www.petiteparis.com.au - We are an Australian service offering a unique selection of only the BEST handpicked 120 B&Bs and apartments in Paris. Intimate and authentic experiences, living in the real homes of real local B&B professionals with years of hosting experience. We also offer ebook guides for ultimate insider experiences in Paris. Welcome to our blog!
Paris will always be perfect! But Petite is peaking beyond Paris, helping Australian travellers discover more of France' beautiful cities and regions. There is so much more french-ness to see and experience. Each month we are focusing on a new region/city!
Australian company French Moments have
an entire website dedicated to French living/culture, offering a
plethora of French regional information. An interactive map is offered
on their website, simply click on a region and find information and
related articles about it. MAP
This months 'Finding France' focus is:
Located in the South of France between Provence and the Pyrenees, stretching from the Rhone valley in the east, to the Spanish border in the south west, and comprises five departments: Gard, Hérault, Aude and Eastern Pyrenees and the fifth is upland Lozère.
Great for exploring the South of France
(Provence, Toulouse and Montpellier - Capital) and Europe with Spain and
Italy only hours away. A diverse experience of country and beach
beautiful mountains, wooded valleys, National Parks, impressive caves,
dramatic gorges, old cities, picturesque villages with narrow streets,
remarkable Roman remains, UNESCO heritage sites, fortified towns,
the famous Canal de Midi, Carssonne castle, markets, cathedrals, medieval cities, romanesque abbeys, wildlife parks, wineries
- and a coastline with miles of sandy beaches, marinas and small ports.
Referred to as the 'Real
South of France' - thanks to its largely unspoilt countryside,
traditional wine-making villages and slower, Mediterranean pace of life.
The contrast with the 'bling' of the Côte d'Azur and Provence -
Languedoc still feels very traditionally French.
Main cities in Languedoc:Montpellier, Nimes, Narbonne, Sete and Perpignan.
Getting There: TGV from Paris Gare de Lyon, or from Lille; train from many cities, motorway from Paris, Lille, Strasbourg, Lyon, Geneva. Airports at Nimes, Montpellier, Carcassonne and Perpignan. Low-cost flights from Europe.
When to go: Between March and May, everything comes to life, villages, towns, fetes start, farmers get busier and it's not too hot. June to August is peak season and sweltering. BEST: March-May or Sept!
Where to stay/Accommodation: We recommend the region around Narbonne
to Carcassonne - beaches and ports, as well as countryside, major
sights, villages, castles, canals, gorges, vineyards etc. Easy reach to
Montpellier, Beziers, Adge and Spain.
Le Petit Castel Languedoc
in the old bustling village of Olonzac, close to Narbonne and
Carcassonne, with its famous crowd drawing weekly markets where locals
from nearby regions flock to shop and socialise, Le Petit Castel is a
charming three-story house on a quiet cosy corner off Hotel de Ville
Square. Sleeps 6 with 2 bedrooms, bathroom, fully kitchen, dining/living
room, rooftop terrace, BBQ facilities, free wifi, TV/DVD.
$515AU p/week (Nov to March)
$675AU p/week (April and May)
$790AU p/week (June and September)
$905AU p/week (July and August)
$715AU p/week (October)
Back to B&B Basics #2 A first Timers Guide to Paris.
so many new 'Petite' friends and first timers heading to Paris we have
been re-capping the practicalities of Paris to help you plan, prepare
and book for a smooth arrival and overall experience.
Part 1: Navigating the Metro
Paris metro system is the easiest way to get round the city. Opened
from 5.30am to 12.30am everyday. Many of the stations are worth a visit
in their own right with beautiful tiling (Liege, Line 13), fantastic
murals (Abbesses, Line 12) or the Louvre (Line 1). Free maps are
available at any metro station. See our brief tutorial for the Paris
- Download this Metro app - it’s the only one giving the location of
all entrances and exits of all metro stations. Once in Paris you will
understand why this is so handy. Download it HERE.
Part 2: Sightseeing
typical attractions of Paris are listed everywhere online, Louvre, Arc
de Triomphe, Eiffel etc, (you can google those) and so we prefer to offer guests ‘different’ ideas
based on our discoveries over the years. There is so much to see and do
that don’t involve long lines and expensive tickets and a whole lot of
elbow, nudging and overcrowded frustration. Obscure beautiful spaces and
places where new and different sights are begging to be seen and sounds to be heard. Best of all they are FREE!
More unique places will be posted in coming weeks too!
1. Promenade Plantee: An
elevated park built on an abandoned railroad stretching 4km from
Bastille to Bois de Vincennes. It’s a beautiful landscape of trees,
flowers and plants where you will see Paris at the level of treetops,
roof tops and church spires. Follow ivy-covered arched trellises, watch
the changing panorama of architectural styles and admire decorative
mouldings and intricate balcony railings. One of Paris' best kept
Address: 290 Ave Daumesnil 75012 Paris (via staircase entry cnr Rue Lyon) Metro: Bastille 2.Marche des Enfants Rouge: The
‘Market of the Red Children’ is the oldest undercover food market in
Paris built in 1615 named after a nearby 17thC orphanage. This is a
small yet vibrant Parisian market loved by locals. Fresh prepared food
you can eat in the cafes inside, bouquets of vibrant flowers, the wide
selection of obscure wines, bounties of organic richly colored fruits
and vegetables, meat, cheeses. Try the the homemade hamburger stall
(local favourite) and Turkish delights. Address: 39 Rue de Bretagne 75003 Metro: Filles- Calvaire or Temple
· Music Recital at La Saint Chappell: Visit
one of the spectacular concert recitals for some therapeutic musical
reflections. This gothic architectural jewel on the Isl. de la Cite and
holds over 100 classical concerts March to December; daily at 7pm and
8.30pm - arrive 45 minutes prior. Address: 8 Blvd du Palais 75001 Paris Metro: Chatalet www.monuments-nationaux.fr
Authenticity on a Budget Part 3 TIPS: Pinch a few Paris Pennies
Museum Madness: 1. Free museum
entry first Sunday of each month for all major museums. Louvre; Moyen
Age; d’Orsay; Picasso; Rodin; Quai Branly, Pompidou. 2. Free in the evenings: Maison Europeanne de la Photographie (Wed) and Musee des art et Metiers (Thurs) TIP: There
is a shorter line/entry into the Louvre from the ‘Louvre-Rivoli’
underground metro. Virtually no line taking 10-20 minutes to enter not
Budget Nightlife: TIP: Pocket
sized ‘What’s On’ guides out Wednesdays (L'officiel des Spectables OR
Pariscope) sold in news kiosk for o.40euro listing FREE shows and events
as well as timetables for museums, cinemas, recitals, exhibitions.1.
Glimpse the local jazz scene every Monday night at 7 Lézards, a jazz
club in the Marais where the house band performs without a cover charge.
10 rue des Rosiers MAP 2. Open for 60 years, the Latin Quarter jazz club Caveau de la Huchette 5 rue de la Huchette, MAP, turns into a free dance floor Thurs to Sat nights.
FREE Attractions: 1. Notre Dame Cathedral:
No fee first Sunday each month (Oct to Mar) to climb the 387 step North
Tower to glimpse the flying buttresses that support this gothic
architectural structure and famous gargoyles and to view the most
spectacular view across Paris. 6 Parvis Notre Dame, Place Jean-Paul II
2. Visit the
awe-inspiring Gothic Sainte-Chapelle's 15 exquisite stained glass panels
walls and rose window. No FEE first Sunday of the month Nov to Mar.
Free recitals too. MAP 3. Criss-cross
the Seine River on nearly 40 wooden, metal, and stone bridges, from the
400-year-old Pont Neuf to the eye-shaped steel Simone-de-Beauvoir.
WALKING - best/cheapest way to see Paris1. See the city from the Promenade Plantée, an elevated railway - More details below. 2. Relish the peaceful vantage point of the Eiffel Tower from the garden at Maison de Balzac, the home of 19th-century writer Honoré de Balzac. 47 Rue Raynouard, 75016 Paris MAP
Visit the Père-Lachaise Cemetery and the graveyard's celebrity
residents, from Oscar Wilde's grave to Jim Morrison. 16 rue de Repos
75016 Paris MAP 4. Grab a free copy of the bicycling map, "Carte Vélo
à Paris," at any tourism office and bike rental agencies. Navigate the
city's maze of bike lanes and scenic routes.
Macaroons are SO last year, Eclairs are
IT! This newly opened shop sells only eclairs! 4-5€ each and smaller
than a regular eclair, but worth it for the creative flavours. Take away
only! Try: green glaze pistachio, vanilla with pecans, rose with
marshmellow, milk choc + rasberry!
This is a locals little known go-to place
for a light organic brunch. Tucked away in a corner in the 11h
arrondissement watch local hip urbanites at this cosy homey cafe. All
bio foods, healthy and homemade, menu changes daily. Vege burger,
eggplant steak, raspberry cakes. On weekends: €17 brunch, with hot
drinks, organic juice, a "sweet" plate of pancakes, a “salty” plate with
eggs, veggies, salad and tart of the day.
Meet our Marais Magnifique. A Petite Paris B&B! A guest wants to share a few words about it (and so do we)...read below:
"Gisele and Frederic's apartment was truly Parisienne and we felt as if we were truly living in Paris, much nicer and less formal than a hotel. Gisele and Frederic made us feel like part of the family from the moment we arrived (even 2hrs late) and were just so helpful in all respects. they are the most welcoming and charming hosts"
"The breakfasts were wonderful everyday, fresh croissants, baguettes and lovely bowls of fresh fruit".
"Gisele helped us find our way around the city and at the end of our visit Frederic helped us to the correct platform at Les Halles station at 6.30 am. What more could you ask for in charming hosts?"
"Gisele phoned a restaurant we wanted to visit to find out exactly how we would find it from the Metro stop. Very very kind and helpful".
"Gisele is a great housekeeper and we were very happy with the bedroom
and bathroom and for that matter the whole of her apartment. Lots of travel books, maps and always bottles of water. The bedroom
and bathroom were totally adequate and clean. The beds very
comfortable. The bedroom and bathroom were very clean and comfortable".
"We were incredibly happy with our visit to Paris and Gisele and
Frederic's B&B apartment and have recommended your website to our friends".
1.Drink hot mint
tea in the tearoom at Mosque de Paris (2 euros). and the delicious pastry and cake specialties. 39
rue St-Hilaire 75005. Or visit the tranquil Mosque itself. 2 bis place du puits
de l’Emite, 75005
steam room or a massage at the Mosque’s Hammam. Try the ‘Grommage’ - a body scrub, 30
minute massage, soft soap and a mint tea 58euro. 39 rue Geoffrey Saint-Hilaire,
Aoki, the Japanese
chocolate master incorporating flavors like ganache of matcha tea and wasabi into
his chocolate. 56 Boulevard de Port Royal 75005
4.Get tickets to
a church concert such as a piano
soloist at St Julien de Pauvre or Vivaldi at Ste Chapelle or La Madeline. Free
organ recitals at Ste. Eustache church at 5:30pm Sundays at Rue du Jour 75001.
5.Brunch or dine
at Pershing Hall Restaurant with its famous
floor to ceiling 4-storey green live wall plant. 49 Rue Pierre Charron 75008.
6.See the famous
‘Lady and the Unicorn’ tapestries
preserved and displayed in darkness, representing the 5 senses; touch, sound,
smell, sight and desire. At Museum Moyen Age.
6 Place Paul Painlevé 75005.
walking tour of Rue Montorgueil for a
gastronomic food tasting you’ll never forget. Rue Montorgueil map
8.A peaceful stroll along Canal St. Martin on Sunday when the road
is closed to cars. Start from Metro
9.Visit one of
only two organic markets in Paris, Le Marche
on Sundays from 8.30 – 2.30pm.
Blvd. Raspail between rue de Cherche Midi and rue de Rennes 75006. Métro: Rennes.