Nov 6, 2003 2:01 PM
|I'll be in Paris in a few weeks for about three days. Are there any bed and breakfasts or hostals you could recommend? I'm traveling with my girlfriend and we don't want to spend too much money on lodging, and would prefer spending it on good food, thus a recommendation for a restaurant would also help. We prefer places locals visit as opposed to a toursity place. And of course, a BIKE SHOP.
PS - Any recommendations for London and Amsterdam?
|I don't get out much||TJeanloz|
Nov 6, 2003 2:39 PM
|I'm afraid I can't be of a lot of help with the ins and outs of Paris. I spend as little time there as possible; I usually try to stay in Nice and telecommute when I have to be in Europe. The bottom line is that most of the time I'm in Paris, I'm in a windowless conference room with no hope of escape. I can give you a pretty good run down of the 5 star hotels and restaurants, but my hostal knowledge leaves much to be desired. I can also give you a pretty good run down of American-style pizza, shwarma, and other hang-over cure type restaurants, and not much in between. I have yet to find a bike shop that is on par with any decent US shop.
It's odd, but spending a lot of time somewhere on business is pretty effective at keeping you from enjoying the place.
Nov 6, 2003 3:32 PM
|I know what you mean about traveling on business. I'll pass on the pizza but the 5 star restaurants, please tell me. We both are big on eating, so what better place than Paris.
Nov 7, 2003 7:44 AM
|If money is no object, and you still have some time to book a table, Restaurant Plaza Athenee is the top of the food world. It's a Michelin 3-star, and is widely considered one of the world's top restaurants. But it's master of ceremony is Alain Ducasse, so it definitely ain't cheap.
Taillevent is a personal favorite. Not as uppity as some of the "top" restaurants - more comfortable, the food is every bit as good, and a tiny bit cheaper. It can be hard to get a table though.
L'Ambroisie is pretty snooty, but the food is worth it. As expensive as Plaza Athenee. I've only been here once, because it's one of the most difficult tables to get, and not any better than restaurants that are easier to get into.
The other usual suspects, L'Arpege, L'Cinq, Pierre Gagnaire, are all superb. You really can't go wrong with any of them. But value wise, I wouldn't say any of them were extraordinary.
The second tier of restaurants, Gerard Besson, Jules Verne, Spoon (Alain Ducasse on a budget), L'Astrance, et. al. are cheaper, easier to get in to, and have food that is 99.99% as good. L'Astrance is probably the best of them - and it's tiny, so it's almost impossible to get a table without good notice.
|Table at L'Astrance||mexican-JUMPING-frijoles|
Nov 7, 2003 8:30 AM
|How would I go about booking a table at L'Astrance? is there a website?
Can't wait 'till I get to Europe!
|Table at L'Astrance||TJeanloz|
Nov 7, 2003 8:35 AM
|I'll have my asst. dig up their phone number. It will be a difficult reservation to get this time of year though.|
Nov 7, 2003 8:41 AM
|+33 1 40 50 84 40
Dinner they're mostly booking more than a month out, but you might get lucky. Lunch is a little bit easier - and would be well worth it if you can get it.
Nov 7, 2003 9:15 AM
|is 33 then 1 what I would dial directly from the US or are phone numbers in France 11 digits long? Also, do they speak a little English or Spanish?
I hope I'm not being a hassle.
|No problem at all||TJeanloz|
Nov 7, 2003 9:31 AM
|From the US, you would dial 011 33 1 40 50 84 40.
They speak English, but might throw you some attitude for not speaking French. One tactic I'm told helps to avoid this is to tell them you're making a reservation for your boss. They are a bit more sympathetic in dealing with people who are doing their jobs (assistants) than they are with American tourists.
Nov 7, 2003 9:44 AM
|Much thanks TJeanloz. I will call tomorrow morning to make a reservation. I've heard that if you try to speak Spanish first and then English, they are also more sympathetic (after all I am Mexican). I'll let you know how things work out when I return in early December.
I appreciate all of your help!
|Consider IBIS||Kerry Irons|
Nov 6, 2003 4:22 PM
|When I travel to big Euro cities, I've had good luck with IBIS hotels. Certainly nothing fancy, but reasonable prices, no paper thin walls, TV, private bath and good locations. For example, I know there's one in La Defence (just over the river to the west) in Paris, right on the Metro line. I know it's not a B&B or Hostel, but you might check it out. Might be 80-90 euro per night.|
|I stayed recently at the Ibis Versailles...||Lon Norder|
Nov 6, 2003 4:50 PM
|It was 69 Euro. It's right across the street from the subway, and you can get to downtown Paris in half an hour. Ibis and Motel 6 are owned by the same company. Clean and simple rooms.|
Nov 7, 2003 9:23 AM
|I can't help much with Hostels except that my friends were staying at one in Paris and it was such a dump I let them come stay in my room. If you post names I'd know it something like the flying pig or some sort of animal with the name flying in it.
The one cool things was that they had some tasty Newcastle for me to sip while I waited.
As for chain hotels Ibis or Novotel are good choices. My friend stays at a place named the Hotel Picard in Paris swears its nice and cheap--i've never seen it though.
As for bike shops try Cycles Laurant (maybe spelled laurent) it's a family owned place that is pretty cool to visit. Its on Avenue Votaire a few blocks from the Place de la Republique (sp?). Nearest metro stop is Republique or Oberkampf. The place won't blow you away but I did buy a cool shop team kit like every other American in the place.
Nov 7, 2003 9:30 AM
|It's not really the season for Ice Cream but if you like it try out my favorite--the Miko Magnum Ice Cream bar. Don't try and decipher the milkfat % 'cause its sky high.
They make a few flavors and some called Double Magnums(doo-blay I think). I warn you to start small and work up to a double. They sell them everywhere so finding won't be a problem. Don't settle for imposters like Nestle--MIKO is the one and only!
Nov 7, 2003 9:52 AM
|Funny.. the only times I crave ice cream is when it's cold. I will definitely try it. I will also visit the bike shop if the GF allows me to do so.
Thanks. Do you live in Paris?
Nov 7, 2003 11:02 AM
|I live in Austin, Texas but made the Tour the last four years. When I was a teen watching CBS in 85-86 with the only other 14 year old geek in town the rode bikes I got hooked on Le Tour.
I got really lucky the first year (2000) with a free invite. Paid my way the second and got a job guiding for numbers 3 and 4.
As for the Miko's I can proudly say I've hooked many a cyclist on them while guiding. The double has a double coating over the ice cream--my favorite is hard Chocolate outer layer, creamy caramel inner layer and vanilla ice cream. There are lots of variations but the labeling is pretty straight-forward.