Local traditions and culture in Île-de-France

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Most Viewed Local Customs in Île-de-France

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    walking Randonnéé in Seine et Marne

    by gwened Written Apr 11, 2015

    This is an area dear to me as my wife is from it, Seine et Marne dept 77 east of Paris on the brie cheese and near includes some of Champagne area.

    There are many castles here too,and the new trend is to do walks from one to the other. By by the forest of Ferriére (which has another castle), you have a wonderful tour with 6 trails going from

    chateau de Champs-sur-Marne (see tip here) then onwards to Chateau de Rentilly and finally Chateau de Jossigny.

    The chateau de Rentilly has a nice park and a renovated castle here
    http://www.marneetgondoire.fr/parc-culturel-de-rentilly/le-chateau-rehabilite-un-nouvel-espace-d-art-contemporain-859.html

    You can easily visit the above from Paris by taking the RER A, to station Torcy, then 20 minutes on foot or the local bus PEP'S line 21.

    The Chateau de Jossigny is a national monument and a wonderful property as well even if not visited
    http://www.marneetgondoire.fr/en/heritage-side/jossigny-castle-303.html

    the walks are done around it ,beautiful forest area. YOu can reach it from Paris on the RER A Direction Chessy, station Bussy saint Georges, then weekly run bus for Jossigny, less frequent on Saturday and none on Sundays. The castle is about 3 km from Bussy saint Georges.

    Even if comes here very often it is by car, long while not by public transport althought try that too. The info on getting to these properties and of course Disneyland is here
    http://www.marneetgondoire.fr/en/practical-tips/to-come-and-to-move-in-marne-et-gondoire-611.html

    This is all the Marnée-la-Vallée region of Seine et Marne. The walkers association for the dept is here in French
    http://seine-et-marne.jimdo.com/itin%A9raires/itin%A9raires-%A0-t%A9l%A9charger/

    map of walks amongst three castles
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    Le Bourget Paris Air Show

    by gwened Updated Feb 23, 2015

    this is a biannual uneven years event that i take part from my university days and help with logistics. it is a must for all aviation aficionados and lovers of airplanes military and civilian. As far as I know its the ultimate air show to be at. The photos are found from the 2009.

    Here ,you find the oldest French airport having been built in 1919, on land the aviation arm had created in 1915 for war needs. It host from 1951 this magnificent event call in French the Salon International de l’Aéronautique et de l’Espace or simply the Paris Air Show. The first show was done in 1909 at the Grand Palais in Paris. the next one is in June 15-25 of 2015.

    Since 1973 there is also a museum of the air and Aerospace here , link in French
    http://www.museeairespace.fr/

    the le Bourget airport is handle by Aéroports de Paris here in English
    http://www.aeroportsdeparis.fr/ADP/en-GB/Professionnals/Aeroportuaire/NosPlateformes/ParisLeBourget/

    After the wars the Salon re start in 1946 and it has a success ever since.
    The Lounge opened its doors to trade visitors on June 15, 2009 at 9:30 (local time) and saw a large crowd on this first day. Despite the rain that fell heavily on Le Bourget a good part of the day, flight demonstrations took place between 13h26 and 16h11(local time), allowing to see evolve twenty devices of all types, ranging from the Rex Composite APM 40 Simba to the Airbus A380 !!through the Rafale and the Eurocopter Tiger. And, among the novelties, the Sukhoi Superjet 100.

    To celebrate the centenary of the salon, a few old aircraft are presented in flight as the Blériot XI - 2, Boeing B - 17 G Flying Fortress or the Douglas DC - 3, and the P51!!!.
    Now in expo planes from the WWI era, such as the fuselage of an Spad XIII built by Blériot, the brevet of the pilot Désiré Lucca , the « Grande Faucheuse » painted on the planes to make them more personal by pilots.

    A great tradition and you are all welcome to participate as well, just book ahead.
    http://www.siae.fr/EN/GENERAL-PUBLIC/Tickets.htm

    Airbus A380!!! Lockheed-Martin F 117 jet Boeing 747 P51 Mustang! Lockheed AH64D Apache helicopter
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    wheat cereals Grands Moulins de Pantin

    by gwened Written Jan 14, 2015

    another jewel of France are the windmills of cereals that feeds the French for centuries. This is the famous Great windmills of Pantin or Grands Moulins de Pantin.

    They were great structures built in the 19C to feed the capital- Paris. flour from the plains of Brie and the Beauce. The windmills were at the entry to the Canal de l'Ourcq and near the railroad tracks of the East. It had 8 floors and 24 blending areas. By 1915,it was already 7th in volume distributed to Paris area.

    They were rebuilt in 1923 with a concrete structure and decorated bricks. Two huge silos were built and the heating elements in 1926 type Babcock and Wilcox. After WWII, they were again restored in 1945 with new buildings in 1952. In 2001,the group Soufflet, owner of the Grands Moulins de Pantin closed it and it is then turn into business offices.

    In 2009, they are occupied by BNP-Paribas Securities Services the current owner. You can still walk around it and see it from the parc de la Villette or the Canal de l'Ourcq by boat.

    I go by there by car but the site in resources tells you can get there by Tramway : T3b, Delphine Seyrig stops. This is the tourist office of the dept 93 or Seine Saint Denis.

    Grands Moulins de Pantin from Villette Grands Moulins de Pantin from Villette the moulins from the Canal de l'Ourcq
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    Chocolat Menier Noisiel

    by gwened Written Jan 14, 2015

    This is an institution now part of Nestle but my wife's grandmother worked here and it is the history of chocolats in France, French that is.
    For more than 150 years (founded in 1816) they were the flagbearers of French chocolates involved in every walk of French life. The production stopped in 1992. Now the building can still be visited during heritage days in September.

    They are in Noisiel, Seine et Marne since 1825. First in 1816 they were in the Marais of Paris. It is part of Nestlé since 1988, and if you want a piece of France when visiting you should carry a tablet back with you.

    This is personal site in French that talks more of this wonderful chocolat Menier. Grandma will have you love it ::)

    the old building still there at Noisiel, Menier ! the clocktower symbol of Menier chocolats
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    University style at Chateau de Launay

    by gwened Written Sep 3, 2014

    This is the seat of the University of Paris Sud XI, it is today the biggest campus in France. And one of the main centers of scientific clouster with the area of Saclay. 132 countries and about 28 000 students . Great to have an education in such surrounding and area.

    an example of university education in France. You can come and drive or walk around it for free. Information contact the school. I have given lectures here on droit economique et gestion or management. The pictures are from the President's house.

    You have here 3 institute of Technologies, such as
    - IUT de génie électrique, informatique industrielle, génie mécanique et productique à Cachan,
    - IUT d’informatique, mesures physiques et chimie à Orsay
    - IUT de gestion et commerce à Sceaux.

    One Engineering school such as
    - Polytech'Paris-Sud à Orsay

    Five training centers and recherche such as
    - UFR Droit-Économie-Gestion (Faculté Jean Monnet) à Sceaux et à Orsay,
    - UFR Médecine (Faculté de Médecine) au Kremlin-Bicêtre,
    - UFR Pharmacie (Faculté de Pharmacie) à Châtenay-Malabry,
    - UFR Sciences (Faculté des Sciences) à Orsay,
    - UFR Sciences et Techniques des Activités Physiques et Sportives (UFR STAPS) à Orsay.

    It is reach from Paris on the RER A Le Guichet or Orsay ville stops

    Chateau de Launay, Orsay west of Chateau de Launay
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    My favorite gardens in ile de France

    by gwened Written Jul 30, 2013

    My favorites in the ile de France over the almost 10 years that I lived there.

    Seine et Marne ,dept 77; Jardin du Domaine National de Champs-sur-Marne, French and English style gardens with a castle of course! http://champs-sur-marne.monuments-nationaux.fr/en/

    Jardin Médiéval de la Commanderie des Templiers, at Couloummiers, medieval gardens and the Templars story, http://www.commanderie-templiers.fr/

    Domaine National du chateau de Fontainebleu, of course at famous Fontainbleau, http://www.musee-chateau-fontainebleau.fr/

    La Fontaine aux Pigeons on medieval, La Ferté-sous-Jouarre, English gardens of 6 hectares, http://www.la-ferte-sous-jouarre.fr/component/content/article/20/886.html

    Jardin de Vaux-le-Vicomte, of course the other beautiful castle of the Paris region, French style gardens, http://www.vaux-le-vicomte.com/

    One near to me as my wife was born here, and we first talk dated walking this garden, Jardin Bossuet, in Meaux (as in brie cheese) ;French garden next to Cathedral,where the Bossuet rose was created, see it better in French, http://www.ville-meaux.fr/Le-Jardin-Bossuet.html

    La Roseraie, see the rose of Provins, http://www.roseraie-provins.com/ gorgeous

    Moving to the Yvelines, dept 78, where have my house. Abbaye des Vaux de Cernay, private gardens in an abbey see on weekend or with appointment in weekdays, http://www.abbayedecernay.com/

    Jardins du Chateau de Breteuil, French gardens, http://www.breteuil.fr/castle/accueil.php

    Musée Promenade de Marly-le-Roi, where kings used to walk, wonderful, many of the statues now at the Louvre. http://www.musee-promenade.fr/

    Musée National de Port-Royal des Champs,historical gardens ,protected, see it, http://www.port-royal-des-champs.eu/

    Domaine National de Rambouillet-Bergerie nationale, English gardens and regular,historical, and animals, http://www.bergerie-nationale.educagri.fr/

    Arboretum de Chévreloup, English gardens and trees, plants, near Versailles, http://www.mnhn.fr/chevreloup/

    Domaine National de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, by the castle, gardens 18C, traces of renaissance, http://www.musee-archeologienationale.fr/ , Jardin du Musée Experimental Maurice Denis, in town, garden of the artist, http://www.musee-mauricedenis.fr/

    Chateau et Parc de Vaux-sur-Seine, landscape garden from the 19C, http://www.vauxsurseine.fr/Le-chateau-de-Vaux-sur-Seine.html

    Versailles, of course, my town, the one and only in the world, French and English style gardens, and veggie and fruit potager du roi lol! http://en.chateauversailles.fr/gardens-and-park-of-the-chateau- and http://www.potager-du-roi.fr/ensp/default/EN/all/potager/index.htm

    The Essonne dept 91, we have Conservatoire National des Plantes Médicinales, at nice Milly-la-Fôret, http://www.cnpmai.net/

    Potager Fleuri du Domaine de Saint-Jean-de-Beauregard, flower veggy plots from the 17C! and castle, http://www.domsaintjeanbeauregard.com/v2/

    We move now to Hauts-de-Seine, dept 92 ,just near Paris, Musée et Jardins Albert Kahn, parc and scenes with oriental motifs, http://albert-kahn.hauts-de-seine.net/

    Parc de Boulogne, Edmond de Rothschild, landscape garden and japonese dating from 19C, http://www.boulognebillancourt.com/cms/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=231?&leftid=477&mpid=3&submid=0&submid2=1&Itemid=489

    Parc de la Maison de Chateaubriand et Arboretum, La Vallée aux Loups, romantic gardens, http://maison-de-chateaubriand.hauts-de-seine.net/web/chateaubriand/le-parc-de-la-maison-de-chateaubriand

    Parc des impressionists, modern with rosaries, http://www.rueil-tourisme.com/FR/visite-le-parc-des-impressionnistes_4623.html ,and on same town of Rueil-Malmaison, the castle of the lady of Napoleon, Josephine. Parc du Chateau de Malmaison, nice gardens, http://www.chateau-malmaison.fr/

    Domaine de Saint-Cloud, landscape huge nice, many events here like rock on the seine, http://saint-cloud.monuments-nationaux.fr/en/ and near there ,also, the Jardin Stern, design by JCN Forestier, to allow her handicapped daughter to walk inwheelchair in the gardens from back in 1927, nice, http://www.jardinstern.com/

    Domaine de Sceaux, parc et musée d’ile de France, a museum of the region, and garden design by the great Le Notre. Wonderfully nice and big, http://domaine-de-sceaux.hauts-de-seine.net/

    We end at dept Val d’Oise or no 95 where the airport of Paris CDG is (not Paris), Parc et Jardins de l’Abbaye Royale de Royaumont, http://www.royaumont.com/fondation_abbaye/

    Jardin de l’Atelier de Daubigny, http://www.atelier-daubigny.com/ , also same town, Jardins duMusée de l’Absinthé, http://www.musee-absinthe.com/ , continue in the area of Van Gogh with the jardins du Chateau d’Auvers, http://www.chateau-auvers.fr/index.php?PHPSESSID=1e1022b3c98c8aa32e0fdec046610e01

    Maison du Docteur Gachet, garden from 19C, http://www.valdoise.fr/6387-la-maison-du-docteur-gachet-a-auvers-sur-oise.htm

    Domaine de Villarceaux, a gem, go there for shopping farm goodies too, and a gourmet event everyyear, http://www.iledefrance.fr/villarceaux

    Parc du Chateau D’Ecouen, also a museum of the renaissance, http://www.musee-renaissance.fr/homes/home_id20392_u1l2.htm

    Chateau de Stors, English style terrace gardens, town of L’isle-Adam, http://chateaudestors.com/

    Chateau de la Roche-Guyon, fruits gardens and views of the Seine, nice tunnel withhistory of wwII, http://www.chateaudelarocheguyon.fr/

    Parc et Chateau de Méry-sur-Oise, with great water fountain, lakes, http://www.merysuroise.fr/download//horaires-parc.JPG.pdf

    Jardin du Musée Jean-Jacques Rousseau, http://museejjrousseau.montmorency.fr/fr

    Parc de l’Abbaye de Maubuisson, old abbatial park, nice, http://www.valdoise-tourisme.com/diffusio/fr/voir-faire/nature/st-ouen-l-aumone/parc-de-l-abbaye-de-maubuisson_TFO106590495640.php

    parc le N��tre at St Germain en Laye garden de bossuet at Meaux bassin de Neptune at Versailles gardens deep into the chateau de Versailles
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    fashion in the Yvelines dept 78

    by gwened Written May 5, 2013

    My old department of almost 10 years is great for fashion and coming up something most don't know sticking to the more famous city of Paris. Here are some of our area tops fashion designers;

    underwear for men and women by Andréas Gantner as Frenchpaks; proposing 9 cuts, 5 colors, and 32 items with prices from 23 to 28 €. It is already wear by famous here such as TV personality Xavier Delarue of the series « Secret Story ». see it at www.frenchpaks.com

    For the women, Valérie Touya, under the brand Elise Anderegg, offers bras, night gowns and body suits. It is already distributed by the big department store houses of Los Angeles, Londres, Geneva, Zurich ,and the stores of top class of Casablanca, Prague ,and even Kazakhstan. see it at www.eliseanderegg.com

    de luxe shirts for men, in a little over a year Gerardo Marcotti, resident of Le Vésinet,and his associate, Pierre-Yves Menes, decider to launch the old brand of Rhodes & Brousse. The concept, shirts done on order with the help of a home advisor that visit you!. They are done by hand with the best fabrics and an unique model with prices between 85 € to 125 €. Rhodes & Brousse think of coming out with polos in the next few weeks; see it at www.rhodesbrousse.com

    DoDuDinDon dresses children, and its creator Anouchka Protopopoff is loaded with orders. A mother of 31 years old started two years ago with the brand DoDuDinDon, a brand of clothing chic for the children. She designs pulls ,pants, and shirts from her house at Jumeauville. Several stores such as one in Maule,sells her work. IN September 2013 she will open in Paris if the plans work out. She now sells on line too. See it at www.dodudindon.com

    Sports clothing under the brand Baring launch by Edgard Ebami from Clayes-sous-Bois. With about 15 different models from t-shirts, sweats, and shorts on sale online. Pro football/soccer players like Alexandre Song (Cameroon), wears the outfits already and ,also, already on TV ads in the show « Groland » at Canal +. See it at www.baring.fr

    Another sports brand Diego Sport provides supplies to teams on the amateur level all over France from the North (nord) to Guadeloupe and Martinique. The brand has an ambassador in Amara Simba, former pro player of PSG. See it at www.diegosport.com

    T-shirts for fun is the idea of a student of only 20 yrs old. Louis Dulac sells a line of t-shirts and accessories under the theme of Marie-Antoinette ,and the château de Versailles, they are call Versailles in shirt. See it at www.versaillesinshirt.spreadshirt.fr

    Sandals with tops of the tiles of Jouy. The charentaises, are back in fashion! you can try the model sold at the museum of toiles in Jouy-en-Josas. You can find Ties and scarfs there too. See it at www.museedelatoiledejouy.fr

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    Festival of ile de France

    by gwened Updated Apr 7, 2013

    This is an event I have participated 3 times, and will recommend toany passing by the region for the next one, coming up in September 7 to October 13 2013 in its 37the edition.

    You several concerts done in national heritage monuments all over the region. The music is varied from classical, renaissance, contemporary, world music of many countries. Its a great combination of listening to great artists with good music and in wonderful historical places of the region of Ile de France .

    It you buy a Pass before July 12 you get the right to a free placing in the concert of Villarceaux (Sunday September 9), preferential prices for the Festival de l'Imaginaire 2013 of the house of world culture or the Maison des Cultures du Monde, the Festival Banlieues Bleues 2013 ( suburbian Paris blues event), the programming of Parc de la Villette (except festivals and special events), and the Parisien concerts of the 'Orchestre National d'Ile de France(national orchestra of ile de France). The venue at Villarceaux is wonderful, I have been there, more on the place here http://www.iledefrance.fr/villarceaux/le-domaine/ one of the hidden jewels of France.

    To buy these passes there are two the Pass 3 (entry into 3 concerts except Villarceaux). You have an unique price of 17 € per concert ( all activities but for the first one you have to go early as seats are not guaranteed) .

    For the better deal is the Pass 6 (entry to 6 concerts except Villaceaux) You have a special price of 15 € per concert ( all activities but the first one you have to go early as seats are not guaranteed). With this Pass, you have preferential seating per concert that takes place at Taverny, Vincennes, Saint-Sulpice-de-FavieÌres, Vaux de Cernay, Dourdan, and Larchant.

    for tickets contact Festival d'Ile de France +33 (0) 1 58 71 01 01 open from June 18 to July 12 and from August 21 to October 13. Monday to Fridays from 13h to 19h, Saturdays from September 3 at 11h to 16h payment by bank card credit/debit. the tickets are not remboursable nor exchange.

    You can buy it at any store of FNAC, Carrefour, or Bon Marché department store . A great cultural local event to take in the local culture. Enjoy it.

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    Au pays de la baguette

    by mariev Updated Oct 16, 2005

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    Remember the cliche : the frenchman with his beret, his bottle of wine and his BAGUETTE ?

    While it is difficult to find berets (most are now imports - especially from ...USA) and while french people drink less wine than before, the baguette (and generally speaking the bread) is part of the daily life.

    No meal, no snack is complete without it.

    There may be less varieties of bread than of cheeses in France but still...
    Yyou can always find a bread to your liking :
    - White, dark, complete
    - Round, Squarish, long (again : baguette) ...
    - Crispy or soft
    - Plain bread, including nuts, raisines, olives, cheese, lardons ...

    It can even become an art form, you will often see bread sculptures (hmm! i prefer to look at them than to eat them : the odd shapes often make for unevenly baked and a bit dry bread)

    When you are in Paris, try more than a type of bread (plus, it's a cheap component for a snack), for instance, go chez PAUL (a chain of traditional bakeries selling breads, pastries, viennoiseries, sandwiches and serving small meals, chose and enjoy !

    Bon appetit !

    La vitrine de chez Paul Bread sculptures (very edible) - rue Chardon Lagac Where else can you find President aproved
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