service, very friendly.

The second great dinner is at one of our favorites, Le Hangar, in the 3rd. It is in a dark little alley, not pretty at all, but the restaurant never disappoints. They bring you a good tapanade to start, I started with a kir cocktail, half bottle of red wine. We always have their wonderful little raviolis in a mushroom cream sauce and their green been , parmigiana and mushroom salad, of which I could eat both but we share. My husband always has the duck liver over mashed potatoes and I always have the steak tartar that comes with deep fried mashed potatoe balls and a mixed salad, both are to die for. We finished off with a chocolate souffle that was the best I have ever had, all for 70e!

Our last great dinner for 4 was at Fish, in the 6th. It is always such a warm friendly place, good food, relaxed atmosphere. We had a bottle of red wine, 4 starters, 4 main courses and 2 deserts, 150e for all of this. The standouts were a fab mushroom soup, a calamari and scallops appetizer in the ink sauce with fried parsley, everything else was delicious.

Dijon Apartment:

The second apartment was in Dijon, one I think that many of you have also stayed in , although I have not read any detailed information here so I will tell you about it.
It is a wonderful space, light airy beautifully decorated, clean and very quiet. Of course, it is Coco's apartment and she is a wonderful landlady as well. First let me tell you of the apartment and then about my time there.

The apartment is very very large for a studio with very high ceilings and lots of windows so very light. It faces a pedestrian street so it is very quiet ,especially at night, and again, we were able to sleep with the windows open at night. Nice big comfortable bed, great pillows and nice linens also, good reading lights next to the bed. Opposite the bed is a nice couch, coffee table and TV, which is viewable from the bed...woohoo for me, love to watch TV in bed. My french is now up to the infomercial level, so I am just fascinated with watching them. It also has a nice desk with computer, the cable is for the TV, phone and Internet, so it's just great. The kitchen is equipped with just about any and everything you would need, and then some. Coco had sent a list with the rental agreement of things that I would like to find in the fridge, and sure enough we found milk, yogurt, cheeses, stinky like requested, eggs, juice and a baguette. It also had tons of spices to use, oil and vinegars, tea and coffee, dish soap and laundry soap. The kitchen had a combo washer and dryer, which fascinated me, I just had to try it. It worked great on our pairs of jeans, just needed to touch then up with the iron a little. The kitchen overlooks a courtyard that has a huge green house window looking into an art school, which was wonderful to watch.The bathroom is split between two rooms, one with the toilet and small sink and the other with the shower,tub and sink, again, great for two people getting ready. The side table looks like something out of the tourist office, full of every brochure and book on the area that one would need, no reason to go to the tourist office. It is a perfect location, right down the street from the main plaza, 10 min walk to the train station and a million restaurants nearby.

When we got to Dijon the weather changed...to snow! It was quite cold and windy with a bit of hail and snow on and off. Good thing that we over packed. Coco met us at the station and gave us a quick walk through the town and showed us around the apartment. Our husbands are in the same line of work so they hit it off well and he was able to show my husband the French side of his line of work. We met her adorable friendly boys, they are just full of spunk, just like her, we really liked them.

Dijon was a wonderful town to stay in. It has a lot to offer, great museums which are all free, tons and tons of restaurants to choose from and tons of history. The owl train is indeed fun, and it also helped me to relocate shops that I had seen along the way or find my way back home since I lived at #14 on the trail! It was easy to make day trips from here, the train is a short walk away and goes everywhere. DH noticed that there wasn't a right angle to be found in Dijon, it is so old and crooked, charming! Five days was a good amount of time to explore the town and the surrounding area, not having a car was not a problem.

One day Coco, DH and I went to Gaugry, a cheese factory close by Dijon. What a great day trip. It started out with a self walking tour of the process of making the cheeses. There was a tour in French but we chose the English printed booklet and did it ourselves. You view about 8 windows in the various stages of cheese making. Afterwards you proceed to a lovely wood paneled bar where there are plates with 5 samples of the cheese for tasting, accompanied by a very nice Pinot to go with them, this was absolutely my favorite part. They have a short quiz if you want to take to see how well you remember what the different stages are. Well, I didn't remember as much as DH and Coco, so..., I had to have another plate of cheese and glass of wine to refresh my memory!
Another excursion was to Beaune, a nice town, but I am definitely glad that I stayed in Dijon instead. Now it could have been the season, but I found this town underwhelming, but, I am also a city person so I loved Dijon . Another day we took the train to Besacon, another old old town with a lot of history. My favorite town was a very beautiful, deserter Chateauneuf, older than almost anything I have ever visited.

susanna is offline  
Mar 29th, 2007, 10:28 AM
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susanna - thanks for description of Coco's place - sounds like a very unique place and with Coco's willingness to do all that...

but what i'm looking for is some dirt on Coco - got any?

(joking by the way)
PalenQ is offline  
Mar 29th, 2007, 10:44 AM
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I do have the dirt on Coco...but my husband says I should leave her to be "a lady of mystery!"

I could be persuaded...
susanna is offline  
Mar 29th, 2007, 02:51 PM
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ira is offline  
Mar 30th, 2007, 06:10 AM
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I'm thinking about how i can entice you for some dirt. But sure there is none!
PalenQ is offline  
Mar 30th, 2007, 09:56 AM
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susanna, thanks for posting this. I have come across VRBO 61185 a couple of times while doing a bit of research. I'm glad to hear it gets a favourable report card.

Thanks, too, for the write-up on your time in Dijon. Coco sounds very much like the mental picture I have formed: thoughtful, helpful, and fun. We really must get to Dijon some day so we can rent that apartment.

You mentioned on the other thread about having tried the chicken with dijon mustard, garlic, and rosemary. Margriet will be delighted to read your post. I should mention that you can rub all that stuff on the chicken six or eight hours before putting it in the oven. We usually do it in the morning, then put the bird back in the fridge, and then roast it for our evening meal.

Oh, your description of just hanging out? We do lots of that, too, and very happily.

AnselmAdorne is online now  
Mar 31st, 2007, 09:58 AM
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Thanks Ansel, I'll try marinating it the next time.
I'm also glad for your review on the studio because I sometimes get to go by myself and the price on your studio is much more reasonable for one person.
Yes, our apartment in Paris was just wonderful, I don't have one negative comment to say, it was that good. And Coco's was equally as wonderful, you must go!
susanna is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 07:14 AM
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Now susanna checked the page you may wish to see her at the cheese tasting..
cocofromdijon is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 07:23 AM
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Thanks for posting your report.

"It's a sad commentary to tell you that I spent more time in BHV with a 30% off sale than at the Louvre."

IMO there is absolutely nothing "sad" about it...more like real life.

Now, if they'd just have a sale on some of those paintings in the Louvre..
Dukey is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 07:29 AM
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Coco - Thank you for the link to the photos and movies. Now Dijon is definitely on my list!
robjame is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2007, 05:59 PM
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There is half of Coco (sideway) in one photo in the fromage testing post.
georgiegirl is offline  
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