A June 2004 trip
to Paris by metrogirl
Quote: I would like to introduce you to the Paris neighborhood I adopt for each summer. This rue seemed to have more than it's share of handsome and kind men.
Hotel | "Hôtel St-Dominique"
But in some rooms it is evident that decorator must have been a huge fan of historical toile fabric, as they suffer a bit for the over-exuberant use of the print on pillows, bed covers, walls, door-backs and curtains. But I have had the stayed here on a number of occasions and sampling several of the 34 chambers. Some are not so busy, but "classily classy" and all are impeccably clean.
If you choose a street side chamber, it can get a bit noisy in the evening hours because there are three bars (one Irish and two local) and three restaurants right on the rue. However, the little time I spent chilling in my room I loved watching the people coming and going, smelling the food cooking, hearing the music, and absorbing the energy of daily normal and touristy Paris life. It was at times better that any TV drama. And for me, street noise is forgotten when I turned my head to the right and saw my own personal view of the Eiffel Tower. Great to see first thing in the morning, but at its magical best for the first 10 minutes of every hour when the "twinkling-light" show is buzzing away.
But if you really want quiet an inside or courtyard chamber is for you. I was a little bored not having "tout Paris" to view while I rested, wrote or read. But it was quiet and private. When I stay here with my husband, I am sure that it will be a wonderful haven for romance.
Each room has an in-room toilet, shower, sink, hairdryer, cable TV (CNN and MTV), refrigerator/minibar, and safe. Elevators go to all levels. The stairways to the floors have décor that is reminiscent of a gentile urban home.
The cozy, ancient breakfast room below the street level serves a petit dejuner is available for 7.50€. I was nice on the cold rainy days and on pleasant days I would take my café in the courtyard. While the hotel breakfast is sufficient and time saving, I am more inclined to go out to find a new boulangerie each day for my morning café crème et croissant. I scout out a place the night before on the way home from some adventure. It was also sometimes a lot cheaper going out. (Pink-façaded Boulangerie Poujauran is a short walk away on rue Jean Nicot -- see my review.)
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 12, 2004
Exclusive St Dominique Eiffel
62 RUE SAINT DOMINIQUE
33 1 47 05 51 44
I could no longer resist the delightful aromas wafting up into my hotel room that overlooked this restaurant’s front door. Once inside, I was immediately charmed with the décor of red-velour banquettes, yellow walls, globe lights, rows of small tables, and an old-fashioned bistro zinc bar with mirrors. Bustling, handsome waiters in white aprons efficiently attended to a nice mixed crowd of diners.
The owners are proud of their new business cards.
For an appetizer, we naturally ordered the escargot, as Thoumieux has been "a constant member of the snail elite" for over 50 years. Needless to say, they were scrumptious with just the right amount of buttery garlic-ness. For the main course ordered the famouscassoulet, which was amazing, fresh tasting, and with distinct beans and broth instead of cooked down into a muddy mass. My husband had the confit de canard, one of their famous duck specialties. He said it was the best duck he had ever tasted and he has dined on duck dinners all over the world, so that is pretty high praise in my book. We accompanied our meal with a bottle a wonderful bottle of Carte Noire Cahors. As it was lunchtime, we didn't have dessert, but we did grab a handful each of the famous complimentary coco-walnuts as a temporary sweet tooth fix.
Don't come to Thoumieux with lofty expectations, but be prepared for a solid, gently priced meal. But come with an appetite!
ASIDE FOR NON-SMOKERS: We were asked if we wanted non-smoking seating, which had been rare in the past. In general, there was much less smoking in this restaurant than other, even higher starred ones we ate at on this trip.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 11, 2004
79, rue St. Dominique
Paris, France 75007
+33 1 47 05 49 75
On our way to spend a quiet afternoon on the Champs du Mars sketching and picnicking, my husband and I took a new down rue Monttessuy. My attention was captured by some great architectural drawings beautifully displayed in a shop window just in site of the Eiffel Tower. I pushed open the door and entered the world of Michel Fresnay and his père go who are both passionately fond of graphic representation of architecture in its decorative form.
My "architect glands" were salivating seeing all the intricate architectural elevations, perspectives, plots and projects, treated in black and white or in luscious color. Michel was warm and cordial (AND very, very handsome!)and with infinite patience showed me a myriad of designs, from simple hand drawings of unknown but talented architect to some famous ones. There were also some fine reproductions of some of the fine originals on vellum for framing or on small note cards.
My husband, Chris, was treated with equal courtesy by Michel’s father. My husband collects antique maps and was in his own little heaven on the other side of the shop perusing engravings and original lithographs from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries.
The prices ranged from just one or two €uros for note cards to several thousand €uros for rare lithographs and hand drawings.
Chris purchased a fine old lithographed map of Marseilles and I choose 2 original copper plate prints of the Tour Eiffel. We had our choices framed at Mégarte and when we picked them up the next day were very pleased at the care and detail in which it was done. (Also the price was very reasonable!)
We never reached our destination goal of a Champs du Mars picnic. We shared our fresh baguettes, rich, red wine, and fragrant cheeses with the proprietors, happily munching and discussing maps and architecture. The maps and prints that now grace our humble walls are treasured reminders of a grey Paris afternoon and shared passions for beautiful art.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 17, 2004
16 rue de Monttessuy