Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Day in Paris

Christmas in France is a day to gather with family, celebrate, eat wonderful food.. oysters, turkey, buche de Noel, redolent cheese and good wines... but if you are a tourist Christmas day can be a challenge to find open restaurants or great things to do.

If Paris isn't buried in snow (!) consider ice skating in front of the gorgeous Hotel de Ville or at the Eiffel Tower. Both spectacular and festive venues! The art nouveau brasseries are generally open so consider a meal at Le Vaudeville near the Bourse or another festive Paris brasserie. (Check first!) Window shopping and dreaming is always fun. Pick a Paris quarter full of great shops and stroll, dream, and enjoy.

The celebrative midnight mass at Notre Dame is an always packed and special event.. but get there at least 90 minutes in advance for a seat. And look at the posters or at Pariscope to find fabulous concerts in the week leading up to and after Christmas.

If you have an apartment with a kitchen, shop the markets and have a festive dinner a la Parisian traditions..

Joyeux Noel!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Two Very Special Holiday 'Spectacles' Around Paris

If you are lucky enough to be in Paris during the holidays and want to do something a bit unusual while touring two gorgeous chateaux to boot, check out the Christmas Illuminations at Vaux le Vicomte or visit the chateau of Chantilly for the special 'Horses of the Wind' show complete with jugglers and acrobats.

Vaux le Vicomte is roughly an hour southeast of Paris and is the magnificent chateau that inspired Versailles. Vaux le Vicomte transforms itself every holiday season into a sumptuously decorated home with roaring log fires and candlelit rooms. Gorgeous.

Chantilly is north and slightly west of Paris and is a later but also a gorgeous chateau. The collection of 800 plus fine paintings in Chantilly are second only to the Louvre in the breadth and quality of the collection. And, in addition to the lovely park surrounding the chateau, the stables (said to be considered the most beautiful, intact, 18th century stables in Europe) are always worth seeing. This season there is a special show at 2:30 in the afternoon (check dates) with thirty plus horses, riders, acrobats and more. Spectacular indeed.

Talk with me about my colleague Jean Pierre who will pick you up at your hotel or apartment and take you to either of these marvelous venues for an unforgettable day.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Cheese Spotting: Paris!

If you love French cheese this is THE custom tour for you. How about a three hour immersion in the redolent world of French cheeses? Learn about the vast variety of French cheese, how to choose and pair cheeses on the cheese-plate of your dreams. And, unique to this tour, learn about the best accompaniments to cheese.... flavored and pure olive oils, flavored salts, savory confitures and more. All the while you will be guided by a renowned food writer and convivial culinary expert. And you will finish this delicious immersion with a stop for a relaxed lunch or perfectly paired cheese and charcuterie AND French wines. Fabulous.

For groups of six to ten, or talk with us about pricing for larger groups or even for smaller groups. One guest experiencing this new tour literally told my colleague that this was one of the best, most enjoyable days of her life. And this was a woman who travels frequently and is not un-sophisticated in things-culinary!

Details on or email me.

A Holiday Gift to You.. Give Trip Advising and Get A Great Discount

Need a personal and perfect gift for your France-bound friends? Your Great Days In Paris is offering our new and returning clients a healthy discount on Trip Coaching and Advising Services (now including Istanbul), up to four hours per client. Price: $50 not $70 per hour. We'll get you and your Francophile friends to the best in Paris, carefully considering your budget, interests and your preferred travel style. Happy Holidays!

Or, for a BIG and wonderful gift, present your friends with the opportunity to join me on a culinary or cultural tour in Paris, Turkey, the Pays Basque or Lyon in 2011.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Two Paris Parks Worth a Visit

My article "Two Paris Parks Well Worth A Visit" is up on the French Today Blog. Read about two very different and each wonderful parks, the Promenade Plantee and the Palais Royal. French Today is my good colleague Camille Chevalier's Karfis' company based in Brittany. Camille is a talented teacher of French to Francophiles and to those planning a trip to France who just want some language proficiency. Excellent teaching tools plus lessons. Take a look at my article and at the overall website.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Read my article on Le Saotico

Bonjour Paris, the excellent bi-weekly Paris online publication, recently published my article on the new Paris Bistro named Le Saotico. I've written about Chef Hughes Gournay and Anne Surcouf's new market-fresh-cuisine bistro in this blog, but the article is well worth a read.

Spending the Holidays in Paris?

Paris is a fabulous place to visit during the Christmas-New Years' season. Christmas and New Years Day are national holidays and everything closes, but, otherwise, the markets are open and full of gorgeous food, restaurants offer splendid meals (special dinners for New Years Eve) and the cultural calendar is in full swing. Christmas lights are everywhere. It is a super festive season and one that you should enjoy!

In other regions of France we have information on some special packages at a gorgeous wine growing Chateau Hotel (with a gourmet cooking school) in Provence, special packages in Champagne and in festive Alsace.

Happy holidays! Call or email us if Your Great Days in Paris can help you have great holidays in Paris. 781 391 6183 or

Monday, November 22, 2010

My Le Saotico article on Bonjour Paris

Check out my article "Le Saotico: Fresh, Flexible, Delicious" on Bonjour Paris. I have written on this blog about this terrific bistro/bar/brasserie with market fresh cuisine already but the article is fun to read. Remember, this is a great bistro for breakfast and also for travelers with gluten or other food allergy issues.


Sally Peabody

Monday, November 8, 2010

November is the "Month of the Photo" in Paris

Don't miss the exhibition of the works of André Kertész at the Jeu de Paume (through February 6, 2011). The retrospective offers a rare chance to see a large collection of Kertész’s original prints, plus many of his beloved published images.

And if want to see more photograpy, go to Paris Photo 2010 the annual photography fair at the Carrousel du Louvre. November 18th to 21. Featuring "one hundred international galleries and publishers presenting a panorama of the finest examples of photographic expression from the 19th century to the present day." This year, the focus is on the Central European photography scene, showing new talents through awards, competitions and
various events.

For the month of November Paris is the photography capital of the world.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Learn about Oolong and Pu Ehr teas in Paris

TERRE DE CHINE is a beautiful shop on the ancient rue de Quincampoix in central Paris. They sell top quality Chinese teas and beautiful tea pots, tea bowls, cups and other accessories too. On various Saturdays (Samedi) in November and December Thé de Chine is offering seminars on Oolong and Pu Ehr teas with videos and tastings. You need to register. And they will be in French...

Here is their message:

Nous proposons des ateliers de thés dans notre boutique, par thèmes, accompagnés de photos et vidéos et une dégustation.

Tarifs 25 € par personne, sur inscriptions uniquement.

Terre de Chine
49 rue Quincampoix
75004 Paris
tel : 01 42 71 25 71
email :

Ateliers de thé Wulong.

le samedi 13 novembre, de 11h00 à 12h30
le samedi 20 novembre, de 11h00 à 12h30
le samedi 27 novembre, de 11h00 à 12h30

Ateliers de thé Pu Er.

le samedi 04 décembre, de 11h00 à 12h30
le samedi 11 décembre, de 11h00 à 12h30
le samedi 18 décembre, de 11h00 à 12h30

Friday, November 5, 2010

Drink Like An Aztec: My Article on Choco-Story in Paris

Chocolate Atlas, a great website for all-things chocolate has just published my story "Drink Like An Aztec" on the new Choco-Story Gourmet Chocolate Museum in Paris. The Aztec piece is a recipe for the hot chocolate drink that was drunk by the Aztec Warriors, Kings and other elites. Chocolate was believed to increase courage, stamina, and bravery. I believe that too!

Monday, November 1, 2010

TeaThéTcha: A Great New Spot for Tea

Patrick Barbés has opened his terrific new comptoir de thé and salon de thé in the 13th eme near metro Glaciere. Tea lovers and tea salon fans will remember Patrick's lovely L'Artisan des Saveurs in the 6th which for many years served top quality pure and blended teas and irresistible patisserie, delicious weekend brunches, and lovely light lunches. Patrick took a couple of years off to write a book on fine tea. TeaThéTcha is the home of his welcome return to the Paris tea scene. He sells over 100 pure and blended teas and tisanes and serves an extensive selection from the major tea growing countries of the world. His ability to make deeply delicious patisserie (often with a tea flavor or component) has not diminished one bit during his hiatus. I visited the contemporary feeling, light, comfortable salon in late October and loved his seasonal patisserie that encompassed Pu Ehr flavored icecream atop a rich, buttery sable pastry, surrounded with cassis coulis and accompanied by three plump fresh figs that had been poached in cassis. Perfection on a plate. Attractive too! The tea Patrick recommended was a 'Grands Jardins' from China, Panyong D'Or, and it matched the fabulous dessert perfectly. Teas run 4.5 E to 5.5 E, patisseries run 5.5 to 7 E.

The salon du thé is open and serving tea and various patisserie, all made by Patrick, from 2:30 through 7 pm. You can stop in to buy tea from10 a.m. onwards. Closed Sundays. Metro: Glaciere, Bus #21 or #62. It is a short bus ride out from central Paris and worth every kilometre!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

FIAC is back

The annual and always much anticipated Foire Internationale d'Art Contemporain (FIAC) open to the public beginning October 21 through the 24th at the Grand Palais and the Cour Carrée of the Louvre with 195 galleries from 24 countries. Visit for more information on this ever-interesting show of contemporary works.

Life goes on in Paris despite the strikes.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

French Strikes October 2010

If you are traveling to France this week (October 20) keep an eye on the political scene and the strike activity. Pension reform issues have set off over a week of major strikes, the public transit system and flights have been impacted. Gas stations are running low on fuel as workers have blocked pipelines.

I have delayed my flight to Paris from Istanbul for three days in hopes that all settles down a bit.

Keep an eye on the news.

Notes from Istanbul

Istanbul. Two treasures not in the Topkapi Palace. Kuru Fasulye & Kaymak. Yes this city is a fascinating blend of vigorous urbanism, Europe, Asia, splendid architecture & quarters ranging from upscale to in-the-ages. But sometimes it is those simply surprisingly delicious things that impress deeply.

My 'foodie' treats of this trip are ultra rich kaymak, a creme fraiche from water buffalo milk served with deeply flavored honey, and, checking out the versions of kuru fasulye (white beans in butter-tomato sauce). Both sound simple, both are utterly delicious. Of course this is just the tip of the foodie iceberg. Turkish food is flavorful and varied. Generally very good quality and very affordable.
Check out for great foodie tips all over town. This is proving to be an excellent resource.

I've been back to my favorite, the ever superb Ciya Sofrasi in Kadikoy on the Asian side twice for utterly delicious meals, but have found several new places I count as favorites during this trip. It is hard not to eat well (and reasonably) here.

Istanbul is legendary for shopping. The textiles are beautiful, patterned tiles, clothing, leathergoods, jewelry, glassware, porcelain, endless gorgeous scarves... it just goes on and on. I found a shop yesterday near Taksim Square off Iskital Caddessi that is a little different. Nahd is a gift shop and consignment shop run by women to support over 20 women's cooperatives around Turkey. This cute little shop stocks beautiful handmade soaps, handmade baby clothes, crafts items and decorative objects.

The consignment area had a great bin of lovely scarves for 5 lira each and also had racks of nice quality jackets, blouses, dresses and such. This is a great place to support women's development projects with your gift shopping lira. The address is Bekar Sokak no. 17.

The ever bustling Iskital Caddessi is a half block away and is an avenue that is chock full of interesting shops and cafes, galleries and covered passages. If you continue down Iskital towards Tunel watch for Ipek on the right after you pass Galatasary Lycee. Ipek has the most beautiful silk scarves and neckties... prices are very fair, the quality is just gorgeous, and most are made in Bursa, a historic center for fine silk and textile making. Food and scarves. I'm happy. And that's before we ride the Bosphorous ferries under a full moon, visit the fabulous monuments like Aya Sophia, the Blue Mosque, the Spice Market, the almost-overwhelming Grand Bazaar and simply walk, walk, walk and explore this remarkable city.

Take the walk from Taksim Square all the way down Iskital to Tunel (where the trendy and fun Asmailescit neighborhood is loaded with good bars, restaurants, clubs and shopping). This is a terrific part of Beyoglu on the European side of Istanbul.

Check out my new Istanbul.Ephesus.Cappodocia tour on
The first tour in April is full but pending interest I can schedule a second in the fall. Istanbul is amazing. Come experience it!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Paris Salon du Chocolat

Love Chocolate? Here's the event for you. The annual Salon du Chocolat rolls into the Porte de Versailles Exposition halls from October 28 through November 1. Hall five.
This year's theme celebrates organic, top quality, sustainable chocolates. In addition to seeing and tasting an extraordinary array of chocolates from France's creme de la creme of chocolatiers you can view chocolate in multiple amazing guises... crafted into haute couture and more. This is an event where pros market to other pros but the public is welcomed.

Beware of work on the RER B to and from CDG in Oct. and Nov. 2010

Do you take the RER from Charles Degaulle Airport into Paris? Good move if you don't have big bags to schlep up and down the escalators and stairs. However, if you will be flying in or out of Charles de Gaulle Airport in the near future, be aware that the RER line B to the airport will be shut down for renovation work on Saturdays and Sundays through Nov. 7.

Travelers should take the RER B to Mitry-Claye, where free shuttle buses will take them to the airport’s Terminal 1. For those going on to Terminal 2 or 3 you then have to take the (free) RoissyVal light railway. Allow an extra half-hour to get to Terminal 1 and an extra hour to get to Terminal 2.

To avoid the RER completely, take a taxi, the low-cost Roissybus (from Opéra, corner of Rue Scribe and Rue Auber) or the Air France bus (from Porte Maillot, Etoile, Orly, Montparnasse or Gare de Lyon). Or, you can always talk with Your Great Days in Paris about reliable van services to and from the airport.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Les Nuits Blanche in Paris

Saturday October 2 is your chance to stay up well into the wee hours and celebrate arts and culture all over Paris. Check out the website with full details:

The Nuit Blanche celebration is a fantastic city wide party, lots of music, edgy art, interesting happenings. It is a terrific way to explore off the beaten path quarters. And, it is all free! There will be kiosks with booklets detailing events by the Hotel de Ville, in the French Tourist Office, and near major metros around town. Generally these set up a day or two in advance. Or check the website. Go, participate... this is fun!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Learning French: Tips, Tools, Classes With French Today

I've posted earlier comments on French Today, the excellent online French-teaching website and service run by my colleague Camille Chevalier Karfis. Camille's website is packed with useful and up to date information on the French language, and, also on being a culturally competent traveler in France. She can do lessons online and offers a great toolbox of teaching tools. You can even get a daily tip on twitter.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Global World According to Louis the XIV

Tucked away in the modern Bibliotheque Nationale are two immense and beautiful Renaissance-era globes. The 'Coronelli' Globes provide a fascinating view of the Global world and the world view of King Louis the XIV. They are magnificent. Read my article on Bonjour Paris about the Globes and go see them... you will be very glad you did!

Please note: Louisiana was sold to the US by Napoleon, not by Louis XIV and Colbert did not die in 1967! Two errors within the article that I am chagrinned about... but the Globes are astonishing. That I know.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Learning French? French Today is your resource.

If you want to learn French and want a resource-packed website to boot, check out my good colleague Camille Chevalier's website

Camille lives in France and has been very smart at thinking through how she can both teach students via phone and online and also offer quality educational products. She also invites contributors to her website who post up to date pieces on Paris and French travel.

This is an excellent resource.

New App.. yogoguide for Paris

Yogoguide has created a free, useful and easy to use new Paris website accessible by computer and smartphone. You choose your topic.. dining, lodging, sights and more and scroll over a map to see your options. There is a good list of permanent markets, including the flea markets, book and stamp markets, and overall the information is comprehensive and useful for planning a trip or for checking in on ideas and choices while you are in Paris. Take a look. An app is in the works too.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Le Saotico: New top choice for market fresh French cooking

I was very happy to receive a note from Anne Surcouff telling me that she and her talented chef husband, Hughes Gournay, are back on the Paris dining scene after a hiatus of a couple of years. I used to frequent their intimate Le Reminet in the Latin Quarter and referred lots of clients there as well. The food was always delicious, market-fresh, a little inventive and very fairly priced. Le Reminet is still in business under different owners, but, now this culinary couple has purchased a duplex space at 96 rue de Richelieu (near the Opera Comique and Bourse... not that far from the Louvre and Palais Royal) and they are serving Mondays through Fridays 8-8. The unusual hours are due to this location in a very lively business quarter, but, one that is a bit quieter at night. So dinner is still being worked out but there is already a devoted lunch clientele. I plan to stop for lunch when I am in Paris in late October and will report... with photos! But I know I can recommend this chef and his lovely spouse who creates a warm, sophisticated atmosphere for a good meal, still at a fair price. Check Le Saotico out. The restaurant name by the way is the name for the succulent tiny grey shrimp found off the Normandy coast. That bodes well.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Annual "Days of Patrimony" weekend September 18-19

Once again a full weekend is dedicated to opening up hundreds of public buildings and some private collections not generally accessible to the public. This excellent annual event called Les Journees du Patrimoine will be September 18 and 19 this year. Check out the website www.journeesdupatrimoine.culture and plan your priority visits. Some sites do have long lines... people love this opportunity to get inside glorious spaces and take a look around.

This is an event all over France, not just in Paris. Access to all venues is free. Don't miss this one if you are in France!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

It's September & Cultural LIfe Roars Back to Paris!

In early September Paris undergoes a noticeable re-invigoration. Cafes and restaurants open up again, everyone is back from summer vacation. The cultural calendar swells with events of all types…. Major art and antique shows, music of every persuasion. Here are just a few things you might want to note if you are visiting Paris in September.

The blockbuster art show of the season will be a major Monet show at the Grand Palais, September 22 through January 10.

Lovers of antiques and design will not want to miss the Bienniale des Antiquaires, September 15 to 22 at the Grand Palais. This massive event features top quality, often very rare items ranging from furnishings to jewelry to paintings to archaelogical finds. There are 25 new international dealers in this year’s show adding to an already remarkable variety of offerings.

As fall arrives, the Opera en Plein Air season continues. Visit the ground of the Hotel des Invalides to hear Carmen performed from September 7-14.

If you love Django Reinhardt’s gypsy jazz check out the Django Dorm concert at the Salle Pleyel on September 30.

And that’s just a start!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Coffee and Cake in Paris, New York Style...

A New York Coffee Shop In Paris!

Just in case you are homesick for coffee cake and coffee “New Yorkaise” when visiting Paris you can stop in at ‘Le Coffee Shop Merce and the Muse’ located at 1 rue Charles Francois Dupuis in the 3rd arrondissement (near Republique). The American owner has modeled his shop on classic Greenwich Village coffee shops. If one more croissant is just too much to contemplate, hard as that is to fathom, keep this one in mind. Just one more good stop to keep in mind when exploring the ‘upper Marais’.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Monet et l'Abstraction at the Marmottan

The Musee Marmottan near the Bois de Boulogne is hosting a gem of a show through September. Much has been written about Monet's later works prefiguring modern abstraction and this show is an excellent opportunity to draw your own conclusions about Monet's impact on modern artists. I saw a similar show at the Thyssen Bornemissa museum in Madrid last April and it was one of the best small shows I had ever seen... provocative and interesting. The Marmottan is featuring 20 of their Monet masterworks and hangs them alongside works by Jackson Pollock, Kandinsky, Richter and others.

If you are in Paris this summer or early September this show should be on your list.

Musée Marmottan Monet: 2, rue Louis-Boilly, 75016, Paris. Métro: Muette. Tel.: 01 42 24 07 02. Open Tuesday, 11am-9pm, Wednesday-Saturday, 11am-6pm. Closed Monday. Admission: €9. Through September 26.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Four Perfect Parisian Spots for a Sip, Savor and Sun

Four Spots to Sip, Savor and Relax Outdoors in the Parisian Summer

Marché des enfants : Entrée au niveau du 39 rue de Bretagne,3E. M°République.

In a place where the stalls of this charming covered market adjoin the tables of small market restaurants. You can enjoy foods of France, Morroco or Japan. This is a wonderful calm spot for a drink or light meal in the upper Marais.

Café Suedois : Centre culturel suédois, 11 rue Payenne 3e. M°Saint Paul

This lovely Swedish Cultural center in the Marais is known for its exhibitions, concerts and other events. But the backyard of this lovely space is home to the eminently worthwhile Le café Suedois, where customers gather all day for teas, coffee, light meals and excellent carrot cake. There is a charming small square across the street with flowers and benches if the café is full.

La Mer à Boire : 1 rue des Envierges 20e M°Pyrénées.

Here's a terrace to love! Perched on the heights of Belleville's Park, you can enjoy a glass of organic wine while soaking up the panoramic views out over Paris.

le Thé : Musée de la Vie Romantique 16 rue Chaptal 9e 01 55 31 95 67 M° Saint Georges.

In the verdant garden ot the charming, intimate Museum of Romantic Life you can rest, sip good tea and enjoy cakes and light refreshment. This is in the heart of the interesting Nouvelle Athennes quarter near the superb rue de Martyrs market street.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Paris Hotels and Summer Specials

If you are going to Paris this summer talk with Your Great Days in Paris about special deals on hotels. We get numerous promotions from three and four star hotels that offer lower prices, often include breakfast, and sometimes include nice extras like Seine Cruises or Louvre tickets.

Yes, lots of cafes, bistros and small stores do close in August but Paris is always worth a visit. August offers less crowds, museums are open (and air-conditioned) and there are numerous film and music festivals. This is a great city.... it never shuts down! or 781 391 6183

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Exploring the Canal St. Martin

The Canal St. Martin is atmospheric, a lazy canal largely for barges and the occassional sight-seeing boat heading to and from La Villette in the 19th from the Seine in central Paris. The canal has lovely broad quais, increasingly hip shops and cafes lining its banks, arched footbridges, leafy small gardens and generally, an interesting ambience.

The Canal goes underground several blocks up Boulevard Richard Lenoir from Bastille and its last length to the Seine is through a softly lit tunnel. But mostly the Canal is a splendid walk for a lazy hour or two in a still very real feeling section of Paris.

Check out the classic Quay-side cafe Chez Prune on Quai de Valmy or have an excellent 14 E three course menu at La Marine also on Quai de Valmy at #55. (Menu weekdays only at 14 E). Across the canal, the Pouya Iranian Cultural Center is an intimate oasis for lovely spiced teas or saffron flavored icecream.

Bring your camera, walk and take time to settle in and enjoy this vibrant quarter centered on this charming canal. Best metro stops nearby are Jacques Bonsergent or Republique. This is the 10th arrondissement.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Love Music? Celebrate the Summer Solstice With Music and Dance....
21 June, Monday, is the day. This all-over-France festival started in 1982 and is now celebrated throughout Europe. You can listen and dance to just about any kind of music all over Paris. Put on your dancing shoes, ring in summer, and enjoy the Fête de la Musique where ever you are in France.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Finding Out What's 'On' In Paris

Sometimes you just want to read what’s ‘on’ and dream, even better, other times you want to know what is happening so you can actually take advantage of the abundant Parisian cultural riches during a visit.

Once you are in Paris, the best deal in town has to be Pariscope. Published on Wednesdays and available in all the newsstands, this little TV-guide like booklet is the go to source for seemingly everything that is going on. Love movies? Check. Concerts ranging from techno music to jazz to classical or world music? Check. Walking tours and special festivals? Yes. Brocantes, Art and Antiques shows? Marionette shows for the kids? Absolutely. Pariscope will be the best .60 euro cents you’ve ever spent. Sit in a café and get out your highlighter and check off far more things than you will ever realistically do. Always good to have options!

For up to date events, news about city wide and arrondissement-specific initiatives (for example, where you can find free wifi spots, or cultural development of the Parc de la Villette area) you should definitely check out and bookmark the excellent e-zine called À Paris that the Mairie de Paris publishes. Full colour, loads of content and wonderfully useful, this publication is not skewed by for-profit interests, it is simply published to promote and encourage access to all that Paris has to offer.

The latest issue outlines all there is to do in Paris during the summer months. Indeed, is the city of Paris’ newly renovated website and this excellent resource is available in French and English.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A Good French Meal in the Latin Quarter

Sometimes the Latin Quarter seems like a tough place to find a good classic (affordable) French bistro meal. Counter-intuitive indeed, but there are lots of good Vietnamese, Moroccan, Japanese, Chinese and other ethnic options in this charmingly historic, student-dense quarter. Check out Lilane, 8 rue Gracieuse for a good bistro meal. Think confit de canard, chocolate tart, rich mashed potatoes, langoustine-stuffed ravioli, homemade Foie Gras. Menus at 16 and 20 E at lunch, 32 E in the evening.

This is just off Place Monge, home to a good small market on Wednesday and Saturday mornings, and, is just down the street from the amazing Maison des Trois Thés where you can sample one of a hundred plus premier oolong, Pu Ehr, yellow or white teas in a beautifully designed tea salon and shop. And you are near the Arennes du Lutece, the Mosquee de Paris, and the ever-lively rue Mouffetard market street too.

Normandy mega Impressionist Festival this summer

Love Impressionist Painters? Going to Normandy this summer? Be sure to check out the multi-venue, multi-modal Normandy Impressionist Festival that kicked off on June 4 in Rouen and runs thru September 15 in twelve different cities and locations around Normandy. Special exhibitions in museums and chateaux, music, dance, even gardens are in the mix.

This looks like an amazing festival! The Euro is so affordable right now.. how can you resist?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Indispensable Museums and Monuments Pass

The Paris region Museum and Monuments pass is your best bet for hassle free visits to 100 + Museums and Monuments in and around Paris (the Louvre, Orsay, Versailles, St. Chapelle...) This is particularly useful for the major venues which often have long lines. In 2,4 or 6 day versions.

Note: starting in June 2010 the passes will have a one year expiration date (once you activate them they are only good for the two, four or six consecutve days). This mainly impacts folks who buy the passes and keep them for future use...

Go to for full details, prices, and how to order before leaving on your trip (in English) or, where to buy the passes in and around Paris. You don't want to stand on a long line at the Louvre to buy a pass to save you from standing on lines.....

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Summer Specials at Paris Hotels

Paris hotels, both humble and haute, often run great summer specials. If you are traveling in July and August be sure to look for a hotel with AC or 'climatisée' as it can be quite warm in the city. If you prefer a private apartment talk with Your Great Days in Paris. We have excellent sources for well-run short stay rental companies offering everything from simple studios to three bedroom apartments with gourmet kitchens and killer views.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Rue du Chocolat, Bayonne, France

Enjoy this story I wrote for Bonjour Paris on the fabulous chocolat to drink, eat, and savor in Bayonne, France. Bayonne is the home of chocolate in France... and it is a great chocoholics destination today!

L'Avant Comptoir

Yves Camdeborde has had a smash hit with le Comptoir in the heart of St. Germain des Prés. It is tough to get a table, easier at lunch than dinner. For the past few years spontaneous consolation could be found just around the corner from Le Comptoir at the Creperie du Comptoir where delicious crepes, innovative and classic, could be purchased day and night. Last fall, Camdeborde and co. renovated the tiny creperie into a clever small-plate serving 'comptoir' with delicious mini-portions of hearty southwestern French food and some tapas-y things. There are still crepes too... still tiny, still delicious, and a great idea for a light dinner or snack while waiting for a table at Le Comptoir. Carrefour de l'Odeon, Paris 6.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Burgundy and Baroque Opera

Consider the International Baroque Opera Festival In Burgundy
July 7 through July 25, 2010

Burgundy is a splendid region to visit and it is easy to access by train or car from Paris. In addition to all of the superb wine and regional cuisine there will be an outstanding Opera Festival this July. Based in Beaune, a soignee small city that is heart to the region you can enjoy superb performers like Les Arts Florissants and much more.

The International Baroque Opera Festival has been the leading European festival for baroque opera and has become the biggest “Händel” festival in France. Great baroque conductors (Léonhardt, Brüggen, Christie, Herreweghe, Kuijken, Jacobs, etc.) perform here in works as varied as opera, sacred or secular music, making Beaune the event for enthusiasts.

To open the festival, the opera “Il Ritorno di Ulisse in Patria” by Monteverdi will complete the Monteverdi trilogy that was begun in 2005 with the Roman conductor Rinaldo Alessandrini.

This year, the Festival is also celebrating the 30th birthday of the “Arts Florissants” with Jean –Philippe Rameau; William Christie will be conducting two of his lesser-performed works, the ballet “Anacréon” and the opera ballet “Pygmalion”.

The young conductor Jérémie Rohrer and his orchestra “Le Cercle de l’Harmonie” will be offering the heroic drama “Thamos, roi d’Egypte”.

Download the 2010 program

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Visiting Paris With Kids? Check out Bonton

If you are visiting Paris with children 12 or under, or, are shopping for kids or grandkids for fashion or accessories with that ineffable French 'touch', the new Bonton flagship store in the upper Marais will be a trove of temptations. Bonton is the 'little brother' of Bonpoint, the well known luxury French children's clothing firm. Bonton spreads its wares over three architect designed floors. While adults shop for children's clothing, homewares, accessories and furniture, kids can watch movies, get their hair cut in an old-fashioned barber shop, eat cupcakes or curl up in the library area with a good book. Brilliant concept and beautiful things!

5 Boulevard des Filles du Calvaire. Paris 3.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Your Night At Paris (anfd French) Museums

Nuit des Musées
Date: 15 May 2010
Like culture but not standing in lines to enjoy art and design? Definitely plan to be in Paris for the Nuit des Musées, or anywhere in France for that matter. On one spring night, museums across France open until 1am, offering a chance to see the Louvre, and hundreds more, for free - no tour buses in sight.

Nuit des Musées Website (

Friday, April 30, 2010

Saturdays, St. Germain and Tasting Wine

Saturdays, St. Germain des Prés and wine! Celebrate your weekend with a visit to the wonderful small but very select wineshop, Le Dernier Goutte. On Saturdays, generally from 11 to 2 and 3;30 to 6-ish a winemaker from one of the top quality, smaller scale regional French vineyards will be on hand to chat and offer generous samples of their wines. Le Dernier Goutte (the last drop) is a shop that features wines from up and coming and well-know French wine regions with an emphasis on the Southwest, Rhone and other lesser-known appelations. Many of the wines are organic, in keeping with the strong interest in wines that are as true as possible to terroir and which hue to the greenest possible production principles. This is a gem of a wine shop. Informative bi-lingual staff and well chosen wines. And, complimentary tastes on Saturdays!
6 rue de Bourbon le Chateau, 6th
Phone: 011 33 1 43 29 11 62

Thursday, April 15, 2010

San Sebastian, Tapas & Markets Extraordinaire!

The fish market in the La Brexta market in San Sebastian (Spain) is a sight to see.  The freshest possible fish, in a staggering variety, are sold by the bushels to diners, chefs, & shoppers of all ages. The tapas (pinchos in Basque) are bounteous and endlessly tempting. My laptop is balking at uploading images today so please google my Sally Peabody page on facebook for lots of tempting images.  San Sebastian is one sweet little seaside city. I'm here with clients on my spring Pays Basque tour and we are loving it!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Love Fabulous Olive Oils From Provence?

Check out my article on the outstanding new mini-chain of exquisite olive oil shops, Premier Pression Provence. This was just published on the Hip Paris blog.

Helpful tips for Paris-ophiles

The annual Rendezvous France event hosted by A Tout France, the French Tourist Board, yielded some interesting information. The Louvre is planning to implement online tickets next fall. This is great news if you don't want to purchase a museum and monuments card and don't want to stand on lengthy lines to buy your single admission tickets! I also learned that folks wanting to purchase tickets for the TGV's or other French trains can now go right to the SNCF website and order and print your tickets in advance of your trip. This should help you purchase a less expensive ticket than from other reliable intermediary online sources like Rail Europe.

You can order timed tickets for the Eiffel Tower online now. A major improvement!

The Turner and his contemporaries show at the Grand Palais is getting major accolades. Lengthy lines abound but you can always order tickets in advance from the Grand Palais website.

I'm in Spain now, about to lead a Pays Basque culinary tour. Back in Paris on 4.22. News and photos to come. Safe travels.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Paris Barcelona Cadaques Tour In September

Paris. Barcelona. Cadaqués. Three Exquisite Destinations: One Fabulous Tour.
Lovers of music, dance and art won't want to miss this very special intimately scaled tour to immerse in music, dance and art, and, to join in the festivities at Barcelona's exuberant La Merce Festival. Paris Barcelona Cadaqués is a high-access experience for 6-10 lucky guests. 3 nights in Paris, 3 nights in Barcelona. Visit hot art galleries, concept shops, not normally open to the public spots such as Sarah Bernhardt's dressing room in the Theatre de la Ville, enjoy a day trip to idyllic Cadaqués, home to countless artists and where you will visit ateliers of noted contemporary artists. Dine in charming Paris winebars, in Catalan Tapas Bars and enjoy robust Barcelona cuisine at famed Los Caracoles. Enjoy an elegant French 'Apéro' hosted in a private Parisian apartment. A private guide will accompany you every step of the way and open doors to artists and experiences that will delight. September 21-27. 2950 Euros.

Email Sally for more detail. Deadline: April 28, 2010.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Source for Cheese and Charcuterie in Paris!

If you love redolent cheese, chosen from the vast array of French cheese and other European cheeses, head to Fil O Fromage the next time you are in Paris. This shop, run by the charming and highly skilled Cherif Bourbit, is a gem. Read my article published March 7, '10 on Bonjour Paris. And go!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Fine Tea Fine Art

Great news for lovers of fine tea and fine art... Mariage Fréres has opened a 'tea counter' in the Carousel du Louvre near the bottom of the IM Pei pyramid. Now, you can visit one of the world's greatest art museums, do some quality shopping the the Carrousel du Louvre and relax over super tea. Nice.

Friday, February 26, 2010

A Good Lunch in Paris!

A good lunch in Paris that won't break the bank? Eminently possible. Head to Mon Vieil Ami on the lovely Ile St. Louis for their daily plat du jour. The tab is an unbeatable 13 euros for their perfect winter-weather-warming fricassee de legumes & blanquette de veau, which is only served on Thursdays. Other plats du jour for the same price include Pot a Feu, seafood risotto, and Parmentier with wild boar. This is a wonderful venue for dinner too. Lots of good veggies and delicious Alsatian influenced meat and fish dishes.

Mon Viel Ami. 69 rue Saint Louis en I'lle, 4th arr. ( on the Ile St. Louis)
Metro: Pont Marie Open Wed. to Sunday- 12-2PM for lunch, 6:30-11PM for dinner Tel. 01 40 46 01 35

Monday, February 22, 2010

One Good Angel Saves Another

You will enjoy my story on the Angel of Reims and the wonderful Cité de l'Architecture in Paris. This was just posted on Bonjour Paris. Google Bonjour Paris, Sally Peabody articles or here is the link:

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Selected Interesting Art Exhibitions in Paris

The lovely Cluny museum of the Middle Ages will host "Paris, A Radiant City" from 9 Feb-24 May. This show traces the emergence of Paris as world capital of the arts and culture in the 13th century. Quite a heritage!

Goya and Picasso will be highlights of a special Louvre show called " Crime and Punishment". 16 March-27 June.

Celebrate Chopin's Bicentenary with a visit to the sweet little Museum of Romantic Life in the 9th. "The Blue Note" is the special show from 2 March-11 July.

The Pinacotheque on Place de la Madeleine has organized a show of Edvard Munch's works called "The Anti Scream". 100 paintings and graphic works drawn from private collections. 19 Feb-18 July.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Three Sweet Spots for a Paris Valentine Day

If you are lucky enough to be in Paris over Valentines Day, check out these three great shops.

Natier, owned by the personable Dominique Letterrier is a wonderful small chocolate and traditional French candies shop in the 9th, near the rue de Martyrs Market Street, located at 1 rue Henri Monnier. Natier sells chocolates from four top artisanal chocolate makers, largely traditional in style, some a bit more creative. Clients of mine report addiction issues with the sauternes or bordeaux infused chocolate covered raisins. I love the chocolates generally and the densely delicious fruit patés. A sweet little shop!

Christophe Roussell is relatively new to Paris having successfully plied his trade as a master chocolatier in La Baule. Roussell has opened a fabulous new BAR à Chocolate at 10 rue de Champ de Mars, adding yet one more jewel to that culinary mecca of the rue Cler market street neighborhood. There is a famous tower just a few blocks away too... Roussell make wonderful chocolates and also superb macarons, many based on chocolate in various guises. For Valentines Day you can pick up a pair of chocolate lips... Definitely a must stop in shop.

And finally, another master chocolatier, Jean Paul Hevin. Hevin has three shops in Paris but the mother lode is the shop and upstairs tea room at 231 rue St. Honoré. Here you can buy those fabulous jewel-like chocolates, Hevin's creative chocolate patisserie, and relax in the tea room over killer chocolate chaud or a cup of Mariage Freres tea and a pastry. Sweet indeed.

Happy Valentines Day!

Friday, February 5, 2010

No more lines at the Eiffel Tower!

A major breakthrough! The Eiffel Tower now offers an online reservation system. This long awaited system will be invaluable to planning your visit to the tower without gambling on hour or two lines to buy elevator tickets. Order and print your ticket as you wish. Excellent.

Talk with Your Great Days in Paris about wonderful things to do, see and eat around the Eiffel Tower.

Apps to Explore Paris

For lucky I-Phone users exploring Paris is easier and easier.

Here are selected Apps that are very useful. I'd love to hear from you about others that you have found and love.

Free French Tutor and French Essentials. Hear French words pronounced before you use them.

Paris2Go. Places to see, what's nearby, transportation.

Paris Street Map. GPS enabled. No paper maps to unfold!

Metro Paris. A map of the metro that shows the stops on each line, GPS features, and, you can input your starting and end point and get the best route to take. Nice.

Send me other suggestions!

Happy exploring Paris on and off the beaten path. We're here to consult with you on the what to dos behind the where's...

Sally Peabody

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Affordable overseas calling with smart phones

The New York Times ran an excellent article on January 7, 2010 by Joanna Stern on linking cell phones and smart phones to Internet based calling services for affordable overseas calls to the US. Titled "Cheap Mobile Calls, Even Overseas' this is very useful information. Here is the link:

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Paris Cookbook Fair

This event will be a feast for foodies. The Paris Cookbook Fair will be on from Feb.11-15 featuring the top cook books and wine books from 136 countries. There will be award ceremonies, cooking demos, lectures and more. American David Leibovitz, author of excellent books on Chocolate and recently, "The Sweet Life in Paris" will be one of the featured authors, as will Boston's celebrated chef Barbara Lynch with her new book "Stir, Mixing It Up in the Italian Tradition".

Sounds delightful.

Vintage (cars) and Great Sales! January in Paris...

January is decidedly not a post-holiday slump month in Paris. The cultural calendar is rich and full and life is good. There are two particularly notable events in January that will be engaging if you are lucky enough to be in Paris.

Les Soldes. The bi-annual BIG sales events (other is in July) will kick off Wednesday January 6th and run for five weeks. Sales periods are regulated in France and this is the mother of all sales including top luxury stores and quirky small boutiques. Visit your favorite stores and scope out the things you love, go early in the sale and you may be lucky!

For vintage automobile enthusiasts, the annual Traversee de Paris antique and classic vehicles event is a must-see. This year, January 10 is the date for the 500 plus car, motorcycle, and bus 'tour' de Paris. Starting in Vincennes and running out to the Trocadero fountains and Eiffel Tower area (Place Jacques Rueff), this is an event that pulls together a glorious mix of cars and more.... Bugattis, Renault 4 CVs, vintage Citroens and more. The cars pass through the Marais, Montmartre, and up the Champs Elysees. Bundle up and get out and enjoy this one!