Where we make memories in Paris
Aberôtel Montparnasse, moderate, 011-33-1-40-61-70-50, www.aberotel-paris-hotel.com. this 28-room aparthotel (similar to an american all-suite hotel) attracts both business travelers and vacationing families for two main reasons: its convenient locale and peaceful, soundproofed rooms.
Ideal Hotel, inexpensive, 011-33-1-45-79-09-79, www.idealhotelparis.com. the staff at this recently renovated lodging, just a 15-minute walk from the eiffel tower, is so helpful and friendly, you’d think you were staying at one of those four-star joints. in fact, the only time you might know you’re in a bargain hotel is when the bill comes.
La Guinguette de l’île du Martin-Pêcheur, 011-33-1-49-83-03-02, www.guinguette.fr. there’s one word to describe the vibe here: joie de vivre. (okay, that’s three words.) but then, a riverfront setting, lively accordion music, and a bustling dance floor are what define a true guinguette. there’s food, too, but after all that dancing and drinking, we have a hard time remembering what we ate. eel fricassee, was it?
Xavier le Quéré, inexpensive, 011-33-1-58-10-00-32, www.xavierlequere.com. if dessert is an art, then this place is the louvre. stocking the display cases is chef/artist xavier le quéré, whose edible masterpieces include raspberry crèmes, pistachio éclairs, and a rocher (flourless chocolate cake) topped with hazelnut mousse that you just have to taste to believe.
Wine & Cheese Tastings with Harriet Welty Rochefort, www.hwelty.com. Don’t understand the french? (and we’re not just talking about the language barrier here.) then head on over to harriet and her husband philippe’s lovely garden apartment for a lively discussion regarding french customs, qualities, and quirks. harriet, a longtime resident and the author of french toast and french fried, puts out a plentiful spread, too, highlighting a dozen or so french wines and cheeses. their next get-together is scheduled for february 9; check their website for future dates.
www.newmorning.com. while jazz has its fans in the united states, the french consider it right up there with jerry lewis. the monthly lineup at this decades-old club may be one of the reasons why.