Archive for March 23rd, 2022

March 23, 2022

My best restaurant La Gare!!!

To go out eating in France is heavens and we love the gastronomy and wines of my belle France. I like to tell you about this memorable restaurant La Gare with a nice history,and I am glad was part of it, It is one of my sentimental all time favorites places to drink and eat while in Paris for many years. There is a new beginning sadly see below but will tell as if nothing happened; one for the memories of my eternal Paris.

My former favorite in Paris , La Gare, this superb restaurant of the 16éme district or arrondissement of Paris, which was once the train station of Passy- la Muette running on the  Auteuil line and the Petite Ceinture.  It has been totally transformed and it is my favorite spot in Paris for a drink or eating; already taken many visitor friends here including those from defunct travel forum like VT. A wonderdul oasis in Paris near the Monet Marmottan museum.just behind it passing the jardin du Ranelagh

paris la gare resto afar muette nov19

The beautiful staircases whose walls are gilded with gold leaf to access the spectacular room that hosts the restaurant. Giant columns, design glass chandeliers, light canopy, large brass mirrors and 18C wall decor of the Maison Zuber: The place is remarkable. The sensation of grandeur reminds us of the first function of this space an old train station of the Petite Ceinture.


In a timeless place, come and ask yourself to have a coffee in the summer garden or to dine in the huge restaurant under canopy, extended with a beautiful terrace of 500 m2 of surface and 185 seats. Hallucinating of space, height of ceiling, walls in red brick, this is what makes the interest of this place to the clientele very 16éme-West Parisian!


When you go down the stairs to get to the quays and now dining room!, the place reveals a huge restaurant of 1 000 m2 , revisited in a colonial style with vintage furniture. One has the impression, going down the steps, to be aboard the Titanic and its huge restaurant less thinking of the sinking but rather the train. Chic and refined atmosphere, pretty mural paintings and period columns contribute to the displacement.


At the bottom of the room, we discover a beautiful terrace in the quiet, which will make your happiness on the days of good weather. Regarding the menu, the restaurant offers French cuisine to the most famous revisited. Located at 19 chaussée de la Muette metro line 9 La Muette out and turn left you see the restaurant ahead of you. Open every day and a delicious all you can eat Brunch on Sundays.


All this to tell you that as all that is good has a quicker ending and La Gare is no longer due to the devastation of the covid, This venerable institution has change hands and is now the Andia In order to give pep and modernity to the place, the decorator Laura Gonzalez imagined a colorful decor, inspired by the mixes orchestrated in the kitchen. Because in the kitchen, we find the Peruvian chef Gastón Acurio, Today at the head of 50 restaurants in 12 countries, including two ranked in the Top 20 The World’s 15 Best Restaurants, chef Gastón Acurio is known in the capital as an ambassador of Peruvian cuisine thanks to the opening of the Manko Paris. The food is now latin ranging from the Andean peaks, from the Amazon jungle to the Caribbean coast of Mexico. Just for the memories will have to stop by and see the new decor and food but the best memories will be kept for La Gare !

For reference the official Andia restaurant :

And a bit of nostalgia on my favorite reviews Yelp on the former La Gare with pictures:

And, there you go ,if you come to Paris and want to experience the real Parisian feel in historical surrounding with great company and food, then by all means the Restaurant La Gare was classy chic tops. And to add, I was here that I met one of the best comedians in Paris Olivier Giroud !! time will tell on my visit to the new Andia, but like I said the best memories will remain at La Gare. Hope you enjoy the post as I

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

March 23, 2022

My other hotels of Paris!!!

OMG I just realised have not or only briefly mention the hotels I stayed in while visiting Paris. Of course not many as lived in Versailles, but from the Morbihan breton needed to stayed sometimes overnight. On family trips we stayed in appart hotels outside Paris,cheaper…. Therefore, let me tell you about my other hotels of Paris!!!

The iconic facade of the Crowne Plaza Hotel, with the huge marquise overhanging its entrance, is one of the symbols of the Place de la République; since it is precisely on this vast square that this 4-star establishment is located. It is a beautiful location in the east of Paris, between Bastille, Gare du Nord and the Opera occupied by the Crowne Plaza Republique hotel. And not only stayed here but managed accounting wise the hotel ! (IHG) Great folks !

paris Crowne plaza hotel republique ent HI sept15

You have on the fourth floor (5th US) , the door to the fitness room. With a matching decor , but a much more “lounge” atmosphere, the Dix Bar invites you to relax. You can also enjoy the bright and relaxing atmosphere of the hotel restaurant, “Le Dix”, to taste the cuisine, typically French but drawing its inspiration from all over Europe, The Executive lounge is a large relaxing and friendly space where the continental breakfast is graciously served in the morning, all day non-alcoholic drinks and beers are at your disposal, and you are invited in the evening to its cocktail aperitif, from 18h to 20h, Do take your break in the Napoleon III interior courtyard of 1500 m².

paris crowne plaza pl republique afar sep15

With 5 metro lines crossing in front of the hotel, 4 bus lines and a taxi rank, all the means are available to you to discover Paris, Metro line at République 3,5,8,9,and 11, As well as bus lines 20 ,56, 65, and 75.

As I know more will tell you the hotel is in the former building of the Magasins Réunis, founded in 1866, which filled the entire block bounded by the streets of Faubourg du Temple and de Malte, the avenue and the Place de la République. Part of this site was occupied by exhibitions of artists, in 1875, by Bidel’s menagerie, then by the American circus Myers and, in 1880, by an administration of couriers and warehouses of goods, then an office of PTT post office. The Modern Hotel, restored in 1910 occupied a large part of this site, and now the Crowne Plaza Hotel occupies the premises.

The official Hôtel Crowne Plaza République (IHG) :

The Hôtel Antin Trinité was built in 1980, and renovated in 2014, It has 5 floors and 48 rooms, all in the chic Madeleine neighborhood. It is 100 meters from the Galeries Lafayette, 300 meters from the Opéra Garnier, and a stone’s throw from the greatest Parisian entertainment venues, Ideally located near the Chaussée d’Antin (line 9) and Trinité-Estienne d’Orves (line 12) metro stations, the RER A and E and buses 21 and 68, The Haussmann Galeries Lafayette car park is 2 minutes walk from the hotel. The Gare Saint Lazare train station is a 10-minute walk away, Galeries Lafayette 95 meters, Mogador Theater 108 meters, and the wonderful Café de la Paix 406 meters or four blocks about.

Paris Hotel Antin-Trinite hotel at 74 ave de provence mar13

The official Hôtel Antin Trinité :

The former Hôtel Delos Vaugirard now Hôtel AMI is 160 meters from the Vaugirard metro station line12, The Eiffel Tower is just a 20-minute (2km) walk away. I used when it was name Delos Vaugirard and was a fine stayed at 7 Rue du Général Beuret 15éme, Montparnasse neighborhood ,and 1.5 km from the Parc des Expositions Porte de Versailles . This hotel features a library and a bar along with a luggage storage, a safety deposit box and a car park. Going up rue Cambronne and then crossing boulevard de Grenelle you will be a few steps from the Champs de Mars and the Eiffel Tower.

paris hotel delos vaurigard ent near rue cambronne mar13

The official Hôtel AMI (former Delos Vaugirard) :

It is a splendid Haussmannian building from 1880, with typical Parisian elegance. Now part of the group, The Originals City, Hôtel Paix République, is located in an emblematic square of Paris, only 200 meters from Place de la République, It has a starry reception hall marble, leather and woodwork, and a large air-conditioned living room in bright tones where it is good to relax. Some of the rooms have a nice private balcony from which you can admire the view of Paris. All a stone’s throw from the Marais neighborhoods, close to the Grands Boulevards and the Saint-Martin canal, In addition, located 190 meters away, the République metro station (lines 3, 5, 8, 9, 11) will allow you to access to the Quartier des Halles in 10 minutes (line 11) or to the Latin Quarter in 19 minutes (line 4).

paris hotel paix republique sep12

The official Hôtel Paix République :

The Hôtel Terminus Montparnasse is located 150 meters on foot from the Montparnasse-Bienvenüe metro station (lines 4,6,12,and 13) ,and the Montparnasse Tower, This simple hotel is also 11 minutes from the Luxembourg Gardens. Close to the Saint-Germain neighborhood located opposite the Gare Montparnasse train station, On rue de Rennes is a stone’s throw from this hotel as well as the Galeries Lafayette! This hotel has two buildings: one with a view of Boulevard Montparnasse (air conditioning and elevator/lift), the other on the interior courtyard (no elevator/lift or air conditioning), Within a warm decor, great comfort and calm present, There is car parking at 50 meters,

paris hotel terminus montparnasse night oct14

paris hotel terminus montparnasse lobby oct14

The official Hôtel Terminus Montparnasse :

There you go folks, a nice set of hotels all good to stay in my eternal Paris. Of course, see my other main hotels in individual posts in my blog! Hope it helps your decision , and enjoy the post on my hotels of Paris as I.

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

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March 23, 2022

The Grand Place of Brussels !!!

I do not know but I love big squares with architecture or historical value. Luckily, Europe is full of them , and in my favorite places, there are just gorgeous. I am in the mood to update an older post about one of my all times favorites. The Grand Place of BrusselsBelgium.  I came to it way back in 1993 for the first time even with my parents in tow, and was magical. My oldest boy was just a year old and already visited France, we took him to Brussels this time. It is easy logistics for us, because the wife oldest brother lives in the north of France near the Belgian border, so we used it as lodging base. After this early visit, and falling in love with the square, we came back repeatedly over the years, and even to spent Christmas in Brussels! Needless to tell you its one of our favorite cities in Europe. Some older pics of those earlier days below

Bru Grand Place PF et MF c1993

bru grand place c Mar91

Bru gmere MF et PF c 1993

The Grand Place or Central square is bordered by corporation houses, the city hall and the house of the king.  The facades of the 19C are not always the exact of their construction after 1695. The history as I like it. In the 10C, the dukes of lower Lorraine had built a castle on the Senne island ,the birthplace of Brussels. By the end of the 11C, near the castle they installed an open air market in a dry swamp area with banks of sand which they called inferior market or Nedermerkt in Flemish.  Early in the 13C they built three markets in the square, one for meats or Great Butchers  ,one for breads and one for linen; these markets belonged to the Duke of Brabant allowing to exposed the goods and controlling the sales to make sure the taxes were paid. Newer pictures below.

Bru grand place architecture dec12

The construction of the City hall in several phases from 1401 to 1455 in the square seat of municipal power responding to the central power symbolize by the Coudenberg palace. Facing the City Hall the power is omnipresent with the bread market taking the name of the House of the King because it was here that you paid your taxes since 1406. After the bombing and fires of 1695, the square is rebuilt almost entirely and even prettier.  At the end of the 18C the sans culotte (French revolutionaries) destroyed almost all the symbols and statues of the old regime and the buildings were transformed as well as renovations in bad taste in addition to the pollution. Under the Burgomaster Charles Buls is progressively restored and rebuilt along the same representation of the reconstruction. In the center of the square in 1856 there was a monumental fountain commemorating the 50th anniversary of king Leopold I, it was replaced in 1860 by a fountain of the counts of Egmont and Hornes in front of the House of the King. This fountain with statues on top of the counts of Egmont and Hornes  headless at the spot were moved to the area of the petit Sablon, and 30 years later in the Belle Epoque period a music kiosk was built. The market square has preserve its functions as a morning market until November 19 1959. It is still called the Grote Markt in Dutch or Gruute Met in Flemish today. The house of the king, in the 12C was in wood and bread was sold here; it was replaced in the 15C by a stone building to house the administrative services of the Duke of Brabant or sometimes called the House of the Duke. When the same duke becomes the king of Spain, it change to the house of the king; Charles V ordered built in the gothic style something like the one we can see today. The city had it rebuilt in 1873 in the neo gothic style after the bombings of 1695. The building houses today the Museum of the city of Brussels since 1887.

Bru grand place sculptures dec12

A bit more detail on what you will see around the big square or Grand Place.

Between the rue de la Tête d’or , and rue au Beurre on the west side you have the house of the bakers corporation or the House of the King built in 1696. The house has been much change and totally rebuilt in 1901-1902; It has busts of St Aubert, patron Saint of the bakers and king Charles II of Spain.  By No 2-3 you have La Brouette, or the house of the graissiers corporation dated from the 15C , it was rebuilt in 1697 and is decorated with a statue of Saint Gilles, the Patron Saint of the Graissiers who also was restored in 1912. At No 4 you have the Le Sac or House of the cabinetmakers  corporation of which tools decorated the front since the 15C, built in stones in 1644 and rebuilt in 1697. The inferior part of the Sac has the symbol sculpture in 1644 and left intact as part of the third floor that the restoration began in 1697; and it is here that starts the sculptures of van Dievoet and Merkaert ; very decorative gable with torches and angles vases on top a globe on which there is a compass and on the windows heavy guirlandes of flowers and fruits, a shell, and heads of angels. This house was restored in 1912. Today it houses the house of Belgian master chocolatiers or the La Maison des Maitres Chocolatiers Belges. At No 5 la Louve, or house of the undertaking archers is built in 1690 and on 1696 the façade is rebuilt putting a phoenix born in ashes and coming out of flames symbol of the city reconstruction following the bombing of the city in 1695. The fronton is decorated with an Apollo following the original designs from 1890-1892, the lower reliefs are of Romulus and Remus fed by the she-wolf. At No 6 you have the Le Cornet, or house of the shipbuilders corporation since the 15C rebuilt in 1697. Design as  front of a boat, with sculptures even in the façade; house restored in 1899 to 1902. At No 7 you have Le Renard, or house of the craftmans corporation from the 15C rebuilt in 1699 with allegories from the four continents  and on top a statue of Saint Nicolas, patron Saint of the craftsman’s.

Bru Grand place dec12

Between the rue Charles Buls ,and the rue des Chapeliers or south side you have at No 8 L’Etoile or House of the Amman rebuilt in 1695, demolished in 1852 and rebuilt in 1897 as an annex to the next house, and the street is rename rue Charles Buls, and a plaque on his honor is place there next to the monument of Everard t’Serclaes. At No 9, le Cygne,(swan) or bourgeois house rebuilt in 1698 with a façade not taken into account the three floors; it was purchased in 1720 by the butcher’s corporation and modified, restored between 1896 and 1904. At No 10, l’Arbre d’or or the golden tree you have the house of the brewers corporation ;that today is a museum; dates from 1696 and restored in 1901. Decorated with sculptures and on top an equestrian statue of Charles Alexander of Lorraine put here in 1752 to replace that of Maximilian Emmanuel de Bavaria , governor while the reconstruction of Brussels took place. At No 11 la Rose or private house rebuilt in 1702, and restored in 1901. At no 12 le Mont Thabor, private house rebuilt in 1690 and restored in 1885.

Bru grand place electrabel tower dec12

Between the rue des Chapeliers,and the rue de la Colline on the East side, you have at No 12a former 2-4 rue des Chapeliers) the Alsemberg , a private house built in 1699 in blue stone with the mark of the stone cutter. At no 18-19 the house of the Dukes of Brabant, seven houses behind the same façade, modified in 1770 and call as such because of the busts of the Duke of Brabant the decorates it. Restored between 1881 and 1890. At no 13 the La Renommée, No 14 L’Ermitage, no 15 La Fortune, No 16, Le Moulin à vent or the house of the milling makers corporation; No 17 Le Pot d’étain or plomb house ,and it is the house of the carpenters and wheelers makers corporation. At no 18, La Colline or hill ,the house of the four crown corporation (for sculptors, stone cutters, roofmakers, and masonry); No 19 la Bourse or stock exchange.

Between the rue de la Colline and rue des Harengs on the north east side you have at No 20 le Cerf, private house rebuilt in 1710 and restored in 1897; at no 21-22 Joseph and Anne, two private houses in one façade, rebuilt in 1897 from an aquarelle of 1729  of Ferdinand Joseph de Rons. At no 23 L’Ange, private house rebuilt in 1697 and renovated façade from 1897 from older drawings. At no 24-25 La Chaloupe d’or, or house of the stone makers corporation, design in 1697 and with a monumental façade ; it has on top the statue of Saint Hommebon de Crémone, Patron Saint of the stonemasons; the bust of Saint Barbara below the entrance door from 1872. At no 2–27 Le Pigeon since the 15C the property of the painters corporation that sold it in 1697 ; it house Victor Hugo and was restored in 1908. At no 28  Le Marchand d’or a private house rebuilt in 1709 and restored in 1882.

Between the rue Chair et Pain and the rue au Beurre on the northwest side you have at no 34 Le Heaume, private house ,restored in 1920. At no 35, Le Paon, style of houses of the 18C restored in 1882.  At no 36-37 Le Petit Renard or Le Samaritain et Le Chêne , two houses dating from 1696 and restored in 1884-1886. At No 38 Sainte Barbe (Santa Barbara) private house built in 1696. At No 39, L’Âne private house restored in 1916.

You have plenty of ammunition to come visit this place; gorgeous all around if busy very popular and the side streets are humming with restos ;bars; cafes and shops galore.

The city of Brussels on the Grand Place

The Brussels tourist office on the Grand Place

he Brussels region heritage site on the Grand Place :

The cuicui private webpage on a 360 Degrees view of the Grand Place :

There you go folks, enjoy the ride or walks the best way to see a city. And the Grand Place is a grand way to see the wonderful architecture and history all around you ! And rememeber, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

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