Dining & Drinking, Paris
Since creating Cointreau, the sister of Grand Marnier, she became a real legend, her recipe was developed by the Cointreau brothers in 1849. Her cleared up flavour she gains from the distillate of the shell of various oranges coming from Brazil, Spain,and Peru.
Her unique, umber, square bottle has been tried to be copied with more hundred occasions in the past 150 years, just as well than the crystal clear succulent distillate residing in the bottle, unsuccessful.
Since creating her, the Cointreau became by today the favourite beverage of the women with a subtle taste in more than 200 countries of the world.
Cointreau pure on ice is the best way to discover the full spectrum of her aromas and flavours.
Fondest memory: Cointreau Museum and Visitor Centre
Saint Barthelemy d’Anjou
Phone: + 33 (0)2 41 31 50 50
For the birth of Grand Marnier in 1880, you may say thanks to Louis Alexandre Marnier Lapostolle having in his possession some lands on Cognac region.
The basis of the Grand Marnier - the brother of Cointreau - is the cognac, which is exclusively prepared from grape in the French Cognac region. The cognac is stirred with on the Caribbean yielded wild bitter orange essence, then that mixture is ripened in oak barrels through another 6-8 months, and the beverage is ready for your taste.
Single is the shape of a Grand Marnier bottle, since it quotes the distillers copper cauldron. The seal which can be seen on it is hand-made of real wax, it has a unique form on all bottle because of this. The red band is also placed on the glass by hand, the label of the bottle symbolizes the excellence of the beverage and his individuality.
Grand Marnier on ice "neat" is the best way to discover the full spectrum of his aromas and flavours.
Fondest memory: http://www.grandmarnier.com/
Things that worked for us were having a larger meal during the day vs the evening,& buying goodies from dept' store food halls for evening picnics.
For sit down evening meals, we'd check menus during the day, note the name & address of a cafe in our budget,& return that night for a nice meal.
We also had a index card list of restaurant options from our pretravel research.
In the morning one of us would go out & buy fresh croissants/other pastry,then stop at a market for fresh fruit. The night before turning in for the evening, we'd go to the local monoprix or similar store and buy water, juice, & dry snacks. In the morning we'd eat in our room while discussing the day ahead. You may also adopt a local cafe for your morning coffee and/or a hot breakfast. We did this 2x and the cost was less than the hotel breakfast.
The other reliable sources are the many vendors, food stalls, and shops to buy on the go snacks, crepes, & sandwiches.
Fondest memory: Strolling hand in hand with my husband along the Seine under the street lights.
Celebrating Mothers Day by attending Mass at Notre Dame and walking over to the Marais
for a late morning breakfast.
When we wanted to eat or snack, exploring the many options available.
Enjoying a nice glass of wine in the afternoon at a cafe and another afternoon indulging in a yummy pastry in the little park beside St.Eglise.
Our Parc du Champs evening picnic with the Eiffel Tower view changing from daylight to nightime.
I cannot remember any of the names of the restaurants we went to in Paris but what I can recommend is alfresco dining. If the weather is good then pack yourself up a lunch, there are plenty of places to eat it.
We ate in the gardens not too far from the Eiffel Tower, we ate outside at the Louvre in view of the fountains and pyramid, we had chocolate crepes for dessert one night which we bought from a stall by the Eiffel Tower, we enjoyed ice cream outside the front of Notre Dame.
Fondest memory: We were lucky to have some lovely sunny weather when we went in August and it didn't rain until the morning we left. Part of the charm of eating outside for me was not only the fresh air and sunshine but also sharing my food with the adorable little birds!!!
You will save a lot of money if you bring your own aluminum water bottle and fill it up before leaving your hotel. Just tuck it in your backpack.
Since I did I a lot of walking in Europe, about 2-4 miles per day, I brought my own aluminum water bottle. That saves me a lot of money! I probably save about E6.00-E10.00 per day.
The bottled water in Paris is expensive. The small one will cost you E1.69 to E2.69 depending on which store you bought. Bringing your own bottle container also saves the environment- eliminates those unwanted garbage! (although many recycles but it is kind of difficult to find recycling bins when you are travelling)
Fondest memory: I love walking along the Champs Elysees.
I've just come back from Paris. We spent a large part of our travel budget on food. But we were working with almost double the dollar converting our Australian Dollars to Euros.
As already mentioned, there are lots of street vendors where you can buy food to eat while walking around (something a lot of people in Paris do). There are supermarkets, but by far it is more fun, and the Parisian thing to do, to shop in the market streets, such as Montorguiel, and get some fresh bread from the Boulangerie, fresh cheese from the Fromagerie, and fresh dessert from the Pattisserie.
If you are finding it hard to stretch those dollars, there is a soup kitchen in the back of St Eustache Cathedral, near Les Halles. We didn't eat there, but we walked past it every night on our way "home" and it smelled delicious!
People ask me why I get such great service in restaurants. I get seated in the nicer parts of the restaurants where the French people usually sit instead of being relegated to "Siberia" where the Americans sit. I suspect the reason for this is that I:
a) make every effort to speak French & I try to pronounce it as best I can; if I butcher a word or phrase I laugh about it & ask for help.
b) call ahead & make my own reservations. Several I've made from the US. Sometimes it's difficult to convey in French what I'm looking for over the phone; however, it's a lot easier to communicate with someone in person because you have the added nuances of hand gestures, body language & facial expressions. If after a few attempts I find I'm having difficulty then I politely ask if someone speaks English. Usually, there is someone who can speak English, then I communicate my needs.
BUT always use nice French phrases such as
Merci (thank you)
Au Revoir (good-bye)
De rien (you're welcome)
French people graciously & genuinely appreciate any attempts at speaking their language.
c) I think they remember someone calling from overseas to make a reservation & doing it a few weeks in advance. Maybe they feel that the restaurant must be important enough for one to make that much of an effort? Consequently, they usually remember me & recall our phone conversation.
For example, when I arrived at Bofinger I stated I had a reservation at 10pm & introduced myself. The maître d’ said something to the effect that at last we were able to meet and we both laughed!
Fondest memory: OK, you've decided to make transatlantic reservations; you'll want to practice a bit first. Speak clearly & slowly so they may understand you.
First you'll say:
"Bonjour, comment allez-vous?"
(Hello, how are you?; pronounced "kuh-mahn-tahl-ay voo")
"Je m'appelle ..."
(my name is ...; "zhuh mahpell ...)
"Je voudrais une réservation"
(I would like a reservation; "zhuh voo-dray ewn rez-airvay-shon"
"Pour... (Lundi, Mardi, Mercredi, Jeudi, Vendredi, Samedi, Dimanche)
(For...Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday; "pour...luhn-dee, mahr-dee, mair-kruh-dee, zhuh-dee, vawn-druh-dee, sahm-dee, dee-mahnsh)
Then give the date. The day first, month second. You can use the French vocabulary section of Fodor's Paris Gold Guide (near the back) for help with pronunciation on the months & days).
Then you can give the time:
*vingt heures (8pm) (vehn urrh)
*vingt heures trente (8:30pm) (vehn urrh trahnt)
*vingt heures quarante-cinq (8:45pm) (vehn urrh ka-rahnt sank)
*huit (wheet) heure et demi ("du soir" for in the evening) for 8:30pm
At this point I think you could then safely ask "Parlez-vous anglais?" if the conversation gets stuck!
Photo: April 2003
As aircrew we stay at the Meridien Etoile ( a nice 3-4 star hotel, but I'm not paying!). It's just off La Grande Alle (Champs Elise beyond the Arch) near the Bois du Boulogne. You can walk along Avenue Les Ternes and catch glimpses of the Arc de Triomphe as you go. Lots of shops and bistros. On the south side near Blvd Pereire is a very nice local market area. You can grab all the day's needs or just a snack. Several wine shops as well as the usual boucherie (butchers) and bakers, fruit, veg. Great to meet the locals!
Les Ternes becomes Blvd Hussman...which leads to the Galleries Lafayette...great shopping area.
Leave the usual breakfast and do this.....You will never regret this....
Go to the nearest supermarket and buy a baugette(long french breads) with assorted cold meat and cheese...and a bottel red wine and go and eat your special french breakfast on the banks of the siene river....A wonderfull place is a island near the statue of liberty....
Fondest memory: The eifell tower at night , the breakfast near the statue of liberty,
Just the atmosphere of Paris is truly something to remember...
This Rembrandt still-life of a beef carcass brought back memories. On our first visit to Paris almost 30 years ago, we quickly learned that meats (beef in paticular) are not cut the way they are "mass -produced" with a band-saw in the USA. From the "Larousse Gastronomique" we learned that more precise butchering produced cuts with which we were not familiar: bavette, jumeau, faux-filet, entrecot, tournados, romsteck. The tenderest (most expensive) are: tournedos and entrecot. Cheaper grillables are:filet, faux-filet, bavette, jumeau, romsteck. Any of these may be prepared other ways. Most cheap restaurants serve bifsteck et frites. Their finest beef species is Charolais. In France even some range-fed chickens have a controlled appelation just like wines (example Bresse chickens).
Fondest memory: Raw meat: steack tartare or boeuf carpaccio. If you like rare steak there is little difference in consuming these. The pleasure is in the additional flare that is added by the condiments which would be lost in cooking. Wines complement the taste. These are fine brasserie foods. I see that salmon has taken its rightful place in the repertoire. (All Japanese would approve).
A Fast-food Take-Out place like this is considered a restaurant under French (and maybe all EU) law. It must include taxes (eg VAT) and service charges (eg basic tip) in the price. When you get to the counter to order you should say "emporter" (take away) if that is your intention or "non emporter" if you want to sit down The charge is higher for sitting (the service charge of 12%). Your receipt identifies this fact (by law you must keep it with you just like a cancelled train ticket).
Now an Ugly American Story. We were tired and thirsty, a party of 8, on our way to the Luxembourg Gardens when we passed this McD( on Blvd. St. Mich at Pl. Edmond-Rostand). We decided to stop for soft-drinks and use their clean rest rooms (they are free, no tip, but only if you buy something). I, as host, offered to buy drinks all-around while they refreshed and glibly told them it was going to cost extra for our sitting down! One person, a( now ex) daughter-in law, was incensed at such "price gouging" and said she would buy her own. When we were seated, the manager unceremoniously informed her that she could not join us because she paid less! We met her later (still in a huff) at the Medici Fountain!
Fondest memory: See above!(after 7 visits or more)
Favorite thing: ..we live close to Dublin, one of the most beautiful but expensive cities in the world. However, Paris is considerably more expensive - to the point of bring ridiculous. W paid EUR 9.35 for a small pot of tea and a plain crossaint in a basic cafe in Montparnasse near Rue Daulphine. This is easily the most expesive pot of tea we have had in our lives! For what? Bruised at this experience we ate and drank very little in Paris for the remainder of our trip - another three days. However, our experience was only slightly above average. We priced tea all around Paris at between EUR 3 and EUR 4 in several places - including at the train station in Montparnasse. This represents appalling value for money - in Dublin a cup of tea in a chique cafe costs about EUR 2.
Fondest memory: After our first full day in Paris (which included a hasty bus tour of the city highlights and an obligatory view up the Eiffer Tower), we took the Metro to a nearby Greek taverna. There were live mandolin players, dancers, and even the traditional Greek throwing (and breaking) of ceramic plates while yelling "Opa!". How fun!! I enjoyed this meal the most while in Paris because unlike the night before (when we were given raw beef to eat), we were given really tasty BBQ lamb, complete with Greek salad and rice. It was definitely the most memorable meal I had in Paris, and I look back on the experience fondly!
It's funny looking back on my first moments in Paris. I remember being in our tour bus driving from the Charles de Gaule Airport to our Fimotel downtown, and passing by urban parks where older men were playing Bocci. I vididly remember the poster poles on the street corners, and looking out my hotel window to find a Chinese restaurant, which is not at all what I was expecting to see.
Later on that night in the dark we were driven to a casual French bistro nearby. Because all of our dinners were pre-ordered by our teachers, none of us had a say in what we wanted to eat. Our choice was basically vegetarian, or non-vegetarian. Most of us ordered the non-vegetarian meal even though we had no idea what it was.
Well, our dinner turned out to be steak frites and green beans. How very French, I suppose! At the time none of us realized the cultural significance of our meal and in fact hardly ate it. Unlike at home, the restaurant never asked any of us how we'd like our steak done, and as a result, they were all sent to our table completely rare! Perhaps teenagers in France aren't picky eaters, but the sight of the bloody beef sickened us Canadian teens to the point where we could barely eat it! I felt bad for the restaurant, because we ate our fries and our beans, but they must have gotten 30 barely-eaten rare steaks sent back that night. What a waste!
Otherwise known as ice cream:)
Here the ordering options are made clear! This small shop was on rue Mouffetard in the Latin Quarter.
The best "glace" in Paris is considered to be Berthillon on Ile St. Louis.