Gail Boisclair loves a good story, and her path to becoming a resident of Paris ten years ago is filled with them. (You’ll hear some of them in a feature on Gail in coming weeks.) The Toronto native is the owner of PerfectlyParis, a company that offers short-term Paris apartment rentals, specializing in Montmartre and its surrounding areas. Conde Nast Traveler even named the company the top Villa Rental Specialist for Paris four years in a row. She and her team also publish the PerfectlyParis blog, which offers their insights on, well, everything Paris.
Montmartre! It’s old-style charm, the friendliness of the people, the layout with stairs and vistas, the artsy neighborhoods.
Well, I have 2 and both are in Montmartre:
Lui l’Insolent 15, rue Caulaincourt 75018 (Tel: 01 53 28 28 31): This is one of the first places we recommend to anyone staying in the area. It is a great entry into simple, delicious, fresh and affordable French food. The chalk-board menu changes frequently and it usually includes fish, meat and poultry as well as some interesting starters. Plan to get there early whether it’s for lunch or for dinner if you do not reserve.
Le Chamarré 52, rue Lamarck 75018 (Tel: 01 45 72 07 14): This address once housed a fabled and old fashioned frumpy fine-dining restaurant. The space has been modernized, revamped and is under the same management as Le Moulin de la Galette. This is without a doubt our favourite special occasion restaurant in Montmartre. Le Chamarré serves excellent and extremely fresh food in an updated, warm and pleasant atmosphere. We always get the five-course tasting menu (85€/per person, 115€ with wine pairing) and always leave satisfied and rejoice the fact that now we have such a fine restaurant so close to home. If you’re a picky eater, the server will ask about any dislikes/allergies and will always be very accommodating. The tasting menu tends to be mostly centered on fish and shellfish with one small meat course. Reservations required.
Sourire de Saigon 54, rue du Mont Cenis 75018 (Tel: 01 42 23 31 16): You may not have come to Paris to eat Asian food, but this place is worth a visit if your palette has grown tired of heavy creamy sauces of the French tradition. Located on a quiet sloping street on the more residential north side of Montmartre, this exotic lair of a restaurant specializes in Vietnamese, Thai and Chinese delights. It may not be the most authentic or spiciest Asian food you’ve ever had, but the impeccable service and warm, welcoming atmosphere make it one of our favorites. Dinner only, reservations recommended.
Le Relais Gascon, 6, rue des Abbesses 75018 (Tel: 01 42 58 58 22): As well as being a great value (main dish items from 9.50€, Le Relais Gascon is well known throughout all of Paris for their copious salades géantes “big salads” topped with their delicious and crispy garlic fried potatoes and a wide selection of other French mainstays. Get a carafe of their house red, white or rosé and watch the world go by.
Galeries Lafayette Gourmet. 97 rue de Provence: Fabulous selection and there are several different places where you can sample foods from some of the boutiques such as Petrossian.
I used to prefer BHV but now I am a fan of Galeries Lafayette, partially because they have a champagne bar if you need a break from shopping!
Arnaud Larher, 53 Rue Caulaincourt 75018 (Tel: 09 50 24 11 94): He was chosen the Patissier of the year in 2000 and the quality is evident in everything he makes. I do not have a big sweet tooth but adore everything he makes!
Ginette en Voguette 70 rue Hermel 75018 (Tel : 09 81 98 23 10): The articles in the store are all made by individual designers who are not well known. Everything is handmade and one of a kind- without the one of a kind price to go with it. There is a great selection of reasonably priced items for any occasion and Ginette en Voguette offers personalisation on many items (adding someone’s name, et al).
Le Carmen 34 rue Duperre 75009 (Tel: 01 45 26 50 00): It was the one time residence of Georges Bizet and has all the grandeur you would expect. The staff is very attentive and there are lots of great rooms where you can go if you would like a bit of privacy. The bartender has an amazing talent for mixing original cocktails.
See above (they also have live music quite often)
Le Grenier à Pain – 38, rue des Abbesses – 75018: 1er Prix de la Meilleure Baguette de Paris- need I say more ?
Just Be 46, rue de Caulaincourt 75018 (Tel 01 42 23 07 14): It’s also a great cocktail spot! They have a fun brunch in a great atmosphere including a version for kids.
I also like Le Petit Parisie, 28, rue de Tholozé 75018 (Tel 01 42 54 24 21): Always busy and fun with lots of old styled posters decorating the walls; very good ambience but always very busy !
My balcony, overlooking the square below.
That would have to be a spa day and I am in need of one at the moment. I have been to the Guerlain Institue de Beauté on the Champs Elysees which was great but I would like to try the Nuxe Spa next. If that does not happen soon, however, I can be content laying in my tub with some candles and a glass of champagne while listening to relaxing music.
Epernay for the champagne!