Get lost in Paris!

Great you are back reading our newsletter. We’ve had a busy week in Paris with Fashion week finishing with rail strikes and union workers marches. The weather is dramatically cooler than it was 2 weeks ago and autumn has announced it’s presence with the leaves in the forest turning yellow and orange.

School holidays start again the end of this week — did you know the french children have holidays every 6 weeks? The school holidays also rotate around the departments (regions) so there is little overlap between the areas, except summer holidays where they stagger the start and finish dates. The french do this to enable all of France to enjoy holidays at the mountains, beach and cities. But for tourists it means you will almost always be competing with French and other European tourists for hotels, tours and airfares!

Also something which makes no sense to us, but you should be aware of when you book a hotel outside of the big cities. Hotels are usually booked from Saturday to Saturday, which means mayhem on the roads because everyone is either leaving or returning at the same time.

Today’s email is to give you a taste of some different sites and places worth a visit to avoid the crush of tourists.

Fabrics and Folies

For all you people who sew or have a tailor who can whip you up a dress or curtains but you just need some unusual fabric — have I just the place for you! Paris has a whole district devoted to material and accessories.

The Place Saint Pierre near Auvers and Pigale Metro stations which is very near the Moulin Rouge and Sacré Coeur Cathedral have some truly stunning fabrics that I have never seen anywhere else.

I would recommend the shop “Le Marche Saint Pierre” on the corner of rue Livingston & d’Orcel or the Moline Magasin. Possibly leave your husband at Sacre Coeur or send him off for a walk if he’s not patient.

In the same area at Maison Fevrier (11 rue Lepic, Montmartre) you will find the shop that makes all the feather boa’s for the Moulin Rouge; and at Maison Clairvoy (18 rue Fontaine, Paris 75009 Metro 2 — Blanche) you will find the shoemakers for the Moulin Rouge and many other theatrical productions.

Moulin Rouge, Montmartre and Sacre Coeur

A great walk, not for the faint hearted due to the steepness of some of the streets, is to start at The Moulin Rouge and then take the street beside it, rue Lepic, all the way to Place Tertre. Along the way you will pass Maison Fevrier and Van Gogh’s windmills. Just past 71 rue Lepic you will see some green metal arches, look up and you may catch a glimpse of Le Moulin de Blute-Fin, one of the few existing windmills that’s privately owned!

At 83 Rue Lepic (the corner of rue Girardon and rue Lepic) another windmill (Le Moulin de Radet) rises above Le Moulin de Galette restaurant. Where the road forks take the left fork up to the Place de Tertre, where the painters sit selling their picture in the area that Van Gogh and Dali painted.

Rue Saint-Eleuthere will then take you onto Sacre Coeur Cathedral for some outstanding views of Paris.

If you go down the steps through the gardens in front of the cathedral and turn left you will find yourself at Le Marche Saint Pierre and all the fabric shops!

Village Royal Passage

Address: 25 Rue Royale, 75008 Running between rue Royale and rue Bossy d’Anglais, close to the rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré. An easy walking distance from the bottom of the Champs-Élysée where it intersects with la Place de la Concorde at the Jardin des Tuileries.

Metro station: Madeleine or Concorde

Website: Village Royal

One of many passages in Paris, this one was originally built in the 17th century as barracks for the famous Musketeers of Louis XIII Royal Guard, which became a market place in 1746. Now it is a passage of exclusive shops worth a visit. Open Monday to Saturday 8 am to 8.30 pm with shops opening at 10 am.

Markets

If you are searching for memorable items and bargains then maybe the flea markets might interest you:

1. Violette Sauvage Fashion Flea Market

Website: www.violettesauvage.fr check for dates when the markets are held. Also, you can get Violette’s newsletter which will give you more details.

Address: Carreau du Temple 4 rue Eugène Spuller Paris 3

Metro: Temple Metro Line 3

Open: Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Just some of the brands you may see for sale: Christian Louboutin, Sandro, Marc Jacobs, Les fées de Bengale, Maje, Iro, Chanel, Vanessa Bruno, Swildens, Comptoir des Cotonniers, Carven, Bel Air, Les Petites, Mellow Yellow, H&M, The Kooples, American Apparel, House of Harlow, Scarlet Roos, Rykiel, Marni, Les Petits Hauts, Chie Mihara, Cos, Yves Saint Laurent, Antoine & Lili, Karen Millen, Minelli, Zadig &Voltaire, Chloé, JCDC, Bash, Lanvin, Zara, Miu Miu, Hugo Boss, Ash, Manoush, April May, Burberry, APC, Muji, Claudie Pierlot, Balanciaga, Cacharel, Gérard Darel and more!

2. Marches aux Puces de Porte de Vanves: Flea Market for odds and sods

Address: Avenue Georges Lafenestre, 75014 Paris, near 14th arrondissement

Metro Porte de Vanves Metro Line 13

Open: Every weekend of the year, no exception: from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Each Saturday and Sunday of the year, holidays included, 380 merchants have their goods for sale!

Pieces of furniture and objects of the 18th and 19th centuries, of 1900 and Art Déco, of the Fifties and Seventies ; furniture of garden, ironwork and tools ; lighting ; arts of the table ; glassmaking and silverware ; old clothing and textiles; old jewellery ; cameras, gramophones and radios ; books and old papers ; currencies, medals and military para ; paintings, drawings and engravings ; photographs and postcards ; curiosities, toys and popular art ; religious objects ; eastern arts ; African arts, etc.

3. Puces de Saint-Ouen : Antique Flea Market

Address: 138 Rue des Rosiers 93400 Saint-Ouen, near the 18th arrondissement

Métro: Porte de Clignancourt Metro line 4 OR Garibaldi Metro line 13

Times: Saturdays from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, Sundays from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, Mondays from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm

14 shops offer authentic wares in a unique atmosphere. The Flea market brings together antique dealers, designers, artisans and artists.

Sainte-Chapelle

Nestled on the island of île de la Cité at 6, Boulevard du Palais, 75001 Paris, France, is the inconspicuous facade of the Palais de Justice. There is a door opposite the restaurant with a red awning, where a small group of only 200 people can listen to violins, violas and even a harpsichord play Vivaldi, Mozart, Pachelbel and Albinoni whilst sitting in an exquisite, tiny chapel tucked away inside the court house! Consecrated in 1248, Sainte-Chapelle houses the most extensive in-situ collection of 13th-century stained glass anywhere in the world.

A close friend of ours introduced us to this wonderful place, and we have been back many times since. Worth a visit during the day (open 9–6pm), it comes alive in concerts twice nightly. Seating for the concerts is first come, first served so it is recommended you line up early to await the guide who will escort you to the chapel. If you want to see an intimate chapel in an historic atmosphere, better than any I have experienced before, put a concert here on your bucket list, a must see once in your life!

Closest metro to Sainte-Chapelle is Line 4 Cité stop.

Watch

The following videos are freat resources for things to do!

The Left Bank of Paris by 36 hour Travel Videos group -The New York Times.

Highlights of Paris: Eiffel and Monet to Crème Brûlée with Rick Steves

Thanks for reading this newsletter. Next week I’m going to start touring the outskirts of Paris. What to see that’s on public transport routes or easy driving distance from Paris.

Let me know if you want me to mention anything.

Please share this newsletter with your friends and send comments and requests!

À Bientôt!

Susan Join up NOW!

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