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Mar 10, 2010 04:54 AM

April in Paris- day trips-good food good sites!

We are traveling to Paris next month and will be staying on the Champs-Elysées. We would love to take some day trips by train (max within 90min - 2hours)! We've been to Paris before and saw most of the main sights including Versailles which we will probably visit again to see the gardens. Has anyone taken train trips to Lyons, Provins or Reims? Any recommendations or suggestions.

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  1. Trois 1 hour great little champagne town, Drappier is there; Lille 1 hour, old city neat, rest La Huiterie, one star and excellent for lunch; Nancy 2 hours, should not be missed, one of my fav franch cities.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Delucacheesemonger

      Thank you! Are there trains to these towns and are they walkable once there?

      1. re: eagertoseetheworld

        There is a TGV to Reims, and a local train to Troyes, which I'm pretty sure is the town DCM is referring to.

        Lyon is a 2-hour ride on the TGV, and as the "Culinary Capital of France" should definitely not be missed. Have never had a bad meal there, over the past 18 years of visiting there (except for my disappointing meal at Paul Bocuse). The best food in Lyon is in the bouchons, bistros and brasseries, and most of it is very reasonably priced.

    2. Rouen is also a nice day trip. I recommend lunch at Gill. If you go to Reims, the "do not miss" restaurant is L'Assiette Chamenoise. We had lunch there last fall for the second time and it was absolutely spectacular. Its 2 Michelin stars are well-deserved and I would not be surprised if a third star lies in the future. You would need to take a short taxi ride from the center of Reims to the restaurant. Provins is a very nice and interesting trip, not far from Paris. Hostellerie Aux Vieux Remparts is an excellent restaurant. Chantilly is a really wonderful day trip, the chateau is sensational, but you will need to take a taxi or bus from the station to the chateau. The food in the chateau restaurant is decent but nothing out of the ordinary. No special restaurants around to my knowledge.

      5 Replies
      1. re: rrems

        I agree. Assiette Champenoise is not to be missed. and if you can, spend the night in one of their affordable but TRES luxurious rooms. The breakfast is one of the most spectacular I've ever had outside the US.

        1. re: rrems

          Did you make reservations at L'Assiette Chamenoise, and is it proper to be casually dressed?

          1. re: eagertoseetheworld

            Yes, no. Well, that depends on how casual casual is, and, as John Talbott would point out, how famous you are. But a provincial top restaurant expect men to wear jackets etc.

            1. re: eagertoseetheworld

              Souphie is right. We wore jackets the last time we were there, but not the first time. There were some diners not wearing them, but most were and of course it never hurts to dress well. It's a rather formal restaurant. Absolutely no jeans, sneakers, jogging suits etc.

              1. re: eagertoseetheworld

                Reservations, definitely. Unless you want to run the risk of being disappointed. and yes, a jacket for men. We dined there five meals and men always in jackets. Not always ties. I'm just now looking at a picture of a bunch of us at table there... definitely a jacket. and no jeans for the ladies, either.

            2. We have taken three train trips on past visits to Paris and these may be more than you want to do, but they were inexpensive and much fun for us. First we took the Chunnel to London and had a wonderful one day only and return...excellent Indian and gin for lunch and fish and chips with mushy peas for supper! Next we did the same to Geneva...fondue and trout for lunch and a picnic on the train with cheese, bread, meat, fruit and wine bought near the train station. And, last year we went to Strasbourg, where a cousin took us into Germany for lunch and dinner (this board said that I missed many fine places near Strasbourg).

              3 Replies
              1. re: hychka

                We're planning to do a day trip to Dijon when we're in Paris next. Looks to be a lovely, small, easily walkable city, 1 1/2 hour easy train ride from Paris and we'll lunch at Restaurant Stephane Derbord, (10 Place Prés Wilson 03 80 67 74 64) a one-Michelin star restaurant with a fab looking special 25E lunch menu.

                1. re: plafield

                  that's exactly what we are looking for- it's nice to get out of the city for a couple of days.Thanks

                  1. re: eagertoseetheworld

                    Make sure you are there when the covered market is open, a truly wonderful one.

              2. There is, or was, a tour service departing from the St. Germain area, that concierges are familiar with. They offer bus tours. I took a half-day trip to Versailles, a half-day trip to Monet's home in Giverny, and also a day trip to Reims. Trips to Reims from Paris are offered with and without lunch included. Without, is better, because you can stroll, visit boulangeries, and find a cafe to your liking, reservations weren't a problem. It was enjoyable, visiting cathedrals and vineyards where Champagne is produced. Prices weren't burdensome, and they give you plenty of free time to wander, do as you please.

                The tour guides did a good job, explaining historical facts, and for those who speak Japanese, Italian, Spanish, and probably a few other languages, they offer that, depending on who you're touring with. Having to leave from, and return to, the 6th arrondissement was the only small inconvenience.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Greg in Chicago

                  Thanks, Greg- I looked at these tours and we are considering a visit to Reims. I prefer to take the train as it's more comfortable and at our schedule.