Category Archives: Batignolles Monceau Neighborhood

Happy Holidays From Paris

We celebrated our second Christmas in Paris this year. Although it’s nice to get to spend the holidays in this gorgeous city, I wish we could’ve been surrounded by family back home. You never appreciate how lucky you are to have holiday obligations until there aren’t any obligations to attend! Unfortunately, Rio’s busy period falls around Christmas, so the chances of us spending Christmas back home in 2014 will be slim too. Oh well – maybe we can convince family to visit us for Christmas next year! Hint hint…

Nevertheless, we made the most of the holiday. Although we were supposed to spend Christmas Eve in Chantilly with a French friend, a family emergency resulted in us putting together a last-minute, quiet meal chez nous. This year, we incorporated some traditional French Christmas elements into the meal – smoked salmon, oysters and gougères for apéros, seared scallops, a bûche de Noël, and, of course, a couple bottles of Champagne. For Christmas Day, we were lucky enough to be invited to our friend Stacy and Jason’s apartment for a cozy, casual lunch that included some height-defying rounds of Jenga, mulled orange juice, the most thick and delicious potato soup you’ve ever had, mac & cheese, bacon-covered turkey for the meat-eaters, mashed potatoes & gravy,  freshly-baked bread, and a chocolate and raspberry cake! Even though I had my stretchy pants on, I was so stuffed by the end of the night, I wish I had brought sweatpants to change into! I’m so thankful we got to spend the holiday with some friends, as Christmas is definitely a holiday that’s made even more meaningful when you get to be surrounded by special people in your lives.

So no matter where you live and who you’re with, I hope you’re enjoying the holiday season! From the streets of Paris to our home, here are some festive photos from the past few weeks. Joyeuses fêtes et une bonne année à tous!
Holidays 2013
Holidays via Instagram.



Grands Boulevards
Paris Ornament

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A Week on Instagram

Instagram Week
Clockwise from top left:

A private music & champagne night at Club Rue de Naples. I felt so fancy!
Obsessed with this gorgeous building in the Monceau neighborhood.
Finally, blue skies and sunshine sans rain! Naturally, that meant a lovely picnic at Parc Clichy-Batignolles.
Sunshine means working and making travel plans sur mon balcon. It was a productive morning, as I booked a trip to Spain with the parentals and a romantical getaway with my bestie and her husband…yup, just the three of us.
Started off 4th of July with a French breakfast chez moi.
Ended 4th of July with a view of this gorgeous building after my first-ever blogger event.

If you’d like, you can see more Instagram pics at @apresnewyork.

Happy Friday!

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Un Pique-Nique at Parc Clichy-Batignolles

Parc Clichy-Batignolles
Who doesn’t love a picnic? This past Sunday, Rio and I decided to take advantage of the long-awaited 75+ sunny weather and have a lunch picnic. Instead of heading to our usual Parc Monceau, we decided to switch it up and join our fellow Frenchies at Parc Clichy-Batignolles instead. Here’s what was different between Parc Clichy-Batignolles and Parc Monceau:

  1. There’s a lot more diversity at Parc Cilchy-Batignolles than at Parc Monceau. I haven’t seen that many minorities in my area since…well, ever! I think it’s probably because we were closer to Place du Clichy area versus Monceau.
  2. There are a lot of children at Parc Monceau…but wow, there are A LOT of children at Parc Clichy-Batignolles. I attribute it to the fact that they have all these kid-friendly jungle-gym activities and sports areas (think skate park, basketball court, ping pong table, soccer court, etc.) there.
  3. Because Parc Clichy-Batignolles is a smaller park, it seemed like people were more on top of each other than at Monceau.
  4. There are these great wooden chaise lounges at Clichy-Batignolles that are perfect for reading a book and enjoying some lunch solo. One of these days, I will do that.
  5. Instead of being surrounded by gorgeous Haussmanian buildings at Parc Monceau, you’ll only see a few old buildings mixed with new ecofriendly modern buildings and several construction cranes. They’re dubbing this area the “Eco-Quartier”.

I’ll definitely be back for future picnics at Parc Clichy-Batignolles…but Parc Monceau will probably always be mon parc préféré.

Parc Clichy-Batignolles
Parc Clichy-Batignolles
Parc Clichy-Batignolles
Parc Clichy-Batignolles
Parc Clichy-Batignolles
Parc Clichy-BatignollesParc Clichy-BatignollesParc Clichy-Batignolles

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Drinking at… L’Ebeniste du Vin

L'Ebeniste du Vin
L'Ebeniste du Vin
I think I found a new favorite wine spot: L’Ebeniste du Vin in the Batignolles neighborhood. With wooden cabinets stocked full of wine, I used to walk by thinking it was a wine shop. Mais non, in addition to selling more than 500 bottles of wine and spirits “to go”, it’s actually also a wine bar that serves apéros like burrata salads, cheese, veggie, meat and seafood boards, and desserts like cheesecake and chocolate fondant. Atypical for a wine bar in Paris, it even serves cocktails like mojitos.

L’Ebeniste du Vin has an inviting atmosphere with convivial French chatter surrounding you, and friendly servers that are quick with a smile – a rarity in Paris. And although this slightly loft-like wine bar doesn’t have any outdoor seating, the modern design and large windows framing the length of the store lend it an airy vibe. So if you’re looking for a relaxed wine bar with locals – head to L’Ebeniste du Vin.

You can also find an Instagram video of the bar I took here.

L’Ebeniste du Vin
72 rue Boursault / 17th arrondissement
Métro: 13 @ La Fourche or Brochant / 2 @ Rome
Tél: 01 42 28 80 43
**Closed Sundays & Mondays.

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Les Cramiques at Aux Merveilleux de Fred

Une Cramique
Aux Marveilleux de Fred is a bakery by my apartment that has a line down the block nearly every single weekend. Passing by one weekend, we noticed there wasn’t a line for once and decided to hop in and try “un cramique” – a brioche-style bread that originated from Belgium. There are a few varieties – sugar, sugar with raisins, raisin and chocolate chip – however, raisin is the traditional way it’s made. We opted for the cramique with chunks of pearl sugar and wow – I can’t believe after living here for more than a year I’ve never had this before!! I definitely see more cramiques in my future.

There are four Aux Merveilleux bakeries in Paris and they are most known for their merveilleux cakes, which are also really delicious. Originating from Lille, les merveilleux are small cakes made from meringue, whipped chocolate and dark chocolate chips. They come in a variety of sizes and flavors, such as caramelized hazelnut, white chocolate, cinnamon and white chocolate. I actually don’t like meringue, but these merveilleux have won me over. So if you happen to pass by an Aux Merveilleux bakery (located in the 7th, 15th, 16th and 17th arrondissements), be sure to join the line of Frenchies and pick up a few merveilleux and un cramique. You won’t regret it.
Aux Marveilleux

Une Cramique

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Eating in…Paris, For Lunch

Lunch in Paris
Here’s a roundup of a few lunches I recently enjoyed in Paris. Clockwise from top left: A burrata sandwich at Verjus Bar à Vin; Salmon at Restaurant Legendre Idéal; Carrot cake & cheesecake at Sésame; and Fish & chips at Le Bloc.

Verjus Bar à Vin
47 rue de Montpensier / 1st arrondissement
Métro: 3 @ Bourse / 7 or 14 @ Pyramides
Tél: 01 42 97 54 40
**Closed Saturdays & Sundays.
One of the wine bars that had received a lot of hype when I first arrived in Paris was the restaurant and wine bar Verjus. After having drinks and some small bites there one night last year, I walked away thinking that the shoebox-sized wine bar served good wine, the shoestring fries were just ok and that it was packed with tourists. Would I go back? Meh. Well, after hearing all the accolades for the sandwiches they recently started offering and making friends with one of the former chefs, I decided to head back with a friend for lunch and it didn’t disappoint. Although there isn’t a vegetarian sandwich on the menu, my chef friend gave me a tip that I could still ask them to make me a vegetarian burrata sandwich. If you’re in the area, I definitely recommend either stopping by for a sandwich, or even grabbing one to go and enjoying it in the gardens of Palais Royal.

Restaurant Legendre Idéal
92 rue Legendre / 17th arrondissement
Métro: 2 @ Rome / 13 @ La Fourche
Tél: 01 46 27 15 18
**Closed Mondays.
I’ve been determined to try all the restaurants in our neighborhood and Restaurant Legendre Idéal in the Batignolles had been on my list for a while. So on one gorgeous weekday, I decided to head there by myself and have the 13 euro lunch special. The service was friendly, food was good and I definitely felt like I got my money’s worth. I can see myself returning for a weekday lunch tout seul or with Rio on the weekend.

51 Quai de Valmy / 10th arrondissement
Métro: 3, 5, 8, 9 or 11 @ République / 3 or 5 @ Jacques Bonsergent / 11 @ Goncourt
Tél: 01 42 49 03 21
**Open every day.
I had heard good things about Sésame, particularly its brunch, so I was looking forward to lunch there with Robin before picking up our costumes for the Versailles Masquerade Ball. Well, the service was stereotypical French. The waiter seemed more interested in playing on his iPhone and chatting with his coworker than helping customers. That would be fine since I’m used to this, but the food was nothing special. The quiche was merely average (I’ve even made better) and the carrot cake I was excited about was a disappointment. The silver lining in the meal was the delicious cheesecake that Robin and I shared. Perhaps I’ll try one of the salads next time and end with the cheesecake.

Le Bloc
21 rue Brochant / 17th arrondissement
Métro: 13 @ Brochant
Tél: 01 53 11 02 37
**Open every day.
Le Bloc has been one of those restaurants I pass by on an almost weekly basis and think to myself, I really need to go there for brunch one of these days. So one sunny Sunday, Rio and I headed over there and were able to score an outdoor table so we could bask in the rare sunlight. The service was friendly with a waiter who likes to practice his English (without being too annoying about it), however, the food was just average. I knew going in that it wasn’t going to be anything spectacular since my friend had given me the heads-up about her own experience, so I wasn’t expecting much anyway though. All in all, I think it’s a perfectly fine neighborhood spot to go to for lunch or drinks – but don’t go out of your way for it.

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Sunday Snapshots in Paris

When you are deprived from sunshine, it is mandatory to maximize your time outdoors when the weather is actually nice in Paris. Sunday was one of those days. After training for the 10km l’Equipe race Sunday morning, I dragged Rio to Le Bloc café in the Batignolles for lunch, then took Tyler for a nice long stroll along Pont Alexandre III (approx. 30 minute walk chez nous), and then a picnic dinner date at our beloved Parc Monceau. It might not have been as relaxing as Rio had hoped for, mais il faut profiter le soleil!
Pont Alexandre III
Champs Elysees
This was a sponsored bike ride called 24h Vélib where people could ride free vélibs (city bike sharing system) and pledge how many laps they’d bike around a section of the Champs-Élysées. The goal was to bike 25,000km in 24 hours so that the government would then make donations to three charities. This city really comes up with the most random events, but I’m glad that at least this was for charity.
Free Wifi Pour Les Filles Parisian Building
Pretty Porte
J’adore the doors in Paris.
Lovers in Parc Monceau
Lovers in Parc Monceau.
Monceau Metro DSC_0865

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Pretty Parc Monceau

Parc Monceau
I thought it was about time to share a few photos of Parc Monceau, which I literally frequent every single day – sometimes several times a day as it’s a mere five-minute walk from my apartment. It’s a very pretty park with lots of local Frenchies, particularly well-dressed little kids and their nounous (nannies), and runners making laps around the park (some of whom are improperly dressed; one time I saw a girl run-walking in wedge sneakers and short shorts…really, lady??). One of my favorite things to do during the warm weather is to picnic in Parc Monceau amongst the Frenchies.

Here are some fun facts about Parc Monceau:

  • At the park’s main entrance is a rotunda (seen in the photo above). The top floor of the apartment was used as an apartment with a view of the garden reserved for Phillippe d’Orléans, Duke of Chartres and cousin of King Louis XVI, who established the park.
  • A fifth-generation park watchman actually lives in the “royal” rotunda today and monitors the nine gated entries.
  • In 1797, it was the site of the first silk parachute jump, made by André-Jacques Garnerin.
  • French impressionist painter Claude Monet painted five paintings of the park – a series of three in 1876 and two in 1878.
  • French novelist Marcel Proust used to love wandering around the park.
  • It’s an “English style” park, which is unusual to have in France. It has informal layout, curved walkways and statues dispersed throughout the park. You’ll also notice a variety of architectural sites like an Egyptian pyramid, Chinese fort, Dutch windmill and Corinthian pillars.
  • There are six private residences located directly on the park with 240hour access to the grounds. Must be nice, right?

Parc Monceau
Parc Monceau
Parc Monceau
Parc Monceau

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Tyler’s Pic of the Day: Street Art

I was pretty startled when I came upon this “newspaper man” on Boulevard Malesherbes during Tyler’s morning walk today. At first I thought it was a homeless man (un clochard en français), but as I got closer, I realized it was a bunch of papers and rope constructed into a shape of a man.
Paris Street Art

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