Hi Alia!I've made some very last minute arrangements to spend this weekend (Saturday morning - Monday morning) in Paris, and wondered if you could advise me on places that I absolutely have to go to? I have never been to Paris, but considering the length of my trip, I do not think I am too bothered about seeing the sights. I live just across the channel, so a 'proper' trip to Paris can wait for next time. Now, I am hoping to get a real feel of Paris, to visit the haunts of Parisians, rather than doing the whole tourist thing. What I would particularly like to experience is good, Parisian hot chocolate. Is there such a thing?Thank you very much in advance!P/S: I have requested to follow you on Twitter :-)
Please forgive me for treating you like a tour guide.
Hi! And yes I love hazelnuts too especially when it is in the form of Nutella :p And no worries I LOVE playing tourguide!YES! For the best hot chocolate go to Angelina next to Hotel Meurice. (226 Rue de Rivoli75001 Paris Metro: Tuileries)Be prepared for a ton of people, I suggest having €4.20 ready and have one to go. It is by far the best I've tasted, but its quite thick so you may want to have a bottle of water in handy. Saturday, walk around the St Germain Area. Start by the St Sulpice Church (Metro St Sulpice) and walk down Rue Bonaparte. Stop by Pierre Hermé for some macarons, and walk down till you get to the St Germain church. Don't bother eating at Cafe de Flore/Bistrot de Deux Margot. Continue walking until you hit the Seine, or until you get tired.Sunday, head over to Le Marais (Metro Hotel de Ville, Rambuteau). The only neighborhood lively on Sundays, you will find here a bunch of vintage and second hand stores. Walk towards Bastille and on the way you should see a sign for Place de Vosges. Beautiful square surrounded by art galleries.For a typical french meal, go to Le Chardenoux, owned by chef Cyril Lignac. Affordable and tasty, it is the "cheaper" version to his shishi resto Le Quinxiéme. (1 Rue Jules Vallès 75011 Paris)
Sorry, that's Place des Vosges*If you want to be a true Parisian and slightly risk your life, rent a Velib (city bikes) and have a bike tour by the Seine. You will see all the touristy stuff in a glance, and if the weather is nice (I think it will be), it would be a beautiful ride. Hope you enjoy your weekend in the City of Lights, the weather should be above freezing with some sun, but make sure you have some warm clothes if you plan to go out at night. Bring a handbag that is zipped, pickpocketters are everywhere, especially during this festive season. Oh.. if you have time, do go to Montmartre. It is VERY touristy, but if you walk up from the Anvers metro station, you will walk through a beautiful residential neighborhood with cute cafes (one of which is where they shot the film Amélie) and bookstores. And the view from up there is breathtaking! (See blog on Montmartre) :D
Alia, thank you so, so much! Pierre Herme has arrived on British shores - not sure if this is a good thing, but I do know that it has killed the Pierre Herme allure for me! I have managed to steer clear of them, however :-) Let's hope that his Paris boutiques offer far superior macarons!
Just saw your latest comment. I love cycle hires! We have it in London too! Is it a sort of pay and go thing in Paris?
OH NOO ReALLY?!?!? In that case forget the macarons, but YOU MUST try the Isphahan croissant. Only available at the Bonaparte boutique, and by 2pm its usually gone. So delicious.. Yes the Velib is a pay and go bike rental thing, you use your credit card and pay by the hour. I've never done it, my husband says it too dangerous, but its only because I'm a big baby, you should be fine!
If you like chocolate, go checkout Patrick Roger (108 Boulevard Saint-Germain 75006 Paris www.patrickroger.com). He won the best Chocolatier in France 2009 I believe, and he hasn't sold out yet so I'm pretty sure he's only available in Paris ;p