Paris Journals

Victoria and Kelly Go to Paris

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A May 2005 trip to Paris by VictoriaLevy

Bistro du Septieme Photo, Paris, France More Photos
Quote: Victoria and Kelly find the real magic of Paris in the springtime, avoiding all other tourist clichés, while eating some of the most amazing food on the planet, pretending to be French, and actually fooling some French people, fussing over every cat we encountered on the way.

Victoria and Kelly Go to Paris

Overview

Quote:
The highlights of our trip were definitely the meals we experienced at non-tourist locations. We were the only Americans present at all of the restaurants, and the French actually seemed to respect us for finding these places. We also attended Mass at Notre Dame and loved seeing the twinkling lights on the Eiffel Tower each midnight.Quick Tips: We were intimidated by the transportation at first, but without a good sense of direction between the two of us, we did successfully navigate the Métro, which means it has to be easy. A lot of the taxi drivers don’t speak French or English, so we had better luck writing down our destination and giving it to them.Best Way To Get Around: Absolut...Read More

Splendid Hotel

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Hotel

Splendid Hotel Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
The Splendid Hotel was such a great place to stay that I swore to let everyone know about it as soon as we returned. First, it's a very pretty Hausman-style building that straddles a corner in much the same way as the Flatiron building in New York. It is exquisitely maintained and very chic and new inside. The employees all speak perfect English, are warm, outgoing, and eager to assist with everything and will make genuine friendly conversation with you. They seem happy to have you staying with them and will do anything to make your stay perfect. We requested a room with a view of the Eiffel Tower, and we definitely got what we wanted. We did agree to share a queen-sized bed, but we're cousins, so ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 5, 2005

Splendid Hotel
54 RUE FONDARY
Paris, France 75015
33145751773

Bistro du Septieme

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Restaurant

Bistro du Septieme Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
This was where Kelly and I had our first meal in Paris, and it set the standard for the rest of the trip and was an excellent precursor for meals to come. We came here for a late lunch, cold, jet-lagged, and still in a dream-like rapture over the fact that we actually made it to Paris. I kept looking around saying "I'm really in Paris!" When we arrived, there was a wait, and I was shy about speaking French, but the owner was very nice and did not speak back to me in English, which made me happy. Kelly learned her first new French word, cendrier (ashtray), and was amazed that in France people can smoke inside and that it is assumed that you will have wine with lunch. We had the t...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 3, 2005

Bistro du Septieme
La Tour Maubourg
Paris, France

Le P'tit Troquet

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Restaurant

Quote:
Le P'Tit Troquet, which is very small, provided us with our best meal in Paris. It was so good, in fact, that it is definitely one of the top five meals of my entire life. The restaurant is on a tiny little side street in the 7th. Cars can't go down it, so if you take a taxi, they will have to drop you off, and you'll have to walk the rest of the way down the cobblestones to get there. Once inside, you will find the most darling, quaint, almost country-looking little place. It's delightful. The menu is small and never the same, because they buy the food fresh at the market each day and only get what is fresh and in season. The day we were there was in spring, so all of Paris seemed to be celebrat...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 4, 2005

Le P'tit Troquet
28 Rue de L'Exposition
Paris, France 75007
01 47 05 80 39

Auberge Bressane

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Restaurant

Quote:
Kelly and I visited Auberge Bressane on a lively Saturday night. The place was completely full and very raucous. There were lots of large groups of people and families all celebrating different occasions. There were even dogs. Since there was a wait, we sat at the bar and had wine. The waiters were all very young and flirtatious, so we got very good service there before we were squished into a very tight banquette. If you want privacy, this might not be a good idea, but we wanted to immerse ourselves in French culture, so we were excited. I started my meal with a unique salad of haricot verts, mushrooms, and herbs. It was so good that I figured out how to recreate it at home so I could have it ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 4, 2005

Auberge Bressane
16 Avenue de la Motte Picquet
Paris, France
+33 1 47 05 98 37

Le Maupertu

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Restaurant

Quote:
Kelly and I had an early Monday night dinner here on our last night in Paris. The restaurant was very close to our hotel, and it was a very pretty walk around Les Invalides to get there. It was a drizzly, cool periwinkle twilight, and the lights on the Invalides dome were glowing golden. Since we decided to eat early, the restaurant wasn't very crowded, and we were seated immediately at a table by the window. The entire front of the dining room is a large glass window so that diners can look at the lovely view. Kelly started her meal with a Parmesan salad, and I had tomatoes and mozzarella, which was a little disappointing to me because I get this at home all the time. We both decided to hav...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 5, 2005

Le Maupertu
94 Blvd. De La Tour Maubourg
Paris, France 75007
014558450

Arc de Triomphe

Attraction

Quote:
Please listen to us and do not go to the Arc de Triomphe or the Champs Elysees. There is no good reason to go there unless you want to feel exactly as if you are in the middle of the Midwestern US. It’s ALL tourists. Everything is crowded, tacky, overpriced, and awful. We went because I felt like I had to see it just to say that I did, but it was the worst part of our trip and made both of us very crabby. It was like Times Square - big, overdone, commercialized, and all-around bad. No self-respecting French person would ever go here. If you won't heed our advice and you must go, whatever you do, do not eat anything here. The food is dreadful, and this is probably the only place where you will find ...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on August 3, 2005

Arc de Triomphe
Place Charles-de-gaulle
Paris, France 75008
+33 (1) 55 37 73 77

Ile de la Cité/Ile Saint-Louis

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Attraction | "Ile St. Louis"

Quote:
Kelly and I agreed that the Ile St. Louis was our favorite area in Paris, besides the 7th, where we stayed. We returned twice for the food, shopping, and of course, the Berthillon ice cream. Once you have seen Notre Dame, follow the little foot bridge over to the Ile St. Louis. It’s a very little island in the middle of the Seine and so small that it’s easy to explore. My friend Lisa, who went to Paris on her honeymoon, also said that it was her favorite spot in the entire City of Lights. Kelly and I skipped over the narrow cobblestone streets and delighted in all the food shops. We bought souvenirs at a shop called L'Epicerie, which has an array of honeys, jams, and very unique-flavored sugars...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 3, 2005

Ile de la Cité/Ile Saint-Louis
Centre of Paris in the Seine
Paris, France

Palace of Versailles (Chateau de Versailles)

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Attraction | "Palace of Versailles"

Quote:
Kelly had really wanted to go to Versailles and it was closed for the beginning of our trip due to a workers strike. We decided to call on Sunday and see if they were open. Luckily, they were, and we took the RER Vick train to get there. It's a short and lovely ride from Paris and once you get there it's a 10-minute or so walk from the station to the palace. Versailles is enormous. We should have gone earlier and been more well prepared. If I had to do it over, I would have done more research, worn more comfortable clothes and shoes, and planned for an entire day. We just went for an afternoon. I also would have brought a snack of some sort. I liked the gardens the best although they...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 18, 2005

Palace of Versailles (Chateau de Versailles)
20 Km Sw Of Paris
Versailles, France
01 30 83 78 00