Archive for February, 2015

February 28, 2015

My travels in the Morbihan XVIII

Today was a working day …. cool ,grey, and rainy with temps in the 10-12C or around 50F. We had to take a day off of our get aways as we are ,also ,doing work on our house. Once you buy one, the work never ends …::)

So, in our daily routine here in the little Brittany /// or Breizh or Bretagne we got all in the car and headed out. First we went to our capital city of Vannes or Gwened in breton language.

Here we got some decoration and velux Windows for the house at the friendly local Castorama store. We are cardholders so we get good rates on rental of trucks to move the stuff ourselves and its easy. In 1h30 we had returned the truck ,and with the gas credit we got we only pay 4,55€ !!!

The staff always very friendly and very fair in all the years we have used them in France, the Vannes store is tops.

We went over to our other main town Lorient, (actually has more inhabitants than Vannes but is the second city as govt is concern); here we went to the Place Alsace Lorraine for blue disk parking for free. We arrive by 14H so we headed to the restaurant for lunch following French protocol , after or near 15H restos chef goes home ::)

We try one that is always full and plenty of locals who seems to know each other well, right across the square of Alsace Lorraine, Brasserie Le Vauban, no webpage, contact tel +33 (0) 2 97 21 17 72. Easy to find as it is in the main square of the Church of Saint Louis, Galeries Lafayette store and many other shops as well as the bus depot with many lines stopping here.  We had our dish of the day blanquette de Veau, and others with Grimbergen beers and coffee expresso all for about 13€ per person.

Here we went around to the local Damart store, my spouse favorite and an old French traditional store going back to the grandmother… 7 rue Vauban, just from the above resto turn left and go straight to the store, webpage ,

And of course, more shopping there. We continue our daily life in wonderful Morbihan and went our previous town in our trails, Auray. Here we had to ordered eyeglasses at our favorite of many years Optic 2000 in France and it has continue here in Breton lands. This is at Rue Barre, right in old town close to the Hotel de Ville, and you can leave your car at the great Keriolet parking area just off the side of the street.

Once in town , we took advantage to load up on our breads and sweets and of course the baguette at another favorite in many parts La Mie Câline. 12 Place de la République just to the right of the Hotel de Ville looking at the front of it.

And it was time to come home to Watch the very important match of France vs Wales in the VI Nations rugby tournament. Allez les Bleus!!! and we are tied 3×3 early as I finish this post lol!!!


Enjoy the weekend !!!

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February 26, 2015

Some news from France, XCVIIII


Ok so we have time to talk about France and Paris in detail; this is winter still here but all we get is some rains today temp is 8C or about 45F. I had a busy day at work and now is time to tell you about my favorite spots in France.

Many times people ask me where to eat in Paris that can hold large number of people like 8-10 or more persons , well these are some of the favorites.

Le Mordant, 61, rue de Chabrol, 75010 with walls in brick and floor from the 19C with sardines and carpaccio of st jacques or scallops. Where I write in French, cityvox,

a bit more expats ambiance you have Au Passage, 1 bis, passage Saint-Sébastien, 75011 with a head of pig and choucroute.

and A Noste, 6 bis, rue du 4-Septembre, 75002 southwest cuisine with a food truck in street level and first floor a resto with grill beefs really nice.

For some brunch in Paris, you know, breakfast and lunch specials, these are the new trend in the city lol!

Les Parigots, 5, rue du Château d’eau  23€ brunch ;

Le Comptoir Général, 80, Quai De Jemmapes ,very cool place , brunch is 19€, and a museum on the art of ghetto, nice, see

Café Charlot, 38, rue de Bretagne , brunch 19€, the most refine,

You need to go beyond the tourist Paris of the Quartier Latin and the Marais, into the Faubourgs!!!  Go into the Faubourg Poissonnerie, with Michalak take away, 60, rue du Faubourg-Poissonnière  with great patisserie;

by Faubourg Saint Denis you have the Le Syndicat 51, rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis ,Young clientele with wooden tables and nice bucket seats and music hip hop.

And the omnipresent USA hot dogs place Hutch Hot Dogs House, 63, rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis ;

Madame Gen. 1, rue Martel (10éme)  it is here that the artist community come to mingle. It is close to the New Morning where each night jazz, afrocuban music and blues bring long lines of aficionados.

And after 100 years of interdiction in Paris the distillery is open ; Distillerie de Paris, 54, rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis ;

And by Faubourg-Saint Martin, we have the Allegra , 70, rue du Faubourg-Saint-Martin . Open continuously as a café pizzeria near the mayor’s house of the 10éme . ALl done with Italian flour bio, and creative coverings cook on site.

and why not go up to Montmartre , and visit La Boîte aux Lettres,108, rue Lepic . poule au pot, is great here, chicken casserole type.

and something to see in Paris , Musée  du Luxembourg “Les Tudors” reign from 1485 to 1603; March 18 to 19 july 2015.

Nàpoléon à Paris, from April 8 to August 30 2015; at the Musée Carnavalet,

Enjoy it , its a blast. cheers

February 21, 2015

A special post to visit Paris ,Versailles and Fontainebleau

Just a short special announcement, I do write quite a bit of travel tips and advice on a couple of other sites besides my blog, and doing something special in June 2015.

For those reading my blog and passing by Paris in June 24,25,26,2015 next I am hosting a tour of several places in Paris(where I worked), Versailles (Where I lived), and Fontainebleau (my first place visited in France and my wife’s region).

The visit will be as everyone pays its own and visit as much as they wish to visit on each day ,two days or all three days. I will have a place to meet on each day and we will go from there as a group. The basic visits are explained here;

June 24th 2015, Fontainebleau

We will meet at the castle main horseshoe entrance by 9AM as I will be driving  by car;  you can come a bit late if coming delays on public transport it will be fine. We will be able to see for the first time the apartment of the Pope.  The Musée Napoléon 1er , prince apartments, portraits of pageantry, sumptuous weapons, luxury works of art but also a reconstituted tent evoking the life of the Emperor in the countryside.  Also,  small apartments, the Chinese Museum, the jeu de paume, the Gallery of furniture… and is a very precious decorative arts museum. I will try to get you in to the Salle de la Belle Cheminée which off to the public but I have done conferences there. This is Belle-Cheminée du Primatice  building by the cour de la Fontaine. And of course, the 3 gardens styles .

June 25th 2015 ,Paris

We will meet by the statue of Gustave Eiffel on the Nord Pylon . Going to the underground of the Tour Eiffel, (price will be around 20 euros per person) and to get it I need 10 min.)FYI, and visit the Chapelle Expiatoire where the remains of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette were first place and now a restful place and private of the Bourbon family. Go into some of the historical monuments in the Parisian deluxe Hotels done by Charles Garnier (opéra etc fame). We have the Chapelle Expiatoire open ok for Thursday June 25th so depending on when the tour Eiffel can fit us we will do this first or second.  We will do this as time permitting.

June 26th , Versailles

We will meet in front at the Place d’Armes outside castle. We will see the whole of the castle (private apartment of the kings),the Royal Chapel ,and Opéra theater, then out into the Trianons, and Hameau of M-A, with a passport pass 18€, this includes in addition, the Great water shows,musical gardens that will be playing in June and temporary exhibitions. I will walk you to my jogging trails and family picnics beyond the Grand Canal, into the farm at St Cyr that fed the palace in its heydays and still operated by descendants since 1741.  I have some surprises but will wait to have confirm by the castle and should be available before you get to it.

So if anyone is interested and will be available on those dates, let me know here. Check back here for any updates, and be there. And hopefull, we can finally meet in person ::) cheers

February 4, 2015

Some news from France XCVIII

Here we are the first day of snow in my area, wow; just enough to cover the ground with it and traffic was so easy nobody on the roads, even if Wednesdays mom stay home here , most of them, still the traffic was due to the snow announcement. Anyway by the time I got to work it was gone, and temps in 33F/1C sunny nice.

Time to tell you the latest news from the world of Paris ,France and others…. Have you heard of the Marais, well this is the place most people mention to me when coming to Paris, its tourist central for me but the attraction is big on visitors and the businesses there just can’t wait to see you.

The favorite sites on it are  in my opinion these

Then, you have the new cantines for eating and fun such as Boot Café. 19, rue du Pont-aux-Choux (3éme).Tél.: 06 26 41 10 66. Every day from  10h to 18h.  Anahi, 49, rue Volta (3éme). Tél.: 01 48 87 88 24.Every evening.   Gyoza Bar 38, rue Saintonge (3éme). Tél.: 01 42 71 15 34. every day except Sundays. The site is Under construction for the new location but have it all here  at lefooding, . The Broken Arm, 12, rue Perrée (3éme). Tél.: 01 44 61 53 60. every day except Sundays and Mondays from  9h to 18 h (café).  Mary Céleste 1, rue Commines (3éme). Every evening from 18h. Réservation only on the internet for the dinner.

And the places to see there are L’Institut Suédois has an  Exposition call “Plus que de la Pub”  from February 12 to May 2 2015. 11, rue Payenne (3éme).

and the places to shop, Galerie BSL, 23, rue Charlot,( 3éme), .This is the breeding ground of Young fashion designers including the best in the moment such as  Nacho Carbonell, Taher Chemirik , Charlotte Cornaton, Noé Duchaufour Lawrance, amongst others.  You, also, have new spaces or galleries there such as Galerie Mitterand enlarge with direct access to  79, rue du Temple showing «Jonah Freeman & Justin Lowe, Minutes to Go», until March 21st,  and the Galerie Max Hetzler 57, rue du Temple showing «Günther Förg, Stations of the Cross», until March 7th.

The dept store BHV Marais open “Paperlab”,  a space dedicated to the international press at street level and plenty of magazines and books.

You have Hint Hunt, 58, rue Beaubourg (3éme) has installed a detective bureau of  James Murdoch and the  Zen Room – where you can closed in during one hour trying to solve the mysteries.

And the Maison Dior comes out with a new commercial here for the new perfum Miss Dior and chose Nathalie Portman to show case it.

Versailles just name it and brings back wonderful memories of my 10 years living there, a Royal Town of France.  The great restaurant Lenôtre is right there at the  Cour des Senteurs. A new concept of  restaurant-salon de thé -boutique.  Cour des Senteurs, 8 rue de la Chancellerie ; Tuesdays to Sundays  10h to 19h, is it this wonderful ,

And finally , as we leading up to Saint Valentin, why not at my old neighbor Saint Germain en Laye and the famous spot of restaurant Pavillon Henri IV right on the spot of the birth of Louis XIV. Menu 145€ per person.

Enjoy my France!

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