Posts Tagged ‘Eiffel Tower’

J’ Adore Fifi Flowers…it is a contest!

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

You can win this print! 

We first fell in love with Fifi Flowers on Facebook.  We were captivated by the colors in her artwork and of course, her subject….PARIS!  We are thrilled that she is contributing this month’s Facebook Contest prize and we want you to learn a little bit more about  Fifi and what inspires her.

1.  We read on your website that life should be full of whimsy and fun…what do you do besides paint that keeps your day fun and whimsical?
First… I am the mother to to teenage boys and they add FUN to my life everyday!  Andddd… I find a bit of whimsy in everything I see and do.  Being an artist I think I view my surroundings as a possible painting… and I constantly snap photos throughout the day… inspiration is everywhere!
2.  Obviously we LOVE that you paint such colorful scenes of Paris, can you tell us when and how you fell in love with our favorite city?
I visited Paris only ONCE but it NEVER left moi… I hope that one day I will return to that AMAZING City… Until then I will paint my dreams of Paris!  What is not to love about the City… The history, the architecture… the incredible way it makes me feel knowing my favourite artist lived and created… How wonderful it would be to paint everyday in Paris… Ooh la la!
3.  People send you their favorite Paris photographs and commission you to paint it for them.  What is the most popular setting that is sent to you?
The Eiffel Tower is probably the most popular.  Many times the Eiffel Tower is NOT in the photos they send, but they want it added. Some many views I paint of Paris do not real exist… they are a dream, a fantasy… they are a bit of whimsy!
4.  Do you have any secret spots in Paris that make for a great photo background that you can share with our guests?
When I was in Paris I had no itinerary… my mother and I simply walked the streets… oui oui oui… there were places that we visited that everyone knows about but basically we just threw ourselves into the streets to experience the City! Everywhere we roamed we found a treasure… a FAB cafe, a chapeau (hat) shop, art exhibits at tiny museums, chocolat… There is not ONE secret spot but a multitude!
5.  We were thrilled to find your other website since we are voracious readers… what is your favorite book about Paris?
I don’t believe I’ve actually ever read a book about “Paris” but I’ve read many books set in Paris both fiction and nonfiction. We’ve featured books and interviewed a few authors who have written novels based in Paris on Reading is Fashionable… such as Kirsten Lobe, Corine Gantz and Paula McLain to name a few.  I have also been inspired to paint bookmarks after reading Paris based books… Hard to pick just one that stands out they ALL make moi yearn to be in Paris.
To see more of Fifi Flowers artwork visit her website.  To purchase one of her paintings or prints, visit her shop.  You can also follow her on Twitter @FifiFlowers.
Now…to get details and enter the contest click HERE!!!!
A Bientot!

Interview with Juliette Sobanet, author of “Kissed in Paris”

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

Juliette Sobanet

If you have read this blog before, you know that I am a voracious reader of any book that has to do with Paris.   I do have a confession to make.  This spring, I took a break from Paris and got sucked into Seattle and the “Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy.  I know.  After reading that , it was time to head back to Paris and read something sweet and fun.

I had been following Juliette Sobanet on Twitter and has read about the launch of “Kissed in Paris“.  I had it on my “To Read” list and had a feeling it was the perfect bedtime story for me.  I devoured it in a matter of nights.  I quickly downloaded “Sleeping with Paris” and this time I read a little slower so that my Paris-filled dreams lasted a little longer.

I reached out to Ms. Sobanet for a quick interview and was thrilled when she accepted.  I wanted to know a bit about her and her love for Paris.  Here is what she had to say:

Your books take place, for the most part, in Paris and we know you are a French professor, have you spent time living in France?
In college, I spent a semester in Lyon, and after I graduated, I completed my Master’s degree in Paris. I absolutely loved my time in France, and since I wasn’t able to move there permanently, I decided to set all of my novels there!
 How do you get into the Paris mood when you are writing? Do you eat croissants and sip tea?
I do drink a lot of tea, and my other secret writing ingredient is chocolate. I also have French music playlists that I listen to when I’m brainstorming and writing, and blogging about France gets me in the Paris mood as well! I’m thinking I need I may need to take a “research” trip back to Paris soon to get the creative juices flowing for my next book. A Nutella crêpe and a French café wouldn’t hurt either!
In both books, the main characters have fallen in love but not with who they would have imagined themselves with. Is that how you fell in love?
My love story with my husband is really different from my characters’ love stories. I met my husband out at a crazy dance club in college (not the place you’d typically go to meet your future spouse:). We started dating immediately, then spent several years doing long distance while he was in the military and I was finishing college/living in France. We even spent our first year of marriage living in different countries, then finally made it back to the same location in 2006, and life has been much calmer since then! 
In your next book, “Dancing with Paris”, you are taking us back to the 1950′s. What inspired you to write about this era?
Since I’d already written about contemporary life in France in my first two novels, I decided I wanted to switch it up and take my main character back in time to 1950′s Paris. There’s just something so glamorous and exciting about that era in Paris. The fashion, the cafés, the cabaret clubs, and of course . . . the French men! For my next novel, I’m thinking of going back even further to 1920′s Paris.
Okay, a little bit about Paris..
What is your favorite arrondissement?
I love the Latin Quarter in the 5th and 6th arrondissements. Nothing makes me happier than roaming those charming cobblestone streets, stopping at cafés, drinking wine, and topping it off with a delicious pain au chocolat from one of the many corner patisseries in the area!
What is your favorite time of year in Paris and why?
Springtime in Paris is truly magical. The cold of winter has finally evaporated, the flowers are blooming, and the city really comes alive again!
Can you give us your “Best Kept Secret” about Paris?
This would have to be my favorite patisserie, found in the 16th arrondissement on the rue de Passy. It’s called Aux Délices de Passy, and they have the best pain au chocolat I’ve ever tasted in my life. Just thinking about it makes me want to book my ticket to Paris . . .
And, a speed round…
Amelie or Midnight in Paris
Laduree or Pierre Herme
Musee D’Orsay or Pompidou
-Musee d’Orsay
French waiters or Waiting for a Birkin bag
-French waiters
rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré or Le Marche aux Puces
-rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré
Kiss on top of La Tour Eiffel or on Pont des Arts
-Love them both, but will have to go with Pont des Arts
Merci to Juliette for taking the time to answer my burning questions!  To learn more more about her, you can visit her website and follow her on Facebook to get updates about the launch of “Dancing with Paris”.

First comes love…..

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

Photo Credit: Love Gracefully

It must be every little girl’s dream to commemorate some aspect of her wedding with a trip to Paris.  On Twitter, hundreds of tweets are sent out each day saying, “I want to honeymoon in Paris” or “One day, I will get engaged in Paris”.  We are used to it now but at first it really struck us.  ”Paris is for Lovers” really is true!

As an American couple, getting married in Paris isn’t viewed as a legal marriage in the United States.  You will have to tie the knot here in one place or another.  But wow!  We have come across some amazing stories of romance from people who make capturing special moments for lovers who travel to France.

Getting Engaged…

We have many guests travel to Paris to get engaged.  It is such a great idea, especially when it is a surprise!  We loved reading about a surprise engagement from one of our favorite Paris-based photogs, Lindsey Kent of Pictours Paris.  We think she hid out in the Champs de Mars park near the Eiffel Tower to capture the “Big Ask”.  The pictures were adorable.  Lindsey met up with the couple later in the week for some more pictures around Paris.  Tres adorable!

Getting Married and Vowel Renewals…

We came across Love Gracefully on Facebook.  They specialize in officiating breathtaking ceremonies all over Europe but when we saw what they did in Paris, we wanted to share them with you.   Like we mentioned, we as Americans cannot legally marry in Paris but how about doing a civil ceremony in the states and then having a “Destination Wedding” in Paris?  We also adore the idea of celebrating a milestone anniversary with a vowel renewal in a Paris jardin.

Honeymoon in Paris…

Newlyweds flock to Paris for their honeymoons.  We have so much fun helping couples choose the ideal Paris vacation rental for their post-wedding rendezvous.   We also think working with a “Honeymoon Expert” is a smart way to plan your trip.  So much goes into planning for the Big Day, your special trip often gets left to the last minute.  Katie Frederick from Ever After Honeymoons  creates magical itineraries for her couples.  After all of the wedding work you do, it is so wonderful to hand over your honeymoon to her!

Romance is one of the big reasons that Paris is such a destination spot for lovers.  We have a full section devoted to it in our “Insider’s Guide”.   If you are thinking of popping the question, putting a ring on it or celebrating after you tie the knot, we hope that we have inspired you to do some of it in Paris!

Paris After Dark

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

 Guest Post by Daniella Carrese      

 La Ville-Lumière. The City of Light, Paris got its nickname from all the lights that illuminate the night sky. During the evening in Paris, the streets light up with the lamp posts and lights from around. All the lights make the city seem as if it is always awake.  Along the Seine, there are beautiful lights that seem as though they have been there forever. Due to the lights, you can take a nice stroll along the river at night. Looking down from the Eiffel Tower in the evening is magical.  The streets are light up beautifully.  Along the Champs Elyseès the trees are strung with lights that make the night seem as if it day.  Although you cannot see the stars in Paris, due to all the light pollution, the sky is normally covered with a navy blue blanket. The city dies down a bit, but there are still a number of things to do during the evening.

You can take a tour of the Seine and explore all of its canals at night. You can visit the Moulin Rouge. The Moulin Rouge is a cabaret and music hall, built in 1889 by Joseph Oller this building has seen many stars including Edith Piaf and Frank Sinatra. Today it is still used, there is a nighttime cabaret show. You can see shows at this historic concert hall at most times of the day. Le Procope is Paris’ oldest cafe that was established in 1686. Voltaire, Victor Hugo, Hemingway and Picasso were some of the few who regularly ate at this establishment. Closing at 11:30, this cafe is a great place to hangout for the night. Walking around the streets near your Paris vacation rental is a great way to get a feel of the city and what it is actually like all the time.

To read more from Daniella, click “here

For even more tips  and tricks to make Paris travel easier, ask for our “Insider’s Guide to Paris”! 


Become a Paris Insider!

Sunday, May 13th, 2012

We are thrilled to announce that we have a five part “Insider’s Guide to Paris” that we would like to share with you.
It will give you loads of advice on where to stay in Paris, how to get around the city,
our tips on where to find the best food and of course, our insider secrets onthe most romantic things to do in Paris.

Are you ready to become a Paris Insider?

Paris: Your Home Away From Home? by Meghan Sexton

Sunday, May 6th, 2012

A guest post by Meghan Sexton

Watching Midnight in Paris, recently, made me fondly reminisce about my brief time in France.

See, my introduction to Parisian life was as a child.  In an instant, Woody Allen’s cinematic representation of softly lit gay Paris brought it all rushing back.  I vividly pictured myself as a young girl soaking up the experience like a sponge.  At a tender age, I had my own romance with the City of Lights.  It was a dazzling introduction to such a historic and iconic culture.

There was a certain je ne sais quoi.  I was in store for a dizzying array of activities.  Viewing the Mona Lisa in the tightly packed Louvre was a shock.  She was the size of a stamp!  Being such a staple of Parisian culture, I thought she would have been larger than life.  One misty afternoon in a sidewalk café, my family and I indulged in the largest slice of tart cherry pie.  I couldn’t get over how opulent the café was with its wrought iron details and delicate bistro tables.  Everyone seemed impossibly chic and I was enveloped in an inner glow.

Originally my family had reservations in a centrally located posh hotel, but due to the insistence of a family friend, we stayed with them in their flat in Paris.  What a contrast!  What a way to experience the culture, the food, and the atmosphere – all from the front row seat of a local’s perspective.  Staying in a home environment as opposed to a hotel imparted a totally different vibe.  My curiosity was peaked!

Travel is my passion, but Real Estate has been my profession.  I can appreciate the essence of a home away from home.

Experiencing Paris in a vacation rental gives you the opportunity to pick up the essence of what it must feel like to be a local.  The very activities that would normally be so mundane at home are suddenly a novelty.  A hotel room can be comfortably bare and short on sentiment.  It can be beautifully decorated, but stripped of the local flavor.  The owner of the vacation rental has taken the time to pull together elements of daily life.  Perhaps they have a drawer filled with local menus with random penciled in notes.  Maybe they’ve dotted the space with quirky local trinkets.  You’d never get any of these personal touches if you were simply a guest in a hotel.  You have all the comforts of home, without the corporate feel; it’s far more intimate.

Had my family and I not stayed with friends, how else would I have been able to learn about the ins & outs of scamming the local transit.  Apparently, there was some sort of honor system.  Clutching a booklet of pre-purchased tickets, our friend demonstrated how a lot of locals would casually keep rotating the same hole punched ticket for admission.  Hardly scandalous, but I enjoy snickering at those little aspects of daily life.

Next up for this starry-eyed traveler will be jaunting through the grounds of Versailles, every nock and cranny of Champagne, and the rocky beaches of Nice.

Meghan Sexton is a Southern California native who is passionate about travel and all its accouterments.  Check out her blog geared toward first hand travel tips, insight, and anecdotes for women travelers.  Are you in the know?  Meghan’s Guilty Pleasures Travel Blog  You can also find Meghan on Twitter @MGPTravelBlog and on Facebook

The Walkability of Paris

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

July Column, Place de la Bastille

A guest post by Matt Davids

As a city, Paris is notorious in terms of traffic and holds a reputation as one of the toughest cities to drive around in Europe. This is often typical of such historic cities and it more than makes up for this by providing a decent underground train network (Metro), as well as wide pavements for walking, cycling and roller-skating, and plenty of excuses to want to take your time and explore on foot.

There are several approaches to walking around Paris that are dependent on the type of traveller you are. For experienced visitors to the city, you can use your prior knowledge, French skills and the handy help of the many metro stations nearby to figure out where you are. Ambling along in this way, without a specific map helps facilitate the discovery of new side streets and shortcuts and travelling on a whim, guided by a loose sense of knowing where you’re going, and the many distractive sights, sounds and smells along the way.

For those less experienced, there are plenty of maps both print and online to help you get around and perhaps plan your route before you leave. Furthermore, booking an escorted tour is an excellent option if you’re a newbie to Paris or want to supplement previous trips with a little extra knowledge. These can be themed as well, so if you’re interested in a certain period of French history such as the French Revolution or WWll then go for one of these options.

Great locations around Paris for ambling around:

Due to its layout, with the Seine winding its way from East to West, a standard walking route can take in all the most famous parts of Paris, either as an action packed morning, or stretched out leisurely throughout the day, with walking time between 3 and 4 hours a good guide. For a few suggestions, or a less demanding stroll, the following areas are great places to focus:

The Marais

The Marais is a district in Paris very much a part of the city’s history. Full of buildings that were built by Parisian aristocrats as well as many dating back to the 16th century, it has an amazing historic feel as well as fashionable restaurants and a strong art scene. These buildings, as well as immaculately kept outdoor areas make this one of the most expensive places in Paris to live, and it is conveniently close to many museums, including the Carnavalet Museum which reveals the history of Paris.

Montmartre District

The Montmartre District is another area that is well represented by the art scene. Spending a few hours strolling around the Place du Tertre which is a square where artists paint and sell their works is delightful, and there is also the Montmartre Cemetery which is a popular tourist attraction and the resting place of famous artists. There’s also the Moulin Rouge, a cabaret that needs no introduction.

Les Bouquinistes, Paris 

Les Bouquinistes

For an authentic cultural experience, the Bouquinistes along the river Seine are stands that sell books, photos and various other unique souvenirs for tourists, that having been around since the 16th century consequently offer an authentic location for purchasing a little something to take home. Hours can be whiled away strolling amongst these with the River Seine as your backdrop, conveniently located in the Latin District which is home to Notre Dame, has a strong student presence and many winding, charming streets.


To orientate yourself generally with Paris, then make your way to the square in front of the Notre Dame, which has a bronze plaque which represents the point to which all distances in France are measured. From here, the Eiffel Tower is to the West and the Place de la Bastille, a square where the July Column stands lies to the East. Zigzagging between these two points will take you across Paris, allowing you to see the Louvre, Notre Dame, Champs Elysees, Parc du Champ de Mars, Parc Luxembourg and many other tourist sites, whilst discovering the little hidden delights along the way that you would miss on the Metro or tour bus.

About our guest blogger:

Matt is a frequent traveller who has just returned from travelling round the world. He plans this summer to explore much of Europe, starting in Paris and finishing with his Greece holidays.

We love to have posts written by our CobbleStay guests and other travel experts.  Feel free to share your insights about Paris and travel with us.  You can send your ideas to Cassie at

Another Look at Paris from Bill L’Herault

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

Another Look at Paris from Bill L'Herault on Vimeo.

The Eiffel Tower is BIG on Pinterest

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

Photo Credit: 9Gag

The image of the Eiffel Tower is what many see when they think of Paris.  It should be NO surprise that pictures of the Eiffel Tower are among some of the most popular on Pinterest.  The one above has been making the rounds on many of the boards that I follow.   While it isn’t the most colorful or the shot at an interesting angle, it is pretty interesting.  Enjoy!

Get Transported to Easter Sunday in Paris: Video

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

Paris Easter Morning from Bill L'Herault on Vimeo.