Cafe Marly at the Louvre in Paris

Cafe Marly at the Louvre in Paris
Relax with a glass of wine at Cafe Marly overlooking the pyramid entrance to the Louvre.

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Eating & Drinking in Paris: Les Papilles

Here's another favorite place to eat (and drink) in Paris:

Les Papilles

5th/Métro Cluny-La Sorbonne (or RER Luxembourg)

30 rue Gay-Lussac

Tel. 01/

Closed Sun. & part of Aug.

Near the Panthéon, Les Papilles (Tastebuds) sells gourmet foods and wine, and offers creative takes on French cuisine. Try the tender hanger steak. Worth the trip!


For more information about Paris, check out Andy Herbach's Eating & Drinking in Paris: French Menu Translator and Restaurant Guide and Open Road's Best of Paris.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Eating & Drinking in Paris: Le Fumoir (near the Louvre)

If you're visiting the Louvre and looking for a place to relax and have a drink or a snack, here's the place:

Le Fumoir

1st/Métro Louvre-Rivoli

6 rue de l’Amiral-de Coligny

Tel. 01/

Open daily 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Closed part of Aug.

This bar and restaurant is located near the Louvre. It’s known for its Sunday brunch, salads, happy hour and gâteau chocolat (chocolate cake). There’s a library in the back where you can have a drink and read (and exchange your own books for the ones in their library). Inexpensive - Moderate

Photo from flickr by Jpeisman

Eating & Drinking in Paris: Bistrot de L’Oulette

We'll be taking a look at some old (and new) favorites on the Paris dining scene.

Bistrot de L’Oulette (formerly Baracane)

4th/Métro Bastille

38 rue des Tournelles

Tel. 01/

Closed Sat. (lunch) & Sun.

Small bistro in the Marais (near the place des Vosges) featuring the specialties of Southwest France (especially confit).


The last time we were there, we had a delicious meal and wonderful service. Although the prices are a bit higher than when this bistro was called "Baracane," the food is excellent and won't disappoint. The location is perfect for an after dinner drink at one of the many lively cafes around the place de la Bastille or the place des Vosges.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

(Not) Running With The Bulls in Pamplona.

Pamplona hosts of one of the world’s most famous events: the encierro, or running of the bulls. Some say it’s barbaric, others say it’s a great tradition. At 8:00 a.m. July 6-14, six bulls are released to run the narrow streets to the bullring (where, by the way, they are killed at the bullfight that evening). In 1927, Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises made this event famous. The festival is the Fiesta de San Fermín and the city is swamped with revelers, many drunk and without hotel rooms (as there aren’t nearly enough to accommodate the crowds). Theft is common. It’s simply one non-stop party.

If you choose to visit at any other time of year, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by this tidy, attractive city. You’ll find ruins of a 16th-century Ciudadela (citadel), a Gothic cathedral, and the Museo de Navarra showcasing art of the region. Pamplona’s main sights are all within walking distance in the historic Old Town.

The heart of the Old Town is the Plaza del Castillo. Check out the attractive Café Iruña at number 44. This square was the site of the former bullring. The current bullring, the Plaza de Toros, is only a few blocks from Plaza del Castillo.

Among the narrow streets around this square is Calle Estafeta, the main street for the running of the bulls and home to many tapas bars. For a break, try the restaurant/bar at Casa Otano at number 5 at nearby Calle San Nicolás. Another attractive square in the old town is the Plaza Consistorial where you’ll find the 18th-century Ayuntamiento (City Hall) with its ornate façade.

Parts of the Catedral date back to the 14th century. Its Gothic interior contains the alabaster tomb of Carlos III. Not to be missed are the Gothic arches of its cloister. Also here is the Museo Diocesano (Diocesan Museum) with a collection of religious art and artifacts. Info: At Calle Curia and Calle Dormitalería. Tel. 948210827. Cathedral open daily. Museum open Mon-Fri 10am-2pm and 4pm-7pm, Sat 10am-2pm. Admision to Cathedral: Free. Admission to Museum: €5.

Pamplona was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Navarra. The Museo de Navarra, located in a 16th-century former hospital, houses a collection of regional archaeological artifacts, local costumes and art (including a portrait by Goya). Info: 47 Cuesta de Santo Domingo at Calle Jaranta. Tel. 948426492. Open Tue-Sat 10am-2pm and 5pm-7pm, Sun 10am-2pm. Admission: €4. 

For more on visiting Spain, check out Andy Herbach's Open Road's Best of Spain.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Don't take a taxi in Paris. Take the metro.

The métro system is clearly the best way to get around Paris. It’s orderly, inexpensive and for the most part safe. You’re rarely far from a métro station in Paris. They are marked by a yellow “M” in a circle or by those incredibly beautiful Art Nouveau archways with “Métropolitain” on them. Although you may be confused when you first look at a métro map, simply follow the line that your stop is on and note the last stop (the last stop appears on all the signs) and you’ll soon be scurrying about underground like a Parisian. Service starts at 5:20am and ends at 1:20am (one additional hour on Saturday night/Sunday mornings and the eve of holidays). Métro tickets are also valid on buses. The cost of a métro ticket is €1.70. A carnet of 10 tickets costs €11.70, and the price of a Passe Navigo (a week pass from Monday through Sunday) is €22.50.