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Gwen Jan 7th, 2000 02:30 PM

Paris in March
Three sisters are going to Paris for the first time in March (ages 47, 44,35).Wonderful group activites planned, but also have 4 days free to do what we'd like on our own. Would love to know <BR>1)What temps. we can expect; <BR>2)Whether folks recommend a day-trip to Giverny (or if the gardens will still be bare); <BR>3)If you were going to spend only one day shopping, but not necessarily buying, what would be the top recommendations (not into big department stores) <BR>Thanks!

Meg Jan 7th, 2000 03:11 PM

Weather will probably be coat weather possibly with rain, but we've always been lucky and never have been rained on in Paris. As for shopping, I'd recommend a day strolling the Champs Elysees with a stop for lunch at a cafe or checking out shops in the Marais which would probably be more offbeat and interesting than what you'd find on the big, mainstream avenue. I have no info about Giverny. Hope you have a good trip.

Donna Jan 7th, 2000 05:18 PM

Hi Ladies: <BR> <BR>I was in Paris and visited Giverny last April. Yes, "April in Paris", and it was quite chilly and rainy every day. The gardens were beginning to bloom but were not spectacular. However, Monet's home was interesting and the pond around which he created his series of paintings was great! I would wait until it was warmer to visit there. Don't miss Versailles if you are in Paris, or the Picasso Museum and Roden Museum which are fabulous!!! Have fun.

Harriett Jan 8th, 2000 05:36 AM

Gwen, <BR>I was in Paris last March with my family (the week before Easter) and the weather was amazingly pleasant - we almost never wore anything heavier than light jackets, and were only 'drizzled on' a time or two. Flowers were in bloom everywhere, and we had beautiful bright sunlight at least an hour or two every day. But, as I've said before, even if it's raining, where would you rather be than in Paris in the rain? <BR> <BR>Also, I'm pretty sure that Giverny doesn't reopen until 1 April. We've missed it on both March trips to Paris. However, Versailles is open, although the fountains won't be operational, and it makes a great day trip from the big city. <BR> <BR>For a very concise and portable city guide, check out "Jeanne Oelerich's Paris Walking Guide," which I've just discovered. It hits the high points with great walking routes, and points out things like 'clean restrooms' and good places for lunch or snacks. Info on the guide is available online at; she also does guides for Venice, Florence, Rome, London and Chicago. <BR> <BR>And one of my favorite shopping finds on our last trip is a store called Bouchard, which is a fabric store but was full of reasonably-priced linens, towels, paperware, etc -- some of my best buys. It's near Galleries Lafayette, as I recall, at 54, blvd Haussman. <BR> <BR>Have a great time!

Janice Jan 11th, 2000 08:02 AM

Paris could be either lovely and warm, or freezing and drizzly - I'd recommend preparing for either! <BR>Window shopping between the Opera Garnier and the Louvre will take you to some very spiffy, very expensive and beautiful shops. <BR>Enjoy!!!

Gwen Jan 11th, 2000 11:39 AM

Thanks to everyone who has responded! I've bought the Oelrich walking guide that Harriet recommended, and 4 other books on Paris as well, but I haven't been able to locate info. on the Baccarat outlet I read about on this site before. Anyone know where it is or where I can find info? I love this site!

elvira Jan 11th, 2000 02:10 PM

First off, I don't know of a factory outlet for Baccarat; there is a museum at their hq (30 bis, rue de Paradis in the 10th). <BR>Secondly, grownups shopping in Paris. Oh very fun. <BR>Shoes: rue de Grenelle and environs <BR>Scarves, hats, umbrellas along rue du Rivoli <BR>Antiques: Louvre des Antiquaires; Village St Paul; place du Palais Royal <BR>Designer/couture: avenue Montaigne and the environs <BR>Parfums: Guerlain <BR>Linens and stuff: Pierre Frey; Descamps <BR>How the other half lives: 7th and the 16th arrondissement (you should see the kids' clothing stores) <BR>Jewelry: place Vendome (try not to leave drool marks on the windows)

mike Jan 12th, 2000 06:32 AM

Avenue Montaigne is home to designer shops. Intersets with Champs Ellyssss(?) and Pont de Alma so easy to find. You girls go act like Pretty Women on Reodeo Drive in these shops and have a great time. We were in Paris in February once and had beautiful weather, so you never know, best to be prepared.

Leslie Jan 13th, 2000 05:15 PM

I'm a dedicated shopper and can cover a lot of ground when temptation calls. I'd start with the antique shops on rue du Bac, Saints-Pierre, Grenelle and Seine becasue you will see one of a kind, charming things you won't find at home. Then I'd run over to rue Jacob and Place Furstemberg to see the gorgeous fabrics at Pierre Frey and Manuel Canovas. Next to the Marais to check out the hotel silver at Jean Pierre de Castro. It will be impossible to maintain a focus here because there are so many shop windows that will defy your resistance. If I had any time left - I always find the energy - I'd take the Metro and visit Hermes where I would eat my heart out. I'd refuel on macaroons at Ladure and then visit Hediard on the Place de la Madelaine. Their jams and jellied candies are outrageous. And all day, along the way, I'd stop at every Anouk Goutal perfume shop for uplifting whiffs.

Jeanne Jan 13th, 2000 06:02 PM

I would not recommend Giverny that time of year if it is open-Versailles is a better choice or even better take the short day trip (by bus, tour or train or car) to Chartres-the village has more to do and the "old town" section near the cathedral is small enough to walk eaisly and still get a nice feel of the place-I think Versailles itself is lovely, but the immediate surruondings are sort or "big city", where as Chartres still feels like a small town in a way. There is lots of info on both here and be sure to read the stuff on Malcolm Morris if you decide to go. <BR> <BR> <BR>Somebody e-mailed me and asked about shopping last year. She was staying on Rue Rivoli near the city hall, so it refers to that in the mail. I remembered I still had the e-mail, so I printed it out below-I thought you might find it helpful: <BR> <BR>There is some great shopping of course all over the city, and naturally, I am one of those people who never organizes myself enough to pick up biz cards, so most of the places I know, I know how to get there, but don't know how to tell you how to get there-so short of taking me along as your personal shopper, I will do the best I can for you by describing the areas :)) <BR> <BR> <BR>Staying on Rue Rivoli near the Hotel de Ville puts you in one of the best shopping areas-the Marais. One of the big shopping department stores, BHV (Bazaar de Hotel de Ville is right there) at the intersection of Rue du Renard across from the Hotel de Ville and right on Rue de Rivoli. It is worth a gander for shoes, clothes, etc., although they are not as upscale as the Au Printemps or the Bon Marche or Galleries Lafayette. But they have great "hardware stuff," knobs, toilet and bath stuff-towel racks, etc. One design magazine here just ran an article on buying cool stuff like that there. So if you like that stuff-go in. On the Rue de Rivoli, if you go to the west (towards the Louvre), that whole street has great shopping for shoes, clothing etc. Also Les Halles near there has 4-5 levels of underground shops-all the usual French chains like Agatha for jewelery and now, more and more, things like the Body Shop and the Gap (sad, huh?) <BR> <BR>When you reach the Louvre be sure to go into the new shopping area called the carousel du louvre (as a matter of fact, it is a good way to avoid the lines to enter the Louvre)-the entrance is west of the pyramid under something that looks like a "baby" arc de triomphe. They have interesting things-mostly chains again, but beautifully presented-really good stationary, gift items, posters, etc. <BR> <BR>If you go East down Rue de Rivoli (towards the Bastille) and cut off to the left (away from the river), youare int he Marais-which is sort of the SOHO of Paris-very cool little galleries-I beleive it is Rue de Francs Bourgeois which has great clothing, but basically you will want to "comb" the areas bounded Rue des Archives on the West and go as far East as the Place des Vosges and as far north as Francs Bourgeios which is only about 4 blocks or so from the Rue de Rivoli and explore south to the river. It is a great area-mostly little gift, interior stuff, but clothes, food, etc. Visit my favorite tea shop called Marriage Freres on Rue Bourg Tibourg-one of my favorite gifts to buy is sterling tea scoops-they are engraved and very inexpensive and light to carry-they also sell tea jelly that is yummy. Because they are a tea shop, they are non-smoking, one of the big selling points for friends and they have a very cool sunday brunch with things made with teas-which is fun, because France can be kind of dead on Sundays, so it is a fun thing to do. <BR> <BR>Whew-that's most of the highlights on the right bank except go down Rue Faubourg St Honore to see all the classic haute couture shops-Christian Lacroix, Hermes, etc and there is als great shopping around the Place Madeleine-and at least drool in the windows of Fauchon and Hediard! <BR> <BR>On the left bank, the cheap shopping is in the Latin quarter where the students shop-on Boulevard St Michel (boul Mich). If you start there from the river and walk south as far as Boulevard St Germain and turn right (west) then wander your way about 1/2 mile down to Rue du Rennes and go left (south again) that is a major left bank shopping area-just lauch out and go in places that interest you. The two big shopping store (big stores) are the Bon Marche, at metro Sevres Babylone and the the Conrad shop across the street and the then south the Montparnasse Shopping area. Beware that these are big areas, so don't plan to walk it all or you will be too tired to shop :)) <BR> <BR>I would also recommend highly that you buy the Eyewitness Guide to Paris-it has almost all my secret shops in it-the section on shopping is really complete <BR>

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