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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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Paris Restaurants: L'Ange 20

Here is the first in a series of new restaurants in Paris that will be featured in the new edition of Eating & Drinking in Paris (to be released Spring 2013).

L’Ange 20
Don't miss this small, intimate restaurant in the heart of the Marais near the Centre Pompidou. Friendly, efficient, and attentive service. You can watch the chef in the open kitchen. Lively mix of tourists and Parisians enjoying reasonably priced meals. Try the excellent agneau façon sept heures (lamb cooked for seven hours). Unbelievable what the chef turns out in this small kitchen. Info: 4th/Métro Rambuteau. 8 rue Geoffroy L’Angevin (off of rue Beaubourg). Tel. 01/ No lunch. Closed Mon.

Friday, October 12, 2012

The best view in Paris (Montparnasse Tower).

For the best view in Paris, head to the Tour Montparnasse (Montparnasse Tower). This unfortunate 1970s black glass tower that dominates its Left Bank neighbors has an observation deck. Take the elevator to the 56th floor and then steps to the roof. The elevator ride to the top takes just 38 seconds (Europe's fastest).

There was such outrage after this tower was built that an ordinance was passed prohibiting further towers in the city center. The best thing about the great view is that you can’t see this tower! Info: 15th/Métro Montparnasse-Bienvenüe. Open daily Apr-Sep 9:30am-11:30pm, Oct-Mar 9:30am-10:30pm. Last ascension a half-hour before closing. Admission: €13.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Photo of the week

Vernazza (pictured here) is one of the Cinque Terre, five beautiful towns perched on dramatic cliffs above the sea. For dining tips in Vernazza and the Cinque Terre, check out Eating & Drinking in Italy.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Tips on tipping in France.

The most frequent question I am asked about dining in France is "What about tipping?"

Here are the basics:

You are not required to tip. A 15% service fee is automatically included in all bars,  cafés, and restaurantsServers in France do not live off of tips. They get paid vacations, health care, and living wages.

A service charge is almost always added to your bill. Depending on the service, it’s sometimes appropriate to leave an additional 5 to 10%. The menu will usually note that service is included (service compris). Sometimes this is abbreviated with the letters s.c. The letters s.n.c. stand for service non compris; this means that the service is not included in the price, and you must leave a tip. You’ll sometimes find couvert or cover charge on your menu (a small charge just for placing your butt at the table). 

Don’t ever call the waiter “garçon.” Though sometimes in bars a Parisian will use this word, travelers should never use it.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Ordering a taxi in Paris just got easier.

G7 taxi (which has good service in general) has an online app for ordering a taxi, whether immediately or in advance. 

(Click on the "Discover the iPhone application" button for a video - you can even choose a "green" taxi or a "low floor" taxi, etc.) If you order a taxi for immediate pickup, the app will tell you how long it will be before your taxi arrives.

G7 is now also offering shared taxi rides to and from the airport for a discount price. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Paris News: Museum update/Using the Metro

The Louvre

The Louvre's pre-Classical Greek section will reopen in late 2012. The new wing featuring Islamic art will open this summer.  

Musee Picasso

The Picasso Museum will remain closed for renovation through at least the summer of 2013. 

Musee d'Orsay

The top-floor Impressionist and Post-Impressionist collection has reopened.

The metro (subway)

Metro stations with ticket windows are being phased out and replaced by ticket machines. Remember that most U.S. credit cards don't work in these machines, so make sure that you have small bills (20 euros or less) and coins to use in the machines.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Europe's Best Walks (ebook)

Open Road Publishing has released a new ebook "Europe's Best Walks." The book includes detailed walking tours with color maps and photos of Madrid, Barcelona, Provence, Paris, Amsterdam, and Berlin (by Andy Herbach). Additional walks are included in London and Rome (by other Open Road authors). Here's the link to the Kindle version:

Best cities in the world for students.

Berlin has been named one of the best cities for students. Berlin ranked eighth in the world because of its low cost of living. A high number of courses offered by the city’s universities are taught in English. In 2011, 13,500 of the 84,000 students in Berlin were from abroad. On average, students were found to be paying thousands less per year in comparison to students in other top ten cities. Here are the other (more expensive) cities for students:

The study was conducted by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), a British education services specialist.

Paris cinemas: La Pagode

On the Left Bank, you'll find one of the most interesting cinemas in Europe. La Pagode is a Japanese-style building surrounded by an oriental garden. In 1895, the director of the large department store Bon Marche' had this structure built for his wife. In 1931, it was converted into a cinema. The ornate Japanese room is a great place to take in a film. info: 7th arrondissement, 57b rue Babylone.