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A week in Paris

Jean-Paul Gaultier Show

From September 2018 until January 2019, Jean-Paul Gaultier sees his childhood dream come true: a dream to offer a revue on the legendary stage of Folies Bergère in Paris. 
The French and world-famous fashion designer had to wait until 2018 to make his dream come true with the excellent “Fashion Freak Show”.
The Must of Gaultier creation.
Our expert concierge service at Guest Apartment Services Paris will be pleased to book your tickets in advance for the show and just after the performance, 
offer you diner recommendation and reservation close by Folies Bergeres.

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Confidential adresses in Paris

Discover confidential addresses recommended by our guests & friends who been experienced Paris for a week !

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In the early May sunshine there were long queues at Berthillon ice cream outlets on the Ile St Louis for ‘Paris’s best ice cream.’ But we, for one wonderful week, were residents on the island courtesy of Guest Apartment Services, (G.A.S) and could choose when to enjoy our next scoop of salted caramel. We hadn’t come to Paris to exhaustively sightsee and gallery hop: though the comprehensive guide in our lovely apartment, plus Liliane, the G.A.S concierge’s offer to book any museum, gallery and restaurant we liked, was hard to go past. We hadn’t been to the Musee D’Orsay in years and took her advice to book online, and to visit on a Thursday night after 6pm to avoid the crowds.

Apart from that, we were in Paris to balade, stroll around, stop at favourite cafes and bars, people watch and take advantage of our apartment’s stylishly appointed kitchen. With, it must be said, a bit of shopping on the side. Ile St Louis is perfectly positioned, with the Marais to the North, and the Latin Quarter and St Germain to the South. Just over in the Marais, Rue St Antoine has all the shops and supermarkets you need to stock fridge and larder.  Two good cheese shops, chocolate, charcuterie, fruit, confits, salads, vegetables, patisseries: it’s all here. With alleys, courtyards and streets bursting with interesting and idiosyncratic shops.

We have our favourites – remembering this is a personal guide – and they include APC and American Vintage on the Rue Vielle du Temple. The Picasso Museum has reopened and is a must. (So we did do a few galleries.) Buy your ticket on line to beat any queues, and time your visit to include lunch at Café des Musees, five minutes away on Rue de Turenne. Though most restaurants do have room for walk ins don’t chance it: always book in Paris, it’s an accepted courtesy. Liliane was only too happy to do so for us, even though most people in Paris shops and restaurants these days do speak English. What was interesting was that three times we were told, ‘we like it when people at least try to speak French.’ And every visitor should remember, when going into any establishment, to establish a rapport with a Bonjour Monsieur/Madame. Though my wife and I could probably be described as ‘foodies’, (awful term) we tend to stay away from top end restaurants, much as we admire certain chefs. Blogs, and Patricia Wells’ terrific Food Lovers Guide to Paris have some overrun with tourists, and it seemed to us (some) standards had slipped.

Though it must be dispiriting for any chef to see a guest drinking diet coke – as we did – with a dish they’ve slaved over. And Liliane described one restaurants booking policy as ‘pretentious’: though in mitigation, given the number of times they’d been written up, they were probably overwhelmed with people wanting a table. Having said all that, do put Fish la Boissonerie (not poissonerie, they have a wine shop) on your list. They do take walk ins, though best to book. Chef Ollie Clarke’s main courses were, this May 2016, only E18, a steal not only for Paris but also for this quality of food. (Mrs. Putnam, brought up on a sheep farm and something of a connoisseur rated their lamb chops ‘the best ever.’ No wonder it’s a G.A.S recommendation.)

The great thing is that opposite is another restaurant, in a sense part of the family, Semilla where I had the best chocolate dessert, extant. And next door a wine bar, Freddy’s where you could get bar food, a plate of charcuterie, perhaps, and next door, Cosi, where the pizza oven fire burns bright. So, if you find yourself in St. Germain, you’ve a chance of a walk in. Just over the Pont Louis Philippe, to the right on Quai de Hotel de Ville is a very unpretentious local wine bar, A Lot Of Wine. (As in the Lot Departement.) If you’re a fan of Cahors Malbec, ‘black wine’ you can enjoy it here. And as a wine shop the mark ups are very fair if you buy a bottle off the shelf and drink it there. Their decanters, enormous wine glasses with a pouring lip, also tempted us, but it would have been the proverbial camel’s back as far as our luggage was concerned. And next door is a coffee shop, with, for Paris, pretty good coffee.

We won’t go on: below is a list of recommendations; some are in the G.A.S guide, Some aren’t. I wish I could remember the name of the food shop on Rue de Seine near Boulevard St Germain where they sell the Iberico ham and Normandy butter. On Ile St Louis we particularly liked the white tiled Café Regis, near Ile de la Cite so it does attract tourists but the very friendly waiters cope and it’s a lovely, lively place to sit. Come to that we didn’t do Café Flore, La Coupole or Bistro Paul Bert. And my wife points out that Galeries Lafayette has the world’s biggest selection of shoes, and the Luxembourg Gardens are always worth a stroll, especially as you can enjoy a dozen oysters at Huitrerie Regis on the way back. And there are those vintage handbags in the shop on the corner by Pont Marie at the end of Quai D’Anjou. Etc.  

Restaurants

  • Café des Musées : 49 Rue de Turenne 1 42 72 96 17
  • Le Comptoir : (lunch, dinner is hard to book) Carrefour de L’Odeon 1 44 27 07 97
  • Fish La Boissonnerie : 69 Rue de Seine 1 43 54 34 69
  • Semilla : 54 Rue de Seine 1 43 54 34 50
  • Albion : 80 Rue du Fauborg-Poissoniere in the 11th has the same owners.
    We didn’t go to Mon Vieil Ami 69 Rue St Louis this trip, or Benoit 20 Rue St Martin 1 42 72 25 76. Best check with Liliane.
  • Huitrerie Regis at 3 Rue Montfaucon by Mabillon metro.
  • Coffee : apart from the aforementioned; Loustic, 40 Rue Chapou, and Peleton, a bike shop café in the Marais.
  • Wine : Les Caves du Marais, 64 Rue Francois Miron (Leads into Rue St Antoine)
  • Wine Bar : Oenosteria (all day) 40 Rue Gregoire de Tours, Frenchie, 5 Rue de Nil,
    In Rue Vielle du Temple: Les Philosophes and Le fer a cheval.
    And we liked Le Barav on Rue Charles Francois Dupuis, also in the Marais.
  • Cheese : Pascal, 77 Rue St Antoine, tho there’s a cheese shop on Rue St Louis and a terrific butcher.
  • Chocolate : Henri le Roux 1 Rue Bourbon le Chapeau.

 

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