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.

French Banking – The Never-Ending Circle of Unhelpfulness (and Lessons Learned)

It all started when I got a new phone and was not able to transfer the HSBC mobile app over to it. What seems like the easiest thing to fix has triggered a stream of banking woes and a never-ending circle of unhelpfulness with HSBC France. Here’s what happened and what we learned from it.

Simple Suppers – Barbequed Rabbit

Cheap and versatile, rabbit on the barbeque makes for a delicious simple supper. We served it up with sauteed potatoes, beans, garlic and parsley and washed it down with ice-cold rosé wine.

Paris Picks – My Favourite Breakfast Spot

When choosing somewhere to eat in Paris you often have to make a choice: quality or location. Nestled in the arcades of the beautiful Place des Vosges, Carette is an exception to that rule. I can’t think of a better way to start the day than on the sunny terrace of this beautiful café.

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…

10 Women, 3 Days and a Hell of a Lot of Wine in Bordeaux

The TGV just introduced a new route that will whizz you from the centre of Paris to the charming city of Bordeaux in just two hours. My trip however, was planned before I ever caught wind of this high-speed possibility. On a Thursday afternoon in March, a group of women boarded a plane for a…

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…

Renting Out on Airbnb – Is it Legal?

Letting out holiday apartments is big business in Paris, but is it legal? The papers are full of the airbnb controversy at the moment, questioning how to control the buy-to-let market and ensure that there is enough affordable accommodation for people living in the city. So what does that mean for us–people who own a…

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….