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cafe-de-flore-de-quelle-planete-es-tu-11cafe-de-flore-de-quelle-planete-es-tu-1 cafe-de-flore-de-quelle-planete-es-tu-2 cafe-de-flore-de-quelle-planete-es-tu-3cafe-de-flore-de-quelle-planete-es-tu-5 cafe-de-flore-de-quelle-planete-es-tu-6 cafe-de-flore-de-quelle-planete-es-tu-8cafe-de-flore-de-quelle-planete-es-tu-10cafe-de-flore-de-quelle-planete-es-tu-12cafe-de-flore-de-quelle-planete-es-tu-9 cafe-de-flore-de-quelle-planete-es-tu-13cafe-de-flore-de-quelle-planete-es-tu-15 cafe-de-flore-de-quelle-planete-es-tu-14Café de Flore is one of Paris’s staple Parisian cafés. That’s a mouthful, but it’s true. Café de Flore has marked the streets of Saint Germain with it’s art deco wonders, notable passerbys and their extremely expensive expresso. Despite its regulars of l’époque,  Café de Flore has maintained a popularity contest with the also renowned  Les Deux Magots that is only a few steps over. Café de Flore’s employees are the type of waiters that are featured in old Disney movies and in vintage games or cartoons: the older Parisians with white and black suits and the tray basically glued to their hand. This does not mean they are friendly, but rather snobby in the “still awesomely Parisian” kind of way. If you’re looking for a spot with speedy service where you can sit for a while, this may not be your pick on a weekend. However, it’s worth the over priced expresso and cake served on a beautiful little platter with branded porcelain. Perfect for a session of people watching on their beautifully art deco terrace, or a little catch up with a friend.

Café de Flore
172 Boulevard Saint-Germain, 75006
Tél: 01 45 48 55 26
Métro: Saint Germain des Prés (4)

Strolling in Paris - De quelle planete es tu - 8Strolling in Paris - De quelle planete es tu - 1Strolling in Paris - De quelle planete es tu - 2Strolling in Paris - De quelle planete es tu - 3Strolling in Paris - De quelle planete es tu - 4Strolling in Paris - De quelle planete es tu - 6Strolling in Paris - De quelle planete es tu - 7Strolling in Paris - De quelle planete es tu - 5Strolling in Paris - De quelle planete es tu - 9Strolling in Paris - De quelle planete es tu - 10Strolling in Paris - De quelle planete es tu - 12I had an interesting conversation with a friend today. I was thinking about how I have always lived in a part of the world with seasons. I’m not sure how I would handle living in a place with a steady climate. I love that the seasons bring a change in how we bundle, what we do to relax and how we live.

In the Summer we are outside, soaking up the sun and our eyes are always squinting just a little bit more. The days are longer and work is sometimes put on the back burner. In the winter, however, our days are short and sometimes filled with fog, rain, or even better, snow. We are weaker in a sense that we can get sick from not properly bundling up. We make sure to eat with the season to keep our bodies as warm as can be. The extra layers pile on the back of chairs and doors to prepare for facing the cold air. We may take more time to relax and be at home (I certainly do in the winter). Aside from these two extremes, there are Spring and Fall that help us transition between the extremes. Each season seemed to last forever in my mind as a kid. Seasons remain markers of time, but boy are they shifting from one to another vite.

Despite what season we are in, we can always look forward to a new one in the near future. To be honest I’ve often got another one on my mind… I don’t daydream about it with anticipation or anything, I just think about it. Today as I strolled through the Marais and Ile Saint Louis through the crisp winter air, I couldn’t help but remember the same stroll I took last summer.

Brasserie-Lipp-and-Saint-Germain-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-00When my aunt was in town for a few days, I had to get my mother-in-law’s recommendation on a typical (but beautiful) Parisian Brasserie on Rive Gauche for lunch…so she suggested Brasserie Lipp. Located across from the iconic Café de Flore, this bustling Parisian hotspot was a wonderful discovery in my eyes.

The art deco interior left sparkles in my eyes, and the grub was honestly so delicious. The menu took some time to navigate, but I finally went with the plate of the day, sea bass on a bed of steamed leeks. It was sublime, and perfect with a glass of white wine. They offer some of the most classic French dishes to their aimable clientele; Andouillette, Pieds de Porc (yes, pig feet… a true delicacy according to Louis), Steak Tartare and various fishes depending on the season. If you enjoy salads as a main dish, I would not suggest this restaurant as it says in bold at the top of the menu in perfect English: “NO SALADS FOR MAIN DISH”. Ouch.

Sometimes these borderline cliché brasseries really do the trick with friends or family in town. The small square tables with white tablecloths and mega Parisian waiters dressed in black and white really made my day. The art deco interior has so much charm, and makes you feel like you’re in one of those 1960′s French movies that you had to watch in French class in high school.

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Brasserie Lipp
151 boulevard Saint Germain, 75006
Tél: 01 45 48 53 91 (Reservations recommended)
Métro: Saint Germain des Prés (4) / Mabillon (10)

Habitat-Parisien-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-11
I often get asked for suggestions of where to stay in Paris by readers or by friends of friends. It’s a difficult question to answer as Paris has been my home for the past half dozen years, and I never really vacationed here. However, one tip I always share is to rent an apartment instead of staying in a hotel. Hotels can be lovely, but part of Paris’s charm is experiencing it like a local does. When you rent a little apartment you can have your little kitchen and such and actually feel like a Parisian.

Habitat Parisien offers a variety of different apartments across the city of lights. A few weeks back, Louis and I packed up our weekend bags and spent a few days “away”, in their Monsigny apartment, located in the heart of the 2nd arrondissement.

I’m quite fond of  this area because it is so central, situated perfectly between boutiques on the Grands Boulevards, the Opéra, the Palais Royale and not to mention next to one of my favorite streets, rue Sainte Anne. It is an area where most things are walking distance, which is my favorite way to see the city.

This weekend away in the 2nd turned into a Parisian adventure filled with jaw dropping sights and homemade sushi with friends thanks to the neighborhood’s Japanese ambiance.

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The Monsigny apartment can comfortably sleep four people, two in a double bed in the mezzanine, and two in the pull-out couch if need be. It would be perfect for a group of four friends, or a family with two kids. The weekend we stayed there was particularly chilly, but the beautiful and spacious patio must be dreamy as can be in the summertime… the perfect place to enjoy a pain au chocolat in the morning.

The apartment, that is located on the ground floor, has such a cozy feeling with its big beige stone walls and large windows opening to the private patio. It’s simple and charming, all you could ever need for your stay in Paris. The little kitchen is equipped with everything you could need to cook a bit, and the bathroom features the highlight in my eyes: a bathtub.

STROLL SUGGESTIONS:

→ Walk up and down rue Saint Anne. If you like Japanese food, stop by Higuma for lunch.

→ Stumble into Ace or K Mart on rue Saint Anne for groceries to make your own Japanese feast back at the apartment.

→ Go down by the Palais Royale, and wander through the gardens and passages couverts. Pop in Serge Lutens and smell their incredible perfumes.

→ Stop for a coffee at Le Nemours in between the Louvre and Palais Royale for a café crème and people watching on the terrace.

→ Take in the view of the Opéra Garnier from afar, walking closer and closer up Avenue de l’Opéra.

→ Wander to the top of Printemps for a breathtaking view of Paris. On your way up stop at Ladurée for a macaroon to munch on while up top.

→ Pop in the Galeries Lafayette to see the stained glass dome. They’ve got a balcony, too.