Tag Archive | "Paris"

Le Meurice – Paris


The Hotel Le Meurice is the quintessential Paris “grand palace” hotel with modern design twists sprinkled in.  The hotel, throughout three centuries has maintained a sublime reputation as a permanent Parisian embellishment. The clientele has mainly been the elite aristocracy among upper crust British travelers. Franklin, Roosevelt and innumerable dukes and duchesses from all over the world have all stayed at one of the most famous luxury hotels: Le Meurice. The high-class hotel has hosted events like Coco Chanel’s debut Chanel fashion shows in the 1930′s and also celebrations like Picasso and his wife’s wedding.  Salvador Dali spent at least one month every year at the hotel amongst many other famous artists and celebrities who are still regulars at Le Meurice. The hotel has kept its reputation and is today a five star hotel in the heart of Paris overlooking the Jardin de Tuileries (convenient for Paris Fashion Week) with the Eiffel Tower in the distance.

The hotel has been renovated and enlarged 4 times whereas the last renovation was in 2007 with the acknowledged French product designer Philippe Starck. Each of the renovations has contributed to progress the modernization and the embellishment within the original Le Meurice spirit.

The hotel has 160 rooms and suites, each room is unique and carefully deliberated. The hotel’s rooms look exactly like elegant 18th century homes, where the past meets the present with a sense of humor but most of all with an accomplished glamour that is not to be found in too many other hotels. Some rooftop suites have panoramic 360-dregress view over Paris, some rooms have hand painted ceilings depicting the sky and others look exactly like an elegant 18th century Parisian apartment with fabrics papering the walls. All with their individual charm and glamour. Also there are 2 presidential suites with Butlers if required.

Le Meurice has two top restaurants: The restaurant ‘Le Meurice’ and ‘Le Dalí’. The restaurant and the hotel itself contains the spirit of Dalí – it is where your most surreal dreams become true. The Hotel’s Head Chef has been awarded with the highest order of the Michelin Guide – 3 stars. The French cuisine when it is best. Last but not least the Hotel has a lavish bar; The Bar 228, where decadent cocktails are served in an authentic Parisian upper-class interior with Philippe Starck decorations in dark wood and under a hand painted ceiling depicting the evening sky.

Staying at one of the unique suites or rooms at the Hotel Le Meurice, dining at one of the two top hotel restaurants or drinking one of the more that 50 whiskies and malts served in crystal glasses in Bar 228 undoubtedly give you a very special experience where you feel home away from home in the most elegant soundings.

228 Rue de Rivoli 75001
Paris, France
01 44 58 10 10


Mama Shelter – Paris


The Mama Shelter is one of the hidden gems nestled in a less traveled area of paris. This get away is a new concept boutique hotel conceived as a project by STARK, and it covers all the bases from convenience to comfort. From the outside the Mama Shelter looks like a modern cubist’s dream, steel girders and tall glass windows which stretch from the brick lined streets to a sixth floor balcony view, which catches sights of the not too distant Eiffel tower. I arrived in the early part of the evening to a multilingual, incredibly helpful staff who promptly looked up my reservation, gave me a brief tour of the lobby and restaurant, and then escorted me to my room.

The space is a modern marvel which should be the benchmark of hotel room decoration and design. I found a very comfortable bed with more than enough pillows to satisfy even the most greedy of pillow hogs. Mounted on the wall, instead of the usual flat screen television, is a 24″ inch apple I-mac computer, which could be used as a connection to the internet as well as a portal to your favorite television show. The I-mac in your room also has the ability, at your discretion, to take photographs of your room which are then published to a live gallery of photos other patrons of the hotel have taken using the imac’s in their rooms. After unpacking my belongings and taking a shower, i meandered
downstairs to the world famous oven baked pizza parlor where I had the most delicious Quatre Fromage pizza, I highly recommend it.

Conveniently located across the street from the Mama Shelter is a bike rental dispensary which I used to rent a bike and take a ride around the cobble stoned streets of this small suburb of paris. I took a fifteen minute ride to the beautiful and historic public cemetery, the ‘Père LaChaise’, which is the final destination for such famous musicians, entertainers, and writers as Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaf, and Jim Morrison. The hotel is conveniently surrounded by many delicious restaurants from Sushi to indian cuisine. I awoke the next morning to a complimentary breakfast buffet that satisfied my every morning
desire. The Mama Shelter Hotel left me little to complain about, It’s the perfect place to stay in Paris if you want relaxation with the ever present option for excitement.

-Stryder Bartow

Mama Shelter
109 rue de Bagnolet
75020 Paris, France
01 43 48 48 48

Special Apartments – Paris


If you are going to Paris, the best place to stay is not a hotel, but a “Special Apartment”. For the same price as an average hotel room,  at Special Apartments, you can choose among a beautiful and unique selection of Parisian rental apartments: studios, one, two and three bedroom apartments, with accommodation for up to six people. All of the short-term rental apartments are centrally located in the best areas of Paris.

I stayed for 2 nights at the apartment #002 located in Arts-et-Métiers a two minute walk from Metro station and five minutes away from Centre Pompidou. It was a perfect stay in a gorgeous, spacious, modern and quiet apartment. As soon as you step in you feel you want to move in for ever. It’s exactly what you need to make your stay in Paris as comfortable and easy as possible. My apartment had a big living room with huge, comfy sofas where I could lay for hours flicking through the art books displayed on the table. The bedroom is like a little alcove where you want to spend whole days because the bed is so cosy. Even though you are in an old building, every thing is very functional, WiFi, big shower, washing machine, kitchen with all facilities. And the exciting part is that all the apartments are completely unique and furnished differently. I can’t wait to go back to Paris and stay at a Special Apartment again.

-Yvan Rodic


Hugo & Victor Patisserie – Paris


Drop into the patisserie that looks like a high end jewelry shop in the lovely St. Germain area of Paris. Instead of picking out sapphire rings or ruby necklaces to wear you can buy some colorful macarons to eat! Skip a dazzling pearl necklace for a luscious chocolate ball. All of the pastries here look more like beautiful works of art than edible goodies. The selection is so beautiful that you will almost feel guilty for eating the ‘artwork’. The shop is more of a “to-go” place with only a few sit-down tables, so pick out everything you want and take it to your home or hotel. Founded by the affable Hughes Pouget who worked as a top pastry chef under Guy Savoy, Mr. Pouget has a serious passion for pastries, this is evident just by taking a look at the Hugo & Victor space.  We took a few moments to chat with him.

Q: Did your time at Guy Savoy influence Victor & Hugo?
A: Of course! The years I spent at Guy Savoy taught me a lot, not only in the development of my personal creativity but also professionally, as manager of a team, the rigor and the quest for perfection.

Q: Why did you decide to open your own patisserie?
A: To have the freedom to research and create!

Q: How is Victor & Hugo unique from other patisseries in Paris?
A: Hugo & Victor is a new concept of patisserie. The product is the heart of the concept. There are columns of flavors that unfold themselves vertically, some which are permanent, like chocolate, caramel and vanilla and the others according to the season. There are innovating creations called the “Hugo” and classical ones called the “Victor”. Each flavor has also a wine that matches perfectly.

Q:  What are the future plans for expanding Victor & Hugo? Possibly going to London? NYC?
A: There is a desire to expand. London and NYC are definitely on the list!

Q:  What are some of your personal favorite pastries?
A: I love fruit tarts, especially thin crust apple tart.

Q:  Do you consider creating pastries an art form?
A: Yes. When creating a pastry you think about the flavor combinations, color, texture, volume; there is a feeling, an emotion and a creation.

Q:  If the city of Paris could be represented by one pastry, which pastry would it be?
A: Probably “l’Opera”; because of it’s “french” flavor, geometric form and it’s name.

Hugo & Victor
40 Boulevard Raspail
Paris, France 75007

Mariage Freres – Paris


With multiple locations all over Paris, Mariage Freres (the Mariage Brothers in English) has a storied history in the tea industry. In 1660, the Compagnie des Indes and Louis XIV appointed Nicolas Mariage, a specialist in and traveler to the Persian countries, to convince the Shah of Persia into commerce with France and their products. At the same time, his brother Pierre Mariage, was sent as a special envoy to Madagascar for this same purpose. More than a century later, one of Pierre’s descendants, Jean-François Mariage became head of a colonial commercial company of tea, spices and food products based in Lille. In 1820, Jean-François’s three sons, Aimé, Charles, Auguste and Louis, established a family firm, Mariage Freres. In 1845, Aimé and Auguste opened in Paris, another firm, now called Auguste Mariage et Compagnie, on rue du Bourg-Tibourg. On June 1, 1854, Aimé’s sons, Henri and Édouard, started the first importer of French tea in the same building. In the following years, Mariage Frères became well known as the most important purveyor of tea and its products for tea houses, hotels and for the Parisian high society during the Second Empire.

We stopped into Mariage Freres for an afternoon tea and lunch. It’s highly recommended that you try the Snob Salad paired with for lunch but there are so many different varieties of tea to choose from that you should probably come back multiple times to try as many as possible (if you’re a tea lover). Each cafe has a little boutique with tea cups, pots and more for sale. Don’t leave without purchasing something (anyone for a bottle of TEA PERFUME?!) cute to take home and enjoy your tea with.


For black teas, matured teas, blue teas, and flavored teas

1. Un
Pre-heat the teapot, after inserting the tea strainer or filter, * by rinsing it with boiling water.

2. Deux
Place a teaspoon of tea (roughly 2.5 g) per cup in the warm strainer* and let it stand for a few moments, allowing the steam to begin developing the leaves’ aroma.

3. Trois
Pour simmering water on the tea so that all the leaves are covered.

4. Quatre
Let the tea steep (refer to chart)
About 2 minutes for fannings
About 3 minutes for broken leaf teas
About 5 minutes for whole leaf teas
Barely 3 minutes do the first flush Darjeeling (slightly increasing the amount of tea to 3.5 g per cup)
7 minutes for blue teas

5. Cinq
It is then essential to remove the strainer or filter*containing the leaves. the tea must then be stired (another important step) and finally poured. Teas from great gardens should not be drunk too hot; let them stand a few moments after steeping, so that the palate can better appreciate the most subtle of fragrances.

White and green teas :

1. Un
Pre-heat the pot or chung (cup with cover) as above.

2. Deux
Place the appropriate amount of tea per person or cup (refer to chart). Let the tea leaves stand for a few moments to allow the steam to begin developing the aroma.

3. Trois
Place the appropriate amount of tea per person or cup (refer to chart).

4. Quatre
Let the tea steep (refer to chart) :
For green tea, 1 to 3 minutes
For the white tea Yin Zhen, 15 minutes
For the white teas Pain Mu Tan, 7 minutes

5. Cinq
Remove the tea leaves, stir and serve.

* Use a cotton tea taster filter if no strainer come with the teapot.


SuperShuttle – Service in Paris!


So you’re traveling to Paris. You’re very excited but you’re not looking forward to the longish trek from Charles De Gaulle into central Paris. You can take a cab, which will cost you around 100 Euros or more. On the flip side if you want to save money you can take the Metro but do you really want to sit on a subway for an additional hour after a long flight into Paris? No. Luckily, the US based company Super Shuttle is now offering service in Paris. For only 20 euros (around $29 USD) for each person. It doesn’t matter if you’re going to a hotel or a residence, the price is always the same. You can sit in a comfortable, air conditioned van and get to your destination in a timely manner and use the money that you would have spent towards transportation on better things -like shopping. Yes, SuperShuttle does make multiple stops depending on how many people are in your van however I look at this as a big plus because it’s a great way to see some sights on your way into central Paris while also getting your location bearings in gear. The benefits and convenience of using SuperShuttle are numerous.

Reservations must be made 24 hours prior to travel, but now making those reservations from the US can be made through the SuperShuttle website at www.supershuttle.com or by calling the 1-800-Blue Van (258-3826).

SuperShuttle is offering a 15 percent discount when you book online using the discount code PARIS.

Special Apartments – Paris


When traveling to Paris people have a variety of different expectations.  From the dramatic, lavish, and often ‘grotesque’ feel of its landmarks, to the flirtation with romance, poetry and the arts, this is the city of enchantment. When I stepped into the Opera Garnier apartment I felt a wave of that incredible Parisian mystique. The apartment was filled with the sent of flowers coming from the fresh roses, lilacs, and orchids in vases scattered around the apartment. We were greeted by our two wonderful hosts, John and Regis,who are the owners of the company, “Special Apartments”, which specializes in providing luxury rentals throughout Paris.

The spacious two-bedroom early 19th century apartment is located between L’Opera Garnier and the beautiful Palais Royal Gardens. Decorated in a modern interpretation of the directoire consulate style, that adheres to the same period of the building itself, the design aesthetic is thoroughly impressive. The space dazzles with gorgeous crystal chandeliers and original artwork. Every detail from the oak parquet floors to the intricate ceiling moldings has been thoughtfully embellished. The bedrooms are fitted with comfortable beds, luxurious fixtures, and classic French furnishings with a modern twist. There are two marble bathrooms each with a shower and plenty of steaming hot water, something I truly appreciate in a historic property such as this.

Its also worth noting that the space is fully equipped for all of our modern needs. The kitchen is ready for the preparation of a feast with a modern stove, fridge and all of the necessary utensils. It has a dishwasher plus a washer and dryer. The front living space has a Bose sound system and flat screen television with a small library worth checking out.

Special Apartments also offer extra services if you so desire. For example, if you need reservations for a show, or want to take a specific tour, just give them a call. Need a transfer by taxi or chauffeur? Consider it done. When I had the opportunity to chat with the concierge, I found them to be very hip to whats new and exciting in Paris and full of valuable information for us thirsty for new experiences.


Michel Rostang – Paris


I was excited to visit the gastronomic Michel Rostang as I had heard so many amazing things about it. Visiting Michel Rostang is not just any other dinner visit, it’s like a visit to the opera. You can really make a special occasion of it. I read the menu and some reviews earlier in the day.  I found myself hoping that I wasn’t building an unreasonable expectation.  The dining room was small, but I could see that there were a few other rooms that were cordoned off for private parties. The feeling of being in a smaller room gave a feeling of intimacy that was nice. The décor was elegant and modern with a crisp, clean feel.
Our waiter James came by with a variety of champagnes to start off dinner. I had a Guy Charlemagne Grand Cru; its dry fizzy demeanor was just what I needed to set the tone of the evening. Our maitre d’ Matthew arrived to introduce himself and in the process he dropped off an amuse bouche with a halved red grape coated in goat cheese and finely crushed pistachios. This tiny bite was so fantastic that it was almost a tragedy that it went so quickly. Next to the grape was a grape juice filled sphere that exploded in my mouth. We were definitely off to a good start.

The of promise of big things coming in small packages continued as we received le foie gras de canard. The foie was almost paper-thin and the diverse seasonings would have each been pronounced on their own, were added in slight amounts to give a teasing essence that was just right. The thought occurred to me that if I had eight more courses to come, this was going to be an epic outing.

The next course was so visually impressive that I had to pause before enjoying it on another sensory level. Le Supreme de Pigeon, a fine tartelette of foie and cerises compote. I slowly sunk my spoon to the bottom of the glass until I felt the hard bottom as to ensure that I would capture each flavor. The compote was Valencia, which gives the promise of freshness as the cerise is the only ingredient in the plate that grows in the winter. The combination of the three flavors was remarkable as they merged to one flavor as opposed to a shifting of traffic between flavors. The man who thought to bring this all together must have experimented or be a lucky genius.

One of the most anticipated things on the menu for me was the Langoustines crues et torteux. When the dish came to the table, I was first presented with a scoop of sorbet in a tall cylinder with a deep concave surface. The hot tomato soup was then poured over the sorbet. The cold sorbet was sweet as it was engulfed on the spoon by the hot and savory soup. Every bite of this dish was truly as wonderful as the first. This is something that I could see a thousand other restaurants failing at.

I make no secret that I’m powerless to resist a good foie gras and I have encountered a new favorite. The foie gras medallion was seared on the sides and served standing upright with a cool center and a crisp ring on the edge. On the side was thickened blueberry compote atop a hazelnut mousse. Coupling the fruit and rich nutty flavor with the foie gras was so good that my eyes started to swell with tears of joy. There’s never been a dish that’s brought me to tears before, this one did.

While I had signed on for a tasting menu, I did request to add the le filette de Saint Pierre. The confit had a smoky taste as if it were charred before being turned into a smooth filling. The creamy sauce covering the stuffed pasta had an essence of lime that rang though after you had tasted the sweet corn and the rich cream in the sauce.
Next to arrive was the grand finale, a Michel Rostang specialty: The Truffle Sandwich. This sandwich was so simple yet magnficent in its taste and flavor. The sandwich consists of toasted buttered bread and truffles. The taste was divine. I was literally reeling after this amazing feat in sandwich making.

James returned with a cheese cart and an immense knowledge on the matter. This guy’s passion for providing a remarkable experience was as refreshing as lime in water. At Michel Rostang, every single dish was superb. I had to say no to the cheese though. If you’ve not been to Melisse, make a reservation soon. Chef and owner Michel Rostang is a man with very few peers in this town. I can’t wait to go back.

Michel Rostang
10 Rue Gustave Flaubert
75017 Paris 17e arrondissement, France
01 47 63 40 77

Camille Goutal – Paris


How did your mother, Annick Goutal influence your love for Perfume?
She did not really influence me as she wanted me to do what I wanted. It was really important for her to be passionate by the job you are doing so she wanted me to find my real passion and it was photography. I started as a photographer and when my mother was really ill she asked me if I can continue her work with her assistant and friend Isabelle Doyen. I did not have the chance to work with my mother but I had my own teacher at home Isabelle. She is teacher at ISIPCA our nose school in Paris. It was quite easy and normal for me to become a perfumer as I always saw my mother working her notes and as it is another way than photography to express your feeling.

What are your most memorable childhood olfactive memories:
My grand father house scent and also all the walk I did with my mother when she crumbled leaves in her hand and try to educate my nose….

What are some of your favorite notes?
The white flowers…I am a real fan of those very fragile flower that have a so strong sensual scent. I have created a perfume for me called Songes and it is really the kind of scent I treasure. It was in memory of my honeymoon in Mauritius. When you are walking at nightfall on the beach there a very strong scent is surrounding you and it is frangipani flower so when I came back to Paris I wanted to capture my feeling on that beach and this particular flower in a perfume. I took me 5 years to create it and each time I spray it on me I travel on an island!

What’s is the fragrance that you’re currently working on?
We are working on our vision of an Italian romantic garden called Ninfa. We imagine it through pictures and word of mouth and we have created a perfume based on that as it was really inspiring. It is a very wild luxurious private garden with so beautiful plants and trees that we were completely travelling out of time. Our perfume is called Ninfeo in homage to the river of that garden.

What is the most enjoyable part of creating a perfume?
Tough question…I like the whole process. I like when smelling completely new ingredients as you imagine new perfume, you are being inspirited and also the step when you found a new mix or a new ingredient to add that match perfectly your idea. It is another step to your final scent….

What are some of your personal favorite classics created by your mom?
My favourite perfume is Ce Soir ou Jamais (Tonight or Never), undoubtedly because I watched my mother working on this perfume for a ten year period, even at the hospital, looking for her ‘perfect rose’. It is the story of a rose she smelt in a garden near an abbey in the South of France, over 15 years ago now. The smell of this rose intoxicated her so much that she obsessed over it and wanted to make a fragrance from it. The result is a delicate breathtaking rose ensemble. It is a magical fragrance, carrying an incredible trail. This was her last creation; probably the most personal, i is therefore very moving for me today to smell it.

What is the story behind Mon Petite Cherie?
This is a fragrance my mother composed for me in 1998. She gave it this name, since it was what she used to call me. It’s always an irresistible fragrance and is one of the best sellers among the Annick Goutal perfume range. It takes you back to childhood with its fruity notes of pear combined with musk rose and freshly cut grass softened with vanilla. When you breathe in this alluring fragrance there’s an irresistible desire to embrace it.

BONUS: If the city of Paris was a human woman, which fragrance in the collection do you think would be her signature fragrance?
Grand Amour as it is a very chic, sensual and feminine perfume. This scent has a very strong temper and could be Paris signature fragrance… Grand Amour is also a declaration of love to my mother’s husband…the man of her life, who offered her a bunch of white flowers, usually lilies every single week so it is very romantic like Paris.


114 Faubourg – Paris


For days in advance I was eagerly looking forward to visiting 114 Faubourg. The new restaurant located within the ultra-fabulous Hotel Le Bristol in Paris. The restaurant is known for its traditional French cuisine set within a more casual Brasserie-Rotisserie style atmosphere in contrast to its high gastronomy 3 Michelin starred big sister known as “The Restaurant” in the same hotel. This hot new destination restaurant is so popular that there is currently a one week reservation wait just to get a table. So needless to say the walk down Saint Honoré leading up to the hotel was filled with as much anticipation as the traffic filled streets were filled with pedestrian shoppers. I was joined by my friend Danielle for dinner. She’s a down home American Southern lady by birth, but has as broad and sophisticated a palette as anyone I know and hence the perfect person to join me at 114 Faubourg.

After a short walk through Le Bristol upon entering the restaurant the hostess was enthusiastic and while leading us down to the lower level floor of this two level restaurant, she helped create a feeling that we were going to receive something very special. The giant, colorful Dahlia’s gracing the walls in contrast to the wide open-faced kitchen with chefs making their magic within our site added to the enthusiasm that was flowing in the air. We were greeted by our maitre’de, Pedro for the evening who suggested a glass of champagne to start and we agreed without hesitation. Our much needed glasses of Diebolt-Vallois bubbly arrived. Oh boy did this champagne deliver -the chalky under tones were balanced by a sweetness that made my tonsils sing as it swished down my throat ever so gently. I couldn’t resist an encore of this delightful champagne so I enjoyed a second glass of the Diebolt. I’m normally not one to drink two glasses of champagne in a row but I was feeling spumante and the Diebolt was just marvelous and worthy of acclamation.

Now it was time for us to navigate the menu. We were handed French menus which we stared at for about one minute before Pedro came up and asked if we would like to look at the English menu –we said yes. I expected the menu to be challenging, for everything I order, there’s going to be something else I want. After flipping back and forth through the pages I decided we would first start by ordering a few simple yet ace starters. The Butternut Squash Soup with Delicate Cepe Mushroom Foam and the Hard Boiled Egg with Fresh Mayo and Shredded Crab looked like the best options –simple and uncomplicated yet highly appetizing. The soup was the first thing I tried and it sent me reeling and a wheeling, splishin’ and a splashin’. This was no ordinary butternut squash soup, I literally had to sip very slowly to comprehend all the flavors happening at once. The Hard Boiled Egg had some big shoes to fill, which it did with its tangy and creamy taste of egg and mayo combined with the crab –I was in heaven and I let it be known right then and there. Danielle ordered the Poached Egg and judging from the look on her face, she had no regrets over this decision.

All this and we still had not ordered our main course. Once we cleared the table again we opened our menus, endorphins surging and a few glasses of wine emerging, decisions…still not forthcoming. I must say, our maitre’de was a real pro; he had great suggestions and gave real substantive detail on the dishes. Danielle was also indecisive, but I kept repeating the words, “Spit Roasted Fish” in a hushed whisper until she was hypnotized into ordering the fish, in the aforementioned rotisserie style. The menu at 114 Faubourg offers both seafood and meat including chicken, steak, lamb and more. Since Danielle decided to “surf”, I decided to take a walk on some “turf” and I ordered a Beef Rib.

The entrees arrived and affirmed the feeling that we could do no wrong. My Beef Rib was nearly the circumference of a baseball, set upon parsnip puree, surrounded by wild mushrooms, game sauce that had a taste of a smattering of chocolate. Danielle’s spit roast chicken looked impressive as well, but I could hardly take my eyes off what was in front of me. The chop was cooked to perfection, seared on the outside and just the shade of pink I like to see on the inside. The puree was decadent and dreamy mixed with the compressed pear. In all of this I had lost sight of Danielle who was having a sensory overload of her own. I hadn’t noticed that she had given me a little sample of her fish. This fish was heavenly; it practically melted in my mouth as I heard that faint voice repeating, “Spit Roasted Fish”.

Our maitre’de had informed us well in advance about the desert selection because there are so many good things to choose, and we knew we would need some proper time to decide how to approach the ending an already amazing dinner. At this point a Homemade Rum Baba sounded like a very good idea to be split between Danielle and me. Once it arrives we start dipping in, Danielle and I are both reeling at this point from a parade of amazing flavors.
114 Faubourg raised the bar in terms of staff, atmosphere and of course the out-of-this world amazing food. I highly suggest taking my lead and refrain from over analyzing the menu and just allow your inner chef to guide you. With no advice or guidance on my part, 114 Faubourg proved incapable of being anything less than impressive across the board.

114 Faubourg (Inside the Le Hotel Bristol)
112, Rue Du Faubourg
Saint Honoré; Paris
Métro: Miromesnil

Hidden Hotel – Paris


Review and Photos by The Cobrasnake

The Hidden Hotel. What can I say. It’s hidden on a quite street in the 17th Arrondissement of Paris. Its only been open for a few months but it has some character. The concept is that you should feel like you are in a cabin or something. I didn’t really feel that way but I tried to pretend. There are some cool chairs in the lobby made out of dead animals and tree stumps. Also there’s a “library” of books. The hotel smells nice. The girl at the front desk was extremely helpful especially for being in Paris. The internet is free. Breakfast might be free but not really worth waking up for. The room was very clean. Really nice flat screen TV. And comfortable bed. The room has an open layout so you can watch someone taking a shower from the bed. The shower is great and they have soaps and washcloths to use. No q-tips and not much else to offer in the toiletries department so bring your own. The hotel was quiet and peaceful and easy to relax. Doesn’t really feel like you are in Paris which is silly…

3.5 / 5 Cobrasnake Stars

28 Rue de l’Arc de Triomphe
75017 Paris, France
01 40 55 03 57

Liana Yaroslavsky’s Charming French Atelier


Liana fondly refers to her atelier as her “little nest.” High ceilings, white walls and parquet flooring the color of honey create a haven where she can escape and tend to her creations undisturbed. Only the sun peaks in through large windows, its rays reflecting off of floor-length mirrors and elegant crystal chandeliers that bathe the atelier in peace, clarity and light.

The spacious, 105m² workspace also doubles as Liana’s showroom where admirers and the curious can gather to view her exclusive table creations. Her extraordinary collection is unlike any other, as novelties like glass baubles, crystal bubbles and entire chandeliers are somehow magically encased in a transparent veil of glass. Once inside Liana’s atelier, the connection between its luminous character and her ingenious table collection is revealed.

Liana’s stunning atelier is only 300m away from the artist’s home. It is a warm, tranquil and inspiring place where she is able to channel her inner peace and deeply connect with her artistic ideas and creativity.

Tea-time at the Hotel Crillon – Paris


Enjoy tea-time in the classic atmosphere of the winter garden at Hotel Crillon in Paris. Tea-time at the Crillon has become an essential must-visit for anyone who spends a day shopping nearby at the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. Making tea-time even more special each month will have its own unique theme. The November tea-time will feature cupcakes, éclairs, sweets and other treats inspired by a Gourmandises Acidulées (Tangy Delights) theme.

The following is the tea-time theme schedule at the Crillon:

November: Gourmandises Acidulées (Tangy Delights)
December: Tout sur le Chocolat! (All about Chocolate!)
January: Vert Amandes (Sweet and Green)
February: Le Blanc dans tous ses états (All Shades of White)

Tea Time at the Crillon : served in the Winter Garden from 3pm to 6pm daily
Price: 32 euros per person for unlimited tea and pastries
For reservations: +33 (0)1 44 71 15 16

Hotel Crillon
10, Place Concorde
75008 Paris, France
+33 1 44 71 15 00

Paris Hideaways – Sheherazade


Have you ever wondered what it means when someone says, “It’s so European?” This airy 1 bedroom + extra living room with roll out couch / 2 bath apartment known as “Sheherazade” by Paris Hideaways is a good answer. Inspired by modern European décor and fused with Moroccan influence. The townhouse features a serene private garden, perfect for having a casual little fête with friends or lounging solo on the hammock. Sheherazade provides a very tranquil environment with floor-to-ceiling glass doors overlooking the garden. The townhouse also has a fully equipped, modern kitchen with a dining room which seats up to eight people. Situated in the hip Marais area, right off Rue Des Archives there are plenty of markets, shops, café’s, art galleries, vintage shops and more all within your reach at Sheherazade. This location can’t be beat because it’s in a really cool area yet if your desire is to visit all the tourist must-sees, the Eiffel Tower is a 10 minute drive by taxi, The Louvre roughly a 20 minute walk and Notre Dame is a 10 minute walk away. If you’re curious about anything in Paris, your greeter will not only show you the ins and outs of the apartment but will also tell you all about the area. So cork open a bottle of your driest red, click your heels twice and slowly repeat: there is no place like an 17th century home with 21st century comforts.

Sheherazade by Paris Hideaways

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French Kiss!


Fran co•phile adj.: A person who admires France, its people, or its culture. Here is a guide to help you find the perfect gift for the French obsessed person in your life.

1 A Trip to Paris: Open Skies
You can’t beat surprising your loved one with a ticket to Paris. Open Skies flys direct to Paris from New York. With Open Skies, gone are the days of long and harrowing flights stuffed like sardines in the economy section. Economy? What’s “Economy”? PREM+ is a new service category offering business class comfort without the business class price, featuring wide leather seats with a 140 degree recline and 52 inches of legroom. Both BIZ & Prem+ receive fresh and healthy meal services, bottle poured wines, electric outlets at every seat, entertainment systems and much more. http://flyopenskies.com reservations: 1-866-581-3596

2 Taschen’s Paris: by Angelika Taschen
Now that he/she has a ticket to Paris, they will need an essential guidebook that will tell them where they can get the best macarons in the city or where Hemingway ate the herrings he wrote about in A Moveable Feast. How about Picasso’s favorite restaurant, La Palatte? This is the most stylish Parisian guide book out there. Buy it at: http://taschen.com

3 Brigitte Eau de Parfum by Tocca
I highly suggest giving this gift to the woman in your life whether she is a Francophile or not. It smells so good that it literally uplifts your mood. Actually it has a “sexy” scent which is why it’s named after and inspired by Brigitte Bardot at the height of her sexiness and the imagery of her riding her bicycle in Farm Markets in the South of France. The notes in the scent are delightfully sweet Morrocan rose, papaya, ginger, rhubarb, sandalwood and musk. http://tocca.com

4 Ooh La La Soap by Lush
Help her calm her frazzled nerves with a pretty bar of Ooh La La Soap by Lush. This lovely lavender scented soap lathers up into a pretty shade of fucshia pink. She’ll feel like she’s bathing in a French garden. The smell of lavender is known to have a soothing and calming effect. http://lush.com

5 Rosetta Stone: Learn to speak French in a matter of months!
Le meilleur cadeau que vous pouvez donner est le cadeau de langue! What better way to tell the Francophile in your life how much you love them than to give them the gift of learning a new language -French! Rosetta Stone allows the user to learn at their own pace as quickly or slowly as they want. It’s used by the US State Department and Military and you know they mean business. So if your Francophile regrets not paying attention in high school French class, they can make up for it by dedicating a few months to Rosetta Stone. http://rosettastone.com

6 Stylish Clothing by French Label Manoush
French label Manoush is known for offering mixes of leather and lace, embroidery and sequins. It’s bohemian meets Alice in Wonderland and couldn’t be anything but French. http://manoush.com

7 Macarons by Paulette Beverly Hills
Yummy yummy doo! Not to be confused with “Macaroons” (double o), Macarons are a traditional and delicious French pastry made of egg whites, almond powder, icing and sugar and shaped into little round mini burger-like domes. They are also stylish, coming in all sorts of colors from pastel yellows to bold reds & purples. Although this gift could be eaten up in one sitting, it’s still an eventful goodie. Macarons can’t be easily found anywhere in the US as they can be found at any random bakery in Paris but luckily there are a few bakeries that sell them. $18 per box of 18 Macarons.