Wednesday, December 31, 2014

An Edible Ephiphany Of Delicious Proportions in St. Germain des Prés

Mark the date:
For the 10th year gourmets can rendez-vous with top chefs who are members of the The Disciples of Escoffier  and buy their Galettes des Rois, that special Ephiphany cake.  Notable participants include Pierre Gagnaire, Eric Kayser, Michel Troisgros, Alain Dutournier, Guy Savoy, Sucré & Cacao  Le Moulin de la Vierge, Potel & Chabot, Helene Darroze, La Grand Epicerie, Saint Clair le Traiteur, Le George V, Michel Rostang, Lucas Carton, Les Bistronomes, Thierry Burlot, William Ledeuil, La Closerie des Lilas, Jean-François Rouquette,  Jérôme Gengneux, Boulangerie, and Thierry Senlis.
Visitors can taste and buy the very best Galettes des Rois, made by these culinary wizards, all to benefit a children’s charity; Les POIC Pseudo-Obstructions Intestinales Chroniques. In 2013 the chefs raised 10,500 euros.
Where’s the feve? Iraeli artist Mona Oren has designed 300 precious gold leaf good luck beans that will be hidden in the galettes and guarantee a good and healthy year for the finder. A great start for your year.   Bonne Année!
Where?  Place St. Germain des Pres 6th.  Metro : St. Germain des Pres
When?  Saturday 10 January, 2015,  9 a.m. to Noon.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Spicy City. Finding hot and spicy in Paris.
This is my latest article for Bonjour Paris.  Enjoying finding your spice in Paris!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

New option for great chocolat in Paris!

Le Chocolat de Alain Ducasse is the first bean to bar chocolate shop in Paris. Ducasse is partnering with pastry chef and chocolatier Nicolas Berger to bring the art of chocolate making to a new level. After six years searching for the perfect location in Paris with enough room for a gorgeous shop, plus adequate room for the massive roasting machines and climatically correct storage for large sacks of cacao beans. Voila, a site which was a factory located in a courtyard in the heart of the Bastille neighborhood is the place. The result, after Monsieur Berger perfecting his unique recipes, is a beautiful shop with chocolates as lovely to regard as to taste. And, of course, the packaging of those chocolate gems is exquisite too! Great for gifts, great for you.

And, a new location in the heart of St. Germain des Prés has recently opened for those on the left bank.

Le Chocolat de Alain Ducasse.  40 rue de la Roquette in the llth.  Metro: Bastille
or, 26 rue Saint Benoit in the 6th, Metro: St. Germain

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Restaurants open during the Christmas holidays in Paris

Many restaurants close for part of the Christmas holiday season in Paris.  Here is a helpful link from the excellent 'Paris By Mouth' website that lists their recommended restaurants that are open on particular days. Don't forget to visit a Christmas market in Paris for atmospheric shopping. Or, you can go ice skating inside the Grand Palais (!) or at Hotel de Ville with that glorious view of the Seine and the left and right banks.  Department stores in Paris are open, exceptionally, on Sundays in the run up to Christmas.  

Sunday, November 16, 2014

New Louis Vuitton Museum is stunning. Picasso reopens.

The new Louis Vuitton museum of contemporary art is now welcoming guests to its gorgeous Frank Gehry designed building set on a pond in the Bois de Boulogne.  The work of living artists is shown in this new art space and exhibitions will change frequently.  Take the museum's electric bus out to the museum from the corner of Avenue Friedland on the Place Charles DeGaulle (every 30 minutes). Or take the metro and walk approx. 10 minutes.

The building is all rounded forms, not a square angle in the place it seems-- Gorgeous and apparently a good space to show and enjoy art as well.

Another major art milestone-- the Paris Picasso museum has reopened after a renovation of nearly five years.  The lovely mansion in the Marais still houses the collection (over 5000 works) but the interior space has been opened up and re-designed to show more works.  A national museum, this one is on the museum pass.

Monday, October 6, 2014

RER C Train to Versailles-- Ride in Imperial Style

What a great idea.  The RER C train which runs along the left bank of the Seine, is an excellent way to get to Versailles to visit the great Chateau and gardens.  It is quick, affordable and convenient.

Now, selected trains and cars feature large scale scenes of Versaille's Hall of Mirrors, the Battles Gallery, the gardens and the groves by Andre Le Notre, the bedchamber of the Queen in the Trianon Palace, the Cupid’s Temple and the Belvedere in Marie-Antoinette’s Estate,  the Library of Louis XVI and more.
 Encore Eux intalled these huge panels based on photographs by Christian Milet, Jean-Marc Manaï and Thomas Garnier. They certainly set the stage for a dramatic visit!

The RER C runs from central Paris to the Palace of Versailles from the following stations: Austerlitz, St. Michel, Musee D’orsay, Invalides, Pont d’alma, Champs de Mars, and Javel.  Look for trains with names beginning with V like Vick or Vera.

Remember, Versailles is included on the Museum Pass.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Duchamp Exhibition at the Pompidou Centre

Marcel Duchamp is known, alternatively, as the painter who 'killed' painting, or, as the artist who re-invented painting.  The Pompidou Center, the National Museum of Modern Art, in Paris has mounted a provocative show that looks at the impact of Duchamp on his era and beyond.  Go and decide for yourself what the appropriate 'legacy' for this controversial artist is.  Sept. 24-Jan. 5.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Picasso Museum to re-open this fall. Will it all be worth the wait?

Here is news from the wonderful Picasso Museum in Paris regarding their planned re-opening and a preview of the newly renovated museum during European Patrimony Days in September.  This has been a long time coming!  Can't wait to see the new museum space.

"On 25 October, the date on which the great master was born, you will be able to discover or rediscover the Picasso Museum Paris’s remarkable collection at the heart of the Marais.
In the meantime, during the European Heritage Days on 20 and 21 September, come and be among the first to admire the new spaces in the Hôtel Salé restored by the architect in chief for French historic monuments Stéphane Thouin and the firm Bodin & associés, in keeping with Roland Simounet’s architectural approach.
You will have the opportunity to enjoy an exhibition documenting the history of the site, its architecture and the museum during these two exceptional open days.
Another unmissable event before the museum’s official opening: TAMBORS, an original performance by BABX, on Saturday 4 October for the Nuit Blanche all-night arts festival, a contemporary tale illuminated on the façades of the Hôtel Salé.

European heritage day programmes:

Saturday, 20 and Sunday, 21 September, from 9.30 a.m. to 6 p.m.: discovery of the entire Hôtel Salé and exhibition on its architecture. Museum docents will guide visitors (free visit subject to visitor capacity).

Nuit Blanche Programme:

Saturday, 4 October, from 8.30 p.m.: Tambors, an original piece by Babx, 20-min performances at 8.30 p.m., 9.30 p.m. and 10.30 p.m., accompanied by projections (free shows subject to availability).

Practical information:

Picasso Museum Paris
5, rue de Thorigny
75003 Paris
Tel. +33 1 85 56 00 36

Opening hours:
Exceptional opening hours from 25 October to 3 November: 
Tuesday to Sunday from 9.30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
From 4 November:
Tuesday to Friday from 11.30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Weekends: from 9.30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Late night opening on the 3rd Friday of the month until 9 p.m.

Find all the terms and conditions for visits at"

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Great Coffee in Paris!

 Bonjour Paris, the bi-weekly e-newsletter about Paris just published my story on the high-end quality coffee scene in Paris.  If you are looking for a really delicious, superbly made cappucino or a perfect espresso-- or a Flat White, or cold-brewed iced coffee or more-- there are lots of choices these days.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Summer evening films at La Villette Park

Make the most of your summer evenings in Paris with the free films at the open-air cinema within the Parc de la Villette (19th arrondisement). Films are offered during July and August and follow a theme. Summer of 2014's theme is "Tous en scène'" or "Everybody on stage" and includes films such as Where the Wild Things Are, Be Kind Rewind and The Killing. It's a welcoming, communal, event in an interesting corner of Paris at the head of the Bassin de la Villette. If you prefer not to sit on the grass you can always rent a hair for 7 Euro. Picnics encouraged! Check out the offerings at:

Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Belle Epoque Revisited at Le Petit Palais

PARIS 1900, SHOWCASE OF THE WORLD : At the Petit Palais
You can re-live the splendours of the capital as it was for the 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle when, to celebrate the arrival of the 20th century, 51 plus million tourists came to Paris. Works from the Belle Epoque have been brought from the Petit Palais collections in reserve and added to the permanent collection, a treasure trove of fantasy. If you love Paris and love the Belle Epoque, don’t miss this show.  And best of all, the Petit Palais is a City of Paris museum and free!
Until 17 August 2014
Open Tuesday-Sunday 10am-6pm  Thursdays until 8pm

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Have A Ball at the Paris Firemen's Balls

Only in Paris.  The traditional "Bal des Pompiers" that takes place every year on Bastille Day in the Marais will be happening on July 13th and 14th.  This annual revel consists of two nights of excitement, fun, dancing, drinking, meeting and mingling.  For the third consecutive year, Paris' oldest fire station in the Marais, converted into the biggest Parisian dance floor, will host a unique celebration.
An estimated 10 000 people will walk through the firehouse gates during both nights, among which an exciting mix of men in uniforms from the military and the Paris fire department, Marais residents, plus visitors from around the World.   All are welcome to take part in the festivities of this major national holiday. Top DJs will provide music, from classic disco tunes to current dance music, in an  atmosphere enhanced by freely flowing Champagne.
Have a ball!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Two terrific restaurant finds in Paris from my April trip

Two remarkable new-to-me restaurant finds during my April tours:

Thanks to Patricia Wells’ new Food Lovers Guide to Paris I finally found a place to indulge my Chinese food and in particular, SPICY food, cravings in Paris.  Les Pates Vivantes is a tiny place on the rue Faubourg Montmartre near the rue de Martyrs neighborhood that is fabulous.  A chef makes handmade noodles in the front of the house and from the rear kitchen an array of delicious stir fries and soups emerge. Moderate prices, absolutely delicious food.  Those noodles are great!

In the heart of St. Germain des Prés seek out the tiny and increasingly popular (as the word gets out) newish Le Petit Casimir on rue Casimir Delavigne.  This was for years a sweet place with two guys, one who cooked, one who served traditional French food that was good if not amazing.  Now, a talented team, Martine and Gerard have taken this place over and they are doing absolutely delicious market fresh food for a charitable 28 E for three courses. 

Martine is a gifted cook and Gerard is a charming raconteur who serves and handles the front of the house.  He makes a delicious walnut liqueur and also makes all manner of confit of savory things like orange peel or wild garlic, which ultimately find their way in the dishes.  If you love crème brulee the version here is delicious and actually is ‘brulee-d’ with a flourish when served by Gerard with a cast iron sizzlingly hot gizmo that makes an appropriately crackling crust.  Delicious.  Good wines available from 20 E up to rarefied Burgundies.  Quite a remarkable little place.  Closed Sundays.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Art Paris. Grand Palais. End of March.

Art Paris Art Fair

From March 27, 2014 to March 30, 2014
Art Paris Art Fair brings together some 144 international galleries at the Grand Palais, presenting a wide panorama of modern and contemporary art which also includes photography, design and art books.
After Russia last year, China is guest of honour for the 2014 edition, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the recognition by France of the People’s Republic of China. This edition will showcase work by several generations of artists represented by galleries from Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong as well as a number of Westerners specializing in Chinese art. The aim is also to highlight the on-going dialogue between Paris and Chinese artists such as Lin Fengmian, Zao Wou ki as well as Chen Zhen and Yan Pei Ming.   Thanks to A Tout France, the French Tourist Board for this announcement.  Love contemporary art?  This is a great way to chase away the late winter dullness!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Chajin has new addresses. Your epicenter for fine green teas in Paris!

Chajin has 2 new addresses :
43, blvd Haussmann
75009 Paris
43, rue du Maréchal Foch
67000 Strasbourg.