Archive for ‘Europe’

December 3, 2018

Rue de Rivoli, Paris of course!!!

So on a Sunday cold cloudy foggy and settling back from a hectic Saturday all over France let me bring back the uncharted waters of talking about streets, food places etc of my eternal Paris. I shall be by again this month!

I used to worked just at the corner with this street and walked many times the lenght of it with friends and family patronizing many of its eateries and shops as well as some of the most important monuments in France and the world! I will tell a bit on the Rue de Rivoli of Paris. It will be long but full of info for you to walk it too!


Rue de Rivoli right the tuileries garden left rue Rouget-de-L’Isle my old job employee entrance!

The Rue de Rivoli is a street located in the 1éme arrondissement or district of Paris ( heading from No. 41, odd side and heading No. 98, even side at the end) and the 4éme arrondissement or district of Paris ( beginning heading 39, odd side and from the beginning to No. 96, even side). It bears the name of a victory won by Napoleon Bonaparte over Austria in 1797. It extends for almost 3 km, from the Rue de Sévigné to the Place de la Concorde. It also crosses the Place de la Pyramide (famous for its statue of Joan of Arc). It is lined with arcades on its north side on a large part of its length. The western part of the street (which roughly corresponds to the arcade part) was pierced under the first Empire. The central and eastern parts were added during the work of Baron Haussmann in order to connect it to the rue Saint-Antoine to create a large east-west axis in the center of Paris.

It is served by metro Line 1. The stations are (with brackets, the numbers of the other lines crossing line 1): Saint-Paul, Hôtel-de-Ville (line 11), Châtelet (lines A, B, D, 4, 7, 14), Louvre-Rivoli, Palais-Royal (line 7), Tuileries and Concorde (lines 8, 12).  As for the buses, two lines allow to travel the whole length of the street: the no 76 between the beginning of the street and the Châtelet and the no. 72 from the Hôtel-de-Ville until the Place de la Concorde. Lovelies rides indeed above ground in eternal Paris!


from tuileries garden crossing rue de rivoli into rue de Castiglione and onwards to the place Vendome ,my former work area of Paris!

A bit of history I like

In 1801, a decree stipulated that “a street will be pierced along the entire length of the passage de Manége to that of  Saint-Florentin”. A second decree in 1802 indicates several reglamentation. Later in the same year 1802, the plans of the street, the width of which is fixed at 20.85 meters. The idea was to build the stone facades according to the plans and drawings of the architects of the palace, approved by the Government to stone the floor of the gallery; to pave the street width towards each division of land, in accordance with the regulations established on this subject.

Other conditions show the desire to make the street a space free from inconvenience: that is the houses or shops that would be built on this lot cannot be occupied by artisans and workers working the hammer; Nor can they be occupied by butchers, cold cuts butcheries, pastry-makers, bakers, or other artisans whose state requires the use of an oven; There shall be no painting, placard or indicative sign of the profession of the one who will occupy on the facades or porticos of the arcades which will decorate the front of the houses on the so-called design of the street. In 1804, the first consul Napoleon Bonaparte proclaimed a new decree. The piercing of this first part of the Rue de Rivoli makes disappear, partially or totally several streets and squares so a redesigned of Paris before Haussmann. In 1817, Rue de Rivoli was located in the former 1éme arrondissement, in the Tuileries neighborhood and began at 1-2, rue Saint-Nicaise and Place du Carrousel and finished 2, rue Saint-Florentin and place Louis XV. The street numbers were black. There was no odd number, the latter being located along the Tuileries garden and the last even number was No. 58.

Several drafts of the Louvre and Tuileries meetings were presented at the beginning of the 19C. It provides for the extension of the Rue de Rivoli between the rue de Rohan and the Place de l’Oratoire. In 1848 a new project was designed in which it also, provided for the construction of a large gallery and the extension of the street.   The surroundings of the Louvre and the Tuileries are clear and the first stone of the new Louvre is laid in 1852. By December 1852, the extension of the arcades between the Passage Delorme and the Rue du Louvre is declared to be of public use. The Grands Magasin du Louvre department stores and the first hotel du Louvre are then built. In 1844, the Rue de Rivoli, which was still located in the former 1éme arrondissement, in the Tuileries neighborhood, was 950 meters long and began at Rue de Rohan and finished at 2, rue Saint-Florentin and Place de la Concorde.The piercing of the street and its related operations, such as the extension of the Place de l’Hôtel de Ville   and the piercing of the Rue des Halles, for example, result in the disappearance, total or partial, of a large number of old streets: The Rue de Rivoli housed the Ministry of Economy and Finance until the fall of 1989 the building whose construction had begun in 1811 for the Administration of the Post Office finally assigned to the finances in 1822. In particular, it was set on fire in the commune uprising of Paris in 1871.

Remarkable buildings and places of memory on the Rue de Rivoli (to keep an eye as you walk this wonderful street). A must to walk while in Paris folks.

From theSquare de la Tour Saint-Jacques in the center of which is the Saint-Jacques Tower. At No. 10: Édouard Moreau de Beauvière lived here in 1871. At No. 25: City Town hall of the 4éme arrondissement or district of Paris.The former Napoleon Barracks, also known as the Lobau barracks, occupies the space between Place Saint-Gervais and Place Baudoyer and rue François-Miron, rue de Lobauet and rue de Rivoli.At No. 29: Hotel de Ville of Paris (City/town Hall of Paris). At No. 33: Japanese pianist Ken Sasaki lived there; A plaque pays homage to him. At Nos. 52 to 64: department store of the Bazaar de l’Hôtel de Ville (BHV). At Nos. 67 to 83: former department store the Samaritaine for woman. At No. 99: Carrousel du Louvre.At No. 99: Studio of the Comédie-Française. At Nos 99-107: Palais du Louvre (museum) and Palais des Tuileries (now gone). At No. 107: Museum of Decorative Arts. At No. 156: The politician Michel Guy lived there; A plaque pays homage to him. At No. 160: Protestant Temple of the Oratory of the Louvre. At No. 172 and 1, place André-Malraux the Hotel du Louvre which was the headquarters of an SS Sonderkommando during WWII At No. 182: Plaque commemorating two clandestine meetings of the National Council of Resistance of Spring 1944. At No. 192: Plaque showing the location of the king’s former great stables and stating that Antoine de Pluvinel taught there. At No. 198: The comedian Jean Sarment lived here from 1940 to 1976; A plaque pays homage to him. At No. 202: Hôtel Saint-James. At No. 204,the mysterious “Persian” died there in 1868. at No. 206: The writer Léon Tolstoy lived here in 1857; A plaque pays homage to him. At No. 210: the writer Ivan Turgenev lived here between 1860 and 1864 and wrote Pères et Fils (fathers and sons) there; A plaque pays homage to No. 218: Hotel Brighton. at No. 222: Formerly, Boutique of The dressmaker Madeleine Vionnet, inaugurated in 1912. at No. 228: Hotel No. 230 between this number and the terrace of the jardins des Feuillants, location of the hall of the Royal armory of the Tuileries, where was judged Louis XVI and where was proclaimed the 1st Républic of France. At No. 242, at this address, in 1895, at the Swedish and Norwegian Circle, created in 1891, Alfred Nobel wrote his will, the year before his  death, which led to the creation of the Nobel Peace Prize awards. His office is still kept there, in premises that are shared today by the Swedish Circle and, since 1981, the Norwegian Circle of Paris (created in 1926). The building also houses, on the fourth floor, the offices of François Hollande since his departure from the presidency of the Republic in 2017. The building has in the past welcomed a queen of Sweden and the princes of Qatar. At No. 258: Plaques commemorating, in English and French, the 50th anniversary of the Marshall plan, set up at the Hôtel de Talleyrand. The mythical film Le Pacha 1968 of George Lautner with Jean Gabin was done here. A really wonderful street that deserves more attention by visitors and one right at the corner of my old job in Paris. Yes sublime and full of memories.


city:town hall of Paris


the louvre from the tuileries garden left the rue de rivoli

What is this street of Paris , the Rue de Rivoli. Places to see, well come and shop to death here, its an open shopper’s paradise and we love it.  The Rue de Rivoli is one of the most commercial streets of Paris, going from the Marais district by Saint Paul to the Louvre museum, passing by Châtelet over a hundred shops, staking out its sidewalks, what to delight the shopaholics. The most shops are open from 10h to 20h from Monday to Saturday. Some shops located in the tourist area of the Louvre are open on Sundays. These are the shops located in numbers 156 and 258 and numbers 91 and 155 of the street. I will give you a rough location of these shops by section of the street , of course they need to be verified if still open as this is common even here at Rivoli. I have highlight in black those that my family has gone in and or shop.


my old lunch hangout and after work apéro Café l’Impérial rue de rivoli


oh yes one of my jewels from the roofstop of the Samaritaine dept store to Paris


Precious old photo from meeting my future wife in 1990 front of Samaritaine dept store


BHV from the parvis of the Hôtel de Ville of Paris

The boutiques of Rue de Rivoli in the Marais district; until No. 25 and 50-between St Paul and the Hôtel de Ville of Paris:

Alter Mundi ( clothing, woman, man, Bio) 9 rue de Rivoli: Café Coton( shirts, neckties, men’s accessories) 8 rue de Rivoli: Tilt Vintage (clothing and accessories) 8 rue de Rivoli: San Marina (shoes), 16 rue de Rivoli: Eva Tralala( clothing pure women) 16 rue de Rivoli: Rivoli Fleurs (Florist and nursery) 20, rue de Rivoli: Free ‘ P’Star ( vintage clothes, thrift), 20 rue de Rivoli: Paraboot,( shoes) 30 rue de Rivoli: La Scarpa, (shoes) 32 rue de Rivoli: 13 at table,( decoration, house accessories),34, rue de Rivoli: Vivaldi, (shoes for men and women) 38 rue de Rivoli: Courir (running, sports shoes, sportswear) 48 rue de Rivoli: and Maison de la Press (bookshop and journals )13 rue de Rivoli.

The shops of Rue de Rivoli located between Hôtel de Ville   and Châtelet (from N ° 52 to N 96 and from No 27 to No 43).

BHV Bazaar de l’Hôtel de Ville department store(Men/women-(clothing, fashion, shoes, art de vivre etc ) 52-64, rue de Rivoli: the Body Shop (bBeauty-care) 68 rue de Rivoli: Kitsuné boutique ( Clothing Women, men ) 52 rue de Rivoli: Z Vetements (children’s clothing, baby) 39 rue de Rivoli: Mirene Vêtements (clothing, men’s costumes) 76 rue de Rivoli: Caroll (women’s clothing); 52 Rue de Rivoli: Natalys vetements ( dedicated to maternity, pregnant women’s clothing, children, accessories). 74 rue de Rivoli: L’Occitane Provence (Beauty-care) 84 rue de Rivoli: Etam Lingerie 78 rue de Rivoli: Stradivarius Paris Vêtements (Women’s clothing) 74 rue de Rivoli: Histoire d’Or (jewerly) 86 rue de Rivoli: Mango fashion Boutique,( women’s clothing, accessories) 82, Rue de Rivoli: Bocage, (shoes for men and women), 84-86 rue de Rivoli: H&M (clothing women and men, shoes, accessories), 88 rue de Rivoli: Alain Manoukian (Women’s clothing),: 43 rue de Rivoli: Heyraud (shoes) 90 rue de Rivoli: Un Jour Ailleurs ( women’s clothing, accessories);   92 rue de Rivoli: Calzedonia clothing, (lingerie for women) ; 96 rue de Rivoli: and Minelli (footwear) 96 rue de Rivoli.

Shops located between Châtelet and Musee du Louvre (from No 98 to 154 and from No 45 to 89.

Foot Locker (sports shoe, sportswear); 45 Rue de Rivoli: Celio Club (Men’s Clothing): 49 rue de Rivoli: Courir (Jogging sports shoes, sportswear) 51 rue de Rivoli: Axara ( women’s clothing), 59 rue de Rivoli: 123 (womens ‘ clothing) 67 rue de Rivoli: Etam rivoli (Clothing, women’s lingerie )73 rue de Rivoli: Zara Pont Neuf (clothing, fashion for women and men, Accessories) 75 rue de Rivoli: Gap,( clothing, fashion for women, men and children, accessories), 102 rue de Rivoli: H&M (fashion Boutique, clothing, accessories) 120 rue de Rivoli Promod, (women’s clothing) 110 rue de Rivoli: Roberto Durville (Clothing, accessories) 61, rue de Rivoli: Vêtements (clothing) 122 rue de Rivoli: Naf Naf (women’s clothing;) 63 rue de Rivoli: C&A Paris (Clothing for men, women and children), 126 rue de Rivoli: Zara (women’s clothing and fashion) 128 rue de Rivoli: Bershka (Women’s clothing) 128 Rue de Rivoli:Pimkie (women’s clothing) 130 rue de Rivoli: Les Envahisseurs (women’s clothing) 57 rue de Rivoli: Delaveine (men’s clothing) 61 rue de Rivoli, Célio (Men’s Clothing) 65, Rue de Rivoli: Sephora   (Fragrance – Beauty) 75 Rue de Rivoli: André studio (shoes) 138 rue de Rivoli: IKKS (Clothing for men and women )140 rue de Rivoli: Forever 21 ( clothing and fashion for men and women); 144 rue de Rivoli: and WE (Women’s clothing) 146 rue de Rivoli.

The shops in the tourist area of the Louvre open on Sundays – from No 156 to 258 and from No 91 to 155 Rue de Rivoli.

Carrousel du Louvre (99 rue de Rivoli): IWASIN ( jewellery, fashion accessories); Apple Store( telephony, computer science, multimedia): Esprit (clothing Fashion & accessories for Men and women): Givenchy Printemps Louvre ,Pandora Jewelry Omega Jewellery (Watches): and Le Printemps de la Mode (jewerly, clothes, shoes…) From Royal Palace to the Tuileries (beyond the Carrousel du Louvre) you have the Ciseaux d’Argent(Clothing, accessories, men) ; 156 Rue de Rivoli: Bally (Shoes) 156 rue de Rivoli: Strellson (women’s clothing) 250 rue de Rivoli: Mod’Shop (jewellery) 210 rue de Rivoli: Studio Grenelle (women’s Clothing) 244 rue de Rivoli Theofil (clothing women) 238 rue de Rivoli Sagil (Jewellery) 242 rue de Rivoli: Emma Vendome (jewellery) 240 rue de Rivoli: Jade and Julie (costume jewellery) 232 rue de Rivoli: D & G – Dolce Gabana (women’s clothing) 244 rue de Rivoli: and Hilditch et Clé( clothing and fashion man) 252 Rue de Rivoli.

There is an old French saying on this street of unknown author who says « Le vieux Paris n’est plus qu’une rue éternelle, Qui s’étire élégante et droite comme un I En disant : Rivoli, Rivoli, Rivoli “ or in English : (Old Paris is now nothing more than one eternal road,   Stretching out, with the elegant straightness of a letter I, to the refrain: Rivoli, Rivoli, Rivoli). My eternal Paris, the most beautiful city in the world.

Hope you enjoy the walk on one of Paris most emblematic streets to the world, the Rue de Rivoli, do come and walk and see taste shop.

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


Tags: , ,
December 3, 2018

Have you heard of the new Forum des Halles, Paris of course!!!

So here I am in a rainy cloudy foggy cool 13C day in my Morbihan breton and decided why not relive an old favorite since totally renovated in my eternal Paris.

These are the days to stay home for other reason to tell in my next post in my belle France. These places brings back memories  and even thus was just there when they were finishing the renovation, we have been to the old many times as not too far from my place of work in Paris. Of course, I am taking about the Forum des Halles of Paris.

The Forum des Halles is a shopping center located on the site of the old halls of Paris. In 2017, the Forum des Halles is the third most visited shopping center in France with 33.9 million visitors according to article in Le Figaro of December 15 2017.


My favorite stores in no preference order are Zara, Yves Rocher, San Marina, Orange, Nike,Nocibé, Monoprix, Micromania, Louis Pion, L’Occitane, Lego, Lacoste, Jules, Jeff de Bruges, H&M, Go Sports, Geox respire, FNAC, Darty, Calvin Klein, and Adidas. Not all purchase here ,but favorite stores in the Forum des Halles!


The RER station Châtelet-Les Halles, located under the complex, is the largest underground station in the world and allows access from all over the Parisian region. Many visitors come here and follow the RATP online guide takes this station to do their moving around Paris. As one who worked there for almost 10 years and visit almost every month now , I have to say avoided as much as you can. It is huge laberinth of corridors connecting several lines and long walks which I rather spent above ground seeing the beautiful Paris. There are many ways to avoid it ,ask me if you need help passing by here.


A bit of history I like

In the mid-19C, twelve pavilions were built by Victor Baltard on the location of the Paris market halls. Les Halles de Paris was the name given to the central market halls, the wholesale market for fresh food products, located in the heart of Paris, in the 1éme arrondissement or district of Paris, and which gave their name to the surrounding neighbourhood or quartier. The history of the Halles is much older than we think, since its origins date back to 1137, when Louis VI set up a first market at this site, on ancient swamps. They are the main setting of Émile Zola’s Ventre de Paris or Paris belly. This large market which was held there until the beginning of the 1970’s was replaced today by a green space (Jardin des Halles), an underground shopping center (the Forum Les Halles) and by numerous spaces devoted to leisure (swimming pool, cinema).

The central wholesale market was moved to Rungis in the late 1960 and the Baltard pavilions were destroyed, leaving a “hole” in the center of Paris for a few years. The Forum was then built and inaugurated in 1979, above the main RER and Metro node in Paris. The creation of a veritable underground city linked to public transport and featuring commercial, cultural, sports and leisure facilities. This direction is confirmed by the Government’s decision to achieve the central point of interconnection of the express regional-RER network, located more than 20 meters underground. During the summer of 1971, the demolition of the halls Baltard is made necessary in order to create, in open air, the underground station of the RER. The inauguration takes place on 4 September 1979, in the presence of Jacques Chirac, mayor of Paris. It started with 190 brand stores settle on 43 000 m2 spread over 4 levels. The whole of this first segment comprises 70 000 m2, to which it is necessary to add 50 000 m2 of parking lots.

The canopy part of the new Forum des Halles, a glass and steel structure built reaching 14 meters in height, covers a central patio and welcomes in its wings a conservatory, a hip-hop center, a library, a workshop of amateur practices and a cultural center for the Deaf and Hearing impaired. It was inaugurated on April 5, 2016. The new Forum and the canopy open to the west on the Jardin Nelson Mandela garden, which has several playgrounds for children.

These roads are public, pedestrian and underground.These are the names in no particular order of layout (in black those taken by me while coming here ). Balcon Saint-Eustache, Grand Balcon, Passage de la Réale, Passage des Verrières, Patio-place Pina-Bausch, Place Basse, Place Carrée, Place de la Rotonde, Porte Berger, Porte Lescot, Porte du Jour, Porte du Louvre, Porte du Pont-Neuf, Porte Rambuteau, Porte Saint-Eustache, Rue de l’Arc-en-Ciel, Rue Basse, Rue des Bons-Vivants, Rue de la Boucle, Rue Brève, Rue du Cinéma, Rue de l’Équerre-d’Argent, Rue de l’Oculus , Rue de l’Orient-Express, Rue des Piliers, Rue Poquelin, Rue Pirouette et Terrasse Lautréamont.

In the cinema, the site serves, in 1973, the transposition of the Adventures of Buffalo Bill, General Custer and the Indians in Touche pas à la femme blanche or touch not the white woman, played by Marcello Mastroianni and Philippe Noiret.

We love his extended hourly Monday to Saturday from 10h to 20h30 and Sunday from 11h to   19h, as well as the wide variety of brands offered, from the largest fashion brands to young French creators , not forgetting a Monoprix on 4 000 m2 which brings together deco, fashion and food. But we can mostly go there for something other than window shopping.


We go there to do a beauty remake on a test makeup or to offer a family brunch with daily bread or a romantic dinner in Champeaux, the brasserie of Alain Ducasse. Or to learn and amuse at the Cinémathèque, the library or the library of the Cinema. Or spend time at the Olympic swimming pool ,also offering aqua aerobics and aquabike or by initiating the dance at the Hip Hop House. Finally, one does not forget to be entertained in front of an original author film or a blockbuster at the UGC Ciné Cité Les Halles cinema Nice indeed for the whole family.

As usual by me, some webpages to help you plan your trip here and you must ,are

Official Forum des Halles

Tourist office of Paris on the Forum des Halles

Official Forum des Halles renovation project

And a nice youtube video I found that tells you nicely the new Forum des Halles;enjoy it

This quartier or neighborhood had some reputation for night walks but since the renovation of the Forum des Halles, the place is much better ,and night walks are ok now.

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

Tags: , ,
December 2, 2018

Maison des Musiciens Italiens , Versailles!

So back to my beloved and former home of Versailles. In my new neck of the woods of the Morbihan breton it is sunny mild 9C or about 50F and not raining so nice to be like that for the weekend.  In my eternal Paris is a bit more cloudy with about the same 10C or 51F roughly.

As I indulge myself in my beautiful royal town of Versailles and try my best to take you away from the palace/museum (hard to do I know) but there in a smallish town there are so much punch as far as history, architecture and traditions to account for a lot more than what the general visiting public give to the town. Let me tell you about the house of the Italian musicians in a nice area of Versailles.

The Maison des Musiciens Italiens or House of the Italians musicians in Versailles,  is a house of rocaille rock  style, erected in 1752 at No 15 rue Champ-Lagarde in Versailles by Jacques Hardouin-Mansart , for the Countess of Argenson  separate wife of the count of Argenson. It is since 1986 the seat of the Union Compagnonnique des Compagnons du tour de France des devoirs unis (or something like the  Union of the Companions of the United Tour de France , that restores ancient buildings according to tradition) It is open all year round but for visits is on previous reservation only.



A bit of history I like

Unlike a legend conveyed since the 19C, the present house is not the house originally created by the Italian castrates of Louis XIV. It is indeed the pleasure House of the Countess of Argenson erected at the site of the primitive house of the castrati, as evidenced by various deeds of property as well as documents recently discovered. Anyway, it is a wonderful house and museum to visit in the off the beaten path of my beloved Versailles.

The house in the period under king Louis XIV tells us that between 1686-1691 , the Italian castrato of the Chapel of the King, acquired several pieces of land in Montreuil, village located then near Versailles (today one of its districts, and where many nobles lived to be away from the hassles of the court near the Palace including many who later were kings like Louis XVIII(count of Artois) and Charles X( count of Provence). In 1691, an ordinary officer of the King’s music chamber, gave as gift his nearby music pavilion, a pavilion that served as an embryo for the future house. This pavilion was then composed of a circular lounge covered, inside, a dome and tiles on the outside, open of 3 crossing and a window-door.  In 1708, this pavilion was increased by two lateral wings while the estate was fenced with walls. That same year, the property was bequeath  to the brothers and friends of the music guild, who had participated in its constitution.

The house under the reign of king Louis XV ,after the main owners of the music guild passed away in 1726, 1733 and 1740, the house  remained in the hands of the last two members Carli and Ridolfi, the last to come. They ceded the property in 1748 and again the house was ceded in 1751 to Anne Larcher, Countess of Argenson, the wife of Louis XV’s minister of war. The Countess of Argenson decided to have the pavilion fully rebuilt to her liking. For this purpose, it designated the architect Jacques Hardouin-Mansart de Sagonne, who erected the parish of Saint-Louis de Versailles (completed in 1754). Above all, he erected for the son of the Countess, the Marquis de Voyer, the château of Asnières, located on the edge of the Seine river in the town of Asniéres.. It was on the advice of the marquis, a man of taste, that the Countess made a choice of Mansart. You will also observe that the staples arranged above the bays of the house are the conforming copies of another contemporary realization of Mansart: The Château de Jossigny (1753, in town of Jossigny dept 77 Seine-et-Marne). This House was for the Countess, her residence in Versailles at the same time as her play house, according to the expression of the time, i.e. her party house . Indeed, she sheltered her love with the Marquis de Valfons, here. The Count of Argenson also had a gallant house in the village of Montreuil, on the side of Avenue de Saint-Cloud, where the Countess d’Estrades lived as his lover. The Countess de Marsan remained there from 1759 to 1776.

The house under the reign of king Louis XVI tells us that by 1776, the countess of Marsan gave the house to Louis-Guillaume Lemmonier, the first ordinary Doctor of the King and a professor of botany at the jardin des plantes in Paris, which made it one of the high places of the French botanical gardens of the 18C. Besides the various species of trees planted in the garden of the house, Lemmonier had a greenhouse at the end of it which he will constantly modify to accommodate his many varieties of plants, as evidenced by the inventory after the death of his wife in 1793. It is here that Lemmonier will trained several travelling botanists, especially André Michaux, who had first been plowing the farm of Satory (by rue de Satory off ave de Sceaux) in Versailles. The garden of Lemmonier will remain, until its dismantlement in the middle of the 19C, the botanical garden of the city of Versailles. It gave birth to the horticultural vocation of the village of Montreuil, which will remain until the mid-1960’s. Lemmonier, who also made the house, his residence in Versailles, established on the left flank of the courtyard, the buildings now visible whose extension on the side of the garden. Extension that contained the new dining room of the house today.

The house after the fall of king Louis XVI; by the time of the death of Lemmonier in 1799, the house passed on to his three nieces. The beautiful garden of their uncle was gradually dismantled from the 1800’s. The heirs of the latter, began the fragmentation of the estate so dearly constituted by Lemmonier;  it then encompassed almost the entire triangle formed by the streets rue Champs-Lagarde, rue Pasteur and rue des Condamines (very nice area in Versailles for a walk). The point of the triangle on the side of the current high school or lycée Rameau passed to the municipality in 1881 which establishes in the old greenhouses of Lemmonier, a school, greenhouses that will disappear in the 1950’s during the reconstruction of it.

The house of the musicians  nowadays passed from hand to hand until its acquisition by the City of Versailles in December 1978; then house  passed on in May 1986 to the Union Compagnonnique des Compagnons du tour de France des devoirs unis as it stands today. Another off the beaten path of my beloved Versailles.

And to show you once again, my Versailles is a lot more than the palace/museum 98% of your come to see when in Versailles. You need to spend more time and see more of glorious royal Versailles!

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Tourist office of Versailles on the house ,in French

City of Versailles on the house, in English

As the main sites are in French and for the benefit of those reading who do not speak French, I will tell you how to get the house from the palace/museum. Well ready! walk! the best way to see a city, go up from the place d’Armes in front of the palace/museum onwards on avenue de Paris, for about 24 minutes (guiding by google as me never counted) turn by the University of Versailles-Saint Quentin building on your left hand side is the beginning of rue Champ Lagarde a bit more on your left is the house at no 15. There is a bus 171 direction Pont de Sévres from in front of the palace/museum but at the end you will need to walk too. Another option if not a walker is to go over left from pl d’armes to place Hoche (there is a statue of gen hoche there) on the circle take local bus Phebus line C to stop Artois at rue du Refuge walk same street is rue Pasteur and the house is on the corner with rue Champ Lagarde. So better go all the way on foot, see more , enjoy Versailles more!

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

December 2, 2018

Bercy Village, Paris of course!

Now keeping in line of the fine places to see in Paris away from most visitors on the off the beaten path ,however, nice to visit and enjoy the culinary historical eternal Paris. I like to bring you to a place have come with family and business (my company held our annual convention once there).

I will tell a bit on Bercy Village. This is a nice place especially if come at night, with plenty of nice restaurant in a quant chic place in my eternal Paris.

Bercy Village is a commercial and leisure center based in the 12éme arrondissement of Paris, inaugurated in May 2000, and open to the public in 2002 It is served by the metro line 14 stop Cour Saint-Émilion

This was built on the place of the old storehouses and warehouses of Bercy the place was an important place of the market and the logistics of the wine in the 19C and the beginning of the 20C. In the 19C there was the largest wine and spirits market in the world: the Cour Saint-Émilion was an immense warehouse and a wine sales counter, previously bottled not far from there, at Bercy. Beverages transported by the Seine river directly from the Yonne, Burgundy, Algeria, or by train via Gare de Lyon from the south of France.


There are now some thirty shops and restaurants nestled in these old warehouses, giving a very nice architectural side, human size, cozy. A movie theater complex is also located at the end of the street as well as several hotel chains. It has 46 19C cellars divided in two rows and separated by a paved courtyard, where visitors stroll, when they do not take place on one of the many terraces to enjoy themselves. The neighborhood is nowadays very lively and comes alive even more when demonstrations take place at the Palais Omnisport de Paris Bercy (now known as the AccorHotels Arena). Bercy Village is adjacent to a small quiet park very nice too.

To imagine the activity of the time, nothing like to go a few steps away, at the pavilions of Bercy, which once housed the Chais Lheureux, the name of the pupil of the architect Victor Baltard (of Halles and others fame). Just a few meters from the Cour Saint-Émilion, on the edge of the rue des Canoes, there are six large cellars of millstone stones with a very industrial appearance, metal structures, rails , or even brick vaults used as passageways. Far from the appearance of a sanitized hair of Bercy Village, the soul of the place and its past are more palpable. But if the exterior keeps its form of yesteryear, the interior of the cellars is now invested by the magnificent Museum of Fairground Arts or musée des Arts forains.

With family or friends, Bercy Village is a pedestrian place of leisure and pleasure… a small parenthesis without a car, in a historical place out of time. Perfect for an outing with family or friends during an evening or even during the day.

Some webpages to help you plan your visit here are

Official Bercy Village

Tourist office of Paris on Bercy Village

Ïle de France region tourist office on Bercy Village

Hope you enjoy it and do stop by very lively fun spot in a quaint old corner of my eternal Paris.

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

Tags: , ,
December 1, 2018

My travels in the Morbihan, LXXIIII

Ok so its time to write again about my State, Province, or Department 56 of Morbihan in the region of Brittany, France. It is a rainy grey, cool, foggy day of 13C or about 55F in mid day while driving around for my errands.

The trip was made more exciting for the fact that France is on strike once again at last!! Yes we are sometimes call the World Champions of strikes/demonstrations, but as I said, this is democracy at its best from the ground up, people initiated and this time no political party just common folks doing what they think is right. Do I agree you may ask freely? Well I am not in the position of many of them, been in middle management with a multinational French company in charge of 18 countries and 28 branches accounting wise. However, I do appreciate the hard working individual who comes to the end of the month and just barely makes it or not at all. The costs keep rising and the benefits reduced, I think the current president is going too fast. Remember, he was elected by chance as an opportunistic campaign changing from the Socialists party to create a new movement En Marche while the rest were going with problems of their own. I did not voted for Macron either mind you. Yes , I am a French citizen and voter on every occasion.

And yes even if all the focus of the media is on Paris (of course its the capital and bigger groups), we are on the go here in my Morbihan. In my area of Vannes, the capital of our department there have been escargot or snail drive blocage of main roads, blocking of oil refinaries,and home building materials stores, main intersections blocked like the roundabout of Luscanen and Kergiran. Today while grocery shopping a group march inside the E Leclerc store singing La Marseillaise national anthem in their yellow jackets (gilet jaunes)! I rode around and claxon my car in support,and wearing the yellow jacket in the dashboard of my car in support.  They deserve better in my opinion. Some pictures.


inside E Leclerc hypermarket Vannes


ramp off N165 to D779 and E Leclerc overbridge was block at Vannes


traffic circle luscanen police there but off over bridge was block by gilet jaunes or yellow jackets

And youtube on the demonstrations in Saint Lazare train station and Place de l’Etoile (Arc de Triomphe) Paris.


Before all the above, we went to get our dog food at our favorite store Maxi Zoo in the town of Séné, next to Vannes. And of course, we got him his Christmas treat and yellow coat  So he will have a nice Christmas indeed, already one year old and very adorable borador! I have shown pictures and webpage of the store before.

While there, and in the company of my father, I invited all to Au Bureau, an English style sports bar that is very nice if a bit slow today. We had our reblochon burger , pint of leffe blonde and cafe gourmand for me and the rest different things to about 25€ per person. We have been here before with webpage and pictures, here are some more of today.




From there we went to of course ,Micromania at the Carrefour shopping center in Vannes for my sons new exchanges and purchases.  All while raining as it was all day. Then, we headed to E Leclerc hypermarket in Vannes (Plescop) to do our groceries shopping before heading home.


Raining still and with demonstrations all over we rather stay home even if agree with all that as said.

You all have a wonderful weekend and if in France stay away from these events as fun as they can be, there is always the party crasher that can make your day a sad one. Stay safe

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





December 1, 2018

Some news from Bretagne, XXV

Well it has been a while not written on this series of mine, my creative genious lol! It has been blend in with other similar posts I am sure. Brittany is always in my mind, we call it home! for the last 8 years!! All in the Morbihan 56.

However, let me give you an overview on a beautiful region north of me in department 29 Finistére. I have written several pieces on it in my blog , but this one just surface while reading on it from the Le Monde newspaper. Morlaix and its bay are magical indeed. So why not dedicate one Bretagne news post only on it right ? No pictures as have plenty on individual posts on the region here in my blog. ok here I go ,hope you enjoy it

Bay of Morlaix; from the Exotic Garden of the island of Batz to the parish enclosure of Guimiliau, passing by the impressive mausoleum of Stone of Barnenez… The bay also finds itself in winter.A very nice spot in my lovely Brittany up north in Finistére dept 29.

Roscoff, the land-sea harmony at its best. The beating heart of this small port town is at its peak, between the old harbor and the cove of Laber. Facing the channel, the small city is warm as long as the door of the estaminets is pushed. The exotic and Botanical Garden of Roscoff brings together rare collections of plants, mainly from South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Chile or Mexico..The greenhouse too succulents, the rock at the top of which the view on the deep water port and the bay is splendid, or even the Palm Grove are as many mini-gardens in a set that does not usurp its name.

At Batz, ginger and impatience from Roscoff, at low tide, boarding for the island of Batz is at the end of the wharf, a long footbridge that ends with steps that plunge into the sea, ten minutes walk from the quay. The Georges-Delaselle garden, which holds many surprises. Thanks to the influence of the Gulf Stream, it grows palm trees from Asia and Africa. Rediscovered in the 1980’s, this garden created from scratch by a Parisian insurer from 1898 is one of the most beautiful in France. Ginger, impatience of Zaire, digital of the Canary Islands: in the beautiful season, the names of flowers are enough to make you dream. From the top of the lighthouse, at 67 meters above sea level, the spectacle of the island entry is magnificent. On 170 hectares of arable land, the plots of potatoes, cauliflowers, asparagus or fennel are rhyming the seasons. The fishermen of the island also contribute to his reputation of an ideal self-sufficiency.

Plouescat version of Seychelles island. To the west of Roscoff, the granite blocks of the beaches of Plouescat evoke the Seychelles. At the Roc’h ar Mor, a family restaurant a little gruff, we have lunch facing the sea at the end of the beach of Porsmeur.

At Guimiliau,  What an ordeal! To reach the parish enclosures, it is necessary to drive due south from Roscoff, by the valley of the Penzé which leads quickly to Guimiliau. The Guimiliau enclosure is typical: A central Church, a monumental gate, a Calvary and a wall of enclosure that surrounds the whole. It is so perfect that it says everything about the village opulence of the 16C and 17C in this corner of Brittany. The great Calvary brings together dozens of characters, sometimes dressed in the fashion of Henri III, who reigned at the time of its construction, sometimes in the biblical garments of Palestine from the beginning of our era. The large porch and the admirable funerary chapel vie from the outside with the splendor of the furniture found under the blue vaults of the church: the baptismal fonts and the thousand-colored altarpieces testify to the genius of the anonymous artists of the early reign of Louis XIV. You have to be wary of parish enclosures: They can cause an addiction. Not to miss the retable of Commana, the ossuary of Sizun or the beam of glory of Lampaul-Guimiliau. In Guimiliau, a brand new architecture and heritage Interpretation Center (CIAP) ,the enclosures allows adults and children to measure the diversity of these unique buildings in the world.

At Carentec, a fort and oysters from the beach of Kelenn, in Carantec, the boat that leads to the château du Taureau at brisk pace. Planted in the middle of the bay of which it kept the entrance, this 16C fort, enlarged by Vauban in the 17C, became the star of local tourism. Carantec, it is a seaside resort opulent, which hides in its most exclusive district, at the point of Penn al Lan, two treasures: the Parc Claude-Goude which descends not so soft to the oyster parks, and the oysters of Prat ar Coum , the operation of Alain Madec. Before leaving Carantec, the walkers will not forget to take a stroll on the island Callot, little marvel of 40 houses that the high tide cut of the continent line half the time.

The Parthénon de Barnenez  ;Like a stone giant, the great cairn of Barnenez seems to sleep on the right bank of the Bay of Morlaix, facing the sea. This huge mausoleum, 75 meters long and 28 meters wide, conceals eleven burial chambers divided into two enclosed parts but of different ages: The primary cairn in dolerite, a local rock, is darker than the posterior cairn, which it serves of support. The latter consists of rubble and large granite slabs of l’île Sterec (Island). The eleven dolmens in the Neolithic corridor were exhumed in 1955 by workers who used the cairn as a quarry. Difficult to date precisely, probably between 4 500 and 3 900 years BC some slabs are adorned with decorations whose symbolic value is not entirely clear: a triangle axe blade for strength, a shining hair idol that would be the evocation of a goddess of fertility and death, or a U for the horned beasts and the zigzags that evoke the water.

The beauties of Morlaix sunk in a valley, dominated by an omnipresent viaduct, the city of Morlaix is a cul-de-sac. The Saturday morning market, place des hostages, in front of the city/town hall, the discovery of the house in Pondalezau 9, Grand’rue typical of these 16C wood-framed buildings,  and the promenade under the viaduct arches are the keys to a first approach. From the middle part of this two-story art work, accessible on foot, the landscape opens to the north, where the river runs towards the bay. On the upper floor, the trains come and go from Paris-Montparnasse. It is thanks to them that this exotic and not so distant land is also capital, a little Parisian when come the holidays season ,but is Breton, finally, in all seasons.

There you go a marvelous spot in my Bretagne/Brittany/or Breizh, degemer mat to all!

Some webpages as usual to help you plan your visit here and you must ,I say so!!!

Tourist office of Bretagne on Bay of Morlaix

Tourist office of the Bay of Morlaix in French

Tourist office of Finistére on bay of Morlaix

Chamber of Commerce Pleasure sea of bay of Morlaix in English

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




December 1, 2018

Cap Hispania and Batignolles! Paris of course!!!

In my continuing dangerous saga of places to shop and eat in my eternal Paris, I shall bring you to two favorites of many years and still going strong. The time is nice mild weather at 12C and not so cloudy in my neck of the woods Breton as well in Paris. Just a lovely Autumn sequence so far.

We love Spanish food as well, and I mean Spain, so  searching for one I look up Spanish food sections in restaurants and webpages dealing with the subject in France. Here I found one Cap Hispania in the 17éme arrondissement of Paris and went for it. It has been a find ,a jewel, a precious location for all that is good from Spain.

As I look around for a parking on street nearby, I was led past the Pont Cardinet and over the railroad tracks leading to the Gare Saint Lazare and into the Brochart area where I end up parking underground of the Batignolles covered market and voilà another wonderful find. This is Paris, the more you walk, drive it the more you will find wonders!

They have become my staple ever since those 2003-2004 times and up to now when in the city I look up them up and stock up on goodies not well found in my Morbihan Breton. Let me tell you a bit about them and maybe you too will have your find in eternal Paris.

The covered market or Marché couvert des Batignolles, at 96bis Rue Lemercier 17éme of Paris by metro line 13 Brochart as well as bus lines 54 and 74, is a wonderful example of glorious shopping in seldom visited areas of Paris. We go here once in a while and it is our area of dear shopping see below. The market, built on the ground floor of a residential complex of the 1970’s, is undoubtedly one of the most bobos in the capital. Customers often seem to know each other and really feel a neighborhood spirit. There are about fifteen traders and organic product stalls. This market is mainly food-centered with an excellent butcher at reasonably reasonable prices, a well-stocked grocer, Breton terroir products, Mediterranean products, Lebanese, Moroccan, African, a Portuguese rotisserie and a wine cellar. The place, you will have understood, is very popular with the locals. It is open Tuesdays to Fridays from 8h30 to 13h and from 15h30 to 20h, Saturdays from 8h30 to 20h and Sundays from 8h30 to 14h.




Some webpages to help you find it and enjoy it fully are

City of Paris on the covered market of Batignolles

Tourist office of Paris on the Batignolles market

One of the biggest professionals at the same time wholesaler and retailer in the distribution of Iberian products since 1998.  Cap Hispania, our Spanish grocery store in Paris has approximately 180 references of duly selected savory and sweet gourmet products, including Iberian ham at a price-almost-friendly. The advice is second nature, conversations sometimes stretch, and we leave the arms charged with the latest goodies.

Cap Hispania, it is simply the paradise of lovers of Iberian charcuterie. You can go there to catch a sandwich at lunchtime, to buy ham at retail or wholesale, to fill up with tapas for the evening. Beautiful whole hams are hanging from the ceiling. And not just any of them.. The Serrano arrives directly from the Salamanca region and has been refined 12 to 14 months. The Pata Negra comes from a particular breed of pork, the Iberian pork, and patiently waited more than two years before joining the stalls of Cap Hispania.  When a Bellota, the rolls of hams, it is derived from pigs raised in the open air and exclusively fed to the acorns from autumn to spring. After more than 30 months of refinement, it is particularly tasty and melting.


My dad at Cap Hispania

The stalls of Cap Hispania also abound with first-choice deli meats, like the lomo, made with pork loin, all kinds of chorizos, or the delicious Cecina de Leon, this meat of salted beef, dried, smoked and then refined . Besides, the Spanish cheeses, less well known, only asking  to be discovered, but do not overlook the Manchego from Castilla La Mancha Don Quijote quarters!. The right side of the store is reserved for the fine grocery section. Cap Hispania has brought quality gourmet products from Spain: Olive oil from Andalusia, Jerez vinegar, canned white tuna from Biscay or anchovies from the Cantabrian coast… this is a good way to revise your geography of Spain!  On the sweet side, one feasts of course of the Turrón (nougats), which some like hard and crunchy (that of Alicante), and that others prefer fondant and tender (that of Jijona), but also of marzipan or polvorones. The common point between all these sweets? The almonds!



Cap Hispania, 23 rue Jouffroy d’Abbans, 17éme/ Metro line 3  Malsherbes, and  Wagram Open Monday  16h-19h, from Tuesday to Saturday 10h-14h and 16h-19h30. Tel. +33 (0) 1 46 22 11 60.

Official Cap Hispania Spanish groceries deli

Yelp reviews on Cap Hispania from my Blog Roll

And there you go two off the beaten path sights that will make your mouth watered and enjoy the culinary choices of my eternal Paris. After all, is it that one big reason you are here visiting or as me living lol! bon appetit!

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

November 30, 2018

The jewels of Paris, Intercontinental Hotels, 2

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 and have a post to remind me for a long time. This is a repeat post, see original with photos here: The Jewels of Paris, Intercontinental Hotels

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!!!

Tags: , ,
November 30, 2018

Some news from France CCXI

And back with the latest news from my belle France. Times are going fast and the season to be most merrier is coming upon us. There are plenty of good cheers around us and lots of hope for those on the recovery hill. Let me tell you some good news for a change!

Ten million!!! The Louvre is guaranteed to beat, by the end of December 2018, its annual record, for the time set at 9.7 million visitors in 2012, foreign tourists have returned. Massively, Americans (about 1 million) and Chinese (800 000) in the lead. From January 5th, 2019 ,the Louvre will launch a free Nocturne (night opening) on the first Saturday of each month, from 18h to 22h. These twelve Saturday evenings in 2019 will replace the current gratuity of six Sundays a year, whose studies show that they do not benefit the family public that the Louvre wants to attract. Another innovation of these Saturday Nocturnes: if the wings Sully and Denon will be in free access, it will be necessary to book online-free (registrations from December 10 2018) to visit the Richelieu Wing, which houses the antiquities of Mesopotamia, the Art objects or French paintings.  More here: Official Louvre Museum Paris

The traditional Christmas market of the magic of Auteuil (16éme arrondissement or district of Paris) comes from December 1st to 9th, 2018. Shopping, terroir, shows and exhibition for the whole family. This Christmas market offers you both traditional gastronomy (foie gras, wines, champagne, macaroons…), Christmas decoration (fir trees, Santas de Provence) and creations in a creative space (leather goods, jewelers, confectionery, soaps…) ! Ideal for those who are looking for their Christmas gifts. An oyster bar for the most greedy!  An exhibition of about thirty crèches carried out by the young apprentices of Auteuil.  Concerts, fanfares, children’s shows, pony rides, organized on weekends for the enjoyment of all.  Antique rides, flea market, but also a magic show on Wednesdays.  Gourmet Cottages held by young apprentices in catering, to warm us up with specialties of festivities. More here:

In my dear beloved Versailles, since this past Thursday night. For the first time, the Place d’Armes and the three avenues constituting the famous trident are illuminated. Avenue de Paris, Avenue de Sceaux, and Avenue de Saint Cloud.

This Saturday and Sunday December 1-2  2018, the Domaine of Madame Elisabeth (sister of Louis XVI), 73 Avenue de Paris in Versailles will welcome the Christmas counter with, on the program, a nice selection of animations.  Local creators and producers, original and refined gifts, tastings and onsite dining, children’s Animations: Christmas carols, Merry-go-round, magician, Photo Studio… Creative workshops for young and old, staging showing the rooms of the Domaine, and illuminations. Note that the Christmas counter will be open on Saturdays from 14h to 22h30 and Sunday from 10h to 18h. More here: City of Versailles on Christmas 2018

At Cergy (Val d’Oise dept 95). In the city center you will enjoy for Christmas the show Noël O’Merveilles from December 15-16 2018. One of the towns of my crossing in the Paris region very fond of it with nice memories.More here:

Sadly, in Maisons-Laffitte, France Galop announces the closing of the racecourse at the end of 2019. Which is distinguished by the longest straight line (2,000 meters) in Europe.  While it is now designed so that 1,500 horses can train at the same time, less than 500 are there today with a deficit of 119 million euros.  France Gallop, has other racecourses such at Longchamp, Auteil, Saint-Cloud, Chantilly ,and Deauville.

The Grandes Écuries du domaine de Chantilly are launching this weekend December 1-2 2018 their new equestrian creation for the winter « Le songe d’une nuit d’hiver ». midwinter nights dreams until January 6 2019. More here:

The current floating guinguette of the Invalides will be replaced by the end of the year by her sister, Rosa 2. The boat will continue its festive life in the west, at the Rosa Bonheur in Asnières-sur-Seine, the last smaller inaugurated this summer. We look forward to discovering the improved version of one of our favorite Parisian guinguettes! A building that is rounded, with a metal structure carrying a glass envelope to remind the canopy of the Grand Palais, and in grey tones to integrate with the mineral framework of the banks of the Seine. A superior bridge to enjoy the summer evenings in  the winds. Bright Spring! Rosa Bonheur sur Seine port des Invalides, Quai d’orsay 7éme arrondissement. More here :

Carsten Höller did it. Candidate to reinvent Paris II, the Ymagis group and the famous artist offer you a visual art center accessible by giant slides in the place of the old parking lot of the Grenier Saint-Lazare. Want to move quickly, surely and efficiently. Oh, it is not a leisure park but a work signed by the German artist Carsten Höller. Located in the place of the old parking lot of the Grenier-Saint-Lazare, this 72-seat underground parking lot has not welcomed any cars since 2014. The city of Paris has therefore decided to redevelop the 6 levels of 2 200 m2 (just that). The program therefore: two giant interlaced slides that plunge into the guts of Paris 18 meters deep! The venue houses 600 m2 of work and post-production spaces for feature films and series as well as 300 m2 of contemporary art exhibition spaces. And bonus: elevator/lifts and metal staircases are designed to rise to the surface. To be continue see photo rendition and credit.


parking-du-Grenier-Saint-Lazare credit Chastang-Trouilleux France-Lanord Architectes


New appointment, the Ciné Gaumont les Fauvettes offers you every first Sunday of the month a Ciné-Brunch. Starting Sunday, December 2nd. Brunch is a must for weekends, as is the movies. So to feast on all the plans, we found you a ciné-brunch at Gaumont les Fauvettes. The program: A surprise movie to discover in preview followed by a delicious brunch! The recipe in sum ups  a perfect Sunday. Ciné-Brunch Gaumont Les Fauvettes, 58, avenue des Gobelins  13éme arrondissement of Paris from 10h30  to 13h30 . More info here:

Boulogne-Billancourt, visual of the île de Seguin. In the center of the island, the Vivendi group will settle between the Seine Musicale  and the future cultural and artistic pole carried by the Emerige group. After several years of litigation, Mayor’s office and associations negotiated a protocol paving the way for future developments of the old Renault site .

There you go , now come on over, eternal Paris has patient it is waiting for you and yours. Bienvenue!

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

November 30, 2018

My best 1-2 punch of restaurants in Paris! Gare and Paix!!!

So will go into uncharted waters here as usually just post in a general sense about places to eat in France. However, these two restaurants have a lot of history, mines too! They are my sentimental all time favorites places to drink and eat while in Paris for many years ,and still do stop by when visiting.

My fav 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 in the chic 16 district near the Monet Marmottan museum.just behind it passing the jardin du Ranelagh. Bear in mind it is again under renovation to open later in 2018 see the link below.



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 000m2 , 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.

More on this wonderful icon of Paris is on the following webpages as usual to help you plan your trip here…

Official Restaurant La Gare

Tourist office of Paris on La Gare

Yelp for reviews as in my blog roll

Another of my fav places in Paris is 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 imperialists (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, 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.

Again, some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Official Café de la Paix

Tourist office of Paris on Café de la Paix

Yelp on reviews as in my Blog Roll

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 these two should be in your list. And not to worry about Michelin, these can beat any there in my opinion, there are just too refined for the list….. Cheers

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

%d bloggers like this: