Tag Archives: France

Midnights In Paris, And An Afternoon In Champagne

Part I: Escapades in Paris

I’ve been to Paris only a few times in my life, but its one of those cities that gets better with every visit. This past weekend a few b-school friends and I hopped on a quick easyJet flight, narrowly avoiding yet another Italian transportation strike which had downed many flights for the day, and we were in the beautiful City of Light in time for dinner and drinks.

This Paris trip was particularly great as the 6 of us had all been to Paris before: we spent just as much time exploring the city as we did enjoying the french cuisine (and wine of course.) While we were there for only three nights, I hope a longer stint in Paris will be in my near future. Next on the list: learning French!

Where To Eat in Paris:

Le Petit Marché – A modern French restaurant with a touch of Asian fusion in the Marais District. Try the sesame tuna and the veal.

La Maison de Verlaine – Very intimate and delicious restaurant at the top of Rue Descartes in the Latin Quarter. Fun fact: Hemingway lived in this building for five years in 1921.

L’As du Fallafel – A busy spot in the Marais district but worth the wait. Get the falafel with everything on it.

Pierre Hermé – A very biased choice here as its my favorite macaron place in town!


Part II: Bubbles in Champagne Country

One of the best parts of the weekend was a quick day trip Jen and I took to Epernay to visit the Moët & Chandon house. As most of you know, this past summer I had an amazing internship with Moët Hennessy USA in New York, and part of my work in the trade marketing department involved creating tools to increase our portfolio’s champagne sales. Epernay is tiny, but the reason to go there is for L’Avenue de Champagne, the long street of champagne houses that extends through the area (and much much farther than we walked.) Some say that it is even the most expensive street in the world due to the many bottles they have stored there. There are other champagne houses in Reims, such as Veuve Clicquot, Piper-Heisieck and Tattinger, but we were able to secure some last minute spots at the M&C house here in Epernay. The tour itself had room for improvement as it felt far too rushed and our guide was not very clear, but the highlight was walking through part of M&C’s 28 kilometers of cellars. Yes, thats over 17 miles of cellars, and I suppose part of the reason the tour guide was afraid of losing me since I was always lagging behind trying to take photos. The visit naturally ends with a tasting, and Jen and I opted for the “Grand Vintage” tasting which consisted of 2 glasses of White and Rosé 2004 and was absolutely delicious. We made the trip out to champagne country – we had to do it right!



Bisous! Until next time…

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Alright, I Get the Hype About Paris

So here I am having an afternoon coffee in the Marais District, which is super cute by the way. Paris can be overwhelming, but then I find these great neighborhoods and think, Ok maybe I can see myself living here. Then I realize that I’ll probably never learn French and the idea quickly fades. Still great to visit though! My days in Paris have been oddly busy, even though I don’t think I do much! It’s because I end up walking for hours and hours. A typical day goes like this: wake up, go get a lunch or a pastry, walk around to some must-see neighborhood or tourist spot, then walk more, stop for macarons or a coffee, then see another landmark and take more photos, walk and get lost for an hour (more or less, this definitely is a daily occurrence), feel like my legs are gonna fall off and stop for a glass of wine, eat dinner or baguettes, wander back to my hotel, then if I have energy left maybe hit up a bar for a drink. Phew! But I totally love this type of traveling. It’s great to be able to make all the decisions, like “No, I don’t want to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower, but I do want to sit on the lawn and take pictures for a while and people watch.” Since this isn’t my first time to Paris, its been great to see all the impressive sights… from the outside. I just love looking at the amazing architecture everywhere. Even yesterday, when all the museums were free and all the tourists flocked, I spent the day wandering around the gardens, or strolling through Montparnasse (also super cute!!) The macarons at Pierre Hermé are AMAZING by the way! Big props to Shirin for sending me the foodie cheat sheet on Paris that her brother wrote after studying here. If I could bring some back to all my friends and family I totally would – way better than souvenirs. :)


Sacre Couer

Eglise Saint-Sulpice in Paris, church featured in Da Vinci Code

One thing I have noticed though is that this city isn’t as great for solo travelers. It didn’t help that I wasn’t ready to leave the beaches of Spain when I did, and then it was a bit harsh to be greeted to this ultra romantic city by throngs of couples all making out along the river ::shakes fist::. I’ve even noticed that the restaurants aren’t prepared for me to eating solo. When I hit up another Houshangi suggestion today, a classic French restaurant, the waiter sat me at a table with two other people! Not even a separate table close to them, the same table! It was a girl (probably in her 30s) and her mother, and I apologized for crashing the party. However, they were really sweet and we soon started chatting. They are here on vacation from Moscow and we had a nice lunch conversation, and it ended up being better than if I had eaten alone. So sometimes traveling solo can bring about pleasant surprises.

Tomorrow I leave bustling Paris for Belgium! I have two friends that live outside Brussels that I met while vacationing in Punta Cana with Renzo. I’m hoping they will be free to meet up for a bit, but either way I’m looking forward to relaxing in a more low key setting. Oh, and drinking lots of Belgian beer and eating heaps of mussels. Nom nom nom. The international food tour continues!!

Also, I have about a week of unplanned vacation that I still haven’t figured out what to do with after Prague/Budapest. Croatia? Switzerland? North/South Italy? Any thoughts?


Quote Book:
Me: Hi, I’d like a table outside for a glass of rosé, please.
Waiter: Alone?? WHY?!

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Parisian Food Envy

Baguette from Boulangerie Kayser. Thats it, bread anywhere else had been ruined for me!!


Canard from Le Bouillon Chartier


Macarons from Pierre Hermé


Nutella and banana crepe from the Latin District

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September 5, 2011 · 2:35 pm

So if the Sun Rises in the East… Getting Fabulously Lost in Paris

Most people that have traveled with me know that I’m like a guy when it comes to asking for directions. I just prefer to figure things out on my own! And also, I hate pulling out maps in public because I just hate being targeted as a tourist. However, I don’t think I have ever used a map more in my life. And I’m not just talking about one, I’m pretty sure I have 3 or 4 different ones that I am constantly referring to. And you know what, even still I have never gotten more lost in my life than I have in Paris. Oh well, I did say I wanted to take the scenic route and what better place to get lost!

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First impressions upon arriving in Paris:
1) Wow, I’m no longer the only Indian in town
2) The frenchies are so hot!
3) Some of the metro trains here make NYC subways look immaculate. And people open the doors and hop out before it even stops — wild!

Things I love so far about Paris:
1) The triple cheek kiss, especially when guys do it aww
2) That everyone walks around carrying large loaves of bread and cheese
3) I think I already touched on the general hotness factor, for both men and women.

Man, today was kind of stressful! Apparently I really wasn’t ready for the transition from small town living to the hustle and bustle of Paris. I got in around midnight last night and only had enough energy to shower and wake up all my roomies with my luggage. I’m in an all female room for the first time. Girls apparently sleep earlier than guys, con, but they are also up generally earlier which leaves the room to myself, pro pro!! Being with girls has been super quiet, I guess because they do things like sightsee instead of partying all night. I know, totally odd. This morning I decided to cancel my hostel after tonight because I wasn’t crazy about the location, and I searched for a proper replacement more in the heart of the city. After a few hours, and a couple “uh oh did I just screw myself over in a foreign city” moments, I found a somewhat affordable hotel not too far from Notre Dame and the Latin Quarter. Yes, this little backpacker is cheating and getting her own room with her OWN bathroom! Whatever, I’m technically still getting paid out from my vacation days, this ones on CBRE!

After having a huuuge late lunch around 5, I snapped some photos around town and gave myself my own walking tour of a few different neighborhoods, stopping along the way to try different foods. Today, I’ve had a chocolate brioche, tiramisu, and Berthillon strawberry ice cream. Do they have kickboxing class in Paris? I need it. I think I’m being extra ambitious here, but one of my goals is to go running by the Seine River one morning. Yea right, my mornings will include more caloric intake of pastries and coffee than actual calorie burning, but we’ll see. I’m here until Tues morning so I’m hoping that’ll leave me enough time to really get to know the city better. Any suggestions on places to visit would be awesome!

Notre Dame

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