Archive for the ‘About Paris’ Category

Daylight Savings in France

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

douai_france_palace

We hope you are planning to visit Paris this spring!

If you are, you should know that Daylight Saving Time (DST) in France begins on the last Sunday in March.

Even though most of the United States has already made the time adjustment, most European countries have not yet made the switch. Be sure to note in your travel plans that you will need to change your clock at 01:00 UTC on Sunday, March 30th!

Want to know more about why we observe DST and which countries choose not to participate? National Geographic has a helpful article that gives a brief history of the practice and the pros and cons experienced by various countries around the world.

Disneyland Paris

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

Disney 1

A Guest Post by Lisa Gabrielson

Paris is elegant, stylish, and refined, but sometimes you just need to get away and let your inner child run free. What better way to do it than to visit the Gallic version of everyone’s favorite character, Mickey Mouse!

Located conveniently just outside of Paris, Disneyland is a perfect day trip for a family visiting the city- or, perhaps, just for a big kid at heart. The park boasts classic Disney favorites like the Main Street Parade, the Tower of Terror, and Splash Mountain. Of course, there are petits détails française; mulled wine booths in the winter, La Belle Au Bois Dormant (Sleeping Beauty’s castle in French, naturellement), and beautiful architecture.

Disney Entrance

Though the park is huge, it is definitely do-able for a day trip from Paris. Leave early in the morning- the park opens at 9 am and stays open until 10 pm- and spend the day. Alternatively, there are a number of hotels right outside of the park entrance if you wish to extend your time in Disneyland!

To get there, take the RER A from a number of stations, including Chatelet Les Halles, to Marne La Vallée. The trip is about 40 minutes each way.

Note: You can save 15% on Disneyland Paris tickets by buying before you arrive. http://www.disneylandparis.co.uk/

Lisa Gabrielson is a current undergraduate student at American University in Washington, DC. Before attending college, she spent a gap year abroad as an Au Pair and fell in love with Paris. When she’s not in the classroom or daydreaming about the city of light, she can be found sailing for the university sailing team or working as President of her sorority, Sigma Delta Tau. You can find Lisa on Twitter @Lisa79

Is there a cheaper time to come to Paris?

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

As we approach spring, we are on the phones non-stop talking to guests about Paris!  One of the most popular questions we get asked is, “When is high season in Paris?” Let’s talk about this!

Is there ever a bad time to come to Paris?  Not as far as we are concerned!  You might think that no one wants to be in Paris during February but there are a number trade shows and events that attract that the business travelers.  August may be quiet as far as the locals are concerned, but kids are only out of school for two months and families love to come to Paris during the summer.   When we set rates we do follow a high season, low season calendar.

Definitely High Season! 

Low season:

  • early January through mid-March
  • all of August
  • most of November (except Thanksgiving week)
  • the first two weeks of December

High season:

  • April, May, June, July
  • September and October
  • Thanksgiving week
  • the last two weeks of December

When you are looking to save money, try Paris in the “low season” and remember, the longer you stay, the more you save!

Meet Our Newest Property “Picasso Museum Marais”

Sunday, February 17th, 2013

The following was written by the owner of our newest property, “Picasso Museum Marais“.  She does such a lovely job describing the apartment and capturing the essence of Le Marais, that I am going to stop typing and let her words do the talking.

Building

“On first entering the section of Rue Vieille du Temple that was to become our home I turned to my husband and said “wouldn’t it be amazing to have an apartment on this street”. After looking for nearly two years for an apartment in the Marais I always appraised those shown to us on their proximity to my “favorite street”. The day that we viewed we very nearly missed the appointment, we couldn’t believe our good fortune that it was in the building of our favorite Paris bookstore where we had bought some things on that very first stumble into the street, but we’d viewed an apartment earlier in the week in the street and it really wasn’t right so we weren’t particularly hopeful!

But walking through the gate we were struck by the quality of the building, the courtyard is fantastic (infact they shot a car ad in it a while back) and the entrance hall to the lift was beautifully maintained and suitably imposing. On walking through the doors and into the apartment the feeling was just right. Unlike many of the Marais apartments that we’d viewed this was so bright with tall ceilings and windows letting in copious amounts of that covetable 5th floor light. Instantly my husband asked the owner would he take the asking price – he’s very intuitive and instinctive – he decided instantly this was the one. They were very bemused and said that yes they would take the asking price and that they would take it off the market. They had received two other offers by the end of the day by viewers who had come before us – but David’s impetuousness and instinct paid off.

Kitch

By no means the finished article, the apartment’s decor and interior was very different to what we envisioned. We took down a wall in the kitchen/dining room and opened the space up, the bathroom also needed a total remodel and every wall needed repainting to white. But now we are delighted with the interior and every time I come into the space I fall in love with it a little bit more. It has the most fantastic energy and looks beautiful at all times of the day and year, in the day time it is light and cheerful and in the evening the light from the other apartments and the gallery below illuminates it wonderfully. The view from the main bedroom and the second living/sleeping room is of le marais’ bewitching rooftops and buildings. 

bed

We have furnished the apartment with a mixture of vintage and modern designer pieces. The ceiling light in the kitchen (which has to be put up very soon) is a Louis Poulsen PH5 Suspension lamp, the table is a Cees Braakman and around it are 4 Eames DSW chair produced by Vitra. The small bookcase was purchased in Amsterdam Modern in LA and is vintage, most probably from Holland. The black standing light is the Gubi Greta Grossman Grasshopper light – a current favorite of all decor blogs and magazines. The art work is a mixture of vintage and modern finds, photographs and work from Irish artists. The small cupboard in the second bedroom was a vintage purchase from a gentleman’s outfitters on Beverly Boulevard in LA. The sofabed in the living room is from John lewis and the other is from GoModern in London. We have stocked the house with dvd’s and some books, there are many art and music books in the collection and perhaps most significantly Taschen’s Paris – an amazing, sumptuous guide to the city. There is also the most recent GoGoParis guide – a very hip guide to the arrondissements. There are Sheridan linens at the apartment – both 600 and 300 count duvet covers and pillowcases. The lights above the bed are Arne Jacobson Bellevue wall lights.

Walking out the front of the building you are greeted with a bustling street housing some of France’s most chic and trendy boutiques – dubbed by one blogger “a hipsters open air shopping mall” the northern Marais is by far my favorite area in the city bar none! 

Minutes from the apartment are renowned cafes and restaurants. The Rose Bakery which provides the food in Dover Street Market in London is a few steps away. Le Marche des Enfants Rouges (reputedly the oldest market in Paris) is five minutes walk away – there you can by fresh produce and bread as well as dine at one of the food stalls I particularly love the Moroccan there, the sardines and salads are amazing. There is also an amazing bakery on Rue de Bretagne (I’m not sure of the name but you should be able to work it out by the huge queue snaking out of the place). 

We also love to eat at other Marais eateries – Cafe des Musees on Rue du Turenne is great , it first came to my notice in The Guardian (UK broadsheet) when Lloyd Grossman (a Bostonian food critic and pasta sauce magnet in the UK) named it as one of his top five food places anywhere (the pork is particularly great). I also love Bofinger, a great traditional french restaurant. Le loir dans la theire in Rue Des Rosiers has the most gorgeous home-baked cakes and its lemon meringue is extraordinary, it is super popular for brunch and always has a huge line at weekends. My new current find and favorite is Robert et Louise on our street, an old-style french resto where they cook beautiful meats on an open fire that are garnished with simple but delicious salad and scrummy potatoes also cooked on the fire. The owners are wonderful and we’ve stayed to the wee hours participating in their music quiz – Franc plays bars of a song from his ipod and everyone has to guess who the artist is – it is the most fun I’ve ever had in Paris and the last time, there were Germans, Danish, Americans and lots of french people joining in – I cannot recommend heartily enough!

Bar-wise there are many cool spots in le Marais – of course la Perle down the street (the scene of John Galliano’s infamous meltdown. Le Progres on the corner of the street and Rue Bretagne has now become the fashion crowd’s hipster hangout. Un Fer au Cheval has an older arty crowd and Connetable on Archives is wonderful for after-hours drinking! The Mexican restaurant Candelaria (on rue de saintonge) has a great little speak-easy bar in the back with great cocktails and lots of beautiful people. We also go to a bar int he 11th called Le Fanfaron, a rock n’roll bar that plays amazing music and is the hangout of Lou Doillon (Jane Birkin’s daughter).”

I don’t know about you but I am dreaming about Le Marais and this gem of a property tonight.  For more information about this property visit : cobblestay.com/041 or call us (949) 650-2125

Parisians are NOT Rude ~ Three Tips to Make Sure They Aren’t

Monday, February 4th, 2013
Learn Some French!

Learn Some French!

When I am helping guests plan their first trip to Paris, I often get asked about the reputation that French people have.  You know…they are supposed to rude.  I can honestly say that in all of the times that I have been to Paris, I have found the Paris locals to be quite the opposite.  They have been nice, helpful, happy and complimentary!  I can’t guarantee that you will have the same experience but here are three things that I do that I think will help you have the same experience that I have enjoyed in Paris.

1.  Learn some French!

You only need a few key phrases and you need to now when to use them.  EVERY TIME you walk into a shop, cafe or bakery, ALWAYS look at the person behind the counter and say “bonjour mademoiselle”.  They will ask you something in French and then you may reply, “I’m American”.  They will smile and usually start speaking to you in English.  Make the effort.  The locals really appreciate this.   Make sure to say “Merci” as you leave, too.

Dress a Little Nicer

Dress a Little Nicer

2.  Dress a little nicer

It is true, the French are a little fancier than we are.  They take great care in the clothing they wear.  They would never think about wearing gym clothes to a cafe after a workout.  Jeans, a t-shirt and flip flops???  Shorts and an Aloha shirt???  Never.  Take this opportunity to wear the items you never do at home.  Dress them up a bit with a scarf, a cute hat and a swipe of red lipstick.  Men should consider wearing a sport coat instead of a sweatshirt.  Who knows?  It just might make for a new habit when you return home from Paris.  A great habit to have!

Hold ON!

Hold ON!

3.  Hold ON!

Using the Metro is one of the best things to feel like a local while traveling in Paris.  Not holding onto a handle while you are standing in a crowded train car as it takes off and tumbling into four locals is the best way to feel like a tourist.  No, your incredible core muscles and the wide stance are NOT going to hold you up.  Grab a hold of the overhead bar and hold on tight.

There you have it!  Try them out on your next trip and let me know if they worked.  You can always email me at cassie@cobblestay.com.

 

 

 

Smaller is Better ~ Guest Blogger Series ~ Flavia Schepmans

Monday, January 21st, 2013

Flavia 01

Smaller is Better, a guest post by Flavia Schepmans

Let’s face it: Beef tartare, onion soup, duck confit and crème brûlée are all delicious. But too much of a good thing can get cloying. Yes, French bistros are perfect, but all too often, after a hearty Coq au vin, I feel like I’m turning into the Michelin Man and long for lightness and variety. That’s why I’m always on the lookout for great wine and tapas bars where they serve small plates you can wash down with a delicious wine or cocktail. Here are my favorites, from the little French joint that dishes out an assortment of “canailles” (the local version of tapas), to the trendy cocktail lounge with surprising finger food options.

 L’Avant Comptoir

A tiny, magical place where you stand at the zinc counter, order delicious piggy bites from the friendly servers, and drink glass after glass of wine. I’m a regular here, with good reason. The chef behind this perfect hole-in-the-wall is Yves Camdeborde, who also runs the fabulous Comptoir du Relais bistro (and adjacent 4-star hotel), right next door. Good luck getting a table there, but you can hang here until 12am.

9 Carrefour de l’Odéon 75006 Paris

http://www.hotel-paris-relais-saint-germain.com/flash/fr/

 

Mojita et Bob

A trendy, sleek, French “tapas” place where the service is warm, the cocktails are tasty, and the small savory and sweet plates are inventive.

3 rue Oberkampf 75011 Paris

http://www.mojitaetbob.com/

 

Aux Deux Amis

A narrow, faux-seedy wine bistro with semi-bright yellowish neon lights and mirrors everywhere that gets packed to the gills with local hipsters. The burrata, piquillos, and other small plates are prepared with love using top ingredients. You’ll feel like a real Parisian, mingling with cigarette-puffing stylish girls and their copains.

45 rue Oberkampf 75011 Paris

 

Candelaria

In the front, it’s a bright, neon-lit taquería. The tacos are good, and the guacamole even better (the chef, Luis, is Mexican and some of the recipes are hand-me-downs from his abuela.) In the back, hidden behind a camouflaged door, it’s a cozy and dark cocktail lounge where the drinks are outstanding and the guest DJs spin excellent electro and alternative music.

52 rue de Saintonge 75003 Paris

http://www.candelariaparis.com/

 

Glass

It’s dark, it’s sexy, and it’s surrounded by strip joints. We are, after all, a stone’s throw from Pigalle. Wash down the delicious gourmet hot dogs with surprising cocktails and Brooklyn Brewery beer on tap. From the cool folks that brought you Candelaria.

7 rue Frochot 75009 Paris

http://www.glassparis.com/

 

Le Mary Celeste

This oyster and cocktail bar, named after a legendary ghost ship, promises to be just as cool as its sisters Candelaria and Glass. It opens at the end of January. I can’t wait to check it out.

1 Rue Commines 75003 Paris

 

Le Baron Rouge

Open only until 10pm, this true-blue Paris spot doesn’t concern itself with trends. The wines and the charcuterie plates are cheap and tasty, and on winter weekends at noon they truck over fresh oysters from Normandy, shucked on the spot and served with bread and butter.

1 rue Théophile-Roussel 75012 Paris

 

Les 36 Corneil

This hidden spot (there’s no sign at the door) serves tasty French-style small dishes in a rustic, low-lit bistro-like setting. The best part? The place turns into an impromptu DJ dance party later on in the evening.

36 rue de Rochechouart 75009 Paris

 

Flavia Schepmans is a designer, art director, and prop stylist who moved from New York City to Paris in 2011, looking for new inspiration and a change of pace. She has been busy discovering great restaurants, bars, shops, and hidden museums in this beautiful city. Her outlook on life is: The more you travel and discover, the more open-minded you’ll become, and the happier you’ll be. She is also working on launching an online customized concierge guide for travelers to the City of Light. Find her Twitter posts about places and tips @flaviainparis. You can also view her portfolio and travel writing samples at www.flaviaschepmans.com

Thoughts on Paris ~ Guest Blogger Series ~ Rachael O’Bryan

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

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As I stepped foot on Parisian soil for the first time I was overcome with both apprehension and excitement. I was a few weeks away from my 22nd birthday and it was my first time out of the United States.

Once I arrived at the place I would call home for the next two weeks I checked in, went to my room, and got ready for my first adventure in Paris. I wandered the streets and I got lost. It seemed that every street in the city bent at some point and changed names. I found my way back though, without panicking. I went to sleep for the first time in the city that would become an essential part of my dreams. I woke up early the next morning and started to tackle my Paris to-do list.

I loved the main attractions – The Eiffel Tower, The Notre Dame, The Arc de Triomphe, and The Louvre (The Winged Victory is the most beautiful piece of art I have ever seen in person). However outside of these four essential Parisian landmarks I also loved:

1.)     Jardin du Luxemburg – This is my favorite place in Paris. I’ve joked that I will get married here. The first time I went to Paris was for a 2-week study abroad program in law school. The place I stayed at was right across from the gardens so every day I walked through it on my way to class.
2.)     Sainte-Chapelle – This church is stunning. The stained glass windows are breathtaking.
3.)     Musee Rodin – The sculptures here are beautiful, but my favorite part was sitting in the café in the lovely garden, sipping hot chocolate, and just taking it all in.

And a short list of few other favorites include: wild strawberry and chocolate sorbet ice cream cones, strolling through a flea market, Seine River Cruises, watching a show at the Moulin Rouge, sipping hot chocolate at a café on the Eiffel Tower, eating chocolates and pastries all over the city, and eating at a Chinese restaurant in the Latin Quarter (I wish I could remember the name – I often claim it had the best broccoli I ever had).

But perhaps my favorite part of being in Paris was the way I felt when I was there. I’m learning French and hope to return this fall.

I fell in love with the City of Lights and Love; it’s hard not too.
Rachael O’Bryan is a contract/document review attorney in New York City. Also, she runs her own online magazine for women called Rachael and you can check it out at http://rachaelmagazine.com - subscribe today! Also, connect with Rachael Magazine on facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/RachaelMagazine
twitter: @RachaelMagazine 
and on Pinterest at: http://pinterest.com/rachaelmagazine/

Also, check out her personal blog at http://rachaelsnewyork.blogpost.com.
Besides writing, her other interest include watching sports (New York Mets, Louisville Cardinals), exploring New York City, traveling, and being a wonderful aunt to her amazing niece and nephew (Kendyl and Max).

Three Spots for Cafe That Only a Local Would Know

Friday, January 4th, 2013
La Cafeotheque

La Cafeotheque

 

You trust us, right?  After all, we brought you the “Insider’s Guide to Paris”.  Here are three spots to grab a cafe in Paris that only a local would know about.  Ssshhhhh…don’t tell everyone.

**La Cafeotheque**

50-52 rue de l’Hôtel de Ville
75004 Paris
Neighborhoods: Marais, 4ème

http://www.lacafeotheque.com/

 

**Coutume Cafe**

47 rue de Babylone
75007 Paris
Neighborhood: 7ème

http://www.coutumecafe.com/

 

**Pozzetto**

39 rue du Roi de Sicile
75004 Paris
Neighborhoods: Marais, 4ème

http://www.pozzetto.biz/

Three Reasons to Visit Paris in February

Tuesday, December 25th, 2012

France Weather

Yes, Paris can be pretty chilly in February. The average temperature hovers around 38 degrees.  There can be snow and rain but it definitely is not the wettest of months.  Bundling up and seeing the sights, sipping hot chocolate in a bustling cafe and not having to wait in long lines at the Louvre are all really great reasons to visit Paris in February but we have a few more to get you in the mood to book a trip now!

CNY

1.  February 10th marks the Chinese New Year.  There are celebrations held throughout Paris making it one of the most colorful days in the city. 2013 is the year of the serpent!

VDP

2.  Everyone knows that Paris is for lovers.  Whisking your sweetheart to Paris for Valentine’s Day is THE most romantic thing we can think of!

3.  February is one of the cheapest months to visit Paris.  That’s right, we said “cheap” and “Paris” in the same sentence.  Airfare dips way down and so does the cost of renting an apartment.  Many of our most popular properties are available at their lowest prices of the year.  The longer you stay, the more money you save.

We have compiled an even longer list of the special events taking place in Paris during February.  You can see them here: FEBRUARY EVENTS

Would you like some more info about Paris in February?  We are happy to help.  Complete this form and one of our Reservation Specialists will contact you.

Are You in the Mood? Christmas 2012

Saturday, December 8th, 2012

 

 

We are!!!!!