Today's Paris attacks come at a time when the holidays are over and most people are trying to get back into a routine. School kids are having to wake up earlier and parents are headed back to work hyped up on coffee and commuting on public transportation while day dreaming about when the next break will come. A typical normal day in the life of a Parisian and for most people around the world actually. What now? What does it mean? How does this affect the way people think about Paris? For me it means standing in solidarity with the opinion writers everywhere...
While not a New Year's Eve destination this year, the Best of 2014 travel for me included multiple trips to Paris. Speaking from experience, nothing beats a New Year or Bonne Année in the City of Light. My first time seeing the Eiffel Tower at night was on New Year's Eve, 1990 with Mr. Weekend In Paris. It was the 100th anniversary of the tower and the excitement of the occasion was palpable. Of course the evening was all the more special since Mr. Weekend In Paris' birthday is at midnight! I instantly fell in love with the iron lady of Paris and my grandmother's heritage. France, you are in my blood!
I recently had the chance to spend an afternoon in Paris, and a night in Nice where Christmas was in full bloom. No apologies are made for celebrating this religious holiday so Christmas in France is a beautiful time of the year to witness the holiday spirit! The energy to light up the Christmas tree above is created by visitors peddling bikes connected to the power source. Green energy at work in the holiday season.
Bordeaux is the perfect place to taste fine wines, but there are more experiences to be had in the land of vineyards. Hotel Saint James Bouliac, a Relais & Chateaux property is situated across the river from the city of Bordeaux and is not only a beautiful hotel but offers unique culinary experiences to enhance the visit to the area. The hotel began as an eighteenth-century farmhouse and in the late 1980's was made into a modern luxury hotel with a gourmet restaurant and first-rate cooking school.
Often when in the City of Light, I long for a great Paris take away food spot where I can quickly pick up something healthy and fresh. Picnics are almost done for the year now, but there are still a few days where it's lovely to sit outside for impromptu dining en plein air. Le Petit Flottes is one stop shopping for a last-minute soiree.
Very soon from now (estimated to be in December, 2014) the restoration of the stained glass windows at France’s National Monument Sainte Chapelle (Sainte-Chapelle or Saint Chapel) will be finished. It has taken thousands of hours and several decades to complete, but the efforts have been well worth it. Once finished, the 1,113 scenes from the Old Testament and the Passion of the Christ will be on full display.
Sophisticated Saint James Library Bar
Impressive Hotel Saint James Paris is both regal and relaxed. Paris' only château hotel, this five-star Relais & Chateaux member is in a gated park-like setting. Close to Victor Hugo and the Arc de Triomphe, the peaceful estate made me feel like I was out in the country in the heart of the city.
First impressions count! When we arrived at the Relais & Chateaux, Hotel Daniel Paris, the bellman opened the door that led us into an impeccably decorated combination lobby and living room reminiscent of a comfortable French country estate. Boutique luxury hotels are plentiful in Paris, but ones that make you feel at home are the best types. Hotel Daniel exceeded our expectations on all fronts, especially the cozy factor.
Château Pavie vines overlooking the château
Super Sommelier and Le Chapon Fin's front of the house manager, Alex Morin joined forces with Bordeaux Saveurs for a fabulous Tuesday. Time for wine tasting in Bordeaux beginning on the right bank in Saint-Emilion and Pomerol.