Upcoming Trip - Hoping for some assurance
Have a wedding in Beaujolais 2 October, and we'll be spending three days in Paris before heading south. I have been hounding these boards (pun intended) for the last month or so trying to devise a reasonable itinerary. Recently scratched the plan to spend my afternoon at Le Cinq after securing a reservation - too little time and decided against the price - and I think I have something that I'd like to share and solicit thoughts.
We land Monday morning and board the TGV Thursday around noon. Staying at the Marriott Rive Gauche (points) in the 14th. This is my 2nd trip to Paris and my wife's first. Price really isn't an issue, but we spent a lot on flight and will be doing a lot in Lyon. So pretty much just trying to be conservative without losing out on anything we "can't miss".
Monday - drop off bags at hotel and find ourselves somewhere to get a cafe and croissant. After checking in I was hoping to explore the left bank.
Although it's touristy, I was thinking of lunch at Cafe de Flore while we're in that area.
Right now we have 8:30 dinner reservations at La Regalade, hoping to start the trip off with a fantastic meal.
Tuesday - cafe for latte and croissant (I like big breakfasts so I might get some food in hotel before leave...Gold member so I'm assuming we'll get executive level). Day is dedicated to try and cover Champs Ellyses, Arc de Triomphe, and that area.
Plan is to grab lunch at Marche des Enfants and head to the nearest park or water. Would love some ideas or thoughts on that.
Reservations at 8:30 for l'Ami Jean. I'm concerned that this might be too similar to La Regalade? Perhaps the only reason I say that is the rice pudding aspect, but I'm sure the food is different? Would we benefit from trying a different scene? Brasserie/Gastropub/Bistro?? I'm sort of confused so thoughts are welcome!
Wednesday - after spending the morning exploring Canal Saint Martin, Marais, etc I am hoping to go to le Verre Vole for wine and lunch.
We are still waiting to see if we can get into Frenchie for dinner (marriott has been making our reservations). After dinner we will be spending the rest of the evening in Montmarte.
So that's what I've got so far. What sent me here to further confuse myself with various opinions was the whole Regalade-Chez l'Ami Jean-Frenchie dinner lineup, so I'm wondering if anyone has comments there. If I were advised on what to order at these places to keep them distinct that might help. Or did I leave out a dining experience that we'd appreciate more. It's more than just amazing food - it's the Parisian vibe that we want to really capture during our short visit.
Luckily I have a few weeks so let's see how things go. Really looking forward to your responses!
So after trying for a couple weeks, the hotel finally got through to Frenchie and were told they are booked. They are trying for Spring now, but I'm not holding my breath. Very sad...
So now I'm back to the drawing board. The concierge recommended Septime and Agape Substance as alternatives...both seem to be popular here. Any thoughts from someone here? This is my birthday dinner so I'm looking for something unique...like Frenchie :( But also something very fun.
If your concierge can get you into Spring, tant mieux. Usually Spring is much harder to get into, and the food is better.
Otherwise, Saturne, as a backup, would be just as good as Frenchie. I still have not been to Septîme, but those who have never just like it. They all love it.
Parigi - saw after I posted that you had already recommended Saturne. From the other two posters, it sounds like I can't go wrong. I'll see what happens with Spring and then proceed with Saturne. Do you think I'll have difficulty? Can you tell me more about what to expect...have read around but not as much as my first 2 choices.
I'm trying to stick with what you had suggested earlier and eating in that area. But I suppose it doesn't really matter since I'll probably want to shower before dinner anyway. So I guess the world is our oyster in that respect. Should I just leave it open and see what we're in the mood for (if we don't get into Spring).
Yes, I think I'm thinking out loud. So bummed about Frenchie. Thanks again everyone!
Sean: don't be bummed about Frenchie. There are SO many fabulous and delicious places to eat in Paris, you'll never miss what you don't know! and not getting in this time just makes a great excuse for a return trip.
Personally, I love to celebrate my birthday at Maceo when I'm in Paris that time of year, and hoping to do it again in 2011.
Sorriest, Sean, am watching Barça (my boys) and AC Milan, which had led by one goal one, I repeat, one minute after the game started. Now it's 1-1 and I can't breathe, much less write.
See this detailed thread. Hope it helps
Barça just scored 2-1 !!!
Thanks mangeur - I'm waiting to see if he hears anything from Spring...but given that it's two weeks away I'm doubtful it will happen. Saturne will be my next choice, hopefully it won't be difficult...poor concierge will want to kill me!
You said before that this is more unique than Frenchie - would you mind elaborating? Just hoping to get more excited.
"Monday … Although it's touristy, I was thinking of lunch at Cafe de Flore while we're in that area."
Le Flore is less touristy than Deux Magots. But you may consider having breakfast or an after-lunch coffee there, instead of an entire lunch.
A casual nice lunch in that area could be Le Machon d'Henri.
"Tuesday … Plan is to grab lunch at Marche des Enfants and head to the nearest park or water. Would love some ideas or thoughts on that."
You must mean the Marché des Enfants Rouges.
There are lunch stalls right at the market, in a fun atmosphere. If I were you I would lunch at the market. Park or water? You can walk easily to the hippissime Canal St Martin. On the way, don't forget to have a gelato at Mary's on rue Dupuis.
"Reservations at 8:30 for l'Ami Jean. I'm concerned that this might be too similar to La Regalade?"
No they are not similar at all.
"Perhaps the only reason I say that is the rice pudding aspect, but I'm sure the food is different?"
The food is different. The rice pudding is different. You can miss the rice pudding at Régalde, but don't miss the rice pudding chez L'Ami Jean.
"Wednesday - after spending the morning exploring Canal Saint Martin, Marais, etc I am hoping to go to le Verre Vole for wine and lunch.
We are still waiting to see if we can get into Frenchie for dinner (marriott has been making our reservations). After dinner we will be spending the rest of the evening in Montmarte."
Your plans make you zigzag all over town. You may want to streamline your itinerary better.
I would put Enfants Rouges + the Marais + Canal St Martin on the same day. They are walkable from each other.
As for Frenchie…
Before Frenchie, a nice walk would be the nearby market street rue Montorgueil.
After Frenchie, a nice walk would be the nearby Palais Royal at night. It's magic.
O, in case you can't get into Frenchie, a good backup that is just as good is Saturne.
Montmartre is not near anything. Hard to combine it with something else, except maybe the great food street rue des Martyrs during market hours. You can have a nice dinner at Pétrelle or bistro Lorette, or a good casual lunch at Coquelicot.
Don't go near Sacré Coeur and the Place du Tertre. Very grim. Rue des Abbesses and all its side streets are much more montmartrois authentic.
You have only 3 days in Paris. If I were you I would put Champs Elysees on the last day, to be sacrificed if you don't have time. Champs Elysées is riddled with global branch stores and is the least Parisian street of Paris.
Thanks so much Parigi, I was hoping to hear from you.
You think it would be wise to move Montmarte to first thing Wednesday morning (take bus or subway)? Seeing that we'll likely just have a glass of wine now on Tuesday at Verre Vole while doing the Canal St. Martin.
I agree about Champs Elysees, maybe just looking down while we walk around Arc de Triomphe will suffice :)
"You think it would be wise to move Montmarte to first thing Wednesday morning (take bus or subway)?"
Sounds good. From Montparnasse you have direct metro n°12. You can get out at the Abbesses station (in 30 minutes) and tour the great fun Rue Lepic market. Maybe lunch at Coquelicot. Or you can walk north to beautiful Avenue Junot and see the Montmartre vineyards and lunch at Chamarré Montmartre.
On the other hand, if you bave a long flight and are prone to jetlag, you may want to stick closer to home - see the Fondation Cartier, Luxembourg Gardens, - so that you can head back to your hotel and rest if you need to.