Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Paris Always Sizzles

I might be a self proclaimed authority on Paris, but in reality my insight on Paris is very well researched. While I am no Samantha Brown, I have a unique insight into this chic city. I've been there 3 times (working on 4). I am constantly in search of new things to do, and yet, there are things on my "Must See" list, even though I've done them before. Here is my list of "Must See". This is no list of typical stops highlighted on a map, rather a list of what my daily life would include, should I live there un jour. My favorite places would be too difficult to number in order of importance so pay no attention to the place they hold on my list. They are all places deemed worthy by the locals.

Café Angelina
226, rue de Rivoli 1st Arrondissement
75001 Paris

This cafe has been in place since the 1900's. The decor says it all. Immediately when you enter you feel transformed into the days of yesterday. This salon de thé (tea) is actually known for their chocolat chaud (hot chocolate). The best way to describe it is a melted bar of chocolate, but richer and thicker. It comes in a small pitcher. One can never hope to finish it, it's very rich and decadent. But oh so delicious! Stop in for chocolat chaud and a pastry. HINT: They also have wonderful macaroons. Prices range from 5-15 euro.

Grevi Firenze
1, Place Alphonse Deville
75006 Paris

No trip to Paris could ever be complete without a trip to this hat store. I simply adore hats and wear them all the time. By chance I happened across this store. Just like a dream, I bought a beautiful hat in Paris. Not to burst my own bubble, but these hats are made in Italy. There are only two stores in the world. One in Florence, Italy and one in Paris, France. That is what makes this store so unique. Imagine only two stores in the world and I stumbled across one of them! With so many hats to choose from, one could go broke in this store. Hats for all occasions, chic and casual Grevi will make any girl crazy for hats if they aren't already. Even if you don't buy one, it's fun to go in and look and try them on. I actually can not think of a better souvenir. This store excels in customer service and pretty packaging. In the US, it's very difficult to find great hats. This store really is a treat! Did I mention I have two Grevi hats? Prices range from 50-150 euro. It's worth every euro cent!

Au Pied de Cochon
6, Rue Coquillière75001

Paris, France
+33 1 40 13 03 81

Au Pied de Cochon (meaning the foot of the pig). I can't take any credit for this find. This restaurant was recommended to me by my friends who used to live in Paris. I have to say, this is the place where I truly had the best meal that I've ever eaten in my life. I can't imagine anything that could surpass it. I ordered the braised lamb and finished off with Crème brûlée. One great thing about this bistro is that you can make a reservation right from your home online. Prices range from 15-40 euro. They do have a set menu for 19 euro which includes three courses. You will not be disappointed.

Jardin du Luxembourg

The Jardin du Luxembourg is a public park. Parisians gather here on Sundays to relax and enjoy life amidst a busy city. Do not, however, underestimate what happens at this jardin. It is a live fashion show. Even the Parisian children are dressed to the nines. Women strut in their high heels and big sunglasses and men are equally dressed. I admire the way the French use every occasion to parade their wardrobe. 

This park is perfect for taking in the sights and sounds of old Paris, both intentional and unintentional. Great for relaxation, photographs and people-watching. If the French dress like this when they go to the park, what do they wear when they go out to a nice dinner?

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