Search Results for “intercontinental”

November 22, 2022

My memorable moments at the Intercontinental Hotels !!

I have written on them before, but just found me some brochures of those wonderful years spent at the Intercontinetal Hotels of France that made write again this new post, This was a great moment in my life as we had all the family together and had a blast, Memories that are still intact as well as the friendship of those collegues from yesteryear still in touch, Let me tell you briefly on this wonderful experience with especially the so called L’Inter hotel of Paris ! Hope you enjoy it as I.

Paris intercontinental hotel entr brochure

A bit of background to the newcomers to my blog, The Intercontinental Hotel or l’Inter (now the Westin Paris) on rue Castiglione near the Tuileries garden,  and the Le Grand Hotel Intercontinental and its wonderful Café de la Paix by the Opéra Garnier were my hangouts. The HQ handling all the hotels was at the Intercontinental Paris or affectionally called L’Inter. It was at the corner of the streets 3 rue de Castiglione and rue Rivoli. The offices were again in the mezzanine area off the general public but we could walk all over, and I did as my job will take me to see the restaurants/bar personnel as well as the rooms. The walks between the l’Inter and Le Grand were sublime passing by the Place Vendôme into the Place de l’Opéra!!  The Le Grand hotel is at the corner of 2 rue Scribe,and 12 blvd des Capucines.

Other IHG properties, I was responsible for was in Cannes, the Carlton Intercontinental Hotel in the Croisette!  I was, also, responsible for the Holiday Inn -pl de la République in Paris (now a Crown plaza hotel), and the Holiday Inn Disneyland ,(the hotel is now call the Vienna House Magic Circus Hotel), of course, I not only visited on business but also stayed with the family while going to Disneyland Paris (see posts).  So why I have good memories of it and always will remember them? Well , I used to worked in them, and was in charge of all intercontinental hotels in France that were owned by the group IHG at the time base in Windsor, England, with European hq in Brussels Belgium. Two wonderful years bouncing from one to the other in an top management position in the Accounting dept.Memories forever,thanks guys!!

Paris Christmas inter et grand hotels 2005

Paris intercontinental hotel Club level brochure

While at the L’Inter hotel had the distinct pleasure of helping out a fund raiser for the Hurricane Katrina (2005) in New Orleans, LA USA, It as an effort by the entire expat community on providing free host in the great salons (historical monuments of France) for charitable events , This was a huge success with more than 500 guest and musicians from the US and some base in France, All proceeds were to the American Red Cross.

Paris Inter Crescent city jam katrina hurricane 2005

Paris Inter Crescent city jam katrina hurricane program 2005


Paris inter hotel katrina fund raising 2005

We as a family and me employed there went thru wonderful Christmas parties for the employees, to welcoming and meeting some of the famous and known such as U2, Condoleezza Rice , Sec of state USA; Stéphane Bern , French actor, presenter and many many more. Working with the upper class of the French nobility including Princess Napoléon, to the marquis and dukes of France; and the famous brands who held many events in the hotels from Louis Vuitton, to Chanel, to the fabulous Fashion Weeks of Paris !! Never to forget and now fix into my blog for eternity,

Paris Christmas inter hotel 2005

Paris IC hotel Christmas party fam middle seats Dec2005

From the brochures that I kept as souvenir, this one is one of my favorites so will translate here for you and me, Another memorable brochures of a wonderful property and people, the L’Inter or Intercontinental Hotel Paris, (now a Westin Vendôme Paris hotel).

Paris intercontinental hotel winter garden brochure

Paris intercontinental hotel salon napoleon brochure

The first king of France to fall in love with Paris was Philippe Auguste constructed the Louvre dungeon around 1200, while creating the ramparts of the City, The huge tower which was destined to become the royal castle in the 16C was the starting point of the superb promenade whose central section leads into the Champs Elysées, this extends to the top of the Chaillot slopes and is crowned at the Etoile by the Arc de Triomphe, During the Renaissance, Queen Catherine de Médicis ordered the Tuileries Palace (gone see post) situated at the angle of the Seine river to complete the Louvre ensemble whose extremities form the great Marsan and Flore pavilions, The garden was designed and enlarged by André le Nôtre (see post) who previously had created the gardens of the Palace of Versailles,The Tuileries Gardens (see posts) bordered by the Seine river and the future place Louis XV constructed in the 18C, From the Louvre folks passed in front of the Capucins, Cistercians and the convent of the Assumption later the Polish church,

These monasteries emptied during the French revolution became meeting houses and felled quickly into decay, The Fall of the monarchy is marked as August 10th 1792 and from the Tuileries the king Louis XVI sought refuge in the Riding school which was razed to the ground during the construciton of the rue de Rivoli as the crossroads of the rue de Castiglione,It was decided to build a road from the rue de Rivoli to the place Louis XV (now place de la Concorde), The Rue de Castiglione running from the rue de Rivoli to the Place Vendôme commemorates one of Napoléon Ier victories during the Italian campaign of 1796, In May 1871 several areas were burnt to the ground by the great fire including the Rue Royale, Tuileries Palace, and the Ministry of Finance, good fortunes the blaze did not reach the Louvre and its precious collections,

The new parliament of the French Republic refused to replace the roof of the Tuileries Palace whose stone were removed to Corsica by the Pozzo di Borgo family rivals of Bonaparte, In 1878, the Continental Hotel rose up from its ashes, Its portals situated in the Rue de Castiglione were erected on the site of the monk’s former refectory, Gilded drawing rooms enriched by sculptures and mythological scenes , a Moorish style winter garden walnut panneled Henri II drawing rooms and an electric dynamo machine feeding the incandescent lamps from 1887, All the latest discoveries and developements made available by progress were incorporated from the very infancy and the five hundred rooms became the meeting place both for the members of the elite and heads of State, It is here on Saturday April 13 1889 while the inauration of the Tour Eiffel that a sumptous dinner was organised in honor of M, Gustave Eiffel, Some of the menu included gonale cream, Dieppe turbot with Mousseline sauce, Nevers-style lamb saddle, Russian-style lobster, Dombe orange and vanilla glazed cake punch, fruit basket, sweets, small wine ovens: Médoc in a carafe, Pommerol St Emilion, Champagne Frappé, coffee and liqueurs.

In 1883 ,Victor Hugo presided over the luncheon given here to celebrate the publishing of his complete works, From Peter 1st of Serbia, King Fouad of Egypt and on several occasions Empress Eugenie (Spanish wife of Napoléon III) , the last monarch to reside at the Tuileries Palace, all spent periods of time in the hotel, In 1940 Jean Giraudoux set up his information office in the drawing rooms of the last Empress, The Nazis later occupied the building for four years and the Continental Hotel once more renewed its normal activities continuing until 1968, With the Inter-Continental Hotel we witness the ultimate matamorphosis still sparkling from the recent beauty treatment, These lines of historical praise join together to form a magnificent bouquet of which as Montaigne puts it «  I am but the narrow ribbon to tie around » Sublime indeed,

There you go folks, a wonderful experience of many memorable moments never to be forgotten, You in eternal Paris, and in the marvelous area of beauty,luxury and high class, The hotel even today I say its worth a stay, eat in, visit anything there is worth it me think, Again, hope you enjoy the memorable post on the Intercontinental Hotels of France and especially on the L’Inter !!

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

November 30, 2018

The jewels of Paris, Intercontinental Hotels!

I believe I have mentioned this briefly in my many posts on Paris since 2010 ::) However, I have not written a post on them alone. It could be a short post or long, the bottom line I have great memories of these hotels and would like to share it.

Intercontinental Hotel or l’Inter (now the Westin Paris) on rue Castiglione near the Tuileries garden,  and the Le Grand Hotel Intercontinental and its wonderful Café de la Paix by the Opéra Garnier. Now, there is another one call the Marceau. 

The newest one is at 64 Avenue Marceau, and the webpage is:

So why I have good memories of it and always will remember them? Well , I used to worked in them, and was in charge of all intercontinental hotels including Cannes, and the Holiday Inn hotels in France own outright by the group Intercontinental Hotels Group. Two wonderful years bouncing from one to the other in an top management position in the Accounting dept.

I went thru wonderful Christmas parties for the employees, to welcoming and meeting some of the famous and known such as U2, Condoleezza Rice , Sec of state USA; Stéphane Bern , French actor, presenter and many many more. Working with the upper class of the French nobility including Princess Napoléon, to the marquis and dukes of France; and the famous brands who held many events in the hotels from Louis Vuitton, to Chanel, to the fabulous Fashion Weeks of Paris.

Funny stories from how to keep famous groups in the hotel because the money was late in arriving, to doing special invoicing for Louis Vuitton and Sanofi pharma group; to helping with the princesses and prince of the Middle East; and of course helping my colleagues from serving as English/French  translator for the film crew from South Korea (needed to spent a night in the hotel ,junior suite looking at the Eiffel tower!); and helping out the expat community on providing free host in the great salon (historical monuments of France) for charitable events (raising funds for the hurricane Katrina of New Orleans LA USA fame).

The Intercontinental Paris-Le Grand webpage is here:

and it’s wonderful cafe Café de la Paix is here:

The ceilings of the Café de la Paix were done by Charles Garnier of the opera fame and many others, they are historical monument of France and the intricate work you see, has even more value than those in the hotels. You do not have to eat in to just past in and see the ceiling.

The Le Grand hotel at the corner of 2 rue Scribe,and 12 blvd des Capucines, has a wonderful bar with leather sofa seats and piano music to soothe your soul in Paris. It ,also, has a great I-Spa by Algotherm. La Verriére is a wonderful garden style bistro with a great glass cupola right in the middle of the hotel. It was built between 1861 and 1862 for the coming of the Universal Exposition of 1867. The palace hotel was opened in great pomp by the Emperatrice Eugénie as well as the Café de la Paix in May 1862 ( soon to have 155 yrs old). The salon a historical monument of France here is call Salon Opéra and on the side is facing the Opéra Garnier!


My offices were in the mezzanine section off the general public but we needed to walk into the public areas unassumed and enjoy the beauty ::)

The HQ handling all the hotels was at the Intercontinental Paris or affectionally called L’Inter. It was at the corner of the streets 3 rue de Castiglione and rue Rivoli. It opened in 1878 as the Hôtel Continental. It was built at the lot of the old Ministry of Finances burned in the uprisings of 1871 ; the Grand Dukes of Russia stayed here each time passing by Paris.  The hotel was renamed  the Inter-Continental Paris in the 1970’s then the The Westin Paris in 2005 ,and now call the The Westin Paris -Vendôme from  2010. The historical monument of France here is call Salon Napoléon.



It ,also has a Spa, Six Senses, and great bar ;these are Le First, and Le Terrace under the cupola in the garden center of the hotel; but my favorite and always around here was Le Tuileries Bar ,very cozy sofas and great drinks, taking you back to the 19C: more on it here:


The offices were again in the mezzanine area off the general public but we could walk all over, and I did as my job will take me to see the restaurants/bar personnel as well as the rooms. The walks between the l’Inter and Le Grand were sublime passing by the Place Vendôme into the Place de l’Opéra!!  Many of the colleagues working in non management positions are still there as well as some who have move up to management position now. A good bunch of people.

One other IHG property I was responsible for was in Cannes, the Carlton Intercontinental Hotel in the Croisette! I visited there,and knew all the management staff;some came over to Paris later on. A rich history as well since 1913 as the Carlton Hotel catering to rich and noble Russians from the Grand Duke down. In 1922 the first league of United Nations was held here,and the film Festival of Cannes was done here in 1939.  The Hitchcock film To Catch a Thief was done here in 1954, and Grace Kelly Princess of Monaco had it as almost her personal residence. It became as we know it today in 1982 when the IHG took majority interest.

In all, in those early years of 2004-2006, I was, also, responsible for the Holiday Inn -pl de la République in Paris (now a Crown plaza hotel), and the Holiday Inn Disneyland ,who of course, I not only visited on business but also stayed with the family while going to Disneyland Paris(the hotel is now call the Vienna House Magic Circus Hotel).

Those days were good and the ambiance fantastic, I always stayed now in these hotels even in other visited abroad like the Intercontinental Castellana in Madrid, or the Athenatum in Athens Greece or the Intercontinental Dusseldorf in Germany. And many Holiday Inns all over.

As to why the journey was over, well as it happened in our world, I and all the management class was dismissed when our employment contract was held at the l’Inter and it was sold to a pension fund from Singapore ,who in turn gave the management to the Starwood chain, and they decided to change the name to the Westin along with dismissing the management personnel on a nice transaction deal in my belle France.  The package was nice, the leaving was hard ,even today I missed the ambiance, the friends, the place.

And now that you know from where I am coming from, well do stay there, eat there, drink there, is a Paris France institution and worth the detour for all.

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

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August 15, 2022

The Café l’Imperial of Paris !!!

Another soft spot for me in my eternal Paris and really only have briefs in other posts. It deserves a post of its own for the memories of always. This Café l’Imperial is on rue de Rivoli facing the Jardin des Tuileries and it was lunch home for a couple of years while working in Paris. Lately, it has gone thru a slight management change and name to Imperial Rivoli but the same as before stays. For me it will always be the Café L’Imperial. Let me tell you a bit about it ok; hope you enjoy the post as I.


As said, happy to have worked in Paris for about 9 years. Over 2 years were at the fame Intercontinental Hotel (today Westin Vendôme), which we called the l’Inter as part of upper management, where  I was base in charge of all own properties of the Intercontinental Hotels Group in France. Own needs a definition, in the hotel business many properties carries the name of the hotel chain but are actually only managed or franchise facilities. When we say own means the group owns the real estate, the real owner of it all. The short story is that the hotel was sold to a retirement pension group from Singapore who in turns gave the management of it to the Starwood hotels group and we management left with a nice package, indeed. Later, it has been passed on as part of the Marriott International group.


Well, we had a nice restaurant cafeteria for employees in the basement of great food and unbelievable prices but it was very tight, and several times in the week the collegues will go out for lunch, just a cup of coffee or an apéritif drink before going to our homes. This was the fun part and you guess it, the place chosen was the Café l’Imperial which is just next to the hotel!

Paris cafe L'Imperiale side rue de rivoli et mont thabor apr09

A wonderful walk that in between had the sublime sensation of having lunch at my old work hangouts Café l’Imperial  on the corner with Rue Roget de Lisle! (our employees entrance to the L’Inter) . Metro Concorde lines 1,8,and 12. However, I did the walk from Gare Saint Lazare same time and wonderful Paris above ground !! This was and is my stop for a quick meal, coffee or a drink with a magnificent location across from the Jardin des Tuileries. A wonderful group of people with the frame old saying by Gustave Flaubert in 1913 ” Imperialists are wonderful people, very honest plausible and intelligents people” ! Well I am glad was part of it . 

paris cafe l'imperial side from rivoli nov19

Needless to say, I have stopped by and had my lunch and dinners there afterward on several occasion with the family and visiting friends for a taste of laid back Paris. The black and white decor with red sofas and French cuisine is tops. The homely atmosphere of this restaurant allows guests to relax after a hard working day.  A number of reviewers find the staff terrific. Service at  Café L’Impérial (oh a slight change of name to Imperial Rivoli ) is something one can name fine. Prices are found fair here. Many clients highlight that the beautiful decor inside is enjoyable. Bits from several review places. Mind you,this is not your fancy overprice Parisien place but a simple meal presentation, good food,and good prices always with a smile. You notice do not do posts on single restos but this one is worth the detour me think. My Dad in the picture !great !!!

Paris L'Imperiale cafe rue de rivoli 15apr09

The official Café L’Imperial

There you go folks, another soft spot in my eternal Paris, the Café l’Imperial or Imperial Rivoli is a worth a detour and on a grand spot for sights of the most beautiful city in the world, Paris. Again, hope you enjoy the post and thanks for making me remember all these wonderful places of always.

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

August 15, 2022

The Opéra Garnier of Paris, part II

I found some old pictures not included in my blog, and they should been one of my fav areas of my eternal Paris. Therefore will write a follow up post on the Opéra Garnier of Paris as i like to call it.I was by here for several years, and up and down and around it as worked across the street ! This is one of the most emblematic icons of Paris! It stuck on you, like anything in Paris does.


For the uninitiated or newby, the Opéra Garnier of Paris is located at Place de l’Opéra, at the north end of Avenue de l’Opéra (see posts) and at the crossroads of numerous streets. It is accessible by metro Opéra station, lines 3, 7 and 8, and  by RER line A, Auber station and by bus lines  22, 52, 53, 66, and Roissybus (aiport CDG). Parking  Q-Park Edouard VII  and Rue Bruno Coquatrix facing 23 Rue de Caumartin.

The Paris Opera has had several names including “Royal Academy of Music and Dance” at its birth, then “Imperial Academy” and its activities took place in at least fifteen different rooms , After the fire at the Palais Royal theater in 1763, the Opera stayed in a large number of halls in Paris, including the Salle Montansier, located at the current location of Square Louvois. The Opera took up residence in the Salle Favart, abandoned by the Opéra-Comique. It moved again pending the completion of the Palais Garnier in 1874, which was part of Haussmann’s urban plan. The history of its construction, which spanned fourteen years, from 1861 to 1875, is closely intertwined with that of the Second Empire and the beginnings of the Third Republic. The facade alone inaugurated in 1867 , for the Universal Exhibition of 1867. The rest of the construction was delayed due to the war of 1870. The inauguration of the opera was finally made in 1875, after the abdication of Napoleon III in 1870. Napoleon III, at the origin of its construction, will never see its completion , and the unfinished Fumoir gallery will never be finished, The Grand hotel (Le Grand Hotel Intercontinental-fyi my old job) , at the corner of Boulevard des Capucines, was built in 1867 for the Exposition Universal, at the same time as the facade of the Opera.


During the excavations, intended for the construction of the foundation blocks, the work must be abruptly interrupted because the level of the water table has been reached. Steam pumps operating day and night are installed to pour a large concrete casing, temporarily filled with water to allow the construction of the infrastructure above. It also allows the distribution of loads on poor quality ground and the stabilization of the building. Today it still serves as a water reserve used by the Paris firefighters.

The inauguration took place on January 5, 1875 in the presence of the President of the Republic Mac Mahon, the Lord Mayor of London, the Mayor of Amsterdam, the Royal Family of Spain and nearly two thousand guests from all over Europe. The program included works by Auber, Havely, Rossini (Guillaume Tell) Myerbeer and the ballet La Source by Léo Delibes , On February 7 , 1875, the famous masked and transvestite ball of the Opera was organized, created in 1715. Principal chic annual event of the Carnival of Paris, it took place in the hall of the Nouvel-Opéra. It gathered eight thousand participants and was perpetuated until 1903. Since, the Palais Garnier and the Opéra Bastille form the Opéra de Paris which in 1994 becomes the Opéra national de Paris.

From my books let me expand on my previous post on its history, by given you a brief description of the exterior of the Opera Garnier of Paris.

The main facade to the south,gives to the Place de l’Opéra , and the point west facade you can see the rue Auber and rue Scribe., The entrance to this facade is indicated by a series of green marble columns, two of which are surmounted by a large bronze imperial eagle, a symbol miraculously preserved after the Second Empire. The Emperor’s Pavilion, which was never completed, provides direct access to a front stage box on the garden side. These rooms, which were not finished by Napoleon III, were then fitted out to house a library of 600,000 documents related to the theatre, autograph manuscript scores by Rameau, Gluck, Rossini, Wagner, Massenet, Charpentier, Hahn, Poulenc, etc. These rooms also house a museum of approximately 8,500 objects, 2,500 stage models, 3,000 various works including 500 paintings, 3,000 stage jewellery, etc. On this west facade was erected in 1903 a monument to the glory of Charles Garnier who died in 1898. The East facade is visible from rue Halévy and rue Gluck as well as from place Jacques Rouché. It is preceded by a series of green marble columns to enter the Subscribers’ Pavilion . In 2007, a restaurant project finally came to fruition in 2009 with the opening of the Opéra Restaurant, 2 Michelin stars, accessible to everyone without going through the ticket office. On the côté nord or north side, Charles Garnier has set up a courtyard to facilitate the entry of the various employees, to receive sets and accessories and to bring them directly to the goods lift leading to the level of the stage.

paris opera garnier left side nov19

Now again from my books, brief, let me bring you inside of the Opéra Garnier of Paris :

I will mention the Grand Vestibule Control ,Vestibule Subscribers’, the Rotunda Glacier, Rotunda Fore-Foyer or Mosaics Foyer, the Grand Foyer and its Lounges Moon and Sun Lounges, the Grand Staircase , Main Theater ; the Hall Parterre and Balconies. Continue with the two domes of the ceiling: The first dome of the ceiling of the great hall , and the new ceiling. The large chandelier ; the height of the chandelier of 8 meters is that of a small house ; it is in gilt bronze and crystal, and bears on five crowns 340 gas burners, which became electric bulbs from 1881. The design is by Charles Garnier himself, The Stage and backstage, where the orchestra pit precedes the proscenium. The opening of the stage is such that it once allowed the arrival of galloping horses within the width of its 16 meters. The 1,350 m2 stage set, built of oak planks, can accommodate up to four hundred and fifty artists, singers, dancers and extras. The Under floor and hangers ; from the deepest to the top of the opening of the stage, the set reaches a record height of 60 meters. There are several sets of bells used during performances. The great organ built by the famous organbuilder Aristide Cavaillé-Coll has been out of service for decades.  An organ at the Opera was used in some lyrical works, starting with the most famous between them, Faust, by Charles Gounod but also La Juive by Jacques-Fromental Halévy, Werther by Jules Massenet and many others. The Foyer de la Danse ; this foyer, used for rehearsals by the corps de ballet, has an inclined floor identical to that of the stage, but whose slope is reversed. Hidden you have the Administration offices. The domes are covered in copper, which when oxidized takes on a greenish color. The rest of the building is now covered with zinc, like the majority of roofs in Paris. The set and costume making workshops are are not in the Opera but on Boulevard Berthier, in the 17éme arrondissement of Paris.

paris opera garnier back side corner jun15

The Paris tourist office on the Opéra Garnier :

For programming ,hours, prices etc, see the official Opéra Garnier :

As in Paris, all is sublime, the Opéra Garnier is a masterpiece of France, and the world. To think I worked across it for two years in my eternal Paris !! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

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June 2, 2022

More of Bucharest!!

Well I have been lucky to visit Bucharest 7 times in the last 10 years,and even if slow down nowdays the memories will stay for a longer time. The pictures were found in my vault and should be in my blog, therefore, he is more of Bucharest!!  The city has been called the Little Paris, and even the Paris of the East , folks there even told me so. I like to show you my share and see it for yourselves. Hope you enjoy the post as I.

I remember my hotels by the congress center and near the Romanian-American University . This was my Bucharest central , going to the Ramada Plaza hotel and the Crown Plaza Hotel.

The Ramada Plaza at Poligrafiei boulevard 3-5 in district 1.  This was always a nice welcome even coming at night.  The Ramada Plaza Hotel was built in 1974 and last renovated in 2008, The Vitality Wellness Club features an indoor heated pool, wet and dry sauna, aerobics room, spinning center and full gym. The hotel ,also has a beauty center and a souvenir shop. Guests can enjoy international dishes at the Red Pepper restaurant. In addition, the La Parc restaurant serves cuisine combining Romanian and international influences, in a traditional atmosphere with modern elements and live entertainment. Its garden is the perfect place to spend the afternoon or evening. I really enjoyed here fyi.  The official Ramada Plaza Hotel

bucharest ramada plaza hotel parking snow dec15

The Crown Plaza Hotel, part of the Intercontinental hôtels group, also in the same park as above, I stayed couple times for one night but love the buffet.The rooms are big and well stocked, the elevator works fine and fast, checkin and checkout is smooth, just another wonderful IHG property. You start the day with a rich American buffet breakfast. Overlooking the garden and featuring a summer terrace, the Pine Restaurant serves international cuisine made from fresh local produce. The Crown Café-Bar is the ideal place to enjoy a drink during a relaxed meeting or a business session. Guests can relax at the ANA Spa, which is equipped with a swimming pool, gym, steam room, dry sauna, steam sauna and frigidarium. The Crowne Plaza Bucharest also offers a concierge service and on-site parking. You can walk and use facilities at the Ramada Plaza as well. The official Crown Plaza Hotel

bucharest crown plaza hotel entr mar14

Next door, to the Ramada Plaza Hotel you have the Casa Doina Restaurant , since 2003, located at Kiseleff Street, The restaurant is one of Bucharest’s historical edifices which impresses by its one-of-a-kind architecture signed by maestro Ion Mincu, graduated from the National School of Fine Arts in Paris. The restaurant is an authentic Romanian construction from the 19C, fully renovated and restored, where fine cuisine, a spectacular ambiance and high quality services come together to create the perfect invitation even for the most fastidious of clients. And we were, coming from all angles but always nicely friendly served, great memories here.

bucharest casa doina resto dining feb13

A bit on the architecture just as good as the food/service, The main living room being at the level of a raised ground floor, preceded by a porch, access to this building is facilitated by an external ramp with steps, the latter being protected from the weather thanks to a marginal extension of the roof. With regard to the main facade, the dominant perspective is vertical, starting from the basement, marked by a veranda with glass walls, the skeleton of which takes the form of the Romanian arches, right in the center. If we look up, we discover the fabulous veranda, supported by several carved wooden columns, crowned by a rectangular, pointed dome, made of ceramic tiles. Gorgeous too !

bucharest casa doina resto back apr13

The official Casa Doina restaurant:

To stretch out and see the city of Bucharest a bit more, will give you another restaurant posted now as found pictures lol ! A wonderful place sure to come back to it, the Taverna Sarbului at Stada Tipografilor 31. The terrace ambiance and friendly service to the superb local cuisine and good friends made it special, Huge portions, good wine, a lot of meat dishes, lively place, excellent environment, very polite, and helpful staff, fascinating traditional menu, nice wine list, seductive and subtle live music. A must to be lunch or dinner ; I could have stay here longer! 

bucharest taverne sarbului ent jul13

bucharest taverne sarbului inside jul13

The official Taverna Sarbului

And for a bit more info on Bucharest and its things to do / see in addition to see my previous posts in my blog, here are two sources.

The Visit Bucharest private site on Bucharest

The Tourist office of Romania on Bucharest

There you go folks, feel better now to have shown more of this friendly memorable city of Bucharest. Hope you enjoy the post as I. Bucharest  is a city to detour in Europe.

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

May 30, 2022

Tampa of Florida!!!

Again on my nostalgic mode, just glance at some old pictures and gave me the idea to do this post on Tampa dear to me. I have several posts on my dear Florida , but needed to do justice on Tampa. I will try to bring it to life in my blog for memories’s sake. Hope you enjoy it as I.

The quick anecdote in my road warrior youthful ways of Florida, came to Tampa as my university played soccer/football vs Univ of Tampa and USF=Univ of South Florida and came to know the city well. So well one of my longest running girlfriend was met at USF she been from PA=Pennsylvania. In later years, came to take my family with my Frenchie to see Busch Garden and other parks, restaurants, and sights and eventually with my boys. One sight closer to home was Ybor City and the Columbia restaurant.  Nowdays, 3 cousins live in Tampa so the memories continue strong. 

Let me tell you a bit on the history of the city of Tampa, the county seat of Hillsborough on the west coast of the State of Florida. It is located about 300 km from Miami, on Tampa Bay. It was discovered in the early 16C by the Spaniards, the town was founded around Fort Brooke. The conquistador Pánfilo de Narváez was the first European to discovered the Tampa region in April 1528. The following year, another Spaniard, Hernando de Soto, rescued the members of the Narvaez expedition. In the 18C, the region of Tampa saw the installation of Cuban fishermen, in the current district of Hyde Park. When Great Britain acquired Florida in 1763, in the treaty of Paris (Spain, GB, Cuba) ,the bay was baptized Hillsborough Bay (which is the name of the river). After a second period of Spanish domination, the Territory of Florida integrated the United States in 1821,finally becoming the 27th State in March 3,1845.

Tampa was a major center of cigar production, when Vicente Martinez Ybor relocated his tobacco factories from Key West to Tampa in 1886 (after coming from Cuba to Key West). Tobacco was imported from Cuba and processed by Cuban and Spanish workers. At its peak, Ybor City had nearly 12,000 tabaqueros (cigar workers) in 200 factories ! There are still a couple left in Ybor City (name after Vicente) , The Ybor City district has many historic buildings, including two former cigar factories, the El Pasaje Hotel, the Ritz Theater and the Ferlita Bakery, which now houses the Ybor City State Museum. It was the center of Cuban revolutionary actions for independence from Spain. The Cuban revolutionary party founded by independence hero José Marti.

In 1891, Henry B. Plant had the Tampa Bay Hotel built in the then fashionable Moorish style. 400 meters long and with more than 500 rooms, it was equipped with electric lighting and the city’s first elevator. The building is a testament to the tourist boom in Florida in the last years of the 19C. Three years after its closure in 1930, its premises were taken over by the University of Tampa (which I played soccer against them) In 1956 the University of South Florida was created (which I played soccer against them and had my girlfriend from PA,,,see above). 

The wonderful road I-4 reach the Tampa area from Orlando and Daytona Beach areas, I remember fondly visiting Busch Gardens (a zoo and beer park owned by Budweiser), Ybor City , where you will find the oldest Spanish restaurant in the USA ,est, 1905. Columbia our home away from home wherever they were in Florida, several location now.  Also Shells restaurant home of show business,  and shopping at Channelside, Hyde Park Village, Westshore Plaza,and Ybor City own stores. Also, the Florida Aquarium, Lowry Park Zoo, etc ; nice memories here. I ,stayed in nice hotels like the Grand Hyatt, Marriotts, Intercontinental, Embassy Suites, and Holiday Inn Busch Gardens locations.

tampa columbia resto outside MF et NF



The memories of going to Tampa Stadium at 4201 North Dale Mabry Highway are huge this stadium was called Houlihan’s Stadium from 1996-1998 known also as the Big Sombrero (hat), then demolished to built the  Raymond James Stadium. The new Raymond James stadium webpage :

And for the historical incline like me info on the old Tampa Stadium where I came to see the Tampa Bay Rowdies (NASL) football/soccer team with leyends like Rodney Marsh,  etc!! :

I have an old picture from the later name Steinbreinner stadium for the spring training of the New York Yankees baseball team, my team since birth, their webpage :

Tampa old yankee spring training stadium visiting with abuelo manolo

The city of Tampa on thing to do/see :

The Tampa Bay Area tourist office:

There you go folks, a short but very memorable post to have on Tampa in my blog for us. Hopefully, it will help your planning too visiting a wonderful part of my dear Florida. I lived last there 18 yrs in Central and South Florida before coming for good to France!  A lovely life only cut short for losses to dear mom and wife. Enjoy the post as I doing it for you , them ,and me.

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

May 27, 2022

Basketball and Real Madrid !!

I have to update this older post as the team is again in Europe’s final four, the culmination of a great season that also has them ready for the Liga or league playoffs in Spain. Usually , I write more on the football/soccer team but I and my boys also follow the basketball team. Of course, I introduce them early to the Real Madrid with me a lifelong member of the greatest club in the history of the sport of football and basketball, no one else does it better in Europe. However, what I seems to missed the basketball side of Real Madrid, almost as good as the football/soccer side. Therefore, here is my side of the story on the basketball and Real Madrid !! The update is they reach the final of the Final four and lost to last year’s champion Efes, but nevertheless a wonderful season once again from the best of all time! Efes has 2 we have 10 !!

The team plays in the Liga Endesa as sponsor carries the name or the ACB, that was created in 1983. The team was born in March 22, 1931! I follow the team since the 1970’s at the time of Emiliano Rodriguez, Clifford Luyk, Wayne Brabender, and Juan Antonio Corbalàn! My favorite coaches were Raimundo Saporte,  Pedro Ferrandiz, Lolo Saenz who I kept a personal contact over the years!, and the current one Pablo Laso!

I started watching the games in the early 70’s at the Pabéllon de la Ciudad Deportiva (Sports City) that held games from 1966 to 1986.  Afterward was name the Pabellon Raimundo Soporta. Today there are four buildings towers there name Cuatro Torres business area or CTBA( four towers).For reference these are  the Espace tower at  224 meters; Cristal tower at 249 meters which has a hotel as well, the PwC tower 236 meters ,and the Cepsa tower at 250 meters (highest of Madrid and Spain). This Sportd city is where I started my training with the Real Madrid football/soccer team when lived in Madrid!

Later the team move to Palacio Vista Alegre (that was an old bullfight arena) in 2004-2010 where I came to see them many times with my dear late wife Martine! and the boysAn enthusiastic fan following us all over, And now , the palace is still use for concerts, events etc. Well at least have some older pictures for the memories such as the game derby vs Estudiantes 2009 on pic below.and after crowds before game

Madrid vista alegre Real Madrid 2009

Madrid vista alegre 2009



Finally, the current home is WiZink Center and doing so since 2011! under various names until the current one in 2016. This is at Avenida Felipe II and Plaza Salvador Dali , near metro Goya line 2 and 4 as well as O’Donnell line 6 circular line. Of course, this is a multi use center with many concerts etc but basketball is the official home.See pic in front the Dolmen by Dali !



The basketball section has won many titles over the year been on the same level as the football/soccer team; on the European level these are:

Winner of the European Champion Clubs’ Cup – Euroleague:(10) 1964, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1974, 1978, 1980, 1995, 2015, 2018, 

Winner of ULEB Cup: 2007. 

Winner of the Saporta Cup: 1984, 1989, 1992, 1997. 

Winner of the Korać Cup: 1988.

 Winner of the Intercontinental Cup: 1976, 1977, 1978, 2015. 

Winner of the World Club Championship: 1981

Winner of the Latina Cup: 1952-1953. 

Winner of Torneo Internacional ACB (European Super Clubs): 1984, 1988, 1989.

And on the national level:  Spanish Champion (35): 1957, 1958, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1993, 1994, 2000, 2005, 2007, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019

Winner of the Spanish Cup (28): Under the name Copa del Generalísimo: 1951, 1952, 1954, 1956, 1957, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, Under the name Copa del Rey, King’s Cup: 1977, 1985, 1986, 1989, 1993, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. 2020

Winner of the Spanish Supercup (8): 1985, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2018.2019,2020,2021.

The Euroleague is currently in its Final Four format and we will be playing our arch rivals in Spain that will remain nameless, This would probably be a repeat in the playoffs in the Spanish Endesa league. Well we beat the rivals in another clasico in semi finals but lost the final, overall a great season for us.

The official Real Madrid store other than the stadium our favorite is at Calle del Carmen near Puerta del Sol : webpage :

The official Real Madrid on the basketball section

For my memories and others this is the old Sports City now Four Towers business area from the Madrid tourist office

The former basketball home of the Palacio Vista Alegre , today events center:

The current basketball home of Real Madrid also for many eventsn, Wizink Center:

There you go folks, it’s wonderful to be part of this Real Madrid organisation since early teens years and forever; do come on over and see a game while in Madrid!!! Hala Madrid!!!  See my previous posts on the Real Madrid in my blog, just search! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

March 24, 2022

My best Café de la Paix!!!

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 Café de la Paix 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 ,and still do stop by when visiting.


The  Cafe de la Paix in the quartier or neighborhood of Chaussée-d’Antin in the 9éme arrondissement or district of Paris. Close to the Opéra Garnier, it is located on the corner of the 5 Place de l’Opéra and the 12 Boulevard des Capucines. . The Café de la Paix opened its doors in 1862. It was then the Cafe restaurant of the Grand Hotel de la Paix. In 1896, film projections are organized. In 2002, the Café de la Paix is renovated.


It was built in the purest Napoleon III style, on the ground floor of a luxurious Haussmann building, which now houses the InterContinental Paris le Grand Hotel (former Hotel de la Paix, then Grand Hotel). It is one of my previous job in Paris in management and always with fond memories of it, visit now for the old days sake and friends still there. The empire followers of the emperor gathered at the Café de la Paix, on the Boulevard des Capucines, which then received the nickname of Boulevard de l’île d’Elba.

One could not choose a more beautiful location, as a meeting place, than the Café de la Paix, in one of the splendid buildings built during the reign of Napoleon III, this property is decorated with a great luxury. Painted ceilings, moldings, elegant columns, superb chandeliers, huge glazes concealing the walls, And of course, ceilings walls done by Charles Garnier (same of Opera Garnier next door), and a historical monument of France! It is a wonderful palace where everyone can enter. Beside rises the immense mass of the opera; Opposite, on the other side of the boulevard, you will open the Avenue de l’Opéra, which stops at the place du Théâtre-Français, and the Rue de la Paix, built by the leader of the Imperial dynasty. At the end of this road, place Vendôme. Where we can see the column of Austerlitz.. Everything in this neighborhood recalls the memories of the two empires; Instinctively as much as in taste, Napoleon’s friends and supporters will walk there, reminding of the great past and future hopes.



One sees the Café de la Paix in the cartoon movie The Aristocats.

The official Café de la Paix

The Paris tourist office on Café de la Paix

There you go folks ,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 Cafe de la Paix is classy chic tops. And to add, I was in charge accounting wise of it, and my procedures are still in force !! Great!! Hope you enjoy the post as I

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

March 24, 2022

My Best Restaurants in Paris!

Ok this is a heavy issue with Paris been a culinary delight and gastronomic excellence there ought to be a lot of differences of mind in choosing one restaurant. However, I emphasize this is most of the restaurants I have visited, so my list. I think that visiting the city every day , worked in it for 9 years , while living in royal Versailles put me in a good level to express an opinion on the subject. Of course, disclaimer as said tastes are very touchy issue ,we all have our favorites; and if you come and try one, it becomes your favorite no matter what. However, if you visit these you will be delighted. Therefore, let me update for you and me my best restaurants in Paris!

We step into the La Flamme 6 avenue de Wagram, It has a colorful ambiance in purple and red, with terrace and French traditional dishes. Right down from the Arc de Triomphe on Avenue de Wagram right hand side. The baroque period frames are bordering the TV screen  The service was very good and the place very cozy indeed even for a family to be quiet. More info here:

There is Pizza Pino. The pizzerias are very popular and found in several locations in Paris. My favs are in more the 57 bd de Montparnasse and the Place de la République. The Champs-Elysées location has closed. More here:

Café bar La Marine for a taste of some fish and chips with cold Carlsberg beers and a new taste of  IPA rather sweeter brew; just nice ,,,,as always. Great cozy tables and great sports match ambiance; more here:

This is a chain where I have been to the Place de la République and Avenue du Maine locations. The  Indiana Café , great crowd, wonderful service and a great pastrami burger with a good Affligem beers. More info:

Café L’ Imperiale, 240 rue Rivoli, 75001. open from lunch and dinner long hours. Metro Concorde or Tuileries lines 1,8,12.  This was and is my stop for a quick meal, coffee or a drink with a magnificent location across from the jardin des tuileries. I used to work nearby so for an after lunch coffee or an after work quiet happy hour it is great. Quick meal on your way to the Louvre too. no web but cant missed it intersection of rue de Rivoli and rue Rouget de Lisle. More here:

I had my lunch and drinks at La Terrasse du 7éme resto on the place de l’école militaire, all there in the square is good and sublime. More info here:  

I can’t tell you enough about this place, I worked in management of the chain Intercontinental Hotels Group and they were and are attach to the Le Grand Hotel at Opéra. Historical, grand and magnificent meals to remember forever. The Café de la Paix webpage:

I used to work by Montparnasse before moving to the Morbihan/Brittany and the  Cafe Montparnasse was tops More here

I was invited to an event at the Institut du Monde Arabe, 1 rue des Fossés Saint Bernard, 5éme; very nice views of Paris and the food is great too. The Zyriab Restaurant that is. More here: 

You entered the resto by avenue Winston-Churchill, pont Alexandre-III, the resto call the Mini Palais  inside the Grand Palais, with great views over the pont Alexandre III, more here:

Casa del Campo,  ironically the one I frequent the most was at the pl de la Republique and it closed to moved to Bercy Village at 55 Cours Saint Emilion, and tapas and cruzcampo beers ; went to pay a visit as well . More here:

The Bistro Saint Ferdinand is part of a group of Bistro run by Dorr ,(closed) and it is just around the corner from the Porte Maillot on 275 Bd Pereire. The concept is simple a fixe menu per person including sharing a bottle of wine for two, entrée, plat, and dessert, plus coffee. the price is ok for Paris , and the food has improved from my first visit here a few years back. More info:

The Moulin à Caffé ,  22 rue de Caumartin ; not far from the Grand department stores at Haussmann. Nice place indeed, recall one day took 10 of my colleagues here and was a bash!!! Very nice service ,great food, funny actics of the owner server, and the fun for everyone nice prices. More here:

We had to go out with a bunch of colleagues this time to introduce me to this gem, been over and over . The Au Petit Riche, 23 rue Le Peletier,9éme walking from the grand dept stores on Haussmann to rue Le Peletier left , and it was a great choice. We were on the second floor or 1er étage in France, nice view over the window on the street below, and away from the more noisy street level area. More here:

One local gem à la Americain with nutty entertainment to boot, usual sports bars and great service will do at the American Dream, 21 rue Daunou, 2éme . more here:

The a world beater of the Hard Rock Café , 14 boulevard Montmartre 9éme; good stuff food anywhere with live sports, music TV. More here:

The Le Café des Musées, 49 Rue de Turenne. deco 1900, nice and good views ;1930’s look. more here:

Go high up the Tour Montparnasse and find the Ciel de Paris , entrance by 23 avenue du Maine, good food too and of course the best view of Paris… More here:

Then, if you want a bit of Brittany in Paris go by the Little Brittany neighborhood and try Creperie Josselin, 67 rue du Montparnasse, metro edgar quinet line 6. Deco a la Breton, very popular its always full. More here:

Some exotic try a cigar and mojito ,and salsa at Cubana Cafe, 47 rue Vavin, metro Vavin, line 4 with webpage :

The brasserie Chez Eugene is an old family favorite, my first meal ever at the Butte de Montmartre was here back in 1991! Still going strong… More here:

O’Sullivans Pubs several all over like tried Cergy and St Germain en Laye (closed) ,however,my favorite is the one at the Grands Boulevards, 1 blvd Montmartre, metro grands boulevards lines 8 and 9. sports tv all over, even some music, best second floor up to your left in front of bar counter. More here:

Le 7éme Vin restaurant,68 ave Bosquet, tel +33 01 45 51 15 97 .  This place rocks ,never a let down all handle by able friendly courteous service by the owner Olivier. Near école Militaire, more here:

Belushi’s Bar, The Americans in Paris, a chain with many in various cities in Europe. In Paris at 159 rue de Crimée,  inside the Christopher’s hostal 19éme. tel +33 01 40 34 34 40.Metro Crimée line 7 or Laumiére line 5. Five big screen TVs for all the action and great burgers, an American diner in Paris. Now by Gare du Nord as well. More here:

The Great Canadian Pub, 25 Quai des Grands Augustin, 6é +33 01 46 33 54 20.Metro St Michel line 4. Great ambiance very popular with expats get togethers in Paris.  More here:

One of the nice places to eat and dance is at Cuba Compagnie Bastille, 48 Boulevard Beaumarchais, 11éme. salsa ambiance, mojitos, and Cuba. More here:

Au Trappiste, 4 rue Saint Denis, 4éme.  metro Chatelet line 4,11. Here you are in Belgium with the monks; lots of good beer, simple good portions of food, moules or mussels and fries,and grill sausages. The first or ground floor is more noisy ,the second floor more calm and better views! of Chatelet. its just by the metro exit and rue Rivoli. Best way is the metro ,the RER is too crowded to get here. One of my all time favorites,many times here and great meetings of visiting and local friends over the years. More here:

Au Métro, 18 bd Pasteur, 15éme, Open from 7h until there is nobody in the place ! even Sundays during world cup plays. metro Pasteur lines 6,12. The cradle of rugby in Paris, if you like beers,and good fun, great ambiance,friendly people and can see a match of rugby than comes here you wont be disappointed. Always something happening.  Great for a start of your evening here and then go for more substantial restaurant or a very late night snack .More info here:

La Perla, 26 rue François Miron, 4éme. metro hotel de ville line 1,11. behind the Hôtel de Ville de Paris. Tequila I found you in Paris, great bar, and fast texmex food, huge selection of cocktails and beers. A great chic crowd after work, and a fantastic place to start or end your day in Paris. More here:

Le Comptoir du Relais, 9 carrefour de l’Odéon. Metro Odéon line 10 or Marbillon line 10. a great location ,great food and great service cant ask for more. People passing spectacle in a nice area; relax after a long walk in Paris or come after work. In the bottom of the excellent Relais Saint Germain hotel. More here:

Joe Allen, 30 rue Pierre Lescot,75001. Open  Sundays to Wednesdays from midday to 00h30 ,and Thursdays to Saturdays from midday to 01h. Tel +33 01 42 36 70 13. Metro Chatelet lines 11,4. The New York address in Paris and a great place to meet with me and other Americans in Paris. .Other locations in New York and London . More here:

The Villa Verdi Italian restaurant. Very friendly , got even to practice on my Italian a bit ::) Very nice indeed, and  good reviews by all; More on the restaurant here:

At Au Dernier Metro is the work of a family from the always enterprising bistro tribe of the capital, the Basques. It was not born yesterday, since the Lafargue family, originally from Mauléon, (see post) have been in charge for thirty years. More here :

The simple but chic  Berts right next Alma-Marceau metro line 9 exit off the Avenue du Président Wilson (closed)The Berts is a French chain of fast food restaurants proposing sandwiches and pastries etc à la Française of course. Webpage:

This place is so well placed that it can be reached by any means of transport. A smiling staff shows a high level of hospitality at this place. Friendly service is what guests love here. You can expect an attractive price in this steakhouse chain restaurant, Buffalo Grill République. More info :

My favorite hangout in the area Le Café de l’Esplanade just off the side seeing all the canons of the army museum! great service and glorious food. More info :

We had a blast at Cafe du Commerce,51 rue du commerce,15éme. The service,the food and the wine was good ,More info here :

This Rotonde de la Muette with its Art-deco facade, its terrace, its interior revised, wooded, colorful, the fashion of today in simili Garcia, is the place where to meet oneself.   the ideal place to rest for a breakfast with friends or a client. Recently renovated a year ago, this brewery has kept its stamp while gaining a touch of modernity. Their webpage

Le Cassenoix or the nutcracker at 56 Rue de la Fédération 15éme. I had a wonderful basque dish of pork and choucroute, with perle de japon fruit cocktail dessert, and expresso coffee, all wash down by a nice Bordeaux chosen by the hosts for the occasion. The place is nicely decorated with antiques of Paris, and all wallpaper very nice. One more nice address in Paris, More info here:

The Indiana Café and was as good as old for dinner, great crowd, wonderful service and a great pastrami burger with a good Affligem beers, and double noisette coffee. A great place and chain and glad they are still going strong, More info:

The Bodega Cambronne.  Add a layer, come and revive the Spanish music to your ears with concerts organized at the Bodega Cambronne every weekend. You can,  also eat very well. The Bodega Cambronne is at 37, rue Cambronne 15éme.  More info here:

Le Clou de Paris ,1 Rue Danton right by the Place Saint André des Arts which itself is near the Place Saint Michel!  Fantastic service and the food was delicious lentils and sausages with bacon, ,crême brulée, all with a quart of Bordeaux house red and expresso coffee, all for about 25€;nice!!! More info here :

The Comptoir Principal , I was there only for a cup of coffee once early in the morning and another on the way out in the late afternoon. However, the service was fast courteous and from what visitors are saying it seems a good place to be. I did stop by myself later on for an apéro! This is just around the Tour Eiffel where my last office in Paris was. More info here:

The Léon de Bruxelles 8 pl de la République, the famous chain of Belgian restaurants specializing in mussels and fries since the end of the 19C, Léon de Bruxelles République welcomes you until late. The undeniable freshness of their products, fresh mussels are delivered every day and well-chosen potato producers to have the best fries! More info here :

And for memories’s sake i have been to several that are now closed for various reasons but need to have here for the souvenirs, the times, the good family times. In honor of these memorable eating places of my eternal Paris.

I had always good service at my now routine place ,Brasserie Porte  Océane, (closed) inside gare Montparnasse on grandes lignes level for the TGV train.

A wonderful find at Restaurant A Table (closed)  in Levallois Perret, right off the rue Georges Pompidou and at 43 Rue Baudin. Service was wonderful and so was the company.

The Charlie Birdie chain (closed) by the quais looking at the Seine and Bois de Boulogne,or at Place Etienne Pernet 15éme.

I stop for dinner a few times here at Restaurant Le Carré (closed) 12 pl Saint Augustin; wonderful modern ambiance and inventive fusion food, tops, chic, class, well done.

It had some personal problems with the owners so some of the chain has closed out I believe this one still open and it was my favorite with the one in Bougival where had my kids birthdays. Chez Clement, (closed) 9 Pl Saint André des Arts, just around the corner from the place Saint Michel.

My fav La Gare (closed) in the 16éme ; several times here and even some visiting friends taken. It is an old train station several years ago converted into a wonderful resto bar in a great area of Paris chic.

Montparnasse 1900, (closed) 59 bd du Montparnasse, great selection of beers for a happy hour or just chat with friends, good views of the square in front.  A historical jewel of Paris.  Now the Bouillon Chartier.

Agua Limon, (closed)12 rue Theophile Roussel, 12éme Metro  Ledru Rollin line 8 or Gare de Lyon lines 1,14. The best Valencian in Paris, the food of Valencia paella per excellence and Horchata drink. Great ambiance and welcome by the owner ,natives of Valencia, Spain.

Bistro Romain, (closed) 122 ave Champs-Elysées, 8éme . Metro George V line 1 near Lido.  A nice cozy Italian chain that wont break your bank and allows for a nice family meal. This is the location of my first date with what was my dear late wife Martine!!!, so it was an annual pilgrimage for us . It had several locations in France.

 Cafe Lacombe (closed) was in rue des Acacias 55 , 17éme of Paris. Also ,the corner with 37 avenue Mac Mahon, The decor is refined with floral decoration, gilding, velvet sofa so nicely done. An exquisite setting to plunge you into a world as beautiful as Paris!

The Brasserie Le Saint Severin (closed) 3 pl St Michel, had a green terrace with a breath of fresh air on Place Saint Michel with its dark green awning with white stripes and a new graphic and exotic visual identity. Inside, the daylight, reflected by the large mirrors and the clear ceiling, illuminates the room and enlarges the volume. Brass and sandblasted glass suspensions, decorative paintings imprinted with gold and pink marble, plant engravings, a set of moldings on the ceiling create a resolutely modern and up-to-date atmosphere. Memories forever! as when friends in Paris wanted to talk we had our apéros here; sort of a happy hour or after work.

There you go folks, I think I remember them all to post here, and sadly some already gone, that is the restaurant business anywhere and in Paris we do have our share of out of business.  Enjoy Paris, it has these and a whole lot more to be life a bit more merrier.

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

March 19, 2022

YSL museum of Paris!!

Let me tell you something just briefly mentioned before but a must to have its own post in my blog. I am a fan and for many business working years was my favorite fashion designer. Let me tell you about an off the beaten path spot in Paris, the YSL Museum of Paris (Yves Saint Laurent mind you!)!!

A bit of historical background would do me think.

The Pierre-Bergé – Yves-Saint-Laurent Foundation is an extension of the history of the Yves Saint Laurent house, whose haute couture activity ended on October 31, 2002. In 1962, Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé opened their haute couture house in Paris at 30 bis, rue Spontini.(not far from the Porte Dauphine) They will stay there for twelve years during which Yves Saint Laurent invents the modern woman’s wardrobe. They moved to 5 avenue Marceau in 1974, in a Second Empire style mansion. It was here that Yves Saint Laurent affirmed his style, until 2002, when he ended his career. Its vice-president was the American landscape architect Madison Cox until the death of Pierre Bergé in 2017, when he becomes the current president. The Pierre-Bergé – Yves-Saint-Laurent foundation opened its doors in 2004 with the exhibition « Yves Saint Laurent, dialogue with Art ».

A bit more on the YSL Museum!

Two museums are built to exhibit, in a permanent collection, the fund of the Pierre-Bergé – Yves-Saint-Laurent foundation, one in Marrakech and the other in Paris at 5 avenue Marceau, at the historic headquarters of the fashion house. The opening of the two museums was in October 2017. This is a priori the first time that a museum is dedicated to a single couturier in France! It receives the Musée de France label, which makes its collections inalienable, and which can facilitate the pre-emption of new pieces in public sales.


The YSL museum extends over all floors of the building and over a course of 450 m, even if the exhibition area is smaller than in Marrakech. The exhibition space is divided into small partitioned spaces. Among these spaces is the workshop where the couturier (who died in 2008) worked, upstairs, restored almost identically. His most emblematic creations are recalled: The women’s tuxedo, the safari jacket, the trench coat, etc., creations that have become classics. The first collection, from 1962, is also evoked with some of the pieces from this collection, sketches and photos of its preparation. Some of the creator’s sources of inspiration are highlighted, especially in the Imaginary Journeys section. Thematic temporary exhibitions are also organized, the first being in 2018 “L’Asie rêvée by Yves Saint Laurent”, which brings together 50 models inspired by India, China and Japan, and from the permanent collection, and confronts them with Asian works of art loaned by private collectors and by the national museum of Asian arts – Guimet. In all, you will see about 5000 dresses, 15 000 accessories ,thousands of croquis drawings, planches of the collection and photographs !

For info already mentioned in my some news from France series: To mark the 60th anniversary of the first fashion show of Yves Saint Laurent, 6 Parisian museums pay tribute to the designer, collector and aesthete: the Centre Pompidou, Musée du Louvre, Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris, Musée d’Orsay, Musée National Picasso-Paris and Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris. Through works from their own collections, each of these cultural institutions reveals a facet of the designer, exhibits some of his iconic pieces and puts the artistic genius of Yves Saint Laurent into perspective.

The official YSL museum Paris

The Paris tourist office on the YSL museum

And as I am on the Avenue Marceau,why not tell you a bit about it! This place I have been several times for personal use and events see No 5,11, and 22…..

A bit on the avenue, one of the axis of the Place Charles de Gaulle (Etoile, Arc de Triomphe), The Avenue Marceau is in the 8éme and 16éme arrondissements of Paris, providing the boundary between the two (even side for the 8éme and odd side for the 16éme). It starts at Avenue du President-Wilson, almost at Place de l’Alma, and ends at Place Charles-de-Gaulle. It is named after François Séverin Marceau, General of the French revolution.  This road was opened on August 13, 1854 between Rue Circulaire and Place de l’Étoile. It was extended on March 6, 1858 between Rue Circulaire and Avenue de l’Empereur under the name “Avenue Joséphine”, in honor of Joséphine de Beauharnais. It received its current name on August 16, 1879. There was already a rue Marceau (in the 12éme arrondissement) which was given the name rue de Wattignies on this occasion.

Some of the notable buildings on the Avenue Marceau me think are :

No 5: Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent, former Yves Saint Laurent fashion house, transformed into an Yves Saint Laurent museum opened in October 2017. Metro: Alma-Marceau (line 9), Bus: 42/72/80 stop Alma-Marceau,
No 11: Octavio Paz Library of the Cervantes Institute.
No 22: Headquarters of the Spanish Embassy in France.
No 24: hotel built in 1882. Hotel of the Marquis de Panisse-Passis , from 1910.
No 30 : The atypical facades of the city contribute a lot to the cachet of Paris. Nestled in the back alley of avenue Marceau, the building is certainly one of these Art Nouveau and/or ‘Art-Déco nuggets, Built between 1912 and 1914 by André Granet, it cannot, historically speaking, claim to belong to one of the two movements. On the other hand, it is the perfect example of the period of transition between the two styles.

No 31 : Church Saint Pierre de Chaillot

No 32 : Clothilde de La Rochelambert, comtesse de La Bédoyère later princess de la Moskowa, bridesmaid of the Emperatrice Eugénie died here in 1884. The historian Albert Vandal of the French Academy died here in 1910.

No 34 : after living at 26 Avenue Marceau until 1919, Madame Sacerdote, the famous fashion designer Jenny (the second woman in France to be awarded the Legion of Honor for her services to couture) and her husband Joseph, lived here until 1946.
No 36: mansion of M. L. Lefébure in 1910, neo-Louis XIII style, with a contemporary elevation.
No 64: Hôtel de la Comtesse de Breteuil in 1910, occupied by the Hôtel InterContinental Marceau currently,
No 78 bis: Hotel Radisson Blu Champs-Élysées.
No 81: former home of Pierre-Gabriel Chandon de Briailles, a former co-owner of the Moët & Chandon Champagne house.

There you go folks, a dandy place to visit at the YSL Museum of Paris, another wonderful spot in my eternal Paris. Hope you enjoy it as I. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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