Welcome to a new post in my weekly blog series, Passionate About Paris.
Whether you’re a first-time visitor to Paris, like me a can’t-get-enough-of-Paris devotee, or perhaps just mildly curious about the City of Light, I hope you’ll find in these posts some ideas to inspire, hints to help and a sense of sharing what’s great about this awesome city. Here’s my round up of tips, info and what’s new this week.
January’s often gloomy skies and showers may, to an extent, curtail the meanderings that are so much more pleasurable in better weather. The good news is that there are terrific cafés in which to linger should the heavens open and where you’ll experience a slice of Parisian life, rather than simply waiting for the weather to clear and champing at the lost time.
Café-sitting is an integral part of daily Parisian life, as much as say, shopping at the markets. It offers the chance for locals to socialise with friends, as well as the opportunity of running into acquaintances and generally keep up with what’s going in the neighbourhood.
Readers of my blog may know that I write Writing Radar: a weekly round-up of markets, competitions and info for writers. If you’re a writer (and even if you’re not) here’s a list of some rather inspiring cafes in which to linger and get those creative juices flowing – or maybe to just to indulge in that most Parisian of pastimes, people-watching. Thanks to both Madeleine Wilson and globalgrasshopper.com for sharing. http://www.globalgrasshopper.com/travel/7-inspiring-cafes-paris-writing/
As recently as last week I was extolling of virtues of Angelina’s and their signature hot chocolate, but news reaches me that other establishments are upping their game. If a liquid chocolate fix is needed try one of these:
At Christophe Roussel, €5 will buy you a superb hot chocolate made from chocolate and flavoured with, among other things orange, vanilla and pepper. For an extra €1 you can have two chocolate or 2 macaroons to accompany it. 10 rue Champ de Mars, 7th arrondissement. Métro : Ecole Militaire. www.cadran-hotel-gourmand.com
At Puerto Cacao in the 12th arrondissement you can buy your chocolate by the carafe. There’s a spicy menu (including cinnamon, cardamom and ginger) as well as a fruity one, along with chocolate milk shakes. Light food is served at the weekends, for example cold meat and cheese platters with bread. A cup of chocolate costs €3.90 and a carafe €15. 2 rue Theophile Roussel. Métro Ledru-Rollin. http://www.puerto-cacao.fr/
What’s on More news about Chinese New Year (Year of the Dragon). As well as the procession from the Hotel de Ville in the 4th arrondissement on Saturday 28th January, the 13th arrondissement – home to Chinatown – will host its own colourful and traditional parade to celebrate the New Year. It begins at 1300 on Sunday January 29th, starting from 44 Avenue d’Ivry.
This year for the first time there will also be a daily market until the 29th in front of the City Hall (Mairie) at 1 place d’Italie. Starting at 1300 every day, the market will showcase Chinese culture with traditional crafts and foods, including exotic spices, fruits and teas.
Arts news: An exhibition at the Musee Luxembourg traces the period spent in Paris by artist Paul Cézanne. Although famous for his Provençal scenes, he developed a style of painting in Paris attracting praise and interest from critics, dealers and collectors. The 80 works trace the evolution of his painting style while in Paris, his training and early paintings, then examining his landscapes and development of Impressionist techniques. The Museum is open every day and tickets cost €12. The exhibition runs until February 26. 19, rue de Vaugirard, 6th arrondissement. Métro : line 4 to Saint Sulpice; line 10 to Mabillon http://www.museeduluxembourg.fr/
The often-overlooked art museum the Jacquemart-André is once again hosting evenings for music-lovers in the splendid surroundings of the apartments at the museum. A series of concerts runs until March 18, where you can admire the museum’s masterpieces, enjoy a glass of champagne, and then move to the Music room for the concert. All details can be found on: http://musee-jacquemart-andre.com/en/events/around-piano
The annual Paris Art Fair, the Grand Marché d’Art Contemporain opens on January 26th for 3 days and showcases over 150 contemporary artists, photographers and sculptors all selling their work. All details here: http://www.joel-garcia-organisation.fr/ev_200.html
And finally…..The Eiffel Tower celebrates its 125th birthday on January 26th. Wishing the ‘iron lady’ (no, not that one!) Joyeux Anniversaire.