Wine & Travel

Snooth User: napagirl68

France for 1st time, only for 7 days! Where to go???

Posted by napagirl68, Feb 21, 2010.

I am meeting my sister from Belgium.. we are meeting in France. She doesn't care too much where we go since she has been, and I have not. I am interested both in wine and other attractions. I think I'd like to see Paris and visit the Rhone area. But I am open to suggestions... the South? My passions are: wine, beaches, rustic french bistro cuisine (not seafood, allergic), perfume, pottery, picturesque historical sites (mostly churches, graveyards)... and above all, PHOTOGRAPHY!

Any ideas and suggestions are appreciated as I start to plan this very short time in an area I've wanted to visit my whole life! Darn, wish I could take a month... I actually could, but she is only avail for 5-6 days before she flies to Switzerland, and I am a bit reluctant to travel alone...


Reply by Cathy Shore, Feb 21, 2010.

Hi napagirl68

If you spend a couple of days in Paris, you could hop on the TGV and come down and have a day or two with us in the Loire valley. You can take the train from Montparnasse and we can pick you up from Angers, bring you back to us for a one day Loire Wine Discovery (and you can taste some great Cab Franc!). You could even stay over for a night down here - we've just linked in with a Dutch couple who own this fabulous family chateau just a 10 minute drive away ( The Loire is just full of fabulous photo opportunites whatever the time of year - the river itself, vineyards, chateaux. The chateau where we are working at the moment has a beautiful 15th Century chapel. Just a thought - no pressure! Check out our website
If you head down South, then Grasse is home to the perfume industry - very different landscape with perched villages in the hillsides. Again beautiful scenery but different to around here.
You say you have a bit more time to spare - you'd be fine with us on your own if you wanted to do some winey things after your sister has gone. If you're here between April 5th and 4th June you could even stay with us at our home - we've just one double room.
Anyway, if I can be of help - just ask.

Reply by napagirl68, Feb 21, 2010.

Thanks, Cathy! Sounds so beautiful, and with my love of Cab Francs, the Loire sounds like a great area to visit... Will keep you posted on the plans, though would love to visit the winery where you are and see that chapel..

Reply by amour, Feb 22, 2010.

Cap d'Antibes with 48 beaches along the 25 Km coastline that surrounds Antibes
and Juan les Pins !.....history, fun, bistros, and all!

Reply by napagirl68, Feb 23, 2010.

Amour, thanks for the recommendation! I am researching it at present... sounds lovely..

Reply by dirkwdeyoung, Feb 24, 2010.

Some Paris tips:

1. Enclos De Ninon (A L') 19-21 Boulevard Beaumarchais; 75004

Traditional French, not cheap, but shouldn't break the bank either. Really first class food. Used to be a favorite hangout of the press corps back in the Salinger days.

2. Charlot, Roi des Coquillages, 12,place de Clichy

Authorized Bouillabaise, lovely oysters, drink Blanc de Blancs de Cassis with it.

3. Le Beau Violet
Cuisine: Corsican
Address: 92 rue des Entrepreneurs,
75015 Paris

Postage stamp sized restuarant, isolated location, reasonable price, bring cash, no CC, chef Roger is reliable, try the grilled, stuffed sardines and the cheese plate at the end.
Selection of cheap Corsican wines.

4. Restaurant de la Maison Fournaise
Ile des Impressionnistes
3, rue du Bac
78400 Chatou

Put yourself in a Renoir painting, only go for lunch, in the dark you don't get the views.

Just some ideas I know you will enjoy above.

Some more ideas in addition to the obvious ones like Notre Dame, Louvre, Tour Eiffel, les Invalides, which are musts, etc:

1. Go late at night and see the best nighttime view of Paris from Montmartre in front of Sacre Coeur, who cares if Sacre Coeur is closed, it is not the greatest inside, but you will see over the rooftops, which at this time of year are steaming smoke and in the distance the tower is lit up. Walk to the place du tertre and have a late night beer at “Au Clairon des Chasseurs” and enjoy the accordion music.

2. Latin Quarter: Walk around the block that contains the Le Procope • 13 rue de l'Ancienne Comédie - 75006 Paris, just up the street on the corner Blvd. St. Germain is the Odeon, a Belle Epoque Bar, behind the Procope is a little street with heavy arched stone paving that will show you what Paris streets were like at the time of the Revolution. Look into the Procope and see the décor, do not eat there. In general walk around the Latin Quarter, Ile de la Cite and Ile St. Louis, so this little visit would be part of that itinerary. Do not eat at the restaurants in the Latin Quarter, they advertise menus, but are not worth anything, if you are hungry, get a sandwich Grec with French fries and walk around.

If you are in this area late night you can get a good onion soup at “Le Petit Pont”, place du Petit Pont, next to the Shakespeare Book Shop with view on Notre Dame. Their prices are reasonable and the terrasse is even heated.

Last note, sometimes the top restaurants offer a drastically reduced and fixed price menu for lunch, for example, La Tour d’Argent, view on Notre Dame, the choices are limited a little like Bistro format, but for a fraction of the price you can get into some really terrific food (and say you have been there ).

If you want to see the worlds most amazing stained glass windows take the train to Chartres, with TGV you can go and come back all in around 4 hours. Leave early in the morning and then before touring the Cathedrale have a nice coffee or tea across the street with unbelievable cakes at “la Reine du Saba.”

I could make some more suggestions of course, but you will have too many things to do, but these are some things, which I think will make your visit more enjoyable.

Have a wonderful visit. Bon Voyage, Dirk

Reply by Cathy Shore, Feb 24, 2010.

Hey Dirk
I know who to ask when I go to Paris for a trip! Great tips. Haven't spent much time there for 15 years despite living in France now but mean to in the future. I did however eat at the Tour d'Argent (this was a long time ago) and it was the most disappointing meal of my trip. Dramatically expensive, stifling service and full of tourists rather than Parisiens - maybe it's changed. My best meal was at one of the bistros rather like the ones you describe. Simple menu, inexpensive wine, full of French, great atmosphere.
Off pruning... back later

Reply by napagirl68, Feb 24, 2010.

Dirk.. Thank you!!!!! these are great suggestions. However, as far as food, I cannot eat seafood OR fish!!! UGGHH! So Coq and beouf for me..... typically, best in french bistro/country cooking as I've been learning in my cooking courses....But I TOTALLY appreciate the suggestions.... am importing into excel at present..

Reply by dirkwdeyoung, Feb 24, 2010.

Dear Cathy, I have also heard some other skeptics about Tour d'Argent, I would not pay to go there for the dinner for sure, for one thing, because there are so many other places. I only mentioned, because I had seen that they offered the discounted lunch, which other starred restaurants do, as well, it is unfortunate when these great restaurants go down hill, I have only been there many, many years ago. I didn;t want to suggest anything too expensive, but if the budget is there, these are pretty guaranteed, Pre Catelan, La Grande Cascade, Taillevent, Faugeron, Les Toits de Passy (the pigeon en croute, unbelievable )etc.

Geez, napagirl68, so sorry about the seafood, I mean sorry you cannot enjoy, that must be hard. But do not despair, there is plenty of Coq and Boeuf to be had in the city of lights. Even a simple steak/frites at Courte Paille is very appetizing.
cheers, Dirk

Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Feb 24, 2010.

I'm taking not as well. Great info! thanks to everyone and keep it coming!

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