From Paris to Lisbon in Search of Secrets

Last time I wrote, I told you somewhat heartlessly to give up your hopes of uncovering a secret Paris. I believed that in the internet age, where secrets are so easily shared, there are few left to discover. But after a recent experience in Lisbon, which has its own fair share of tourist traps and…

Secret Paris? You’re on Your Own

Is there anything more exciting, more exquisite, than the idea of a secret Paris? Hidden alleyways, forgotten corners, if you have a passion for travel, you want to escape the tourists and get under the skin of the city. You want the speakeasy bar with no name on the door; the little-known jazz club where the voice…

An Urban Garden Part 1: Plants that Can Survive in Paris

Six have given their lives. Five survive. A spring jasmine clings to its life as it hugs the frame of the bathroom window shutter. It has grown thin and dehydrated, its future is uncertain. Two new arrivals radiate health. Can they survive? Can we keep them healthy and blooming? It’s a tricky business keeping plants…

Come On, 2018, What Have You Got?

At the beginning of a new year, I take stock. I like to look back at the year gone by, remember what I’ve done and reflect on what I’ve achieved. 2017 held some true highlights: I visited Shanghai and New York, holidayed in Provence and of course, spent a lot of time in Paris. It…

Paris vs. New York

People who adore New York say they love the energy, the creativity, the vibe. People love Paris for its timelessness, its beauty and elegance. Both cities are diverse and ever-changing. My list does not go to the core of Paris or New York – it is a list of first impressions alone.

The Tiniest of Paris Apartments

Eyes widen when I tell people that our Paris apartment is only 18 square metres. It feels larger, I tell them, especially in summer when the windows open up onto the 7m2 balcony. Actually, I like it. When you say you own a pied-à-terre in Paris, people make assumptions about wealth and privilege. I temper…

Paris Picks – Soma

Tucked away in a small street of the Haut Marais, Soma is a hidden gem dishing up Japanese fusion to experimental locals. From outside, this little restaurant looks undeniably inviting. The Head Chef takes centre stage, surrounded by diners at the bar. Small wooden tables fill what is left of the space, lining the exposed stone walls….

BBQ on the Balcony – More Simple Suppers

Since we got the flat, we’ve been um-ing and ah-ing over whether or not to get a BBQ for the terrace.  I thought it might get stolen. We might annoy the neighbours (drive them mad with jealousy) with the smells of chargrilling entrecôte. And we weren’t even sure if it is allowed, by the building or the…

How to Enjoy Your First Time in Paris

Google a weekend in Paris and you’ll get page after page of itineraries, top-10s, must-see’s and do-not-leave-Paris-without’s. Scrap those. Don’t exhaust yourself trying to see and do it all with a million other tourists for company. Go to Paris just to be there. Stroll its streets, sit in its cafes and soak up its atmosphere. You’ll be…

Paris Picks – Baffo

This tiny restaurant, tucked away on a small street just off Rue Rambuteau, offers uncomplicated, grown-up Italian dining. Head to Baffo for its intimate atmosphere, sophisticated home cooking and friendly service. Don’t be misled: although this neighbourhood restaurant is casual and welcoming, serving up instantly recognizable Italian staples, there isn’t a checkered tablecloth in sight….