Guest Notes for Episode 293: Brothers Meet in Paris

Categories: Family Travel, First Time in Paris, Paris

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● Trip Preparation
○ Visit to Paris was with my brother October 27 – Nov 4
○ I found your podcasts summer of 2019 through “France Travel Planning” group
on Facebook. I was reading a thread comment and found it that way. I’ve always
wanted to visit France – I took French language classes in high school and
college. I love desserts and Paris has some of the best.
○ My brother has been to Paris with my mom (when he was studying in Florence
for a year).
○ Paris was the last part of a vacation that I took last year, when I decided to
redeem Singapore Airlines miles. The miles were expiring at the end of October.
○ Redeemed miles for two free flights (Singapore to London)
○ My brother lives in the Philippines and I was in Tokyo for a few days prior. We
met in Singapore and stayed overnight.
○ We took Norwegian Air back to Los Angeles
● Arriving in Paris/Itinerary
○ Eurostar from London to Gare du Nord. We went to the taxi que outside to our
hotel in St Germain. We arrived at night and I remember looking to the left
outside of the taxi window and seeing the pyramid outside the Louvre for the first
time and the light from the top of the Eiffel Tower in the distance.
● Staying in the Right Bank vs. Left Bank
○ Since we were there for a week and it was my first visit, I thought it would be nice
to see 2 different neighborhoods.
○ I wanted to stay in St Germain after you and Elyse talked about it on the
podcasts.
○ Signature Hotel off Rue Chomel and Blvd Raspail
■ Found it the Rick Steves Paris book
■ Quiet street, Metro Sevres Babylone is close by
■ Only had 4 rooms per floor. Rooms were pretty big.
■ Would recommend the hotel but don’t get the hotel breakfast
■ The hotel isn’t in the heart of St Germain. The zip code was 75007 and
we were able to walk to the Eiffel Tower.
○ Hoxton
■ One of the YouTube videos that I came across in researching Paris was
TopJaw 48 Hours in Paris. They stayed at the Hoxton.
■ It’s a restored building from the 18th century. It was built for Etienne Rivie,
an advisor to Louis XV and later converted to a clothing factory since the
Sentier is a textile district.
■ It’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve stayed at. The hotel lobby and
design on the rooms are really nice. Rooms/bathrooms were a good size.
They deliver a breakfast bag to your room in the morning
■ It’s in the 2nd, which seemed like an up and coming area. Lots of
construction going on. Different neighborhood compared to St Germain
○ Final Thoughts – the St Germain is a good option for someone traveling with kids
or want a quieter, neighborhood feel. The Right Bank area was more lively but
has more access to places a first time tourist will want to visit.
○ For those that have been to New York City, it’s comparable to staying in the West
Village vs Times Square
● Paris in Stride Book
○ Read about this book in a New York Times travel article
○ The book gives self guided walking tours for indv. Arrondissements
○ Did 2 of the walking tours in the book – the Centre (1st and 2nd) and St Germain
○ Created a Custom Google Maps of the addresses provided in the book to help
navigate.
○ St Germain walk – some of the stops were Pierre Herme, St Sulpice Church, and
Luxembourg Gardens.
○ 1st and 2nd – Covered Passages such as Galerie Vivienne, Passage des
Panoramas, Jardin du Palais Royal. Even found an area in the 1st where they
had an abundance of Japanese restaurants.
● Food Experiences
○ Paris By Mouth Food Tour
■ Led by a food journalist who brought us to different food places in St
Germain. The first 2 hours were spent visiting shops(pastry, chocolates)
and sampling items. The last hour was cheese and wine pairing. Really
enjoyed this experience. The tour price included all the food and I would
highly recommend it.
■ Small group of 8
■ They offer tours in other areas such as Marais and Latin Quarter
■ Learned that when you order a baguette at a boulangerie, you should
order “baguette du tradition”
■ They send a follow up email which lists all of the places visited and foods
that we tried (if you want to go back and purchase items)
■ Their website has a lot of restaurant recommendations arranged by
neighborhood
○ Beau Passage
■ We stopped here on the Paris by Mouth Tour
■ One of the new food, art, spaces in inspired by covered passages.
■ We returned here to try Epicurien Par Nature, a casual cafe by a Michelin
Chef Anne-Sophie Pic. Food was delicious. Lots of other places such as
Pierre Herme.
○ Croissant at La Maison d’Isabelle
■ One euro and the best croissant I’ve ever tried
■ It was recommended on the France Travel Planning Facebook group.
■ Located in the Latin Quarter
○ Le Timbre
■ Located in St Germain near Luxembourg Gardens.
■ Small French restaurant run by husband/wife.
■ Good food and not expensive
■ Made Reservations Online
○ Frenchie To Go
■ Casual restaurant of the popular Frenchie along Rue du Nil in the 2nd
■ Went here for lunch and they had good sandwiches
○ Chocolates and Fruit Jellies at Jacques Genin
○ Macarons at Pierre Herme
● Versailles
○ Blue Fox Bike Tour – We met our guide at Gare St Lazare at 9 am, took the train
to Versailles, got the bikes, shopped for picnic items at a local market and saw
the usual sights in Versailles. Around 4 pm – he brought us to the main palace.
○ I’d recommend this as I enjoyed seeing the areas around the palace
○ The negative (which wasn’t mentioned when I read reviews) is that by 4 pm, you
don’t have much time at the actual Palace of Versailles
○ We went at the end of October and it gets pretty dark around 5-530, so we went
outside first and tried to see what we could.
○ The advantage is that you’ll be able to see the Hall of Mirrors when it’s not too
busy. We stayed until closing time of 6 pm
○ In case you don’t have time to go to Versailles, Napoleon’s Apartments, Opera
Garnier, and Luxembourg gardens were just as nice if not better. I’d recommend
the guided tour at Opera Garnier
● Photo Session
○ My cousin from the Philippines visited Paris in April and had their photos taken by
Macky Bautista, a local photographer
○ Decided to do this as it was my first visit to Paris
○ I think it’s worthwhile to do if you can. It’s hard to take photos when sightseeing
and the photos are a great souvenir.
○ We were able to take photos at Trocadero, Louvre, and Pont de Bir-Hakeim
bridge
● Travel Tips
○ Navigo Semaine Pass – Episode 223 with Lachlan Cooke was very useful. We
brought our passport photos and purchased these passes. Worked well since we
were there for about a week
○ Bus 69 tour which was recommended Episode 223. Took it from the 7th to the
Marais
○ Museum Pass
■ Plan ahead for the Louvre because even with a museum pass, admission
wasn’t guaranteed unless you had a timed entry reservation.
○ Book tickets ahead of time and allow enough time for lines
■ The line at the Eiffel Tower for those who purchased tickets ahead of time
was empty
○ Create a Google Maps to help you navigate
○ YouTube Videos – Top Jaw 48 Hours in Paris and Must Eats in Paris by Erwan
Heussaff
● Future Visits
○ Will try your audio tours on my next visit
○ Giverny – which we cut out on this visit.
○ Chateaus in the Loire Valley, which have been posted on the Facebook group

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Categories: Family Travel, First Time in Paris, Paris