Friday, December 30, 2011

Savvy Travel to Paris

Savvy Travel to Paris

Join me on January 10 at 5:45 for my Savvy Travel to Paris Class at Cambridge Center for Adult Education, Cambridge MA. Great material, good information and the class location is right next store to Burdick's Chocolates where you can pick up a cup of real Parisian style chocolat chaud before or after the class.

Meilleurs Voeux,

Sally Peabody

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

New and Gorgeous: Carette on the Place des Vosges

Carette, a new gourmet hot-spot has arrived on the Place des Vosges, amidst the modern art galleries, cafes and small,lovely hotels. A beloved Parisian institution, the original Carette is located on Place du Trocadero near the Eiffel tower and has long been a fine destination for good tea, coffee, snacks or meals. This second more luxurious space was designed by Hubert de Givenchy and sits within the arcades of one of the prettiest squares in France. One can enjoy gourmet breakfasts, their celebrated macarons, croissants and other artfully made patisserie. At tea time (between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.) you can opt for assorted finger sandwiches or a plate of 5 mini-macarons. A range of choices for a discerning palate are on the menu. The fabulous decor is reminiscent of the glory days of the former Place Royale. The elegant interior is pure Louis XVI style. Marie Antoinette would have loved this spot. You will too!

25 Place des Vosges, Paris 3 (Marais)
Tél 01 48 87 94 07
Métro: Saint-Paul or Chemin Vert

Friday, December 9, 2011

Skating in Paris In Some Special Places

One of the loveliest winter traditions in Paris are the 'temporary' ice skating rinks set in magnificent places. Yes, ice Skating on the Eiffel Tower. From Dec. 15th through Feb. 9th, you can skate on the first level of the Eiffel Tower. It is a small rink but rather magical. Skating is free with paid admission to the Tower. And if you like to skate you’ll find several other rinks around Paris, including in front of the magnificent Hotel du Ville. Skates are available for rent.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Holiday Season Concerts at Notre Dame

Holiday Concerts at Notre Dame Cathedral? Here are three concerts in December.

Tuesday, December 13, 8:30PM, Tickets 18 euros- Organ recital of Bach, Dupré, Messiaen, and Reber by organist Pascal Reber from the magnificent Strasbourg Cathedral
Tuesday, December 20, 8:30PM, Admission free - Christmas concert with organist Olivier Latry
Friday, December 29, 8:30PM,Tickets 18 euros- Gregorian Chants

Check Pariscope for other concerts during the holiday season. Paris is always a musical feast and the holiday season is especially rich.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Stuff Parisians LIke

Now here is one finely observed, very funny book (and e-book). Olivier Magny, who is known to many as an ace sommelier and wine expert (O'Chateau winetastings and wine bar) turns out to be a very funny writer as well. Olivier's book is all about deciphering the often puzzling, sometimes irritating behaviors of that special breed of person... the Parisian. Stuff Parisians Like will have you laughing out loud... repeatedly and heartily.

After reading about how St. Pellegrino water is now the bottled water of choice for hip Parisians I couldn't help but look around in every bistro when I was in Paris in October. No Evian, no Perrier, no, no no. Yep, 'St. Pe' on every table. Decipher Parisians elaborate social rituals around getting together, eating and drinking, differences in the ways men and women view food, sex, wine. And oops.. how do 'they' see us? Where's the Beauf indeed. This is a hilarious book. A great gift and a good read anytime.

Paris With Children (or teens)

In Paris with the kids? Your Great Days in Paris is working with a new specialist private tour guide who focuses on families with children, and taking her clients to child-friendly neighborhoods, parks, places to drink amazing chocolate or find that best eclair. She also is aces for shopping tours or cultural tours for teens, with or without their parents. Contact us.

Uh Oh. SNCF Strike around the Holidays

If you are in France in December and planning to use the trains to travel, beware.

SNCF drivers for the national France rail network have filed plans to strike every weekend in December, including busy Christmas and New Year's Eve weekends. The notice was posted at the blog maintained by FGAAC-CFDT, the union of professional train drivers.

This will present significant problems for everyone trying to move about during a super busy season. A big lump of coal.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Great Gift Idea: winetasting gift certificates for Paris

Olivier Magny and his enterprising vinophile crew at O'Chateau offer a variety of wonderful wine tastings, wine dinners and things-wine. They are expert at sourcing out delicious wines from smaller or lesser-known producers ranging from roses, to a world of whites, to luscious reds. Check out for details on getting you or a loved one a gift certificate.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

December Special Tour of Holiday Treats French-style

One of our Paris colleagues is offering a delicious-sounding holiday season tour in Paris. First of all, feel the spirit of Christmas with a special holiday market tour before sampling a variety of regional holiday specialties. Participants will discover traditional French products in famous shops known for their expertise. Taste samples of fine chocolate and other delights, including a few of "the 13 desserts" (artisanal candied fruits, nougat, gingerbread, marrons glacés, Christmas Cakes).

Then experience the warmth of Christmas-tide in a Parisian-style tearoom while enjoying a hot beverage. The guide will tell you about the history of French Christmas traditions.

« Price includes beverage and tastings:
« Monday to Saturday, from 2.30pm to 5.30pm (in December only)
«1 English-speaking guide for a maximum of 8 people

115 Euros per person, 2 persons minimum Contact

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Nov 25 Only... discounts on Paris Apartments this winter

One of our best colleagues in Paris, Haven In Paris, is offering a great 'Black Friday' deal. Only on Nov. 25 you can book one of their lovely Paris apartments for December, January or February (Christmas week not included) for substantial discounts. This beats hitting the malls for sales!

Check out their website and talk with me about planning some fabulous custom shopping or foodie tours. Winter is wonderful in Paris... and airfares are lower too!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Newly Rennovated Orsay Museum Opens

The Orsay, with its stunning collection of impressionist painters, sculptures and decorative arts from the turn of the (20th) century era, has reopened after a thorough renovation. The art is now displayed against a soft grey background, a color palette carefully chosen to highlight the tones within the paintings. The cafes and restaurants have all been redone to improve the visitor experience. It will be wonderful to be able to re-visit all our favorites in this stunning rehab of a grand old train station once again!

And a little further afield, be sure to catch the exhibition of the Stein family private collections at the Grand Palais. Rich in Picasso's, Matisse, Braque and so much more, this private collection is a lovely compliment to the works in the Orsay.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Two Fabulous Classics in Paris: Its good to go back!

I had only one day in Paris passing through from my Pays Basque culinary tour on the way to Istanbul and my upcoming Turkish culinary/cultural tour. The weather on October 14 was gorgeous, late summer warm and blue sky. What to do with one day to choose from this great cities bounteous options... three things, take two good long walks, have a good lunch and later in the day, drink the best chocolate imaginable.

Long walk number one was along the Canal St. Martin, that charmingly winding canal with numerous locks and arched foot bridges in the 11th near Place de Republique. Lunch as at one of my favorite convivial classic Paris restaurants, the Auberge Pyrenees-Cevennes, 106 rue de la Folie Mericourt. This place is a gem. The chef owner and his wife (Francoise) are a very good pair indeed. The cuisine is Lyonnais with some SW France influences (a piperade for an appetizer for example). The very good value 30.50 Euro menu offers numerous delicious starters including classics like salade frisee with lardons and a poached egg, or a salad gourmande with a hefty slab of foie gras, or, poached warm herring. The mains include a massive cassoulet, sausages from Lyon, a beautiful grilled salmon filet with a sorrel sauce and on and on. The desserts are like a who's who of grand-mere's best... profiteroles, excellent tarte tatin, Ile Flottant, sorbets, and more. Portions are generous to say the least.

The cliente is a very faithful group of Parisian gourmands and food loving locals, plus the lucky tourist who occasionally finds this gem. Francoise and her staff keep the place filled with laughter and pay very good attention to their clients. Put this one on your list of must visits. It is authentic, real, and of a dying breed in Paris where sushi shops now seem to outnumber real bistros.

At the end of the afternoon, checking out the Haute Marais, the increasingly hip area north of the Marais propoer and south of Republique, I stopped in at the stunning shop and salon of master chocolatier Jacques Genin. Enjoyed the most delicious cup(s) of chocolate chaud served in a pretty while porcelain pitcher. Lovely texture, rich dark chocolate, absolutely stunning and a steal of sorts at 6.5 Euros. 133 rue de Turenne.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Paris-Angers. A Spirited Day Trip

Check out my story on our day trip from Paris to Angers in the heart of the Loire Valley last March. The purpose: to spend a day immersed in the extraordinary 14th century 'Apocalypse Tapestries', a world heritage treasure. And, to visit a magnificent contemporary series of tapestries created by 20th century painter Jean Lurcat called "Le Chant du Monde". This excellent day was part of my new Paris Through Eyes of Faith trip but is easy to do on your own.

Read the story on Bonjour Paris where there are also some gorgeous images.

Angers is well worth more than a day of course. It is a sympathique small city with good bistros and wine bars. It is near some very good wine growing areas in the Loire Valley like Saviennieres. But these two sets of tapestries are reason enough to go. Stunning.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

La Semaine du Gout.. Good Tastes in Paris

October is a busy month in Paris... the Fete de Vendanges in Montmartre, Les Nuits Blanches, and, a week of culinary celebrations during La Semaine du Gout among others.
Check out the 'Village Europeen' on the Esplanade at Invalides from 10-8 October 12 to 14 to tour ateliers of varied European Nations celebrating their cuisines. And, in the 7th arrondissement, along the rue Cler, Motte Piquet and St. Dominique, brasseries and restaurants will set up "Tables dans le rue" where you can enjoy good food and wine at communal tables. The website is:

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Annual Paris Antiques Fair, Versailles Fountains Show

The annual very large Paris Antiques and Art Fair will be 'on' at the Palais de Congres from September 24 through October 3. If this show is beyond your budget, dreams are of course, complimentary.

Another lovely fall activity is a trip out to the Chateau of Versailles. The noted "Grands Eaux Musicales" fountains/music shows remain 'on' on Saturdays and Sundays through October 30. There is an extra admission for these well worth the time and money fountain shows.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Ultra Contemporary Art in Paris-- ArtBus

October 1 is the annual Nuits Blanche event where contemporary art installations, concerts, performances and more sprout up all over Paris and people enjoy, well, all night if they wish to.

ArtBus is offering an excellent looking minibus tour of selected 'ultracontemporary' artists and their expositions in spaces as varied as pop up galleries or art bookstores, in private apartments or on public squares. From 11-5 on Saturday Oct. 1 this is a preview of selected events for the Nuit Blanche. The tour will also get you to lots of off the radar venues. A great idea! Call or email to register well in advance.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Ferreting Out Delicious Chocolate in Istanbul

It's not Paris, but, you may enjoy my article on finding delicious chocolate in Istanbul just published on Chocolate Atlas.

And if a sojurn in the magnificent city of Istanbul interests you, or a small group tour for culinary and cooking experiences or, exploring wonderfully diverse regions of Turkey appeals, take a look at my new website

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Cezanne and Fra Angelico Shows in Paris This Fall

Paris has 90 plus museums and monuments. How do you get to see them all! Beyond the always worth a visit Louvre, Orsay, Pompidou, there are many great options. And in addition to the national museums, and City of Paris Museums, there are small gems that are privately run. Check these two out this fall:

The beautiful mansion that houses the Jacquemart-Andre museum at 158 Blvd Haussmann in the 8th is featuring a show called Fra Angelico and the Masters of Light. If you go, be sure to have lunch in the 'tea room' or enjoy an afternoon patisserie and tea. This was once the mansion's elegant dining room and it is a lovely space to relax. September 23 to Jan. 16.

The recently renovated Museé du Luxembourg on the edge of the ever beautiful Luxembourg Gardens, 19 rue de Vaugirad in the 6th, is another wonderful small museum. From October 10 to Feb. 26 the exhibition will be on Cezanne's work.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Vintage Cars in 'Ephemeral Museum" Sept 30

If you love gorgeous vintage cars and will be in Paris on September 30, head over to the Place de Vendome for the stunning display of cars on display this day prior to the start of the Paris-Deauville Rally. This annual rally is the first week of October and the cars are vaut le voyage to look over and enjoy prior to their rally start. The name "Musée Ephemére says it all.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

LOV Organic Teas in Paris

Love tea? LOV organic teas should definitely be a shop that is on your to-visit list in Paris. Check out my article on this cute little shop with high quality teas on the bustling rue Montorgueil market street in central Paris. This was just published on Tea Atlas.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Dancing the NIght Away

Summer in Paris is full of festivals and great opportunities to get out into the summer days and nights and enjoy this great city. Here's one for dancers. "Dancing in the Open Air" is a daily event that takes place along the left bank's Quai St. Bernard, roughly between the Gare Austerlitz and the Institut de Monde Arabe. From 9 to midnight people gather to samba, tango, do folk dances, swing and jazz dancing. No partner needed! It's free and alot of fun.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Paris Way East... Istanbul and beyond

Check out our new website to read about our terrific Turkish culinary and cultural tours. A live blog with photos will be added to the site soon. We are also working with independent travelers to Turkey and can help you plan a stellar adventure in this wonderful country.

For 2012 we will be offering our popular Istanbul.Ephesus.Cappadocia tour in late April, and adding two new tours, one focused on 'foodie' Turkey in Istanbul and near Bodrum on the Mediterranean coast, the other an adventure into the ancient Turkish south east with its astonishing archaeological sites, ancient cities, bountiful bazaars and of course,
delicious regional cuisine. Check for updates and details or email sally at

Talk with Sally about Turkey (and Paris, the Pays Basque and France too!)

Contemporary Spin on 18th Century Fashion at Versailles

Versailles in summer. Fountain shows and sound and light shows. Check out this contemporary fashion exhibition. "Le XVIIIe AU Gout du Jour" is shown in the lovely Petit Trianon chateau. Leading international designers play with their fashion fantasies of the 18th century era in a show of 50 costumes & accessories. Yet another reason to visit Versailles.

Till October 9
Petit Trianon at Palace of Versailles​/

August is time for the Paris Plages

A beach in Paris? Actually, this year, the city is expanding the wildly popular 'Paris Plages' to include the quais of the Seine (Voie Pompidou) and the increasingly hip Bassin de la Villette area. Sand is trucked in, cafes sprout, there are beach chairs, volley ball nets, concerts and more. Check out for descriptions of locations, and area for kids, sports, culture and more. What a civilized city!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Tapas, Art, SW French Wines

If delectable tapas, contemporary art, and robust SW French wines are things you love consider coming with me to the marvelous Pays Basque in October. Check out my Basking in the Bounties of the Pays Basque intimately scaled guided tour in San Sebastian, Bilbao, Biarritz, Bayonne, St. Jean de Luz and more. We have openings for two more guests. Maximum of six so this is small and flexible, fun and delicious!

Excellent new Paris bistro

A foodie friend in Paris confirmed recent buzz about Septime, a new and already beloved bistro in the 11th, 80 rue de Charonne. Septime is in an interesting, gentrifying corner of the 11th, where lower rents attract talented chefs and creative shops. Bertrand Grébaut is the chef at Septime. You may remember his cooking at L'Agapé. Septime is located in a nicely renovated, loft-like setting and there is a small garden area for good-weather outdoor meals. The style is cuisine du marché and menus change frequently. Lunch menus in the low and mid twenty euro range, dinner runs more a la carte.

I plan to enjoy Septime personally when I am back in Paris in October!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Hot and Hip in the 'Haut' Marais

Just in case you have a craving for tacos, tostadas and freshly made guacamole during your next gastro-swing through Paris, stop in at the tiny (10-12 seats) taqueria Candelaria on the rue Saintonge. There is Mexican food in Paris but most Mex-fans would not rave about it's authenticity or quality. Candelaria is the real deal and is gaining quite the local following. There is a 9.50 formule and you can also order a la carte as you wish. The chocolate brownies are rumored to be very good too.

This area of the Marais has been steadily getting hipper and fuller of new shops, bistros, interesting places. Candelaria is a great addition to that mix.

Candelaria. 52 rue Saintonge, Paris 3. Metro: Filles Calvaire
Open 7 days, 12PM-11PM Sunday to Wed., 12PM-12AM Thursday to Saturday

Friday, July 1, 2011

Notable Summer Festivals In France

The summer cultural scene in France is robust indeed. Music, film, art, cultural festivals abound often held in magnificent historic settings.

Here is a small sampler:

Les Fetes de Bayonne. July 27 through 31. Concerts, street dances and parades, bull runs and bull fights, and all that delicious Basque food. (If you can't make this one come with me to the Pays Basque in early October for my "Basking in the Bounties of the Pays Basque" culinary tour).

Carcassone: The medieval city of Carcassone is the magical setting for this classical jazz, and pop music, circus and commedy and theatre extravaganza. June 16-August 15.

Festival Interceltique de Lorient is an annual gathering of all things musical fron throughout the Celtic world in southern Brittany. August 5-14

Friday, June 24, 2011

Mixing it up in Paris

Check out the organic cake, bread and cookie mixes at Marlette, 28 rue Charlot in the Marais. Sourced from France's best artisans and farms the savory, sweet and bread mixes are a nice gift for cooks and for you. Beautifully packaged (of course!) these products are divided into sweet, savory and 'bread' categories. If you love pain d'epices the shop sells an excellent mix that only requires adding eggs.

Marlette products are also sold at the Grand Épicerie at the Bon Marche and at other gourmet shops in Paris but this shop is in a hip part of the upper Marais and is solely for Marlette mixes.

Summer Refreshment in Paris

Yes the French do drink tea, generally very high quality tea. And yes, you can can delicious iced tea in Paris, particularly nice in hot weather. It is called Thé Glacé.

Stop in at any of the numerous Mariage Freres shops with salons and order one of their premium pure or blended teas iced. They are featuring 'Babylonia' a green tea with aromatics this summer season. Of course you need to sit down, relax and savor your tea... this isn't a zoom in and get a take out opportunity.

Patrick Barbes, the friendly tea expert and superb patissier who owns TeaThéTcha out in the 13th makes a delicious hibiscus iced tea in his pleasant, neighborhood salon. He also makes delectable patisserie, often incorporating tea as a savory ingredient.

And, if you are in a rush, there is always Starbucks or Colombus Café.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Uptick in Paris Pickpocketing..

Parisian guiding colleagues of mine have mentioned repeatedly that there is a noticeable uptick in pick pocketing in the Paris metros and in crowded places this spring. May just be high season, may be the poor economies, but pay attention.... these thieves are extremely skilled and can relieve you of a wallet, I Pod or I phone without your having the slightest clue.

If you are arriving at CDG or other venues with jet lag and lots of bags it is always wise to spend the few extra Euros to book a van to your hotel or take a taxi. And always pay attention on the metro and in tourist spots, or in crowded markets or other spots. Not fun but sadly true.

Chips, Pins, Strips... Charging in Europe

Most Americans travel with credit card that use the swipe method... the black strip on the back of your card stores your information for charging. European credit cards are different.. they use an embedded chip and pin technology which apparently offers much stronger security. In general, American cards can be used in Europe since most machines in shops and restaurants can process both technologies. However, travelers who need to buy a ticket to the Louvre from a machine, or, pay for gas after hours at a machine, or, who want to rent a velib bike in Paris or pay with a card at a market, often find their cards are useless. If you have your heart set on renting one of those cool gray Velib bikes in Paris you can go to and buy a one or seven day ticket online. And remember Rail Europe... you can go to and buy European train tickets in advance (generally after 3 months prior to your trip) and pay in USD. Always a good idea to have a back up plan.

Safe travels!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Summer and Champagne

One of our favorite sources for wine classes, tastings in Paris is now offering a splendid looking Champagne tour on Wednesdays and Sundays. This is notable because you will be able to try seven different and delicious champagnes and also, visit a great boutique winemaker in the lovely vine-filled countryside in addition to visiting a cave of one of the Grands Marques. 180 E per person, pick up and drop off at your hotel or apartment. Small group, comfortable minivan, wine-savvy guide. You will learn how Champagne is made, why Champagne (the region) is perfect for Champagne, enjoy a delicious lunch and more.

Contact me for details! And if you have a small group or are one or two couples I can always book a wonderful Champagne day trip with one of my driver-guide colleagues in Paris that we can customize for you.. any day of the week.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Summer In Paris

Summertime in Paris always brings special events worth noting. Here is a selection to enjoy.

Paris Plage: oui, the beach returns to Paris. From the 20th of July to the 20th of August the quais of the Seine in central Paris are turned, somewhat magically, into a beach. Sand is trucked in, ephemeral cafés sprout up, volley ball nets appear, beach chairs abound. There are even palm trees. No, you can't swim in the Seine but there IS a temporary swimming pool placed near the lovely Hotel de Ville.

Speaking of the Hotel de Ville, this is the site of a gorgeous (and free) exhibition of French Impressionist paintings from the Musée d'Orsay until July 23. The Orsay is still undergoing its major renovation of the Impressionist galleries and this show, Paris At the Time of the Impressionists, is a winner. 5 rue de Lobau, Paris 4.

And, the Paris Jazz Festival runs through July 31 in the lovely Parc Floral within the Bois de Vincennes.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Midnight in Paris

Woody Allen's movie "Midnight in Paris" is a delight. Wry, funny, a bit magical, the characters are wonderful, but, for me the city is the real star. The cinematography of Paris is beyond terrific and reminds Francophiles with an enduring love of this remarkable city of just why we fell in love in the first, second, and third place..

Even better than the movie, book a flight and cook up a trip to this romantic, artistic, beautiful, historic, occasionally confounding metropolis.

Talk with us about YOUR Great Days in Paris... now and for the future. These ARE the good old days.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Bread Baking In Paris

One of our favorite market walk-cooking experience teams is now adding a new class to their line up. Partnering with an experience bread baker, they are offering classes in a professional bakery to teach you all those secrets of crusty baguettes, pain au levain, and other delicious classic breads.

Contact Sally at for info on this class, cooking classes, and other special culinary classes like macaron making or chocolate patisserie making.

LOV Organic Teas, Clean and Green!

LOV Organic teas is a welcome new player in the robust Paris tea scene. This charming shop on the busy rue Montorgueil Market Street has a clean Scandanavian feel in the design of the interior and of the colorful tea boxes, tins, pots and cups. The line is devoted to finding and selling organic teas that are top quality and have exceptional taste. There are pure loose leaf teas and intriguing flavored teas such as ginger-lemon green tea, orange-cinnamon black teas, in addition to Earl Grey teas and other classic flavored teas and blends. There are anti-stress and detoxifying blends. Check this shop and its line of teas out when you ar in Paris, great for drinking and great for gifts...

There is always a pot of tea ready for tasting and the friendly manager speaks excellent English.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Chocolate in Istanbul

Istanbul is a gourmet's dream. But, by and large, Istanbul is not a source of delicious chocolate. There is fabulous baklava (Gulluoglu in Karakoy has a delectable chocolate version) and endless Turkish Delight, traditional hard candies and lots of other yummy sweets and patisserie but not fine chocolate. Interesting to see that in Nisantasi and Teskivye, two upscale Istanbul quarters, there are pastry shops that do offer good quality chocolates.

For visitors, a great option in the more traveled quarters is Kahve Dunyasi. The flagship location of this local chain of coffee shops just off the Grand Bazaar near the Nurosimanye Mosque entrance has a broad array of good quality chocolates and also serves a killer chocolate mousse that takes 20 minutes to prepare. Other locations serve good French Press style coffee, hot chocolate, and have smaller chocolate selections.

Une Dimanche A Paris. What A Concept!

Une Dimanche A Paris is a stunning new chocolate concept-shop in the heart of St. Germain des Pres. The first of its nature in Paris and in the world this is a shrine to all things fine-chocolate.

Read my article from Bonjour Paris and go... immediately.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Istanbul's Rich Mosaic of Culture, Cuisine, Art & History

Istanbul is not Paris. But Istanbul is my new area of fascination and focus, in addition to ever-wonderful Paris, for my travel advising, culinary and cultural tours and more.

You might enjoy my articles on Istanbul on Bonjour Paris: or simply google Sally Peabody, Istanbul, Bonjour Paris. This article explores some of the commonalities and contrasts in these two amazing cities.

And, check out a slightly different Istanbul article I wrote for the Travellady website: or google Sally Peabody, Travellady,Istanbul

My April Istanbul.Ephesus.Cappodocia tour is full. I do have openings on the fall tour. October 21-November 5. Take a look at the description on

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Un Dimanche à Paris

It had to happen. Concept stores are all the rage in Paris... now, a first-ever Concept Store for Chocolate! Really more of a concept-complex. Un Dimanche à Paris is a stunning new installation in the historic Cour de Commerce, an ancient pedestrianized 'street' that runs between rue de St. Andre des Arts and Boulevard St. Germain.

This new oasis for fine chocolate is the brainchild of Pierre Cluizel and it includes a chocolate shop, a chocolate bar where you can grab an espresso or chocolat chaud to go, an open patisserie where one can watch gorgeous chocolate patisserie (and luscious macarons) being created, AND a gourmet restaurant which incorporates chocolate into its dishes in surprising and intriguing ways. There are also regular chocolate making or chocolate patisserie classes.

The complex is in a historic building that incorporates a section of the ancient Philippe Auguste walls around the then tiny city of Paris.

You have to check this place out... I plan to visit in March... it looks gorgeous!

4-6-8, Cour du Commerce Saint André - Paris 6ème Open seven days a week.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Les Soldes are ON! Go shopping.

January is the month for the winter version of the bi-annual French sales season (the other is in July). Starting on the second Wednesday of January or January 12th (whichever comes first) and running for five full weeks, Les Soldes are a golden opportunity for all those beautiful things you can buy in Paris and all over France.

Here is a link to a good article on Les Soldes by the owner of Bonjour Paris, the excellent e-newsletter on Paris.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


My article on TeaThéTcha is up on today's Bonjour Paris. TeaThéTcha is one of those special 'Paris' places. Patrick Barbe, the owner and patissier-en-chef is a warm and welcoming host. He is expert on fine teas and also is a superb patissier... a winning duo. Patrick was the proprietor of the beloved Artisan de Saveurs in the 6th for many years.

He closed that wonderful tea salon two years ago to write a book and spend a little more time with his young family. Now, he can be found in his luminous new salon du thé in the 13th where you can enjoy a wide range of top quality teas (and hot chocolates and two specially selected coffees) along with Patrick's inventive patisserie choices.

The tea counter sells a wide selection of pure teas, blends and herbals to take home with you.

Visit the next time you are in Paris! This is a little gem worth the short bus ride from central Paris.

And make it a point to check out Bonjour Paris online on a regular basis. The articles are varied and always interesting. There is a free section and an enhanced subscriber's section. Great resource with a serious track record of providing Paris info for savvy visitors!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

My Article on Karakoy Lokantasi on Istanbul Eats

Check out my article on the wonderful Karakoy Lokantasi on the excellent foodie Blog "Istanbul Eats".

And bookmark Istanbul Eats! Happy new year.

Or cut and paste this into your search engine:

I am now offering trip coaching and planning services for Istanbul. Also my new Istanbul.Ephesus.Cappodocia culinary and cultural tour. details on

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Very Modern Art At Gallerie Jocelyn Wolff

If you love modern art, specifically edgy conceptual art, head up to Belleville and visit the Gallerie Jocelyn Wolff. Belleville is a fascinating Paris quarter with excellent small bistros and cafes, lots of artists, and a multicultural population. Gallerie Jocelyn Wolff has been one of the leaders in the Belleville gallery scene for the past few years. Have lunch at Le Baratin just up the street...

January 8-March 5 see 08.01.2011-05.03.2011

Billy Apple, William Anastasi, Ben, Katinka Bock, George Brecht,
Robert Filiou, Ludwig Gosewitz, Tomas Schmit, Franz Erhard Walther

Exhibition at Galerie Jocelyn Wolff
78, rue Julien-Lacroix
F-75020 Paris

Curated by Erik Verhagen and Jocelyn Wolff
Opening: January 8, 2011, 2 PM
Exhibition: January 8 through March 5, 2011

08.01.2011-05.03.2011 is the second chapter of an exhibition that focus on artistic
proposals that prefigure the conceptual phenomenon as it developed in 1966-1967.