Vogue Fashion Night Out Paris 2014 extravaganza


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I was one not holding an invitation but managed to barge in on the fun. Social Media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler) was in on the action live. Portraits of the guests were instaprinted, sheep were grazing in pens near YSL courtesy of The Campaign For Wool, makeup and manicure sessions were featured, there was cotton candy, mechanical bull riding, balloon giveaways, champagne of course and the glitterati (mostly twenty-somethings) dressed to the teeth clogging the long street.

Vogue fashion NightOut Poster

vogue fashion night Paris

berenice buckaroo Paris

chez Chanel VFNOPARIS


VFNOparis Window

Longish lines were in front of the most coveted houses and guards controlled the numbers inside. The highpoint of the evening for me was the visit to Chanel, her famous mirrored staircase, small rooms with minimal samples of her elegant products, plush dark grey carpet, Mailbu red cocktails or pear juice in goblets served on silver platters by her welcoming staff. Lowpoint the t-shirt I bought celebrating the occasion from what looked like official vendors on the street. Unwrapped it once I got home. Emblazoned on the front: “2013, Fashion Night Out, September 17″. Maybe that’s why it was only $7. For more info go to the VFNOPARIS webpage.

Coming right up: Paris Fashion Week 2015


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September 23 through October 1: Paris is the biggest, brightest and most avant garde of all the fashion weeks. It’s superbly organized by the French Federation of Fashion as always.  I’ll be there for the exciting Ready To Wear Collection for spring/summer. Front row seat, you’ve got my number.

PARIS fashion week 2015

Tour Eiffel: the world’s most viewed attraction


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The sane approach is with the No Worries Paris guide.

tour eiffel no worries paris

Perhaps the world’s most beloved and recognized structure, the Tour Eiffel was not received warmly by most Parisians when it was built as part of Exposition Universalle in 1889. Some 300 artists and civic leaders signed a petition of protest. Later, novelist Guy de Maupassant used to lunch on top, since it was “the only place in Paris where I don’t have to see it.” Colleague Alexandre Dumas called the “hollow candlestick” a “work of uselessness.” Gustave Eiffel, who also designed the framework for the Statue of Liberty, won a contest among engineers to build a tower of 1,000 feet, which was nearly twice as high as the Washington Monument, then the world’s tallest.

A communications tower on top brings today’s height to 1,063 feet, the tallest structure in Paris. It was scheduled to be torn down and scrapped after 20 years, but meteorologists and communications scientists won a plea to let it stand. Find a spot amid digital shutterbugs directly underneath the tower and look up to behold the stats: Under Eiffel’s direction, some 300 workers labored for two years (incurring zero fatal accidents) to assemble 18,000 pieces of prefabricated iron lattice weighing a total of 10,000 tons with more than 2.5 million rivets. The project came in under budget and a week early. It is the world’s most-viewed attraction with nearly 300 million visitors, coming these days at a rate of ten million per year. The first level is at 187 feet, the second at 377 feet (these two reachable via stairs), and the top is lofted at 899 feet—where wind sways the structure up to five feet.

TIPS FOR VISITING TOUR EIFFEL: Given the essential sights on the remainder of this walk, you’ll probably want to save an ascent for another day. To avoid lines and save time, arrive a little before it opens, normally at 9:30. It’s cheaper and faster, given the lines, to walk the first two levels, which takes about 15 minutes. If you want to go to the top, you can buy an elevator ticket in addition to the stairway ticket (at the south tower). To ride all the way to the top (you have to get out at the second level anyway), use the east tower ticket booth. Don’t miss the cinema and museum on the first level. The second level is ringed by two viewing decks, and the height is just right to check out the sights of the city, laid out like a 3D model. Since Paris has a seven-story height limit on buildings, the well-known monuments are plainly visible. Many people will want to reach the top as a matter of principle, but the airborne view is less intimate. At night, on the hour, Tour Eiffel turns into a light show. Closing time can be as late as midnight, varying with the season.

Jerry and Janine Sprout. No Worries Paris (Kindle Locations 354-370). Diamond Valley Company, Publishers.

Paris Street Smarts


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“Street violence is almost unheard of in Paris, in spite of its revolutionary history. Van loads of police, smartly dressed in Navy helmets, sweaters, and pads, are parked about at the ready. Small squads of military men toting machine guns sometimes patrol tourist zones. Thieves are common enough, however, and you should keep an eye on your stuff. Street hucksters are also around, often teenaged “gypsy” girls, who will approach with a well practised tale of woe, intent on ridding you of spare money. If someone approaches and asks if you speak English, the best answer is usually, “no.” Paris does have a few punks, who vandalize with spray cans (as opposed to real grafitti artists) and entertain themselves by verbally abusing tourists—and everyone else. These guys are infrequently at train stations and in the outer neighborhoods. Not a big problem.”

Excerpt From: Jerry and Janine Sprout. “No Worries Paris.” iBooks.

Buying Shoes In Paris: a bucket list


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Let your fingers do the walking online (see websites below) before you go to Paris. Good shoes start around $200 so you want to make sure you’ve honed in on just the right pair or two. Shop address in hand go in for the kill, hoping they have the right size and they fit. If you’re short on time Galeries Lafayette has almost all the big brands and make the detaxe (refunded tax) easy, a one-stop shopping experience. If shoe boutiques are more your style we have most of them listed. It’s work to plow through all the choices but if you love shoes like I do, it can be an enjoyable promenade through the brands.

Galeries Lafayette
40, Boulevard Haussmann 75009


Annabel Winship
29 rue du Dragon 75006
Métro : Saint-Germain-des-Prés


Roger Vivier
29 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré 75008


Saint Laurent
5, Place Francois Premier


Christian Louboutin
38 rue de Grenelle
75006 Paris (St. Germain)


Comme des Chaussures
169 rue du Faubourg Saint Antoine, 11e

25 rue Etienne Marcel, 75001



51 rue des Francs-Bourgeois
75004 Paris (Marais)


Mi-Prix (discount)
27 boulevard Victor,  75015
Métro : Balard ou Porte de Versailles

26 rue Saint-Antoine 75004
Métro: Bastille, Saint Paul


Robert Clergerie
5, rue du Cherche-Midi
75006 Paris (St. Germain)

Dina Brice
13 rue Meslay, 3e, tel: 1 48 87 58 78

Show Sur Stock (discount)
56 bd Sébastopol, 1e

29 rue du Dragon, 75006

58 rue Montmartre
75002  (Les Halles-Sentier)

J.B. Martin
13 rue du Cherche-Midi
75006  (St. Germain)


18 Avenue Matignon, 75008

Mellow Yellow
13, rue des Canettes
75006 (St. Germain)


304 Rue Saint Honoré, 75001

If you return empty handed because of indecision or price, try Zappos Couture
http://couture.zappos.com. They carry Clergeries. For practical shoes (walking the town with your No Worries Paris guidebook), don’t be afraid to slip on your best Adidas, Nikes, Converse or Pumas. Sometimes comfort trumps fashion.


All about the detaxe:

Spend at least €175 within one store on the same day.
The shop assistant will issue a special form known as Retail Export Form (“bordereau de détaxe”) that you need to keep with your receipt. The form should be duly signed up by you. The shop assistant will examine receipts and your purchases and then get the form stamped. If you are leaving the European Union from a French port of entry you should submit the Retail Export Form as well as the goods purchased at the airport customs desk. After reviewing everything Customs will keep a copy of the form and you will be handed back a copy, endorsed by Customs, which are required to retain in case of any possible dispute with the store. Do not forget to keep the goods with you at all times when you apply for Customs endorsement of the Retail Export Form at the point of departure from the European Union. Customs agents want to see them.

Upon arrival in your country mail the form back to the French store within three months of purchase to get the reimbursement by credit card or check.

You should receive, within a reasonable spell of time, the amount of refunded tax directly from the store, paid according to your instructions, given on the Retail Export Form (check mailed to your address, bank transfer to your checking account or to your credit card accounth Customs.The refund by the Tax Administration could take between 30 and 90 days.

Refined French cuisine, good to the last crumb


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lambNEWparis Le Reminet wineparis restaurantParis3

Just don’t lick the plate or ask for a doggie bag.  These restaurants aren’t cheap but you’ll push yourself away from the table and feel you’ve gotten full value. If you’ve come to Paris to eat as well as see the sights, here are some suggestions to start you salivating.

Le Reminet
3, rue des Grands-75000
Phone: 01 44 07 04 24


Located just behind the quay Montebello facing the Ile de la Cite and Notre Dame, Reminet is a charming little bistro  which combines a regular clientele and stray tourists. In the historic district, the restaurant has retained its charm and authenticity.
Budget: 30-60 € / Menu 13 €, 17 € and 50 €

La Cuisine de Philippe, 25 Rue Servandoni, Metro: St Sulpice, 75006, 143297637

In this retro little bistro that looks out onto the Jardin du Luxembourg, diners enjoy generous traditional dishes. The house speciality is the soufflé, savoury and sweet (guacamole and smoked salmon; hazelnut etc). Good value.

Lunch 23€ incl. drinks –  32€ (dinner) – 38€

Restaurant Mariette

24 Rue Bosquet, 75007
01 45 51 78 82
Specializes in refined French cuisine, infused with tastes from the Iberian peninsula. Chef learned the ropes from his mother then from Bocuse, Constant, Guy Martin.


samples from the menu:

Soft-boiled egg, Crab meat with spinach cream, 19 €
Duck “Foie Gras” raviolis with Sweet Potato, 18 €


Turbot roasted over a mushrooms and coriander white butter sauce, 30 €
Loin of lamb stuffeded with chorizo Bellota, garnished with roasted leeks with butter, 29 €
Farm Chicken ‘Label Rouge’ with foie gras served with Camargue black rice), 30 €
Chocolate sorbet profiteroles with an Espelette pepper chocolate sauce, 11 €

Le Bistrot Lorette
43 Rue Notre Dame de Lorette | 75009
01 42 81 13 87
Reservations required: less than 30 seats. Be on time or the table will be assigned to someone else. Fast service but have not been pressed to leave so far so the seat could be turned over. € 26 for a main course + dessert. Onlget veal sauce, basil goat, guinea fowl pastilla sauce with spices and roasted figs. Dessert: baked apple crumble with ice cream and caramel salted butter.

La Bonne Excuse

48 Rue de Verneuil, 75007
01 42 61 50 21
Located just a few blocks from the Musée d’Orsay, this charming bistro makes a wonderful spot to grab lunch or dinner on either side of a museum visit. The restaurant is very much in the tradition of the neo-bistro, a small place owned by a chef with expert training and an entrepreneurial streak. The menu (dinner entrees start at €24) changes often. Try the pork with green beans and preserved lemon, the langoustines, and the monkfish medallions.

Au Bon Coin, 21,rue de la Collegial, 5th Arrondissement


The kind of bistro every tourist hopes to find in Paris: Out-of-the way (and therefore affordable), accessible, and serving classic French food with enough of a twist to surprise. Chef Emmanuel Chanois pairs foie gras terrine with toasted brioche and gingerbread sauce and does a beautiful sea bass with risotto so creamy it’s like a savory rice pudding.
Starter + main course + dessert : 32€
Starter + main course or Main course + dessert : 26€
Hours : 11h-15h & 19h-23h



If shopping is your thing: Galeries Lafayette gets 5 stars


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galeries lafayette

 After you’ve seen the sites and are ready for some serious shopping, head for Galeries Lafayette for a total experience. Not only are all the top designers represented but added value includes jeweled architecture, gourmet food and one of the best rooftop views in Paris.


 The flagship Galeries Lafayette store was unveiled in all its glory at its inauguration in October 1912. Théophile Bader dreamed of creating a “luxury bazaar” where the sheer abundance and luxury of the merchandise on offer would wow the crowds. Golden light, filtered through the domed roof, would flood the grand hall and set the products aglow. The gamble  paid off.

Ferdinand Chanut called upon great artists from the École de Nancy to decorate this magnificent building in the style of Paris Art Nouveau. The banister of the magnificent staircase, inspired by the Paris Opera House, was designed by Louis Majorelle, who is also credited with the ironwork featured on the balconies. The dome, rising to a height of 43 metres, soon became the iconic symbol of Galeries Lafayette. Master glass-maker Jacques Gruber was responsible for designing the Neo-byzantine style stained glass windows.


galeries lafayette4

 The sales floor had suddenly doubled in size, but the innovations didn’t stop there. A tea room, reading room and smoking room were then added to complement the 96 existing departments. As more department stores began to appear, shopping was becoming a leisure activity. At the very top of the building, the rooftop terrace offered a panoramic view of Paris. The store began organising special events much to the delight of an entertainment-hungry clientèle, including the now famous rooftop landing by Jules Védrines in 1919. The aviator was fined for flying too low over Paris, but gained lifelong notoriety as the first ever rebel in aviation history.

The window displays have always been instrumental in setting the scene in the sales departments, with aspirational designs to tempt customers into the store. A vocation which has stood the test of time.


 The Haussmann department store is the second top tourist attraction, after the Eiffel Tower. In the early sixties, young designers began launching their ready-to-wear lines, sitting between haute couture and traditional tailoring. Each season Galeries Lafayette would showcase these new talents by providing them with small boutiques or concessions in the store. The first designer to hit the big-time was Laura, in 1962, which later went on to become Sonia Rykiel. Then it was the turn of Daniel Hechter, Pierre Cardin, Cacharel, Yves Saint-Laurent and Dorothée Bis.


galeries lafayette2

 Discover over a century of history with their guided tours. These 45-minute tours are free of charge and arranged upon request, for parties of 10 to 20 people. To make a reservation contact them at:  patrimoine@galerieslafayette.com and leave your name, surname, contact details and the number of people interested in attending a tour.

Galeries Lafayette Haussmann

40, Boulevard Haussmann

75009 PARIS

Monday to Saturday: 9.30am – 8pm 

Late-night opening on Thursdays until 9pm

Special opening hours, from 10.30am to 8pm on:
Saturday 1st November / Tuesday 11th November

No Worries Paris: a look inside


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Take a short walk with us in an arrondissement overlooked by many tourists.

Arsenal Promenade PARIS

Start at the Bastille Metro stop, lines 1, 8, and 10. With Place de la Bastille (which you will revisit) at your back, walk down Blvd. de la Bastille (new Bastille Opera will be on your left but don’t walk down Rue de Lyon by mistake). Then head right down a cobblestone ramp. In the 19C, Bassin de Arsenal was connected to Canal St. Martin, a waterway that moved the manufacturing commerce of Faubourg-St. Antoine to the Seine. Before that, portions of the basin were the moat for the prison at Bastille. Today, a controlled lock and nearly 200 moorings make it ideal for leisure craft and exercise walkers. You may wish to take a look from the footbridge. You may also walk farther down the marina to where it joins the Seine at Port de Plaisance, but then double back as directed below. Just past the footbridge, go left on Rue Jules Cesar. Cross Rue de Lyon and Ave. Daumesnil and head toward brick archways. Go up stairs and walk right on the elevated walkway. Note: You will pass the walk’s exit and double back on the promenade.; read the next directions to determine the exit point, if you wish to shorten the walk.

Dog walking along Paris Viaduct

“The remains of a freight railway borders Rue Daumesnil, elevated on a viaduct comprised of a series of brick arches. It was used to haul goods to the periphery of Paris for a century, until the line was abandoned in 1959. Rather than tear the antiquated line down in 2000, they’ve turned it into the city’s longest and skinniest park—Promenade Plantee. For more than a mile, a profusion of rose bushes, lavender, bamboo, and flowerbeds border the paved-and-decked pathway, sometimes under the shade of cherry and maples trees, sometimes revealing cityscapes. Of particular note are the 12 reproductions of Michelangelo’s The Dying Slave that top the arrondissement’s police station. At one section is a long narrow pond, bracketed by trellises.

Promenade Plante

The promenade becomes a stainless-steel-and-wooden span at Jardin de Reuilly. Apartment dwellers sprawl on the park’s lawn, rising perhaps to sip la petillante (“the bubbley”), which is free sparkling water dispensed from a fountain provided by Eau de Paris in an effort to wean Parisians from plastic water bottles. Reuilly, a park since 1994, is on the site of a former chateau of the Merovingian Kings of the first century. The path continues to Bois Vincennes.

aqueduct Paris

Directly below the promenade is the Viaduc des Arts, some 50 glass-façaded shops occupying many of the 70-plus brick archways of the former railway track. Many of the most accomplished artisans in Paris put their skills and artwork on display. Taken as a whole, the shops perpetuate the cultural and professional heritage of this quartier, the Faubourg-Saint-Antoine, known historically as a birthplace of artistic styles. Stairways lead down to the shops.”

There’s more to explore in this fascinating historic neighborhood in your No Worries Paris guidebook. Hope you’ve enjoyed your petit promenade.

Gardens of Versailles: almost all you need to know

A quick tour of the gardens of Versailles

A quick tour of the gardens of Versailles

The basics: Versailles is located 12 miles away from Paris and it takes about a half hour to get there via RER. From the station to the gates of the palace it’s about a five minute walk.

To get to the palace of Versailles, make sure to buy a “Paris – Versailles Rive Gauche” ticket (zones 1-4) (T+ ticket is not valid for this journey).

SNCF Trains
Arrive at Versailles Chantiers station from Paris Montparnasse
Arrive at Versailles Rive Droite station from Paris Saint Lazare

Versailles fountain show

Versailles fountain show

The train will say either Versailles Rive Gauche or Chateau de Versailles. Be careful catching this train because not every train heading in this direction through Paris goes to Chateau Versailles.YOU DO NOT WANT TO CATCH THE RER TO VERSAILLES CHANTIERS.

Here’s the train schedule: http://www.transilien.com

Versailles formal gardens

Admission to the French gardens is free except on the days of the Grandes Eaux musicales et Jardins musicaux shows. From November to March admission to the gardens is free every day. From April to October there is an admission charge for the gardens on Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.

versailles no worries paris

The Palace of Versailles is open from 9am to 5:30pm (6:30pm in high season).
The Trianon palaces and Marie-Antoinette’s hamlet are open from noon to 5:30pm (6:30pm in high season). The French gardens are open from 8am to 6pm (8:30pm in high season). The park is open from 8am to 6pm (7am to 8:30pm in high season).

versailles No Worries Paris

The domain of Versailles is free on the first Sunday of every month from November to March. The Trianon Palaces and Marie-Antoinette’s hamlet ticket entitles you to admission to those places only. Price is 10 euros.


Rent a bike (on the premises) to cover more ground.

Rodin: the museum that delivers inside and out



Musée Rodin
79 Rue de Varenne, 75007
10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Phone: +33 1 44 18 61 10

Through September 21:


The Musée Rodin brings together two forms of expression – Sculpture and Photography – through the works of two major artists: Robert Mapplethorpe and Auguste Rodin. Thanks to exceptional loans from the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, this exhibition presents 50 sculptures by Rodin and a collection of 102 photographs, in a bold dialogue revealing the enduring nature of these great artists’ favorite themes and subjects.


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