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Paris: Off the Beaten Path

by Caroline Dwyer June 25, 2016

Paris: Off the Beaten Path

Visiting Paris for the first or the 100th time is a magical experience.  With so many attractions, one always leaves wanting to see and experience more.  The Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the Louvre, the Musee d’Orsay, Jardin du Luxembourg, Centre Pompidou... The city is an embarrassment of cultural riches.

 Yet there is more to Paris than these spectacular destinations, and when our friend and savvy traveler Patricia visits, that is what she wants to experience.

 She just returned from a 10-day visit where she stayed in the city, visited eight museums, an urban vineyard, had dinner in a Parisian home, and explored areas less frequented by tourists.  She shared with us some of the high points of her trip.

1. Carnavalet Museum

 “On my previous trips to Paris I visited the ‘must see’ art museums. I love museums and I have a deep love of history and the decorative arts. Visiting the Carnavalet was a high point of my trip. The paintings of the history of Paris, the rooms depicting interior design dating from the 17th century, and the gardens all helped me appreciate the city’s remarkable history.  I could have spent three days at the Carnavalet.”

2. Clos Montmartre Vineyard

     “As a wine enthusiast, avid gardener, and a big supporter of the urban gardening movement, I was delighted to stumble upon this vineyard in the middle of Paris.  Located in Montmartre at the site of a 12th century Benedictine abbey that was destroyed in the French Revolution, it is now the property of the City of Paris. The vineyard produces about 1700 bottles a year, which are auctioned off with the proceeds benefiting local charities. Just another example of why Paris is such a magical city.”

    3. Dinners with locals

      “My traveling companion, on a previous trip, had dinner at Claudine’s house, which she booked through the Eat With website. I am so glad that she insisted we do it again. She served a classic French meal with wonderful wines to a large table filled with international travelers.  It was perfect.”

      4. Fragonard Perfume Museum 

        “This free museum was a delightful discovery.  It is in a 19th century townhouse and is full of period furnishings and fascinating perfume exhibits. This really was a treat for the senses.”

        5. Rue de Martyrs

        “This street is a foodie paradise. Each quaint shop specializes in one product. Shops selling only jam, olive oil, madeleines, honey, beer, chocolate… delicious treats for the senses. A pure pleasure.”

        6. Hotel Villa Fenelon

          “I loved this charming Parisian hotel with its glorious interior garden. It was modestly priced and in a great location. From here, I was able to walk almost everywhere. At the end our daily adventures, it was so comfortable to return to this shabby chic villa.”

          7. Le Bouillon Chartier

            “This was the only restaurant where we ate twice. It was established over 100 years old to serve local students and workers traditional French foods at proletarian prices. It is so delicious and such a classic French experience, that I could eat there every night of my life and die happy.”

            8. Printemps Department Store

              “This is a must for anyone that loves Art Déco, Art Nouveau and Beaux Arts architecture. The famous cupola, the stained glass, the views of Paris from the terrace, not to mention the luxury shopping, make this an incredible (and if you don’t buy anything, free) afternoon.”

               We asked Patricia for her suggestions for staying chic and comfortable in the fashion capital of the world. “I always pack nearly all black, including comfortable shoes. I wore my black Wayfarers Wrap nearly everyday, which kept me warm and stylish, and I grew to love my Escape Sleeping Mask. I was able to block out all the stimulation and enjoy a deep sleep in the middle of this glorious city.”

               Many thanks to Patricia, and we look forward to hearing about her next travel adventure!




              Caroline Dwyer
              Caroline Dwyer

              Author



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