Hotel Saint James Paris is just around the corner from a vibrant city area not much visited by tourists. While staying here, I took a stroll along Avenue Victor Hugo in the Paris 16th arrondissement. The 16th is not as sexy as the Right Bank, or as glitzy as the Place de la Madeleine, nor as trendy as the Marais, but it is definitely a cool neighborhood to hang out and be a global local amongst its wealthy residents.
One of the more difficult tasks when strolling along Avenue Champs Élysées is to find a low-key restaurant with decent food at reasonable prices. Le Victory, Paris is a local brasserie and bar just off the famous retail mecca. While a far reach from Michelin-star cuisine, Le Victory serves comfort food in a traditional French atmosphere.
It’s not often I get to sample century old Cognac, but when I do, I prefer the family owned and run Tesseron label. Exquisite and smooth, an exceptional blend of eaux-de-vie (water of the spirits) is found in the well-aged Tesseron Extrême.
While I always feel safer in Paris than in most US cities, I am still street smart and pay attention to my surroundings. Paris Safety Tips for women travelers can be different than for their male counterparts, but all travelers to Paris should read the following:
Keep documents in a zipper compartment and do not open up in pubic transportation or in crowded shops.
Keep a copy of your passport separate in case you lose it and need documentation.
Be aware of pick-pockets all over the city. Do not keep wallets in back pockets or in purses that don’t have zippers.
Do not flash wads of cash in public.
At the heart of Hotel Napoleon lies a romantic Paris story. According to the history of the hotel, “a rich Russian entrepreneur, Alexander Pavlovich Kliaguine, met a young Parisian girl at a Literary fair in the late 1920’s, and fell head over heels in love.”
It would be a terrific story if it ended there,