Posts Tagged ‘Paris apartment rentals’

Parlez-vous Français? A Facebook Contest

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

We are excited to announce our very first Facebook contest!

Learning a bit of French can be so helpful when planning a trip to Paris.  Even learning just a few important phrases will help you feel like an Insider.

Enter to win 2 private French lessons via Skype with our partner Voulez Vouloz, French Lessons That Come to You.

VoulezVouloz provides expert, friendly French lessons and classes that come to you.
Our French teachers aren’t just native French speakers, they’re qualified teachers with many years of French tutoring experience.
We’re known for our excellent service, great value and teaching methods that work.
With VoulezVouloz you’ll learn French fast!

To enter, click HERE!

Bonne Chance!

*This contest begins June 29, 2012 and ends at 10:00 am (PST), July 31, 2012.  This prize is not exchangeable for cash.  It is good for two French lessons via Skype with VoulezVouloz to be used within 90 days of the end of the contest.

Three Shops I Cannot Wait to Visit in Paris

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

Merci Merci, Paris

As soon as I return from a trip to Paris, I start another file folder filled with places I must see, shop, eat and visit in Paris.  My folder is exploding with so many great things!  It IS time to return.  My next trip is in October and I wanted to share three places where I hope to spend many (dropping) Euros.

1.  Merci 111 boulevard Beaumarchais, 75003

This shop has been on my radar for some time.  I started reading little blurbs here and there about it and this little photo at the top has been popular in Pinterest.  It is filled with unique, stylish and chic items that will undoubtedly make me more unique, stylish and chic.  I shall visit there as soon as I get to Paris!!!

2.  Heurtault Paris 85 avenue Daumesnil, 75012

I have already warned my husband that I will be carrying an umbrella back on the plane home.  He reminded me that it is my umbrella and I will be doing all of the handling.  Fine!  I don’t care if he won’t hold it for me.  Look how beautiful they are!  I most definitely will be the chicest girl in the California rain.

3.  Les 3 marches de Catherine B.  1 rue Guisarde, 75006

I love Hermes.  I know, what girl doesn’t?  I have waited long enough for my dream Birkin.  I think I have a better chance of discovering one here.  I first found Catherine B. on Twitter.  And, from what I can gather from her French tweets, she is THE woman to go to for vintage designer goods.  Not only does she have Hermes bags, I believe she has quite a collection of vintage Chanel.  Don’t worry, I will give you the low down when I return!

Will you be in Paris before my October trip?  Please share your shopping lists and help me discover great Paris treasures!

Do you know who CobbleStay is? I mean, do you REALLY know who we are?

Friday, May 25th, 2012


CobbleStay was founded in 2008 by Drew Graham.  Born and raised in Southern California to a travel agent family, Drew spent over a decade in Europe working for Internet media companies including holding the position of Director of Marketing for Yahoo! Europe in Paris.  Like most entrepreneurs, Drew started CobbleStay to solve a problem.  As a businessman, traveler, vacation rental owner and adventurer in Paris, it was often a hassle to find suitable accommodations for friends and associates visiting the city.  There were booking nightmares, less than desirable customer service, wasted hours searching, coupled with a sense of being an outsider in such a beautiful place.  As a private rental owner, Drew struggled to find a North American focused travel agency to rent his private property in Paris.  Most Paris vacation rental agencies are based in Paris and US travelers and property owners find this difficult to work with due to language barriers, time differences and currency exchange rates.

CobbleStay’s mission is simple.  We provide a sophisticated alternative to hotels in Paris for travelers seeking adventure, romance and business.  We transform international travelers into “Paris Insiders”.  We have simplified the process of booking out private rental properties to international guests.

So why are we taking up precious screen space to share this with you?  As a company, we are in our next big phase of growth and we have the opportunity to win a grant from Chase and LivingSocial to help us realize some pretty amazing goals.  What do these goals look like?  Everything from hiring more scouts in Paris to help uncover unique apartments for you to the ability to create stunning yet informative video tours of each property.  And now, we need your help.  We are promising that this takes less than 3 minutes to do.  Not only will you hopefully be assisting us in winning the grant, your vote will increase the number of grants that Chase and LivingSocial award to small businesses all over the United States.  Here are the steps:

1.  Click this link: https://www.missionsmallbusiness.com/

2.  Click “Log In and Support” in the bottom right corner

3.  Under “Vote Local”, enter “CobbleStay” and click “Search”

4.  Click “Vote”

Our dream is to continue to grow CobbleStay by offering exciting properties in Paris and superb customer service.  Merci for taking the time to help us and other small businesses realize their dreams.

A Bientot!

Drew and The CobbleStay Team

A Free Woman in Paris by Karen A. Chase

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

Wandering the streets of Paris, especially at sunset, always makes me feel like I’ve traveled back through time. Even the cars in shadow feel like they are from another era.

A guest post by Karen A. Chase,  author of Bonjour 40: A Paris Travel Log (40 years. 40 days. 40 seconds.)

 When I realized I had to turn forty, I decided I could that gracefully in Paris. I had been to Paris fifteen years earlier but only for five days and it hadn’t been long enough. Although many writers have changed their lives and moved there, I didn’t need to do that. (Okay, I wanted to, but I couldn’t.) So, I settled on going for nearly forty days.

I rented an apartment, planned for a year, put work on hold, and said, “Bonjour 40!” It was delightful. Days were filled with all sorts of food, museums, writing, experiences, people, and did I mention the food? I kept a blog while I was there, and this entry is one that lingers with me as the most perfect day for a woman alone in Paris.

Day 15 ~ May 5

I got lost. Hopelessly, wonderfully, nowhere in particular-ly lost. I did start out my day with a planned visit to a museum (Musée Jacquemart-André), but once I left it I just got wanderlust for the next eight hours. It sounds frightening, but no, wandering in Paris is delightful. Every corner I went around had another little strip of charming stores, grand statues, festive cafés, gardens, architecture, flowers, or monuments to behold.

With no phone, and limited email access, being unplugged is giving me the freedom to go out for these aimless excursions whenever writing hits a wall or my curiosity gets the best of me. My favorite spots are the really small, short streets that wind together in a jumbled, crooked mess. There, the traffic noise is reduced significantly, the shopkeepers are a bit friendlier, the wares are more unique, and cafés are quainter. It’s there that Paris feels more like Paris.

In my meandering, I tried to visit the overcrowded Arch de Triomphe and ended up on the Champs Elysées yesterday. Within about five minutes, I grabbed a free bicycle and escaped the area entirely. I didn’t come to Paris to see tourists eating fast food and buying overpriced American designer clothing. It isn’t the romantic boulevard it was when Joni Mitchell sang about it.

Bandit

My footsteps finally led me to the crab shack and bar, L’Amuse Geuele, at the end of my block in the 4th arrondissement. It is fast becoming a favorite. It is managed by Bandit-the-dog who barks at everything he’s never seen before and sits next to me begging for food. Dorothée, his owner, speaks wonderful English, so here I can learn and share equally. We chat until she closes for the night. As my day of wandering ended, words from that same Joni Mitchell song come to me: “I was a free man in Paris, I felt unfettered and alive. There was nobody calling me up for favors, and no one’s future to decide. . . .”

We were thrilled to have Karen submit a post to share with our guests!  You find her on Twitter @KarenAChase, on Facebook or on her website here: http://www.karenachase.com/

Breton Stripes

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

Audrey Hepburn 

As the tulips start to bloom in the spring, I always find some version of the Breton striped shirt on the racks of my favorite stores.  Every time I see one, I am reminded of Paris and I was curious about its history.

In 1858, the striped, knitted shirt became the uniform for all French Navy seaman in Brittany.  The original design had 21 stripes, one for each of Napoleon’s victories. It eventually became a popular article of clothing to wear for fishermen and sailors because the stripes were easily visible in the waves if they were thrown overboard.  In 1889, the Saint James company  became the main manufacturer and still sells the traditional version today.

James Dean

In the 1950′s, the Breton sweaters and shirts were fast becoming stylish among the “beatnik” community.  Hollywood followed suit and the celebrities began wearing similar versions of the striped shirt.  It began to take on different shapes and proportions as fashion houses including Jean Paul Gaultier, Gucci and Balmain created their version of the sweater.  Once the big fashion houses started showing the navy and white tops, they became more mainstream and are now sold in J. Crew, The Gap and other American department stores.  They can be found in the traditional style and in very stylized versions like dresses, tank tops, with French blue stripes or in red and white stripes.  Yes, Parisians do wear them.  Typically, they are worn by women and usually under a trench coat or blazer.

I know I’m bringing my Breton stripe top with me the next time I go to Paris.  I have just the right black capri pants and khaki trench coat to wear it with.  And, now that I know the history behind the shirt, maybe I’ll wear it while I cruise down the Seine.  That way if I fall off the boat, they will have no problem finding me!

Book Review: Paris My Sweet by Amy Thomas

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Image from: Sourcebooks

I first found “Paris My Sweet, A Year in the City of Light” by Amy Thomas on Twitter (I get great tips there).  I follow Ms. Thomas’ account and she was talking about the launch of the book.  When I read what it was going to be about, it moved to the top of my reading list!

Paris My Sweet” is one part autobiography and one part guide book.   Ms. Thomas moves from New York City to Paris to work in advertising for Louis Vuitton.  Okay, let’s stop right there.  Hello???  Dream job/dream city???  And, she is a dessert lover.   Raise your hand if you aren’t.  I thought the story was going to be all discounted Speedy bags and calorie free macarons, but like so many books written by Americans that move to Paris, it was about how Ms. Thomas never really felt like she fit in and never felt truly accepted by the locals.  She touches on just about everything that makes living in Paris hard: the language barriers, missing family and friends at home and the unfamiliarity of a new city.  So many people write about this.  But, when you think about it, these are things that would happen whether you moved to Paris or Australia or Russia.  Moving away from what you know is always going to be scary and difficult.

Now let’s talk sweets!  This is where the book shines.  Not only does Ms. Thomas describe is mouth-watering detail the fabulous desserts that she finds in Paris; she gives you a lot of history about them, too.  Throughout the book, she weaves tales of wonderful sweets not only in Paris but in New York City, as well.  What I find to be priceless are the last 16 pages of the book; her “address book” to all of the bakeries, restaurants and patisseries that she writes about in the book.  I actually tore these out and I’m taking them with me on my next trip (so many of them are near our Paris vacation rentals).

“Paris My Sweet” carried me away to Paris and gave me a tiny taste of Louis Vuitton.  I won’t divulge how many bags she bought or how large her discount was.  And, since I read the book at night, in bed, I dreamt of all things Parisian sweet (which happen to be calorie free).

3 Things That Make Travel Easier

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

Whether you are staying in a Paris vacation rental, on the beach in Mexico or at the hotel in the next state, there are just some things that make travel easier!  We have a whole board on Pinterest dedicated to this topic and we thought we would share some of our favorites.

This packing list “cheat sheet” has saved us many times!  It covers all of the essentials and and eliminates so much of the “Did I pack that?” anxiety.  You can buy them at The Container Store.

We admit it…we are gadget geeks and slightly obsessive about being tidy.  Opening up our carry on and finding all of our cords, adapters and chargers perfectly organized on this Grid It is like Christmas morning.  No more digging through the bottom of the bag!

We could have easily made our third suggestion really glamorous, like the Louis Vuitton complete travel guide collection, but we are going for practical.  Eliminating the big question, “Is my bag too heavy?”, can eliminate a lot of pre-trip hysteria the night before.  This little gadget (Hello? We love gadgets!) gives you the answer as soon as you zip up the bag.  The eScale is only $20!  Worth it!

Make sure you visit our “Making Travel Easier” board to see all of our suggestions.  What do you use to make travel easier?

3 Things that Inspire me to Cook French Food

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Photo Credit: Saveur Magazine, Christopher Hirsheimer

Each time I go to Paris, I get super inspired to come home and be the best French cook in town.  I am not sure if it is the daily trips to the fresh markets, the ultra-chic kitchen in the apartment or the fact that despite eating everything in sight, I never gain weight (French women don’t get fat, right?).    Like wearing a scarf everyday, I usually give up 2-3 weeks after my return.  After my last visit, I decided to find some things to support my new French lifestyle and cooking endeavors and guess what?  They actually helped!  I am a much better French cook, I am trying new recipes with regularity AND they actually taste good….even if I am not wearing a scarf.

Saveur Magazine was an easy remedy to finding new recipes.  The recipes may seem difficult but their writers do an awesome job at breaking down the steps and making them easier to understand.  There are often times whole French menus for different holidays and sometimes there are recipes from famous places in Paris.  I have had great results from their recipes.  I also love it because they do stories on things that might be happening in Paris or on small food shops or tucked away bistros.  It is a great resource for any Francophile.

Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom

Oh Julia, how you inspire the French cook in all of us!  I have talked about this book before, it is my go to cookbook for fresh, simple and most of the time easy French cooking.   This book contains 127 pages of recipes and cooking advice written so well that I can hear Julia telling me the sequence of each step in her unique voice.  I usually grab this off the shelf within the first week back from a trip.

Last, I have to mention one of my favorite food blogs.  I can’t remember how long ago I stumbled onto Lost in Cheeseland but I visit it pretty frequently.  I don’t go on for recipes but more for just day to day Paris inspiration.  Lindsey talks about life in Paris, restaurants,  food and her life.  She also is a GREAT photography and her pictures of Paris are lovely.  Reading her blog transports me back to Paris and reminds me of how much I love the city.  I think you will love it.

I would love to know what you are cooking these days and where you are finding your great recipes.  Drop me a line at community@cobblestay.com or tweet me on Twitter @CobbleStay.

3 Things That Made Me Miss Paris This Month

Friday, February 24th, 2012

Photo Credit: Vistes-Guidees.net

As February comes to a close, I have been thinking of all of the things that made me miss Paris this month.  I am lucky that I get to talk about it everyday but I often stumble upon pictures, books and articles that tug at my heartstrings and make me realize how much I love this  city.  I found the photo above on Pinterest (as you know, I am addicted!).  It reminded me of taking my 10 year old daughter to the Jardin du Luxembourg and watching her push her boat around in the water.  It was so innocent, so “unplugged” and so peaceful.  A rare moment in this American girl’s life.

And, then I found this on Twitter!  Paris Chanson is an online,  French radio station that plays nothing but classic Paris songs.  Cheesy?  Not really!  I turned it on last Sunday while cooking my homemade pain au chocolat and it made a fun atmosphere that I wouldn’t have going on everyday but once in a while???  ABSOLUMENT!

Photo Credit: Amazon

I read A LOT about Paris!  So many people were talking about this book.  I had to search it out.  It is an illustrated comparison between Paris and New York and it is very cute.  It is a little snarky, a little campy and a whole lot of fun.  It made a great addition to my Paris bookshelf.

Yes, these are the things that made me miss Paris this month.  As if talking about Paris vacation rentals weren’t enough, right?

Luxury in the Most Visited City in the World

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

Jet Charters

Paris is likely on the bucket list of any world traveler or adventurer. There’s a reason — probably more like a million reasons — it is the most visited city in the entire world. If you’re looking for a great city you’d be hard pressed to find one better than Paris. That said, many people who travel to France don’t get to experience the full luxury that Paris has to offer.

The first luxury comes before you’ve even made it into the city. When you’re traveling to the greatest city on earth you might as well travel in the greatest style. Taking an air charter is surely the best way to fly. It starts when you get to the airport and don’t have to go through all the ridiculous security and it ends with a crew that has only you to take care of. What could be better?

When you land for your first evening in Paris you should consider taking your dinner on a private boat tour of the Seine. Hire a river limousine (yes, it’s that luxurious) and your own private chef and you’ll have the best dinner you can imagine. If a run down the Seine sounds amazing and dinner from a private chef is your idea of a dream meal, consider this the indulgent experience of a lifetime. The fun is just getting started, however.

You’ll need a place to sleep after your dinner, so why not rent out your own luxury Paris apartment? You could stay in a cramped hotel room or hostel, but if you’re going all out then you need to have the best accommodations as well.  You can bring the chef back to cook in your spacious kitchen, or you can go just down the street for more choices. Either way, your apartment will feel just like home.

If there’s one “regular” spot in Paris you need to visit, it’s the Eiffel Tower. You don’t need to make it a typical day, however. Instead, go for a champagne lunch at the Eiffel Tower in the Altitude 58 Restaurant. You’ll have an amazing view of the city while you enjoy your fine dining meal. If you want an even better look, you can head up to the second level after your meal.

Last, but definitely not least, take some time to find your own luxury. Paris is a place where you can walk down one street and find a shop or café, and when you turn the corner you find one just as good or better. Take some time for yourself to discover the luxury that most tourists won’t have time to see.

Logan is a writer who spends his time planning the next trip when he isn’t stringing words together.  You can find out more about Logan and his company Jet Charters here: http://www.jetcharters.com/