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bleuzebu May 4th, 2009 05:51 PM

Paris Perfect decision on Riesling-help?
My fiance and I recently found thanks to our lurking on the Fodors forums. First we considered the Syrah, but are more interested in the location of the Riesling.

Has anyone stayed in or visited the Riesling? I'm worried about the four flights of stone steps (no elevator). Michelle at PP emailed that the steps were "steep, slanted and circular with no handrail" in an 18th century building, but the website says "shallow stone steps not a difficult climb" so I'm confused.

As silly as this sounds, I'm quite terrified of heights/falling :-[

We need to book this place tonight. Unfortunately we're having trouble getting hold of Taryn and Michelle because of the time difference. I'm driving my fiance mad with my worries, but I want the place to be "paris perfect". ;)

LisaG May 4th, 2009 06:30 PM


Well, I can't answer your question specifically I'm sorry to say. But I can give you some info. to add to what you might currently know.

We just got back from Paris a couple of days ago, and were in this very area for most of a day. We had afternoon coffee (and people watching) last Thursday at the cafe shown in the Parisperfect description of the Riesling apartment. The name is a little obscured in their picture, but it's La Palette. It's one of our favorite cafes in Paris.

That part of the Rue de Seine is filled with very wonderful art galleries, hence the name of the cafe. Some of the best contemporary art being shown in Paris is here, along with some really high-end galleries with works of well-known mid-century artists (Picasso, Chagall, etc.). So I can only comment on the area, but I hope that helps.

It's a truly lovely part of Paris, with some of the most incredible flower shops and patisseries going. I hope that's of some use.

I feel for your heights issue, as my husband has the same fear. It seems exacerbated on stairs for some reason, and we've found that if I go down right ahead of him then he can look at me and doesn't have that feeling of being too high. Hopefully you can get ahold of the Parisperfect people before you have to book, and they can inform you more accurately.



bleuzebu May 4th, 2009 06:48 PM

LisaG thank you for your kindness and help. What a nice response!

We were trying to decide between a place near the Eiffel Tower and the Riesling and I fell in love with being in the St. Germain district because of the art and the history. Is it overly touristy? We are hoping to sample more of the local flavour (if that's even possible in this arrondissment).

Please feel free to email us any suggestions you might have on the area (restaurants, cafes, markets) we would appreciate it so very much.
Michele Marie
[email protected]

LisaG May 4th, 2009 08:46 PM

Michele Marie,

You are very welcome. I personally prefer the Rue de Seine area to the area around the Eiffel Tower, partly because there seem to be fewer tourists. All of Paris has tourists, but this area has many locals as well.

I would recommend stopping in to any of the galleries on the street and getting a "gallery map". It's fun to see what areas are more art-filled.

I don't have specific recommendations for restaurants in the area, but I can recommend 2 cafes. One I've already mentioned above---it's La Palette. The second is Cafe Bonaparte, which is on Rue Bonaparte and St. Germaine. It's my all-time favorite, and a great place to spend a couple of hours having lots of fun!

For restaurants, we usually spend the day walking around, and look for restaurants that catch our eye. Then we pick one and make reservations! We've had very good luck with that since we're mostly interesting in classic, simple bistro fare rather than complex, modern cooking. After more than a dozen times in Paris, that's what's stuck with us as our favorite way of eating.

In that category, I can recommend La Rotonde on Blvd. Montparnasse. We just discovered that restaurant on this previous trip. It's been there forever, and we found the food outstanding. It's not in the St. Germaine area, but is an easy walk.

As for markets, that's easy! You'll just see so many of them, and have a ball looking at all that's available. The flowers are wonderful. One thing I noticed on this trip is that some flower sellers are making hand-tied bouquets (these are already "arranged" and ready to be put right into a container...a very European art)and then sealing them in a plastic bag filled with water. I had not seen that done before. You'll see them and perhaps think they are flower arrangements in glass containers. Upon further inspection, you'll see that they are kind of sealed in big plastic bags of water. This would be a great thing to buy for your apartment and just put right into a container. I mention these because they are rather stunning and not at all the usual fare of arranged flowers! I saw many of them right in this area.

Have a great time. Trust your instincts, and you won't go wrong!



WillTravel May 4th, 2009 09:03 PM

I totally understand your fears. When I read the description of the stairs, I actually started to feel weak in my feet (hard feeling to describe), even though I'm sitting down. From the sound of it, that staircase, done several times per day, would be too unnerving for me, no matter how nice the location and the apartment. If you are paying that much, you may as well have a place that feels entirely comfortable.

djkbooks May 4th, 2009 10:01 PM

I cannot imagine four flights of steps - and certainly not steep, slanted, curving, no handrails!

Some of the joys of staying in an apartment include running out early in the morning for fresh pastries, shopping the fresh food markets (whereupon you have to return with your shopping before heading out again), having a nice place to relax before heading out again for the evening.

And, remember, you'll have to haul your bags up those stairs on arrival and down again on departure.

gracejoan3 May 4th, 2009 10:17 PM

Hi, I stay in the Paris Perfect apts. regularly. I am in Paris a PP, of course! I prefer the St. Dominique/Bourdonnais area where most PP apts. are located.

The PP experience is something you will remember. They take care of everything and places are lovely.

This is an unusual apt. for them. If you don't mind the stairs, go for it. It is all a persoanl decision to make.



bleuzebu May 4th, 2009 10:19 PM

Thanks LisaG and WillTravel. I am very excited about our trip, but as WillTravel says, the staircase could be a deal breaker.

The area sounds magical. I look forward to the flower stalls, cafe's, art galleries and markets! Being in a less touristy place is a bonus. But the steps...Alfred Hitchcock's "Vertigo" is coming to mind LOL!

Of course this means I miss out on the Tour Eiffel and seeing the gargoyles at Notre Dame, not to mention that heart stopping climb to the dome in Sacre Couer. If only I had wings...

bleuzebu May 4th, 2009 10:54 PM

Hi Joan, it was based on your great reviews we decided on PP :)

As an aficionado of the PP apartments, have you seen the stairs on Riesling? If so, would you mind giving a clearer description? Michelle has not gotten back to us, but we love the location of the unit.

We have a hold on one of the places off Av Bourdonnais but were worried the area wouldn't offer much in local character (be too touristy). Any thoughts or recommendations?

Hope you are enjoying your stay!

gracejoan3 May 4th, 2009 11:22 PM


I have not seen the Riesling so don't know about the steps. I did send off an email to Taryn and Madelyn asking about the steps.

The Bourdonnais/St. Dominique/Rapp area is a wonderful area of Paris. Away from all the heavy tourists of the 6th, 5th. Wonderful restaurants and a very village like feel. Buses and metro convenient to everything...but so convenient to walk to many of the sites for first timers. Is the Syrah the other one on hold? It is on r. Cler with a balcony..a nice apt..or you mentioned another off Bourdonnais..which one?


bleuzebu May 4th, 2009 11:59 PM

Thanks Joan-
Taryn has been a doll! She is so patient with all of our indecision. Thank you for contacting her on my behalf.

Considered Syrah (loved the Rue Cler aspect) but thought it too small, so reserved Chardonnay. We were offered the amazing Fleurie (I think you are going there Sunday?) but were told construction was happening on our dates, which was quite sad as that unit looks magical!

We fell in love with Riesling's neighborhood, the location and atmosphere, but have a problem if the steep stairs have no means of balance . So we're thinking Chardonnay might be the winner. Any thoughts?

gracejoan3 May 5th, 2009 12:22 AM

I was in the Chardonnay the other evening. It is a charming, old world atmosphere with the decorating theme. Very comfortable and it has a balcony. The neighborhood could not be better! It is just below me!

A small grocery store just around corner on Bourdonnais..a great boulangerie, with tables 1 block away..Montessuy/Bourdonnais. Au Bon Accueil is on Monttessuy. All Constant restaurants are around corner on St. Dominique, whcih is 1 block away..a zillion buses there to go wherever. A short walk to r. Cler..great shopping in the area..also r. Grenelle. The Champ de Mars Parc in 1 block away.

If you should decide on the Chardonnay, don't feel it is 2nd to the Riesling in any way!!

Let's see what I get back from one of them about the steps..
You will have the pleasures of one of the PAris Perfect apartments!!

a bientot..


bleuzebu May 5th, 2009 12:48 AM

Ah you are truly St. Joan!

We have been full of anxiety on making the right choices and you have helped a great deal. Your trip report features many fine suggestions about the Chardonnay area so I feel more confident now. Obviously none of the PP apartments would be a disappointment, I just have my particular struggle with heights.

Thank you to all the lovely Fodorites who have offered advice. This site makes the best traveling companion.


gracejoan3 May 5th, 2009 01:33 AM

Hi,You have probably heard from Taryn. The Fodor's site goes down for 1/2 hour and now just back up. I did receive this just now frim Taryn:

Hi Joan, Thanks so much for keeping in contact with this man--you can write him that the Riesling apartment does have a handrail (Michelle was in error). The staircase is a bit steep and has a slight slant, but it is not a severe slant and with the handrail it should be fine. I contacted Carolyn today, and she told me that the stairwell was completely repainted last year, and the tiles on the landings were replaced and there are carpeted wooden stairs. I think it'd be ok for his stay; we've had numerous guests stay in this apartment and they've not had a problem. I will write him back immediately with this same information. We've had trouble getting in touch with him too! Regards,

bleuzebu May 5th, 2009 09:06 AM

Thank you Joan. you have been extremely helpful.

My fiance Ian received word from Taryn with this new info. We have had many difficulties trying to reach PP and I'm puzzled that they think WE are hard to reach? Good to have Fodors and someone like Joan to answer questions-Merci!

So now we decide between the two, it will be tough as either one offers so much that's wonderful about Paris. Latin Quartier/St. Germain or Tour Eiffel/Invalides? We are fortunate really to have such a choice as this. :)

gracejoan3 May 5th, 2009 09:15 AM

Yes, it can be hard to choose. They are all nice.

I am moving to the Fleurie on Thursday. It is a cute place. There is some construction going on below it during the day, so they don't really want to rent it to people and have them bothered with the noise. Nice that they tell people!

I guess you are having difficulty in both directions re contacts. I just email them. Seems to work best.

Post your choice when you have decided.

I am going to Les Cocottes for dinner and this place for lunch tomorrow:

a bientot...


bleuzebu May 5th, 2009 09:35 PM

FYI on Paris Perfect Riesling-the building is circa 18th Century with an original staircase which is circular in form. The newly carpeted steps have a slight slant and are a bit irregular and steep, but there IS a handrail!

Many people may love the aspect of peering down the drop of a long circular stairway from the fourth floor. Several classic films have used this vantage point. The architecture is surely beautiful, but for me with height phobia, it's a no go. I'm sad but c'est la vie.

Thanks again to LisaG and everyone for all the travel tips re: St. Germain. The location is superb and we hope to stay in that part of Paris on our next visit. For now I will enjoy the offerings of the Rue Cler markets and a quick walk to the Tour Eiffel-not bad after all :)

gracejoan3 May 5th, 2009 10:52 PM

Good Morning...I guess you must have decided on the Chardonnay. I'm sure that you will enjoy both the apartment and the Paris Perfect experience. The area is such a great area to be village like.

You can walk the Seine, walk across the Seine to high end shopping, walk the Champ de Mars Park, Invalides, Rodin, d'Orsay. Wonderful restaurants all around in every price range. Many weekly markets, plus the convenience of r. Cler.

The 42 bus just around the corner to go to Rond Point, Concorde, Madeleine, Galleries Lafayette, Opera etc. One block away the very popular 69 bus and the 87 bus. Over to Bosquet for the 80 bus to Montmartre....all so very convenient.

You may have my pigeon to feed, too!


GraceCO Jul 22nd, 2009 07:22 AM

My daughter and I are traveling to Paris late August and then on the Aix-en-Provence where she will attend school until December. I contacted Paris Perfect last week to reserve an apartment and thought I had one booked (Moulin a Vent)through Michelle, but Taryn told me it had already been booked apparently simultaneously. The only apartment available for our entire week's stay was the Riesling, so I went ahead and reserved it, but it's not our first, second or even third choice. Taryn offered me a split between the Chardonnay and the Kir, but I thought the Kir might be too small and I felt under pressure to decide. My daughter very much wanted the Eiffel Tower view from the window and I was looking forward to the amazing neighborhood...Now, I'm having "buyer's remorse" about the stairs and lack of A/C at the Riesling. I know how wonderful these apartments are, including the PP staff, so I don't think I'll be that disappointed, but I did want this to be a special. After reading the comments above, I have reason to pause about the decision. Should I have taken the split instead? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


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