If you’ve been keeping up with our blog, you’ve probably noticed that John and I have become quite comfortable in our daily routines and haven’t put a lot of effort into planning for public holidays recently. Unfortunately, Ascension day was no exception. Fortunately there is Google.
A quick search of “Paris’s best kept secrets” landed us on Heather’s FABULOUS blog. She is an American-born writer and tour guide, who has lived in Paris since 1998, and her newsletter is packed with a wide range of tips for locals, expats, and tourists alike. For example, Heather recommends skipping the long lines and big crowds at Chateau de Versailles and enjoying a leisurely stroll and a bowl of raspberries and cream at Chateau de Chantilly instead.
Through Heather’s blog, we met chef, baker and author David Lebovitz. In addition to great restaurant reviews and tips, David’s blog is bursting with food porn. The pictures were so amazing, we planned our whole weekend around his recommendations for restaurant in “our” arrondissement (neighborhood).
A lot of David’s reviews also appear on Paris by Mouth, another great website that let’s you find non-tourist traps near major attractions. It was on this site that we found Verjus, a wine bar in the cave below their full restaurant. After cross-checking the reviews on David’s website, we knew we wanted to eat dinner here after our visit to the Louvre. Delicious, familiar and affordable…definitely a winner!
Seven years ago, we walked (7 miles!) from the Arc de Triumph to La Defense on our first night in west Paris to avoid “wasting” one of the days on our metro pass. On a college budget, we sustained ourselves on baguettes and pastries, and the requisite crepe at the Eiffel Tower. That was an experience I would’t trade for anything, but it sure was nice to treat ourselves to a little different experience this time around.