Archive for July 14th, 2019

July 14, 2019

Restaurant: The chains of France!!

Well do not know how but looking at some of my photos gave me the idea to write a short series on the restaurants we have come to patronise for many years here and have a photo to show. These are all family restaurants and visit them with the family in tow. So hope you enjoy them too! Of course all this while folks are reveling no the 14 July National Day here …….and more demonstrations lol!

The name Courtepaille comes to mind first, ok its a chain but very nice and friendly. It was my first lunch when came for my job interview in France back in 2003!! Unfortunately , do not have a photo of it at Cergy Saint Christophe in Val d’Oise dept 95. I will tell you about the others…!

Grill Courtepaille, more commonly known as Courtepaille, is a Chain of French Restaurants, specializing in grille meat. Created in August 1961 with the opening of a single restaurant on the side of the road N6 in Rouvray (Côte d’Or 21), the chain of restaurants. In 2019, the chain has 300 restaurants, a third of which are franchised. the dishes are prepared from local produce, delivered each morning by the craftsmen of the village, the fries are made on site, as well as the apple pies. The anecdote is that on December 20 2018 President Emmanuel Macron took a lunch break at a Courtepaille in Mareuil-lès-Meaux (Seine-et-Marne 77) had never welcomed such illustrious customers near Meaux.

The the one at Buchelay near Mantes La Jolie in the Yvelines dept 78. We went there at least a couple times as it is right off the A13 autoroute de Normandie exit/sortie 13, and we can come in and out easy in our road warrior trips. More of it here: Official Grill Courtepaille on the Buchelay resto

There is another one on the A13 exit/sortie 9 coming from Paris in the Renault factory town of Flins sur Seine, Yvelines 78 as well. Here we had gone to shop at the nearby Carrefour hypermarket and had lunch in the Courtepaille as well. More on it here: Official Grill Courtepaille on resto at Flins sur Seine

Flins courtepaille 2011

And even more going up to Chantilly by Creil (dept 60) there is another Courtepaille we have enjoyed. This one is on the D1016 road the old N16.  More on it here: Official Courtepaille on the Creil resto

Chantilly

Another chain that we enjoy in the pass even if not available in my current neck of the woods are the Léon de Bruxelles, and our fav repeat is at the same area in Buchelay, near Mantes La Jolie as above.

Léon de Bruxelles is a French restaurant chain with branches and franchises. The brand specializes in fresh mussels and fries. In 1893 in Brussels, the “Friture Léon” is a small estaminet dedicated to mussels and typical Belgian dishes. In 1989, the first Leon restaurant in Brussels opened its doors in Paris, and was dedicated to the same traditional dishes. Leon de Bruxelles in numbers: 81 restaurants in France. 3,500 tons of mussels are sold each year. Depending on the season, they come from the Netherlands, Italy or Normandy. More info here: Official Léon de Bruxelles on resto at Buchelay

Buchelay

Buchelay

Last but not least was a special one as we already knew it from Florida USA and darn it they have it here too at the Disney Village in Disneyland Paris! I need to mention Rainforest Cafe. Not the fanciest of restaurant à la French but an American importation that we find nostalgic for us and of course with the boys who are born and raised early in Florida we needed to come. The food and the attractions ::) were memorable.

This is a Southwestern fare with a tropical twist awaits you amid this dense jungle filled with animals. journey deep into the Amazon, where you’ll dine in the company of animated animals and the sound of thunder claps and sudden rainstorms. Singing birds, trumpeting elephants, chest-pounding gorillas and schools of brightly coloured fish welcome you to a lushly landscaped jungle of tropical vegetation, banyan trees, waterfalls and a starry night-time sky. More info here: Official Rainforest Cafe at Disney Village

Been more on the tourist trail, here is more from the Paris tourist officeTourist office of Paris on the Rainforest Cafe

Disneyland village

Disneyland village

So there you go, we have everything under the sky , maybe one more reason why France is the No 1 destination from visitors since 1949 at the official UN WTO organisation of world tourism. We have choices, and even since that reminds us of where we come from lol! Hope you enjoy them and see the different as even here they are a bit different;;;vive la difference!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

July 14, 2019

Tour Eiffel or Eiffel Tower, the name says it all!!!

This monument is one of the biggest magnet that attracts people to Paris. Go figure it, and post on July 14 our National Day!. I will tell you my visiting eyes views on it and some pictures. However, disclaimer , even if I go by it every month as my Paris HQ is nearby, I last climb it in 2005!!! ok enough said. Oh yes you got it, will write about the Tour Eiffel or Eiffel tower in Paris!

paris

Yes indeed the name says it all, why? it was conceded to participate in an Universal Expo to showcase the engineering values of France, just like that. However, nobody could imagine the controversies over it, and the inmense ,huge success of its future days, 130 years strong. It is without doubt the symbol of Paris,and France. I could not imagine myself the first time I told my coworkers in Florida that I was coming to Paris in 1990, they could not believe it , I need it to bring them back a photo of the you guess it the Eiffel tower. I did, and it has been pasted to so many bulleting boards around offices in South Florida ever since…And many who have come to visit it , and even some done the reservations myself lol!

It is on everybody’s eyes and ears so you will have no problem getting there once in Paris. Built under the leadership of Gustave Eiffel in 1889 for the Paris Universal Exposition of same year ,it is 325 meters high ( 1073 ft) with the addition of an tnt electronic TV antenna on it in 2005.  It was built in just over 2 years in a marvel of construction and engineering genious. Best way to get here is on Metro Bir-Hakeim line 6 ,and RER C Champ de Mars-Tour Eiffel. Or enjoy Paris more as I do and ride the buses above ground you see more , I take from Gare Montparnasse the No 82 arrêts/stop Tour Eiffel or Champ de Mars/Suffren, all are easy walking distance. Here is the traject from RATP for you: RATP Bus No 82 to Eiffel tower click on map inside

Now the tour Eiffel has 1665 steps to the top, and it has its contrictions according to the weather anywhere from 6-7 cm expand or retract; on clear days you can see as far as 67 kms ( 41.5 miles), and on the negative side it has 370 suicides as of last figures I have in 2013. It is the most visited monument in France, the most visited country and Paris the most visited city according to the UN-WTO official international records.

paris

A bit of a description: the ground floor where the four pillars are found ,or legs of the tower; the Nord/north pillar gives access to the 3 floors of the tower by elevators, you see the  bust of Gustave Eiffel here. A very good gathering guiding point for many in Paris visitors and locals alike is to say we will meet by the Eiffel bust area !  All will change elevator at the second floor to continue their climb. If the day is very heavy in visitors, the Ouest/west pillar is open with the same services. The pillar Sud/south give you direct access to the restaurant Jules Verne, and the Est/East pillar is reserve for those that wish to do the climbing on foot Lol!

paris

The first floor , this one we usually visit last as we come down, unless you are those doing the climb on foot.  This floor is the biggest, housing the iron pavillion or Pavillon Ferrié  that enclosed many spaces use for expositions, cinema, restaurant (le 58 tour Eiffel)  ,stores , and a post office. You can see the hydraulic pump that push the elevators from the second floor to the top, as well as a electronic telescope . It gives a nice view of the river Seine and the Champ de Mars garden.

The second floor is a stop to eventually reach the summit, it has some animation activities here as well as the fame restaurant Jules Verne , webpage: Restaurant Jules Verne at Eiffel

The third floor, is the summit offering a beautiful panorama of Paris, you have tables showing you what to look out for and identify the different buildings below as well as the distances between the principal cities and Paris . There is a second level here , if time permit it is open, and you will see a reproduction of Gustave Eiffel office while receiving Thomas Edison!  There is now a Champagne bar here offering you the Champa with a view, very romantic ::)

The tour Eiffel is illuminated every night for a short while as the city is reducing electricity costs, but still can be seen.  Every day, from dusk to 01h (1am), for 5 minutes. The start of  01h the last, is special. It lasts 10 minutes and unfolds while the tower is off, which gives it a completely different aspect.  And there is no less than 7,000 tons of iron climbing the 325 meters of the tower. From there, it’s all Paris that you can discover. When you are up there, remember that the tower rests on a system of hydraulic cylinders, in other words on water! This is a feat of iron architecture that required two 300 acrobatic riggers to assemble 18,000 pieces of iron using 2.5 million rivets for two years. The frame weighs 7000 tons, which is little, reduced to 30 cm, the Eiffel Tower weighs only 7 grams! To repaint every seven years, it takes 50 tons of paint. The top floor offers a prodigious view of Paris and its suburbs in good weather are 20 000 lights shining on it. The views are chargeable on Ipad and Iphone systems.

paris

Nowdays , due to Vigipirate the anti terrorist procedure in France and the loads of visitors breaking records every year the best way is purchase tickets in advance. In order to gain access faster purchase your tickets on the official Tour Eiffel site, beware of imitators. Planning tips and purchase from the Eiffel: Official Eiffel tower on planning and ticketing

You still will need to go by security lines but the wait is much shorter. I have notice and heard over the years, and passing by it monthly now, that the best times are in the mornings, and on Tuesdays, Thursdays, however, there are also not the best times to see Paris. The best for viewing are in the evenings around closing time, anyday of the week except weekends. For up to date hours and any last minute closing best to check the official webpage of the Tour Eiffel here Official Eiffel tower on hours and pricing

paris

There is plenty to see around the Tour Eiffel in Paris 7éme arrondissement, walking distances to many museums, as well as boat rides, and parks/gardens. The choices for lodging and eating out are unlimited.  Tou can read my other posts on Paris for suggestions on staying and eating here. Its my backyard office lunch when in Paris.

Paris

There you go now I have cover it for you. Hope you enjoy the post and do try to visit it at least once. Eiffel tower for whatever reason is a symbol and we will always have Paris with it.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

Tags: , ,
July 14, 2019

Paris and my 17éme!

Again, difficult to choose a title after so many it can be confusing lol!!! Anyway, this is my walking beats of Paris and I like to share one more with you. I thank you for your readership over the years and to bear with my rants! After Paris is to rant shout and yelled about me think.

I happened to have worked there for 10 years before moving west to Brittany, and lucky enough to still visited almost every month since. My latest took me to the 15éme,16éme a bit but the 17éme is great too. Let me tell you a bit about the non tourist Paris if we can call them that.

I had time to stay by the Jardin Atlantique on the roofstop of the Gare Montparnasse a place of heavenly thoughts with its beautiful basin of Miroitements and the ile des Hésperides island right on it so green and peaceful. A large mirror captures the sun’s rays and illuminates the bassin des Miroitements (shimmer), which is in the shade most of the time. This is just around the corner from my old office location in rue des Departs. I still come by here into Paris each time!

The Jardin Atlantique or Atlantic Garden is in the Necker quartier or neighborhood of the 15éme arrondissement or district of Paris. The site is accessible by the 1, Place des Cinq-Martyrs-du-Lycée-Buffon.  Also by the Place Raoul Dauty  or the Rue du Commandant René Mouchotte. The Metro Montparnasse-Bienvenue on lines lines 4, 6, 12, and 13 (stop Gaîté) , and the line 6 Pasteur as well as the bus lines 88, and 91 takes you here. It is a heaven when need to kill some time or just walk around after a long day’s work or visiting…

This hanging garden was built in 1994 on a slab that covers the station platforms that were previously in the open air. it was built above the tracks of the Montparnasse train station, on an area of 3.5 hectares, and surrounded by bars of buildings of the whole Maine-Montparnasse complex . A large square lawn with no access is the center of the park. It is crossed in the center by an alley that leads to the fountain of the Island of Hesperides where there is a portico whose on each foot houses a weather equipment and which supports a large orientable mirror. The garden offers a playground for children, whose configuration made up of small squares and cashed paths, stands in stark contrast to the rest of the park. This area is overflown by a long curved pedestrian walkway. The park also offers a weight-training area, tennis courts, ping-pong tables and guided tours. The 130 hoppers in the garden allow the station and the underground parking lot built below to be ventilated in a plant-based environment.

City of Paris on the Atlantic garden

Tourist office of Paris on the Atlantic garden

I made connection on metro line 13 and then line 3 to reach my hotel at the 17éme  arrondissement or district of Paris. Hotel Magellan was nice chosen by a local  and is full of history as it was there that the NASA folks who came for the Paris Air Show of 2001 stayed and their autographs photos are hang on the wall. Webpage : https://www.hotelmagellan.com/en/

A boutique hotel is just a stone’s throw from the Place de l’Etoile and the Palais des Congres. Close to the Arc de Triomphe, Hotel Magellan is a 3-star hotel in the heart of the 17th arrondissement of Paris. Whether it’s a business stay in the capital or a tourist weekend in Paris, you’ll find the Magellan’s welcome and services of a boutique hotel, at the crossroads of major Parisian business and tourism centers. This hotel allows you to enjoy the unexpected tranquility of a charming indoor garden. On the edge of the gardens of Boulevard Péreire, the hotel is part of the surrounding Haussmannian architecture, sheltered from the hustle and bustle of Paris.Great indeed!

paris

Once here gave me a quick reminder of how beautiful Paris is all over, not one spot that is not to be avoided, and this part of the 17éme is gorgeous as well !

I literally walked on Boulevard Pereire to reach the Porte Maillot as walking is great and in Paris sublime!  While there was time for something to eat and so much around well opted for a familiar one as know the area well.

paris

I just stop by for coffee and pastries at Le Congres Maillot  80 Avenue de la Grande-Armée, 17éme  as used to do consulting work off ave Amiral Bruix. Webpage:  https://www.congres-maillot.com/en/

The Le Congres Maillot is a rare place in today’s Paris where you will be allowed, if you wish, to take the time to enjoy the present moment whether with family, couple or friends. With kindness we were comfortably settled, The given menu card were good advice knowing how to present the dishes accurately, the wines related to the chosen dish, affable without being obsequious, discreet while wielding this touch of humor without being firm. Love it and great views of the square!

paris

I just needed to walk along bd Pereire and as always it was heavens to walk Paris streets again !!!!! Let me tell you a bit of history on this section of Paris that needs to be visited more me think.

The Bd Pereire as said is in the 17éme arrondissement of Paris. The boulevard is formed by two tree-lined lanes, located on either side of the Auteuil line and whose boundaries are on the odd numbers side:the departure from Rue de Jouffroy-d’Abbans and arrivals on avenue de la Grande-Armée; on the even numbers side: depart from part of the rue de Saussure  and arrive on the boulevard Gouvion-Saint-Cyr. The length of the boulevard Pereire is of 2,540 meters and its width ranges from 17 to 44 meters rounded. The boulevard Pereire crosses the Place du Maréchal-Juin , and the Place de Wagram.

The boulevard takes its name from Émile Pereire, dealer of the Auteuil rail line. The Boulevard Pereire north and south was developed from 1852 to 1854 in connection with the construction of the Auteuil line, at the junction of the line from Paris to Saint-Germain-en-Laye  by a company founded by the Pereire brothers, on the territory of the towns of Batignolles-Monceaux and Neuilly between the wall of the General Farmers and the Thiers precinct, which was not annexed to the City of Paris in 1860. In the 1860s and 1880s, villas or mansions were built along the boulevard Peréire, and from the 1870s, Haussmann-style buildings were built.

paris

Some famous names that had lived on this bd Pereire according to many sources are  at No 2 : en 1871, the photographer Léon Crémière lived on his studio . No 19 : lived Maurice Ravel from 1901 to 1905. No 54 : home of poet Miguel Zamacoïs. No 56 the actrice Sarah Bernhardt died here on March 26 1923. No 149 :The lyric artist Numa Auguez  lived here, and also lived and died the painter Jean Veber ,a plaque is hang to remember this memory. No 173 , the painter Pierre-Gaston Rigaud lived from 1913 to 1939,later his son  Jean Rigaud, from the 1950’s to 1999. No 241 : Seat of the fives or La Cinq ;the composer and architect Robert Planquette and Émile Bénard lived here.

In literature; the boulevard Pereire  is the main place of action of the novel Scream from the Deep (1951), by Georges Duhamel, describing the life of a pharmaceutical company under the Occupation. The author situates the company Dardaille, Winterberg and Co. which undergoes a name change because of the Jewishness of its partner, as well as the very name of the boulevard during WWII. During the Occupation, a name change was proposed by Captain Paul Sézille, director of the Institute for the Study of Jewish Issues, because of the Jewish origin of the Pereire brothers. He suggested to the SS Theodor Dannecker the name “Edward Drumont Boulevard” after the famous anti-Semitic agitator. This project was not successful.

Tourist office of Paris on Bd Pereire

Again, walking is wonderful and in Paris sublime! I do walk even if love the car but that is just to get there hehehe once in town, my feet are like well better than a GPS! or it must be my brain lol! Do recommended again when in Paris walk as much as you can. Enjoy the 15, 16 and 17éme arrondissements of Paris and especially do walk Bd Pereire!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

 

Tags: , ,
%d bloggers like this: