Passionate About Paris: March 8th 2012

Welcome to a new post in my weekly blog series, Passionate About Paris.

March is traditionally seen as the time to emerge from winter, shed the heavy all-enveloping clothes and think about well-being. That’s easy in Paris! From spa treatments to hammams and the anti-stress boutiques, pampering could be part of your break. Nor is it just for the girls; there are plenty of places offering treatments for men too.

On the other hand of course, next week sees the divine World Tour Food Festival arrive in Paris for just three days on March 11, 12 and 13. So in the spirit of trying to please everyone, here’s news on both.

The World Tour Food Festival is a kind of foodie-lovers road show with Paris as its home. The Parisian leg of the tour will offer a sweet programme, a savoury programme and new, this year: a chocolate programme. There will be food tasting events, demonstrations and all kinds of foodie delights. A €19 ticket will buy a half day at the festival. Call in to the tourist office at 25 Rue des Pyramides (1st arrondissement) or see website below.                                                                Palais de la Mutualité                                                                                                         25 rue Saint-Victor, 5th arrondissement.                                

Whether your food requirements in Paris are high-end fine dining, a crêpe on the run or one of the myriad Parisian points in between, you’ll be spoilt for choice. New trends are always emerging, with ‘bistronomy’ (gastronomic food in an informal setting) to food bars — a mix of dining room and bar —  two of the recent offerings.

Here are some of the new restaurant contenders for 2012:                                      Joe Allen plans to open a second branch of his American restaurant this spring. Called Allen’s Market, the restaurant, coffee shop and store will be in the Saint-Martin covered market.

Alain Ducasse will open a new restaurant on the rue de Marignan and Alex Chapon (of Café Baci and Chez Julien fame) is expected to add a Marais restaurant to his Parisian list. Another restaurateur adding to his stable is Gilles Ajuelos, owner of La Marlotte on Rue du Cherche-Midi.  His new restaurant is due to open at no 97 in the same street.

Now for some pampering and for those on the move, the following may prove to be just the ticket. The Parisian airports all boast a Korean oxygen inhaler at the BE Relax Spas, while at Orly the Guerlain institute offers skin care and make up for the girls, while the boys can enjoy a makeover at the Guerlain lounge at Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle. 

Travelling by train? Massages are offered opposite platforms 30-34 at the Gare du Nord and the really great news is that an 8-minute massage is free on Tuesdays.

Traditional hammams and saunas are always popular: try Les Bains du Marais 31 rue des Blancs-Manteaux, 4th arrondissement.                                                    Métro: Rambuteau,                                                                     

Tea lovers should head for Spa Thémaé, where tea is used in products for massages and body treatments.                                                                                         20-22 rue Croix-des-Petits-Champs, 1st arrondissement.                                           Métro: Palais-Royal                                                                                     

Just for the boys: there are some establishments which are designed exclusively for men offering treatments and relaxation in a masculine setting.                            Try:  Task Essential 17-21 bd de la Madeleine, 1st arrondissement                       Métro:Madeleine                                                                           or                                                                                                                                   Institut Nickel 48 rue des Francs-Bourgeois, 3rd arrondissement                         Métro:  Rambuteau

What’s on:                                                                                                                 Fans of Bob Dylan are in for a treat as the Cité de la Musique opens an exhibition dedicated to the iconic musician.

In his exceptionally long career, the years 1961 to 1966 were significant for Dylan’s music. The exhibition traces the highlights of these years when Dylan was at the forefront of a musical revolution. “Bob Dylan, the rock explosion” has previously unpublished photographs, artefacts, documents and audiovisual archives.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Cité de la Musique                                                                                            Métro: Porte de Pantin                                                                 

We started with world food, we’re finishing with world music: Opening on March 9th and running until June 17, Maison Des Cultures Du Monde explores world cultures with the Festival of Imagination. Audiences can go on a world tour of traditional or contemporary culture and arts, with music and dance traditions and much more.                                                                                                                101 Boulevard Raspail, 6th arrondissement                                                            Métro:  Rennes                                                                                              

À bientôt!


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