La Maison Plisson for food

Ah. I love this place. Pack a picnic here with all the best cheeses and charcuterie, have a little breakfast or lunch on-site, or fill your carry-home bag with goodies from this amazing food shop. I can still taste the sample of a fresh goat cheese I was given while poking around the store. Mmmm.

There are two shops, one in the Haute Marais, the other near the Place Vendome.

La Maison Plisson

93, boulevard Beaumarchais, 75003

35 place du Marché St Honoré, 75001

Easiest Way to the HdV

It’s easy to grab a taxi at the Charles de Gaulle Airport, but it’s even easier (and cheaper) to use public transportation to get into town.

I usually walk across the airport terminal then head down a flight to the train station where I buy an RER ticket to Paris at the automatic billeterie. It costs just over 10 euros. (Note: Your credit card must have a chip to use the machine. It also accepts euros. Also, keep your ticket handy. You’ll need it to get into this station and out of the station on the other end.)

I hop on the RER B train and take it to Châtelet-Les Halles stop. All the trains pulling in here go to Paris, but look at the screens to see which one will be going non-stop. Either one will get you to the city.

When you get out in the massive Châtelet-Les Halles stop, look for signs for the Porte Berger exit. There’s an elevator there if you prefer that to escalators. When you arrive on street level, turn left on rue Berger and continue walking, crossing several streets including Boulevard Sebastopol, until you see the Pompidou Center (left) and Stravinsky Fountain (right) with the magical, moving sculptures by Niki de Saint Phalle.

Stravinsky Fountain, with St Merri Church, as seen from the Pompidou Center. HdV is around the upper-left hand corner.

Cut across the fountain plaza, turn left at the crêperie, then take the first right, a tiny street called rue Les Juges Consuls . At the end of the street is a red door. That’s yours!

Jazz in Paris

Jazz is as much a part of Parisian culture as its art galleries and café life. Think Billie Holliday, Bud Powell, Thelonious Monk, and Miles Davis. They–and many others–were welcomed in Paris while America wasn’t quite so hospitable. Their legacy lives on.

Here are some jazz clubs that are a quick walk from the Hôtel de Ville. Click on the links to see who’s playing:

Le Baiser Salé, 58, rue des Lombards, 75001

Duc des Lombards, 42 rue des Lombards, 75001

La Peniche Le Marcounet, A great place–on a peniche (barge) on the Seine–to hear music in the summer. Located at the foot of the Pont Marie, 75004

Sunset Sunside Jazz Club, 60 rue des Lombards, 75001

Le 38 Riv’, 38, rue de Rivili, 75004

And for all the jazz going on throughout the city, visit Paris Jazz Club.

To get in the spirit, rewatch ‘Round Midnight, Bertrand Tavernier’s classic movie about jazz in 1950s Paris.

L’Atelier des Lumieres

I wasn’t sure if this was going to be super cool or hokey. At L’Atelier des Lumieres, moving images of an artist’s works are projected on the walls, floor, and ceiling of a former factory and set to music. An immersive experience. We saw the works of Gustav Klimt.

It was super cool and I recommend going. I don’t know if it will be going back regularly, but it’s definitely worth experiencing at least once.

Buy tickets in advance.

L’Atelier des Lumieres

38, Rue Saint Maur

75011

Best Crêpes in Paris

It was my last night in Paris and I thought I’d grab a simple crêpe for dinner around the corner at the perfectly respectable Crêperie Beaubourg before returning to the apartment to pack up. It’s an easy spot for a simple dinner–and you can sit outside on the terrace overlooking Stravinsky Fountain.

I walked out the door and was overtaken by the beautiful, spring night. Crêperie Beaubourg was too close. I decided to take a nice, long stroll deep into the Marais to try Breizh Café instead.

I’d read about the place for years but had never dined there. It lived up to its reputation! I ordered a pichet of cider (which I shared with the solo diner seated next to me), a savory crêpe (or galette, as they’re called) filled with smoked salmon, then a sweet crêpe topped with buttery apple chunks, a caramel sauce, and vanilla ice cream.

I worked it all off on my walk home. (Ha.)

Crêperie Beaubourg

2, rue Brisemiche

75004

Breizh Café

109, rue Vieille du Temple

75004

Le Trésor

An easy spot in the Marais, a short walk from HdV. Sit on the terrace if the weather is nice (there are heaters out there, too). The restaurant specializes in the cuisine of the mountainous Auvergne region in central France (beef and aligot, a very rich potato purée with cheese, are on the menu), but you can get other stuff, too.

It’s a nice spot, not too expensive, with friendly service.

Le Trésor

9 rue du Trésor, 75004

1.42.71.35.17

The terrace.
Steak and aligot. Mmm.

For Fashionistas, l’Avenue

Have lunch at l’Avenue on avenue Montaigne, one of the chicest street in Paris. Sit on the terrace in nice weather and enjoy the parade of models, editors, and folks working at (or shopping in) the many high-fashion boutiques that line the street.

The food is fine.

L’Avenue

41 avenue Montaigne, 75008

Chic lady at l’Avenue.

Elmer

A wonderfully creative restaurant with modern decor. Excellent food and a lively crowd.

Elmer

30 Notre Dame de Nazareth, 75003

43.56.22.95

Tiny, delicious pink shrimp.
Steak and vegetables.