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On this episode of Join Us in France Travel Podcast, Annie Sargent chats with Dvora Citron about her jam-packed trip to France. Dvora has started a healthy food and travel blog called Slant2Plants and we wish her the best for her great blog!
This was a very busy 8 day trip late May 2023. A high level of organization makes it easier to pack a lot in which is good because Dvora likes to plan things out. She found the podcast really helpful for planning her trip and entertaining as well. During their trip, they used Annie's VoiceMap tour and it was a great way to organize their days. It is certain that the flexibility of VoiceMap tours cannot be beat! They were staying at the Westin Vendôme Hotel.
The ins and outs of using Velib' bikes in Paris
Using Velib' bikes in Paris can be challenging at first, but then they ran into a local who helped them get their 3-day pass. Once they got started it was great. The app is really helpful because you can easily see what you're doing from the phone app. It also helps find stations where you can drop off or pickup a bike.
Tips for Vegans and Plant-Based Eaters in Paris
Will you be eating vegan in the land of baguettes and brie? Dvora contacted several restaurants that are not necessarily exclusively vegan ahead of time. When she got a response from them that was usually a great meal. Many French restaurants want to try vegan options but they need to be prepared with the right ingredients. There are a lot of specific recommendations of what they loved and didn't love below.
Tips for Going to Giverny on the Train then Riding Bikes
They booked the earliest tickets they could get for Monet's Gardens in Giverny at 9:30. I recommend you get tickets for 10 or 10:30 if you're taking the train riding bikes because what if there's a family of 6 ahead of you at the bike shop? What if the guy at the shop shows up late? What if you get turned around for a bit? There is a bike path you can take between the Monet-Giverny train and pretty easy and lovely. But it's not as quick as you think it will be! They rode their bikes up to the church and Monet's grave after visiting the garden.
They didn't want to get the train tickets at the machine on the day of the visit. That's fine, it's best to get your tickets on the SNCF app anyway. They chose the express train which costs more but doesn't stop, so it's faster. But there aren't many non-stop trains. Their choice for the return was either 2 PM or 5 PM. The gardens were packed in June so everything took a long time. They couldn't make it back for the 2 PM train but didn't want to wait until 5 PM either. Warning: There isn't much to do in the town of Vernon. Don't plan on waiting for the train for 2 hours there.
So they ended up taking a slow train back. But when they got into Paris the gate wouldn't open for them because they were on the wrong train. They jumped the gate since there was nobody to talk to. Another fair warning: do not put your feet on the seats in front of you on the train or on the metro. Dvora got told off but didn't get a ticket, which was lucky. Normally you'd get a ticket for putting your feet on the seats.
The café at the Musée des Impressionismes had a great vegan option as well. So overall a great experience and they'd like to go back.
Eating Vegan in the Land of Baguettes and Brie Recommendations
Here is the list of restaurants they enjoyed and one they didn't like as much.
Jay & Joy Vegan Cheese but it looks like they are permanently closed.
Juveniles Restaurant They had to call to make a reservation and went twice. It was a great experience.
Land and Monkeys Bakery: this is a completely vegan bakery and café with lots of choices for breakfast. They sometimes also got a sandwich to take away for lunch later.
L'As du Fallafel. They don't have a website and you can't reserve but it's a really popular place. It's along the route of my Marais VoiceMap tour.
Café Laurent for jazz and drinks.
Augustin Caviste on Rue des Grands Augustins, a great small place for wine.
The Basquiat & Warhol exhibit at the Louis Vuitton Foundation, they went there on their Velib' bikes which was a bit of a distance. But Paris has a lot of bike lanes and cars are accommodating to the bikes.
42 Degrès Restaurant, they only cook the food to 42 degrees so this is a raw and vegan restaurant.
Kitchen Ter(re) Restaurant was also a great find with great pasta dishes and dessert.
La Table de Colette Restaurant: They didn't enjoy it very much and would not go back.
Philippe Escoffier Restaurant, Dvora arranged for a vegan meal ahead of time and it was delicious. It is near the Eiffel Tower.
L'Ardoise Restaurant. They hadn't planned on that one but it was across the Westin restaurant and it was great.
Watercolor Along the Seine: this was one of Dvora's favorite activities all week.
Venues they enjoyed
Going up the Coupole in the Pantheon afforded them a great view of Paris. It's on the Latin Quarter VoiceMap tour.
The Grande Mosqué de Paris was great (also on the Latin Quarter VoiceMap tour).
Opéra Garnier after hours tour. They didn't like the style of the tour guide as much, but the opera house is great.
The Dior Gallery, gorgeous inside, you get a good idea of the history of fashion and Dior. The visit takes an hour but there's always a line, even with your timed tickets.
Table of Contents for this Episode
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