Maison Suisen in Paris | The Spa that brings you to Japan

Whether you’re based in Paris or just visiting, you’ll eventually find yourself caught up in the fast-paced lifestyle on the chic Parisian streets. After living in Paris for almost a year, I have just discovered the perfect way to escape all of this and it does not even require you to board a plane! Spa Maison Suisen will bring you to Japan.

Maison Suisen

Located in the buzzing quarter of La Marais, spa Suisen is the perfect escape from the hectic Parisian lifestyle. Sounds ironic doesn’t it, that the calmest and most relaxing spot in town is situated in the middle of the busiest part of Paris. But trust me, once you step through the door of Spa Suisen, you’re immediately transported to the faraway land of Japan. As the door closes behind you, blocking your daily stress and worries out.

Maison Suisen

Maison Suisen

All-around wellness from the moment you enter

Yes, Suisen is a place where you enjoy the most luxurious Japanese massages, but that’s not all of it. Here at Maison Suisen, both your physical and mental wellness will be taken care of by perfectly trained experts from the moment you step into the centre. To start your me-time right, the house offers you a perfectly brewed cup of Houjicha, a gentle and light toasted green tea imported directly from Japan to unwind you. As I took my first sip of the tea, my body immediately felt relaxed. Take your time and enjoy the tea as you prepare your mind and body for the treatment that follows.

Massage room Maison Suisen, Paris

Total passion for the Japanese art of shiatsu

Before being led to the second floor where the three massage rooms are, Sandra, the owner of Suisen, explained to me in detail, the concept of the centre, the different functions of each tea they offer in house, which are also available for purchase, and the differences between the four treatments they perform and have mastered the art of. As she spoke, I sense a total passion and adoration she holds for the Japanese culture which she has effectively introduced and brought over to Paris.

Each treatment places an equal focus on both the mental and physical aspects of the client.

Maison Suisen, Paris

Complete relaxation for the mind and the body

Time to change into my Japanese outfit and lay down on the tatami, a traditional Japanese mat that is placed on the floor for sleeping or massages. These, too, are flown in directly from Japan, as well as being bio and organically made. Sandra recommended the traditional Shiatsu, which does wonders for my circulation and immune system. There are other options, such as body toning, facial treatment and full body shiatsu with aromatic old to target muscle tension.The masseuse applied pressure to all the right spots, loosening all the tensions in my body. As enjoyable as the physical massage was, I particularly loved the smell of the scented serviette that covered the top half of my face, leaving everything below my nose exposed.

Each inhale smelt better than the last. It was their secret recipe of aromatic fragrances, as I was told.

Massage Maison Suisen

Further indulgence for a perfect end

The hour flew by too quickly. I woke up completely relaxed and despite all the pressured applied to my body, I felt lighter. After the masseuse said her goodbye and left the room, I lazily changed back into my outfit and headed downstairs for another cup of freshly brewed tea. This time, I had Sencha, an energy-boosting green tea with vitamin C. This has a completely different taste to the Houjicha, yet both were equally delicious. My tea came with a citron macaron. You have the option of a Matcha one too! I left Suisen feeling the most relaxed I have ever been and I cannot wait to revisit it.

My Verdict

Aside from the massage, my daily routine had remained the same. Yet, last night, I slept so much better and woke up more rejuvenated than I have been throughout the past week. If it wasn’t the massage, I do not know what it could possibly be!

Spa Suisen
7 rue de Thorigny 75003 Paris
France

Website / Instagram

Love,

Chantelle

*Chantelle is one of our guest editors from Hong Kong. Graduated with a Law degree, she is now taking a break in Paris for the year as she figures out her next step in life. Always passport ready, she is an expert at traveling light and on a budget, although she still enjoys the occasional indulgence in a luxurious holiday. Follow her on Instagram.

 

5 Music Festivals in Paris You Should Attend This Summer

I know Spring has only just arrived, but I’m sure we’re all looking forward to Summer already. Whether you’re a fan of pop music or rock and roll, if you’re planning on visiting the City of Light in the next few months, make sure you read on and check out some of the most phenomenon music festivals that will be held here in Paris, to make your next trip even more memorable!

Solidays

21 – 23 June 2019

The three-day festival is back for its 21st edition this year with close to 80 new concerts from artists such as Macklemore, Josman and Therapie Taxi, an exciting mixture of French and international performers. The coolest thing about the festival has got to be the generous donation they make to organisations combating AIDS each year from the proceeds. As with the previous years, Solidays will be held in l’Hippodrome de Longchamp and you can bag a ticket for as little as 46,50€.

Solidays festival in Paris
©Anais Fayola

The Peacock Society Festival

5 – 7 July 2019

Despite being smaller in size than the other festivals mentioned herein, this annual electronic music festival is not to be missed whether you’re a fan of this music genre or not. Unlike the others, again, The Peacock Society Festival is a night-time festival and the party doesn’t start till 8 pm at Parc Floral de Paris. But, don’t worry, you’ll get your electronic fix by the end of the night (or more accurately, the start of the next day, at 7 am). Make sure you’ve got enough energy to power through the night on the dancefloor to BICEP DJset, The Black Madonna 3H set and Toma Kami. There are still some tickets left for 39€.

The Peacock Society Festival in Paris

Afropunk

13 – 14 July 2019

For the booty shakers and rhythm lovers, for two days each year, Paris puts on a phenomenal line up of iconic and emerging musical talents, celebrating African heritage in the purest way we know how – collectively in a safe environment. The acts this year include Solange, Janelle Monae, Maleek Berry and Masego, just to name a few without giving it all away! This year, Afropunk will take place in La Seine Musicale and tickets go from 65€.

Afropunk Paris

Lollapalooza Paris

20 – 21 July 2019

This originally American music festival Lollapalooza is coming back to Paris this summer, with an impressive line-up that you wouldn’t want to miss, including Twenty Øne Piløts, Martin Garrix and Clean Bandit. The festival will take place at Hippodrome Paris Longchamp, a large racecourse inside Bois de Boulogne, over the weekend. Tickets are on sale from 79€.

Rock en Seine

23 – 25 August 2019

This is undoubtedly one of the biggest music events in Paris. This year, the festival will guarantee insane performances by Major Lazer, Jorja Smith and Aphex Twins. Rock en Seine will be spaced out over three days at Parc de Saint-Cloud, which can easily be reached by metro, tram and buses. Don’t you think this is an adult only festival! Children can also join in the fun at their own Mini Rock en Seine. Tickets are priced from 69€.

Rock en Seine festival in Paris

All five music festivals are different in their own ways, yet the one thing they all have in common is that you will be guaranteed a good time! Book your tickets and pack your festival gears! We can’t wait to hear which music festival you’re ready to rock this Summer!

Love,

Chantelle

*Chantelle is one of our guest editors from Hong Kong. She has lived in three different countries and have travelled across many continents. Graduated with a Law degree, she is now taking a break in Paris for the year as she figures out her next step in life. Always passport ready, she is an expert at traveling light and on a budget, although she still enjoys the occasional indulgence in a luxurious holiday. Follow her on Instagram.

Check our full Festival Guide for 2019!

5 Must Try Non-French restaurants in Paris

France is famous for its gastronomy, and Paris, being its capital, has no doubt has some of the best French restaurants in town. However, we understand that one might not be in the mood for cheese and wine, or even their delicious garlic escargot all day, every day. Sometimes, we just desperately crave the exotic food that we’re used to having back home or elsewhere.

We know what it’s like, so, we’ve compiled a list of top five non-French restaurants in Paris that serve anything but French food to help you satisfy those exotic cravings.

COOK’N SAJ

This family-run restaurant is like your normal family dining room, but better. The place is warm, spacious and homely, no wonder it fills up almost instantly as it opens its door at noon. The smell of fresh Lebanese and Syrian food is inviting and the whole place is filled with a delicious aroma of their homemade bread straight out of the saj, an oven responsible for all the delicious wraps, and the inspiration for the name for the restaurant.

Cook N Saj meal in Paris
Middle eastern food at its best

The owners are two passionate brothers and the main chef is their mother, which make sense since mothers are the best cooks. Here at COOK’N SAJ, everything is made to order, using the freshest and highest quality produce. Plus, with the supervision and quality control by the head chef, satisfaction is guaranteed. Also, shout out to COOK’N SAJ for using stainless steel straws! We love a good sustainable and responsible kitchen!

Cook n Saj Paris
Pretty drinks at Cook’n Saj

MIKUNA

This one is for not only Peruvian lovers, but also lovers of fine dining. Realising the majority of Peruvian food are enjoyed almost exclusively in the evening, MIKUNA is committed to making this refreshingly delicious cuisine accessible to all, serving fast but carefully crafted ceviches, alongside a variety of hot dishes, straight out of their South American kitchen both for lunch and dinner. Every bit of the place is inviting and radiates happiness, from the menu to its interior design.

COOK’N SAJ
Non-french food cravings?

The menu is refreshingly creative, as the chef adds a Latina twist to the classic French dessert, crafting the most delicious dulce de leche pudding, quinoa au lait. Thanks to MIKUNA, you can enjoy quality Peruvian dishes that one would expect only from fine dining experience without draining your wallet.

Peruvian dishes at Mikuna in Paris
Exotic cravings Peruvian style

21G-DUMPLING

Despite the overwhelming collection of Asian restaurants in Paris, not many, I’d say, is indeed authentic. 21g-Dumpling is here to serve you some proper Chinese and Taiwanese food, with a delicate French twist to it (I know, I said no French, but trust me, this is good!) Located in the 11th arrondissement, 21g-Dumpling is guaranteed to satisfy your cravings, because, who doesn’t love a good Chinese meal?

21G-DUMPLING Paris
Source: 21G Dumpling

RESTAURANT LE MOSQUEE DE PARIS

You can’t leave Paris without visiting the Grand Mosque, which is conveniently located next to the Natural History Museum and the Jardin des Plantes. Not only is it the biggest mosque in Paris, but it has also a beautifully decorated restaurant serving authentic Moroccan and Middle Eastern food. The setting is absolutely stunning and even if you don’t want to commit to a full meal, make sure you grab one of their sweet pastries at the front and get yourself a glass of their mint tea.

RESTAURANT LE MOSQUEE DE PARIS
Feel like you are in another world, only in Paris!

DOSANKO LARMEN

The street behind Palais Royale is packed full of Japanese restaurants. The selection is overwhelming but worry not, Dosanko is the only place you need to go to for the perfect bowl of ramen. A small corner restaurant, you will often find a queue outside this little place and for good reason. The portions are big and the quality superb, Dosanko is definitely one of the most authentic Ramen places in Paris.

DOSANKO LARMEN Paris restaurant

With these five exotic restaurants on your list, I’m sure navigating the non-French food scene in Paris has just gotten much easier, seeing how many options there are in the city! Let us know what you think if you end up visiting any of them!

Love,

Chantelle

*Chantelle is one of our guest editor from Hong Kong. She has lived in three different countries and have travelled across many continents. Having been in England for the past nine years and graduated with a Law degree, she is now taking a break in Paris for the year as she figures out her next step in life. Always passport ready, she is an expert at traveling light and on a budget, although she still enjoys the occasional indulgence in a luxurious holiday. You can follow her on Instagram.

5 parks in Paris that will look amazing during springtime

Walking around Paris now, you’ll find lots of beautiful cherry blossoms, filling the once empty branches and giving them a lovely pink makeover. Despite the currently cold and rainy weather still, there had been a few weeks of sun and warmth, fully convincing us that Winter has come and gone. Nonetheless, this week, it will officially be Spring and here is a list of the most beautiful parks and gardens in Paris for you to welcome it with open arms!

Jardin du Luxembourg
Located in the 6th arrondissement, Jardin du Luxembourg no doubt is the most beautiful garden in Paris. Surrounded by trees and beautiful plants, you will find the famous Fontaine Médicis, a 17th century fountain, as well as a miniature Statute of Liberty in the park. You cannot miss the beautiful Luxembourg Palace, at the northern end of the jardin. Pay a visit and learn about the interesting history surrounding this wonderful open space.


Jardin du Luxembourg

Bois de Boulogne
This is probably the largest leisure spot in Paris, stretching itself across the 16th arrondissement. Within Bois de Boulogne, you’ll find different sections, including Parc de Bagatelle, Jardin des Serres d’Auteuil (which has the most beautiful greenhouses) and Jardin d’Acclimatation. It will literally take you more than a day to enjoy the entire space, which was also formally a hunting ground for the French Kings. Nowadays, you can find a Michelin star restaurant on a tiny island in the middle of the lake, a museum, children’s playgrounds, as well as a theatre and boat and bicycle hires, just to name a few!

Jardin des Plantes
This beautiful place has 11 gardens, a zoo and several galleries. Jardin des Plantes is not your ordinary botanical garden. Having just hosted its first ever light festival last Christmas period, you can expect more amazing events to come. Whilst some of its exhibitions charge a small amount of entrance fee, the garden and its libraries are free all year round. Under 26 EU citizens can also enjoy the rest of the paying areas for free!

Parc de Buttes-Chaumont
This picturesque park is again, one of the biggest green space in Paris, sat nicely in the 19th arrondissement. Grab yourself a picnic blanket and some good walking shoes. You can find a beautiful waterfall inside the cave. Walk over a long suspended bridge to reach the top of the mountain, where you will come to a nice viewpoint overlooking the city. Although artificial, the lake is a nice area to chill and rest after those hikes.

Parc de Buttes-Chaumont
Parc de Buttes-Chaumont

Parc Monceau
This park is elegantly situated in the 8th arrondissement, with beautiful gardens, a clear pond, many sculptures and a gorgeous Renaissance archway. The park is in the heart of the more upscale neighbourhood, where you will find the Asian Art Museum, Musée Cernuschi. Top tip: walk along Allée de la Comtesse de Ségur towards the direction of Place du Général Brocard, you will see the Arc de Triomphe from there, framed nicely by the black and golden gate.

If you visit one or more of these parks, let us know! We always love seeing you visiting places on our recommendation.

Love,

Chantelle

*Chantelle is one of our guest editor from Hong Kong. She has lived in three different countries and have travelled across many continents. Having been in England for the past nine years and graduated with a Law degree, she is now taking a break in Paris for the year as she figures out her next step in life. Always passport ready, she is an expert at traveling light and on a budget, although she still enjoys the occasional indulgence in a luxurious holiday. You can follow her on Instagram.

6 x Amazing places in Paris to indulge in some self love

February is always short but sweet. Whilst not everyone may get to share Valentine’s Day with another, we all could use a bit of self-love and indulgence. As Lucile Ball famously said “Love yourself first and everything else falls into line.” These places in Paris are just the right thing.

Peonies

The first Parisian café that is also a florist. Try their signature Matcha Pink and pair it with a beautifully made pastry, whilst surrounded by fresh flowers. Fancy taking them home? You can either purchase them individually or in bouquets. They also offer bouquet workshops in their in-house atelier, a perfect way to indulge in yourself and your love for flowers. As the star of Crazy Rich Asians, Michelle Yeoh, once said, “If I want flowers, I’m going to send them to me.” Girls, head over to Peonies and gift yourselves the perfect gift! www.peonies-paris.com

Peonies Paris

Café Berry

Self-entitled wellness café, Café Berry not only offers a selection of food and beverage to relax and recharge yourself, it also has an instore beauty and nail bar. The café is located in the trendy neighbourhood of Le Marais. www.cafeberryparis.fr

Colourful lattes Cafe Berry, Paris
Couple goals at Cafe Berry

What the Flower

Located in the 11th arrondissement, What the Flower is a one of a kind hair salon that is also a plant shop. Here, you could take part in various plant-themed workshops, take home or admire a selection of house plants as well as relaxing into the barber chair where only plant based products are used. www.whattheflower.com

Hairdresser and plantshop
Jungle hair at What the Flower

Chez Simone
At Chez Simon, you can find everything you need. It is not only a gym, but also an organic restaurant and a co-working space. From daily Yoga sessions to weekly Arty Talk with experts of the chosen topics, Chez Simone is the perfect place to find your zen and recharge. www.chezsimone.fr

Chez Simone, Paris

Le Pavillon au Canaux
It is hard not to fall in love with Le Pavillon au Canaux at first sight as you enter its spacious terrace. Calmly situated next to the canal, you will find yourself feeling literally at home here. The restaurant has a unique design, with areas resembling different areas of the house. You can dine in a bathtub or sip coffee in the bedroom next door. Events, workshops and networking sessions are held in-house almost every day. www.pavillondescanaux.com

Le Pavillon au Canaux

Lost in Frenchlation

Bored of Netflix and chill and want to go to the cinema but worried about not being able to understand the language (since all films in France are dubbed)? Lost in Frenchlation seeks to bridge the gap between the language barrier. They facilitate the international community of Paris with weekly movie nights. Their events are held at different locations around Paris, the perfect way to wind down to the latest film. Meet new people and enjoy the French cinematic experience. www.lostinfrenchlation.com

Hope these tips inspire you to take time and do something nice for yourself. Let make this a habit and not just a February thing!

Love,

Chantelle

*Chantelle is one of our guest editor from Hong Kong. She has lived in three different countries and have travelled across many continents. Having been in England for the past nine years and graduated with a Law degree, she is now taking a break in Paris for the year as she figures out her next step in life. Always passport ready, she is an expert at traveling light and on a budget, although she still enjoys the occasional indulgence in a luxurious holiday. You can follow her on Instagram.

Le Potager de Charlotte opens their second Vegan restaurant!

You’ve probably heard me rave about Le Potager de Charlotte in my previous article on Top 10 Vegan Restaurants in Paris, but I am about to tell you everything you need to know about their new restaurant in the fancy 17th arrondissement.

I was so happy to be back at Le Potager de Charlotte but at a completely new location, opened only two days ago. The first restaurant in the 9th district is modest and bright, but this one is definitely the more elegant and stylish of the two.

interior Le Potager de Charlotte

Their goal is to restore the image of plant-based cuisine

Brand new Vegan menu
While preserving their most popular dishes from the first restaurant, diners can enjoy several exclusive new dishes, including a new dish for each course. I have never seen or tasted a more appealing Romane lettuce before this. The paring of the wild rice and red kuri squash cream is unparalleled, the tougher texture of the wild rice is balanced out by the smoothness of the sauce. For this season, they have created the most refreshing mango dessert, paired with cashew vanilla cream and speculos, which I’d highly recommend.

Le Potager de Charlotte food

The right produce at the right time with the right taste and price

Food and drink at Le Potager de Charlotte

Humans of the restaurant
Did you know that the owner of Le Potager de Charlotte, David Valentin, is also a chef at the restaurant? You are sure to be amazed by his magic of turning even the most common Romane lettuce into a deliciously beautiful starter. The two brothers, David and Adrien, are also super attentive, making sure that their customers are having the best dining experience. To take the pressure of having to choose from all the amazing food on the menu, feel free to ask them or any of the waiters for recommendations. In my experience, they’ve been pretty spot on.

vegan dessert

Décor and sustainability
This brand-new restaurant is the definition of interior design goals. Since it is a vegan gourmet restaurant, it is only appropriate to have the entire place covered in green – wall, seats and cushions; and the rest, with minimalistic wooden details. The entire place is transformed into an oasis, completing the whole dining experience. Finally, I want to applause the restaurant for serving their delicious cocktails with glass straws, committing to their ethos of promoting sustainable lifestyle.

interior

At Le Potager de Charlotte, the menu is changed and updated every three months, depending on what is in season. We have always received the warmest welcome visiting the restaurant, so be sure to drop by regularly for their newest and most exciting creations!

Le Potager de Charlotte
12 rue de la Tour d’Auvergne
21 rue Rennequin 75017
Website /Instagram

Love,

Chantelle

 

Top 10 Vegan Restaurants and Cafes in Paris

Happy new year! The post-holiday season is a perfect time to detox and perhaps take part in the annual Veganuary – encouraging people to go vegan for the first month of the year for the benefits of our health, the environment and animal rights. For some, this may not be easy, especially in a city like Paris, where meat and dairy play such significant roles in the diet! Fear not, we’ve sourced out the best vegan restaurants and cafes in Paris for you, without compromising the variety and flavours!

Breakfast
When the buttery croissants and creamy yoghurt bowls basically rule the Parisian breakfast menu, you’d think you wouldn’t even get through your first meal of the day. Don’t worry, BOL offers a selection of healthy porridges, including several vegan options, to start you off warmed up and energized. Still craving that classic Parisian pastry? VG Patisserie has you covered, from just €3,20 you can indulge in a traditional pastry and coffee combo.

BOL Porridge Bar

Whether you want to snack or go all out on a big meal, these vegan restaurants and cafes in Paris have it!

Lunch & Dinner
Who says a vegan diet is restrictive and dull? Grab a veggie-dog to go from HOTVOG. You would not have guessed it’s meatless! Burger Theory Vegan Fast-Food and Hank Burger and Hank Pizza also make vegan-friendly fast food.

Vegan burger at Hank Burger
Vegan burgers at Burger Theory (source)

If you want a sit-down meal with a nice ambience, definitely visit my favourite restaurant in Paris, Le Potager de Charlotte. This vegan gourmet restaurant is opened and run by two attentive and passionate brothers, with a mission to showcase how wonderful vegan cuisine actually is. They source out the freshest local ingredients for all their dishes, combining only the best flavours around the world to create a unique experience for the palette. 

Vegan Salad
Salad at Le Potager de Charlotte

Be sure to order the sweet potato purée – hands down the most delicious dish of all time

Even the juices are made with home-grown apples! The atmosphere of the restaurant is by far the nicest I’ve ever been to and the food itself is unreal! Be sure to order the sweet potato purée – hands down the most delicious dish of all time – and the “hard-boiled egg style” avocado, which tastes exactly like eggs! Also, leave enough stomach space for their refreshing and indulgent desserts! I cannot praise this restaurant enough, and lucky for us, they’re about to open their second restaurant in Paris (30/1), which will have an almost entirely new menu, so make sure you go check it out!

vegan dessert
Vegan dessert at Le Potager de Charlotte

Cafes & Desserts
You can find an entire menu of veggie goodness in Café Pinson. If you visit them for lunch during the week, ask for their Dish of the Day! Got a sweet tooth? Les Petites Patisseries has a huge selection of cakes and tarts, all raw and vegan; all rich in colour and flavour! Vegan Folie’s specialises in vegan cupcakes and gluten-free cheesecakes. La REcyclerie is more than just a café. It aims to raise public awareness of eco-responsible values by hosting a range of events, from workshops to disco almost every day of the year. Not only do they serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, they also have an extensive drink menu and late-night snacks to go with it. The atmosphere there is electric and certainly belongs to the list of top vegan restaurants and cafes in Paris!

les petites patisseries
Vegan sweetness at Les Petites Patisseries. Photo by Violaine Bergoin

Hope this list inspires you to eat more healthily and more consciously, even just for a month! Let us know if you have visited any of these vegan restaurants and cafes before and what you think about them.

Love,

Chantelle

*Chantelle is one of our guest editor from Hong Kong. She has lived in three different countries and have travelled across many continents. Having been in England for the past nine years and graduated with a Law degree, she is now taking a break in Paris for the year as she figures out her next step in life. Always passport ready, she is an expert at traveling light and on a budget, although she still enjoys the occasional indulgence in a luxurious holiday. You can follow her on Instagram.

New Hotel in Paris! Courtyard Paris Gare de Lyon

It’s time for a baby shower because the Marriot Hotel family is welcoming a new member. Her name is Courtyard Paris Gare de Lyon; a hotel created by business travelers, for business travelers. Consisting of 19 floors, 249 guestrooms and a 360° hypnotizing view. With her passionate personality, modern style and bubbly attitude she’s not only a valued addition to the Marriott chain but also to the city of l’amour & la moda; Paris

Courtyard meets Gare de Lyon
No more green, grey and white: courtyard is completely restyled. The design of the hotel is spacious and professional. No frills or overly decorated rooms. What I personally appreciate is that they manage to give the hotel a creative twist, but still very functional, by using a lots of yellow. By using Mondrian like lines as a symbol for train tracks throughout the building, the hotel integrates the surrounding, where the famous station Gare de Lyon is based. Not only the interior of the hotel is brand new. This old office building is completely renewed to match the restyling. Also on the outside you can find train track inspired details, like the lighted lines which form a rail design over the length of the building.

It’s not only the beautiful Courtyard Paris Gare de Lyon which will rejoice you looking out of the window. The hotel offers 46 rooms with Eiffel Tower view and 51 rooms where you can see the Sacré Coeur.

Courtyard Paris Gare de Lyon

Everything that you need and nothing more
By leaving out unnecessary luxury but only providing the standard necessities for a comfortable night sleep, Courtyard manage to offer quality for a lower price point. Simple and smart perfectly describes the room. The rooms have a modern design; clean and cozy at the same time which, for me, is the perfect combination. Because the strong focus on business travelers the rooms are also very suitable for catching up a few hours of work in between meetings (what I also should have done but the bed was too cozy so I took a power nap instead).

Lobby
The lobby of Courtyard Paris Gare de Lyon

In my opinion the room only had 2 downsides.
● They don’t offer room service, which is not possible for the current price point but still something you should take into account.
● The bathroom is really small. Very nicely designed, but small. This could also just be my room. And, alright, I’m 1,80m so it’s pretty easy to find something small but it took away some of the comfort 😉

Hotel view

International Food with a twist Francaise.
The menu is a combination of authentic, seasonal local specialties mixed with international dishes. The whole hotel staff is very passionate about the qualities of the kitchen which was a great thing to see. They don’t just focus on providing the guests with a meal, they aim to provide an experience. The chefs work with a lot of local produce, offer vegetarian options and even grow their own herbs on the roof. This is not only beneficial for the seasoning but also a far more sustainable way to cook which I strongly promote. Craving some good-old comfort food? No worries, you can still find the hamburg & fries on the menu.


Tip: had un croissant or plateau de fromages too many? The gym in the hotel is open 24-hours.

Re-discovering Paris
Courtyard Paris Gare de Lyon is not directly in the touristic centre of Paris but just wait with ordering your Uber right away. This area, the geographic centre of Paris, is an upcoming neighbourhood and currently attracting many millennials. Big-hitting must-see sights such a Bastille and Notre Dame de Paris are within walking distance. In addition, the area is also a transport hub so if you do want to visit the other side of the city there are many travel possibilities.

Paris
Colourful Rue Cremieux

Tip: Enjoy Paris from the water during a cruise or increase your instagram likes by taking a photo of the colorful photography hotspot Rue Cremieux.
Tip: Still got some energy left at the end of the day and want to jump into the nightlife? Wandering up towards Bastille you’ll find many bars but if you’re up for a new experiences, try LeCallbar. You’ll get your favorite drink served by a staff member only in underwear. Don’t ask me why.

Courtyard Paris Gare de Lyon

The most important question after visiting an hotel is: would I visit the Courtyard again? For me, it is a definite yes. The main reasons are the comfort of the rooms and functional but creative design of the hotel. It’s the perfect place for a business trip or even sightseeing weekend.
And let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to wake up standing eye to eye with the Eiffel Tower?

Courtyard Paris Gare de Lyon
209-211 Rue de Bercy, Paris
Website

Love,

Eva

*Eva is one of our guest bloggers from Amsterdam. She’s a city girl who only leaves her heels at home when wearing a backpack. Living by the urge to be where she’s not, to explore, experience, fall and get up. You can follow her on Instagram.

Marxito is Paris’s latest Hotspot (and it’s pink!)

Do you ever want to have street food but fear the quality of the vendors? Also, does the term ‘fast food’ makes you immediately think of oily, fat and bad quality food? Worry not, chef Thierry Marx is about to alter your perception and make fast food great again! Say hello to Marxito by Thierry Marx.

Refreshing concept
With a growing emphasis on healthy eating, many restaurants have come up with organic and vegan menus to attract the increasingly health conscious consumers. Author of seven cookbooks and chef at many luxury hotels, Thierry Marx is one of the most prolific and innovative figures in the culinary world. Along with the renowned interior designer Ora Ito, the pair created a charming little place in the heart of Champs-Elysées (perfect for refuelling after a shopping spree). Marxito is not only an experience for your mouth but also for your eyes.

Marxito

Do not underestimate its size! They fill you up quicker than you’d think

Simplistic all-day menu
The menu is simple and with only four different savoury ‘Marxitos’ – including meat, fish and veggie options, a favour to those who have a hard time deciding what to eat (me!) The ‘Marxitos’ are the chef’s attempt in putting a Japanese twist to the classic French crêpe, turning it into a healthier and tastier ‘fast food burger’. Do not underestimate its size! They fill you up quicker than you’d think.

Marxito Paris

Marxito ice-cream

The restaurant also does breakfast ‘Marxitos’ with egg and cheese or with jam, for the those with a sweet tooth. All ingredients are sourced organically and naturally! You can witness the whole process at the see-through counter. Even the ice creams are made to order, ensuring everything is fresh and of the highest quality. Each savoury Marxitos cost only €10 to €13. I recommend trying the Pastrami one! It has the most flavour and is the most filling. For lunch, you can make it a menu with a drink and a dessert for only a few extra euros! Probably the healthiest and most affordable lunch you could find in this area.

Petit Dej Marxito

Instagrammable design
Here in Marxito, pink is not restricted to Wednesdays. As you go in, you will be overwhelmed with an explosion of pink, from the counter to the tables. The design is minimalist yet beautiful, slightly resembling the famous restaurant Sketch from London, but less over the top and more welcoming. The fast food restaurant is usually quiet, perfect for those who wish to enjoy their meal and work simultaneously but do expect a long queue of people during lunch hours, as they hurry in for a quick sit down meal or a takeaway.

Chantelle at Marxito
Trying the ice-cream at Marxito

Delightful staff
A culinary experience would not be complete without good service. The staff were friendly and helpful, plus their recommendations are spot on!

Located just at the roundabout of Champs-Elysées, Marxito is the new spot in town for you to grab breakfast, lunch or just a quick snack during the week. They also have an extensive (non-alcoholic) drinks menu.

Marxito
1bis Rue Jean Mermoz, 75008 Paris, France
Website / Instagram

Love,

Chantelle

*Chantelle is one of our guest editor from Hong Kong. She has lived in three different countries and have travelled across many continents. Having been in England for the past nine years and graduated with a Law degree, she is now taking a break in Paris for the year as she figures out her next step in life. Always passport ready, she is an expert at traveling light and on a budget, although she still enjoys the occasional indulgence in a luxurious holiday. You can follow her on Instagram.

 

 

Why the Paris region is this year’s Winter Destination

Ah Paris, beautiful, romantic Paris. We all know the Eiffel Tower, the Champs-Elysées and the Notre Dame. But Paris is more than the usual highlights and this winter, you can enjoy festivals, many exhibitions, shopping sprees and unique hotspots to celebrate the winter in style.

Winter Wonderland
There are a few places in the world where the Christmas season is that little bit extra special. Paris and it’s region is one of those. The light, the ambiance and the special events during the winter period. Let’s start with the three main Christmas Markets this year.

  • Grande Arche in business district la Défense with 250 wooden chalets! It’s there until the 28th of December.
  • Notre-Dame, for local crafts, fashion and accessoires designs. It’s on from the 15th until the 24th of December.
  • Champs de Mars From the 21st of December until January 8th you can stroll over this Christmas market at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. It has gourmet food, gift ideas and crafts.

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Celebrate New Years Eve watching the fireworks at the Eiffel Tower

Ice-skating on top of the Observatoire Panoramique, how cool!

The Sky is the Limit
If you like to see Paris from a different point of view this winter, you have a few options. Take a ride on the largest ferris wheel in Paris on Place de la Concorde, at 70 meter high you have an amazing view over the city and Champs-Élysées. Another must do, is ice-skating on top of the Observatoire Panoramique on the Tour Montparnasse. How cool! The ice-skating ring is 210 meters high above the city and open from the 14th of Feb until the 6th of March. The nearest metro station is Gare Montparnasse and Ice-skates are available to rent on the spot.

Paris Christmas Destination

Shop till you drop
Sorry but not sorry. If you are in Paris, you need to go shopping! Even if it’s just for walking passed the shopping windows. For the best Christmas themed windows, you need to go to Boulevard Haussmann where you can find the best warehouses. Shopping centre Galeries Lafayette always has something special going on and transforms in a fair with a huge Christmas tree in the middle. This years theme is Carnival so we can only imagine what that’s going to be like! Are you more for the boutique shops? Then you should go to the Montmartre & South of Pigalle district. Marais is great for small shops and may even look a bit medieval at times. 

Musée des Arts Forains
Musée des Arts Forains © Sébastien Siraudeau

Parisian Tasty Hotspots
Chocolate, breakfast, macarons and other Parisian indulgences are all to be found in Paris. During the winter time you want to eat comfort food and drink the best hot chocolates. These are the hotspots where all of this is possible!

  • Brasserie Lipp is one of the oldest Parisian brasseries and offers a typical French menu from Escargots to céleri rémoulade. 
  • Paperboy Paris for the best bread rolls and sandwiches! They are located in the Le Marais area and is a favorite breakfast spot, also for the locals!
  • Jaja is the perfect place for a meal away from the crowd. Go here for comfort food Parisian style and enjoy the pretty courtyard. 
  • Wynwood is the perfect brunch spot with everything organic and a cute interior. Tip: Try the taco’s from the special menu!
  • Miss Kale Paris, if you love healthy food, this spot is for you! Vegan bowls, Poke bowls, Asian style bowls and of course bowls with kale!
  • Braun Notes Coffee is for coffee lovers who like to drink them pretty. They create the best coffee designs and also offer a great brunch menu that includes fruit in a coconut! 

wynwood-paris
Wynwood Source: Wynwood

Exhibitions
It might not be on top of mind when visiting Paris region but there are many exhibitions and places worth visiting this winter. Never been to the amazing Château Versailles? Now is your chance and see Voyage en Hiver, a unique contemporary art exhibition through the groves of the castle. Or check Museum Marmottan-Monet where you can see the famous paintings of French artist Monet with your own eyes (remember the painting from Titanic?) and find out what he held in his private collection.

Voyage en hiver, Paris
Château Versailles during winter. Source: Versailles © EPV/Thomas Garnier/Skydrone

Reasons enough to head over to Paris and it’s surroundings this winter, to enjoy the lights and festive season when you still can!

Love,

Wander-Lust

This article was written in collaboration with the France Tourism Development Agency and Paris Region
*Header photo by @MaureenPowel