When visiting France in the summer, instead of ordering wine, try a pastis.
Pastis is an anise-flavored liqueur that is very popular for drinking slowly on a lazy summer afternoon.
Pastis can be enjoyed any time of day, however the French rarely drink it with their meal. The sweet licorice-like flavor does not pair well with many foods.
France Today has a nice article that gives the history behind the Pastis.
The drink is traditionally served using three vessels: a glass with a shot of pastis, a glassful of ice and a pitcher of water.
The color of pastis can range from yellow to yellow-brown (or even green). The star anise essence that gives pastis its flavor is not water-soluble, so when you add water, the drink quickly turns cloudy and milky looking.
The pastis must be diluted because it is 45 percent alcohol, similar to gin. Typically there is a 5-to-1 ratio of water to pastis, with ice being optional. But pastis mixing is a considered a personal preference and best left to the individual.
Or choose from dozens of locations across the city of love to help make that special moment even more memorable. Every time you return to Paris you’ll remember it as one of the happiest experiences of your life.
If you’re considering proposing, here are a few great locations to choose from:
- The fountain at Jardins du Trocadero
- The viewing deck of Pont de Bir-Hakeim
- Third floor of the Eiffel Tower
- The Pont Des Arts – Passerelle des Arts bridge
- The steps below the Basilique du Sacre Coeur de Montmartre
Read more:read more
Use it to help with your pronunciation. It is as simple as clicking on a phrase to hear it, then repeating the phrase out loud. Voila!
“In Paris they just simply opened their eyes and stared when we spoke to them in French! We never did succeed in making those idiots understand their own language.”
- Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad
There is more to being French than eating a baguette on a daily basis. In France, movies are still regarded as an art form, making it a useful tool for for visitors to learn about the country’s culture and language.
Paris, je t’aime is an excellent film for immersing yourself all that makes Paris special. Twenty famous filmmakers have five minutes each, weaving together a single narrative out of twenty moments. There’s a reappearing mysterious character who is a witness to the Parisian life and a common theme of Paris and love fuses all.
The Le Marais segment, directed by Gus Van Sant, is just down the street from CobbleStay #41 – Picasso Museum Marais.
The Bastille segment, directed by Isabelle Coixet is around the corner from CobbleStay #15 – Bastille River View.
The Place des Victoires segment, directed by Nobuhiro Suwa, is around the corner from CobbleStay #16 – Madeleine Balcony Studio.
The Tour Eiffel segment, directed by Sylvain Chomet, is close to CobbleStay #20 – Eiffel Tower Park.
CobbleStay #24 – Marais Magic is right by the cafe where characters meet in the Quartier des Enfants Rouge segment, directed by Olivier Assayas and Frederic Auburtin.
CobbleStay #18 – Left Bank Penthouse is around the corner from where the Quartier Latin segment was filmed, directed by Gerard Depardieu, as well as CobbleStay #14 – Best of Notre Dame Apartments in Paris.
The Parc Monceau segment, directed by Alfonso Cuaron, is near our newest property (coming online soon!).
If you really want to know what all the best French films are, check out this top 100 list compiled by French film industry experts.
Amuse-toi bien!read more
Overseas phone fees are a major concern for travelers. Always check with your phone carrier before you leave to find out your best options. Sometimes it can be as simple as requesting a global plan. The NY Times has put together a helpful article with tips and tricks to save you from unexpected charges.
For example, some travelers choose to purchase a a SIM card (a microchip that can be inserted into a cellphone) from an international provider, giving them a local phone number and local calling rates. However, you must have an “unlocked” phone to use this method.
There is hope that roaming charges will soon become a thing of the past. The European Union recently voted to end international roaming charges by the end of 2015.
Until that actually happens, be sure to educate yourself and be prepared. Bonne chance!read more
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.read more
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.
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 @Lisa79read more
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!
- early January through mid-March
- all of August
- most of November (except Thanksgiving week)
- the first two weeks of December
- 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!read more
When I first starting doing book reviews for the CobbleStay blog, I depended on the local bookstore for my titles. As the blog took off, I began to get suggestions from our guests and they haven’t steered me wrong yet! I have been working my way down a solid list of books that either take place in Paris, are about food in Paris or contain breathtaking pictures of Paris. I have just finished Eloisa James’ memoir, “Paris in Love” and it was fantastique!
Ms. James, her husband and their two children move from the US to Paris for a year. The book is filled with short, Facebook style posts that give us a glimpse into the highlights of her life in Paris. Often times books about Americans living in Paris are filled with tales of never fitting in with the Parisian locals. I found this book to be quite the opposite. Ms. James seemed to do just fine in Paris. Her daughter may have felt differently, but those were the stories I loved the most. Anna’s relationship with her nemesis, Domitilla, were so amusing to me. Maybe it was because I could relate since I have a daughter of my own but mostly because they were just too funny! Her teen son makes cameo appearances throughout the book and when he ignores her as his Metro train door closes and takes off…well, I can see my daughter doing the same thing! Even in Paris, they will always be cooler than us. A few dog stories, a trip to Italy and cute conversations about her husband (Italian) and his year in Paris make this a fun and easy read.
Like many of the books suggested to me by CobbleStay guests, this one made me want to live in Paris even more. There is a short list of her favorite spots in Paris in the back. I love when authors do this. This book should be added to your Paris bookshelf, too.
Do you have a Paris book that you would like to share? Send it to us! Community@CobbleStay.comread more
“How far in advance should I book my trip to Paris?” This is one of the most asked questions we receive and it is a great one! The answer varies depending upon your situation. The more “musts” you have, the farther in advance you should book. These “musts” include staying in a particular area of Paris, during a particular show at a museum, during Fashion Week, on Bastille Day, when the flowers start to bloom, during the department store sales…… If you want to be in Paris on a specific date like your birthday or your anniversary you should plan your visit as soon as you get your dates set in stone. Of course, if you are more flexible with your “musts”, last minute deals can be found but you may have to compromise on a few details. For the average traveler coming to Paris, these are our suggestions for timing everything just right.
1. You should start shopping airfares about 90 days before you plan to travel. Depending on the season, you can get a gauge for what the fare will be and we suggest consulting with a travel agent for their take on whether the fares will go on sale anytime soon. If you are using airline “points” start inquiring about those flights the moment you decide on a date. Reward travel is very limited, especially to Europe, and the flights sell out fast. We have often booked airfare with points almost a year ahead of time just to make sure we got what we wanted!
2. Booking your airfare and finding an apartment can be done at the same time. Especially if you are falling in love with a particular property, you should check that it is available around the dates that you are shopping for your airfare. Our easy to use calendar that is on the same page of each property makes that very simple. We find that people who start booking about 90 days prior to their arrival have the best selection to choose from. For those last minute travelers, the online calendar makes it very easy to see what is still available.
3. Check your passports!! You should give yourself a 90 day cushion to make sure that passport is in your hands and up to date! Really look at the date and make sure that is doesn’t expire during your trip. It has happened but we won’t name names!
4. As your trip gets closer, you will want to make any “must see” reservations or event ticket purchases. Our experience is that most restaurants in Paris won’t book a table more than 30 days in advance. There can be exceptions but this is the general rule. It is also a great time to secure some Euros. At the time we are writing this, the Euro is dropping!!! This means it is the perfect time to go to Paris!
5. Your trip is about a week away! It is time to start pulling things to pack, buy a couple of things you might need and don’t forget to make arrangements for your pets! We have written about packing for Paris before and we love to get creative packing tips from Pinterest.
We hope you have a fabulous trip to Paris! Bon Voyage!read more