Saturday, February 7, 2009

Oysters and a crisp white wine are Winter weekend bliss

Here is one of my favorite off the beaten path spots, particularly on Saturdays and Sundays. Le Baron Bouge, 1 Theophile Roussel, just steps from the lively Place d'Aligre market and rue d'Aligre market street, is a gem of a winebar. A true 'market bar' of the unfussy sort, shoppers and lucky neighborhood residents spill into the Baron Bouge after marketing to enjoy a glass of wine from a good long list, share a cheese or charcuterie platter and enjoy conversation. There are very few places to sit be forewarned! This is a place to stow those shopping bags, find a corner of an upended wine barrel and soak up the atmosphere. In winter, there is a particular treat in store. On winter weekends an oysterman from Cap d'Archachon (near Bordeaux) sets up long tables outside the Baron Bouge and sells platters of oysters (3 sizes) at prices that border on charitable. You can also buy unopened oysters to take away. A douzaine or half douzaine, some rye bread and butter, a glass of dry white wine and change remaining in your pocket. Heaven indeed. Nearest metro is Ledru Rollin. About a 10 minute walk into the 11th beyond Bastille.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Three Sweet Paris Spots By Women for Women is Journeywomans 2008 Travel Article of the Year!

Women traveling to Paris will enjoy my recent article "Three Sweet Paris Spots By Women For Women". These three places are all a bit off the 'beaten path' but are definitely 'vaut le voyage' as the French say. This piece was published in December on the popular women's travel website, Journeywoman, and has been chosen their 'best' women's travel story of 2008. Nice.

Here is the link:

I will be taking guests to explore the wonderful Faubourg St. Antoine and also rue Levis areas noted in this article as part of my new four day Paris Off the Beaten Path tour in October. Check out for details.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Paris Invites Romance (and Enjoying Chocolates)

How great it this! My first post on my new Paris blog and it's about Chocolate in Paris.

Valentines day and chocolates are an iressistable pairing. Paris is replete with chocolate shops ranging from elegant emporia resembling jewelry shops to warm and wonderful neighborhood shops that sell an extraordinary range of delectables both beautiful and delicious. Check out Chocolat on rue Monsieur le Prince just off the Luxembourg Gardens for excellent chocolates. They just may still have some edible chocolate 'body paint'. I'll leave that one to you. Lars and Lene Boehme are the hip owners and they speak excellent English. There is also a sweet little salon on the second floor to relax and enjoy handmade hot chocolates. Nearest metro is Luxembourg.

Off the beaten path, head over to the 9th arrondissement to 1, rue Henri Monnier and visit the adorable little fine chocolate shop called Natier. Madame Leterrier, the proprietaire speaks excellent English and is a charming and hospitable person. She also sells fruit pates, chocolate covered raisins soaked in Sauternes (or Bordeau) and other delicious candies. Plus a nice selection of Le Palais de Thes teas in attractive tins. Nearest metro is: St. Georges.

For the master chocolatiers, you can't go wrong at Jean Paul Hevin, Michael Chaudun, Christian Constant, Maison du Chocolat, Debauve et Gallais, Patrick Roger and others. More on these fabulous chocolate artisans in coming posts.