Celebrate New Year Eve 2015 in Paris

Paris is one of the Top New Year’s tourist destination across de globe. While we may be close   to the end of the year, the party is just heating up in the city as the Moulin Rouge, Eiffel Tower, Trocadero and Sacré Coeur,  prepare to say “Bonne Année”.

Most Parisians celebrate behind closed doors with private dinner parties. It is typical for the French to receive the New Year Eve with an elaborate multi-course meal. Restaurants nurse this tradition by offering their own New Year Eve set menu.

Experience a wonderful New Year’s in Paris. We recommend the Bivouac Café, a  cozy and delicious restaurant part of the Hotel Napoléon . It has an excellent location near to the Arc de Triomphe, offering  traditional French cooking during the year, with a regular a la carte menu for each season of the year. For this occasion, the Chef Olivier Legentil offers a special New Year menu. Please find the information directly in  the Hotel Napoleon Website.

After New Year´s  dinner we recommend  you  to have a walk around the main tourist attractions, there is no better place to celebrate the New Year at the famous Eiffel Tower, the Champs Élysées avenue or the Sacré Coeur Plaza in awesome Montmartre.

The Team of the Hotel Napoleon wish you a Happy New Year in Paris!

Pictures from Pinterest.

Montmartre, New Year

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The perfect spots for Picnic in Paris

Paris is awesome for all the beautiful views in any corner of the city. Wherever you like, in the grass with a perfect view to an historical monument or the Seine River, here we share with you our selection of the 10 best places for a special moment to share with friends:

1 – “Parc des Buttes Chaumont

Situated in the northeast, this is one of the biggest green spaces in Paris. The layout gives it a particular charm: caves de and waterfalls, a suspended bridge and a high viewpoint. There is an entertainment area for children and there are break areas where you can get something to eat.

2 – The “Jardin de Plantes

Right in the center of Paris, this garden is the main botanical garden in France where you will see plants from all over the world and from different climates. You can also visit the gardens, greenhouses, menagerie, play area, refreshment areas and the exhibits area.

The jardin des plantes is also a typical Parisian resting place, two steps away from the Great Mosque of Paris and neighborhoods like the Marais or the île Saint-Louis.

3 – The “Jardin de Luxembourg

Marie de Medicis created the fabulous Luxembourg Gardens in 1612. Twenty five hectares are the oasis on Paris. Crowded on sunny days, they are the most romantic gardens in the left bank of Paris. Statues, fountains and flowers, the park have many attractions for children.

4 – The “Canal Saint Martin

Very easy to access, it is situated in the 10th arrondissement. Parisians usually enjoy summer picnicking on this four kilometers-long canal that runs north from the Seine at Bastille Plaza and is lined with de avant-garde galleries and old warehouses converted into lofts.

5 – The “Sacré cœur

Above all, Montmartre, an area on a hill in the 18th arrondissement, the Sacré-Coeur is one of the most iconic monuments in Paris; the view from its parvis is one of those perfect Paris postcards. More than just a basilica, Sacré-Cœur is a veritable experience, from the musicians performing on the steps and the groups of friends picnicking on the hillside park.

6 – The “Pont des Arts

Picnicking on the wooden slats of this pedestrian bridge is thought by some to be the ultimate Parisian picnic experience. It’s a particularly popular spot for twenty-something and as you eat, you’ll inevitably be entertained someone strumming on a guitar, blowing a sax, painting a picture of the incomparable view. Go at sunset for an especially magical experience.

7 – The “Champ de Mars

Eating French cheese and bread while staring up at the Eiffel Tower is the dream of many visitors to Paris. Happily, this is one fantasy that is easy to fulfill as you can almost always find a place to spread out a blanket on the Champ de Mars, the nearly half-mile of lawn stretching before the famous tower.

8 – The “Esplanade des Invalides

This place offers a wide view from the north of Hôtel des Invalides and across the Seine River. It is one of the more open spaces in Paris. The large lawns are frequently used for picnics and for sunning. On weekends, neighborhood soccer game are common events. This is the meeting point of many skaters and also where the Pétanque or boules players meet for their game.

9 – The “Jardin de Tuileries

These gardens are among the loveliest and most famous in Paris, but is forbidden to sit on the grass. However, you can have a picnic at these legendary spots: just pull up a couple of the green metallic chairs that are liberally placed through the gardens, and eat wherever you like.

10 – The “Ile St. Louis

The banks of the Seine at the Ile St. Louis are a traditional spot for a Parisian picnic. It’s a lovely place to raise a glass of champagne to the passing Bateau-Mouche, while enjoying close-up views of the Hôtel de Ville (town hall) and Notre-Dame Cathedral.

Photos from lebonbon.com, nytimes.com & pinterest

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5 Tips for the best Birthday Party for children in France.

At a Birthday or  anniversary, children eagerly await the opportunity to receive their friends. The invitation card is essential; the child should give  it to his friends minimum 15 days before the event. You can buy lovely cards or the child can draw its own card and make something very creative; be sure you don’t forget to mention specific details such as the time and the address, you can also remark the dress code.

The most frequent day is to choose the afternoon of Wednesday or Saturday. Decorate the place where the party will take place , have the birthday boy or girl prepare with you  the snack table, cloths and napkins, paper plates and paper cups matching the tablecloth. Fill some cups with varied and colorful candy-  ask your child to choose the ones he likes: he knows better than you!

The Menu

A big homemade cake; each family has its own traditional recipe birthday cake; sweet and salty popcorn, sandwiches or bread rolls filled with ham are the children´s preference.

The service

If the children are very young it is recommended to sit the children around the table. Turn off the lights and bring the cake adorned with candles.

How long?

For toddlers the celebration doesn’t have to be too long; two hours is a maximum for the kinder garden children for they are quickly tired. For older children; 3 hours is enough time to play and eat the birthday cake.

The Animation

You can hire the services of a facilitator. If you organize the games by yourself, plan them in advance and make calm activities.

When parents come for their children, offer a drink or a piece of cake. Do not forget to take pictures of table decorated with children and the cake.

Ask all guests to sign a birthday card that your child will keep as a treasure.

Pictures from: Pinterest, theprettyblog.com,terrondeazucar.com and mommas.es

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Celebrating All Saints’ Day in France

All Saints is “La Toussaint” in France. All Saints is an opportunity to strengthen the family on a beautiful day spent together or the expression of a bereavement support. In France, it is also a popular period for a short autumn vacations; school children have two-week holiday around this time.

All Saints’ Day is an opportunity for many French people to spend time with family members and close friends. They can also participate in special masses organized for the occasion and visit cemeteries and place flowers on the graves of deceased family members and close friends. It is customary to leave chrysanthemums or wreaths of artificial flowers close to the graves.

The Chrysanthemum, this beautiful perennial Golden Flower, (its original color) the only flower that resists frost and blooms late October early November. In the Language of Flowers the chrysanthemum is the symbol of Peace and Resurrection. The tradition of putting chrysanthemums on the graves is deeply ingrained in the catholic culture, this act symbolizes the Resurrection of the Dead.

Père-Lachaise, is the most famous cemetery in France. Located in Paris, is well worth a visit during La Toussaint, or at other times. Established by Napoleon I in 1804 and located in Paris’ 20th arrondissement, the Père-Lachaise is one of the most visited cemeteries in the world, and the final resting place of many famous people, including the Polish composer, Frederic Chopin; Jim Morrison,Oscar Wilde.

This day is generally very quiet; Post offices, banks, stores and other businesses are closed. Outside of tourist areas, restaurants and cafes may also be closed for one or more days. However, some stores in Paris, as well as at airports and railway stations and along major highways, are open.

Pictures from Pinterest + L’internaute.com

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French Haute Couture

There is a name in « The Haute Couture” history that should not be omitted is that of Charles Frederick Worth. Indeed, this man came to Paris in 1845 and is the founder of Haute Couture.

In 1858, he opened his Couture house at 7 rue de la Paix where the elegant women from Paris came to dress; he attracted customer as the wife of the Australian ambassador and the Princess Metternich, who introduced him to the Empress Eugenie Bonaparte. She admiring his work and that is what allows him to become famous. Worth was also a good friends with the Empress Sissi, which encouraged its social progress.

He had a great sense of business, which allowed to transform the Culture in a luxury industry. Work around a dress was very important; it allowed him to sell his designs at very high prices.

Its original and innovative glow makes his designs as a works of art and display them in salons. Finally, he began to present a new collection once a year on real models parading, thus introducing a constant promotion of his sales. In fact, before Worth, the cloths were displayed on iron mannequins and customers walked around like a sculpture exhibition. He is the first one to work with models. But he didn’t call them models at the time; he called them “doubles”.

“French Haute Couture” entered formally triumphantly at the Universal Exhibition of 1900 in Paris.

Wishing distinguish the originality of its luxurious couture fashion, Worth protects the concept of Haute Couture in 1868 and founded an association of fashion houses to regulate and protect the creations of Parisian couturiers. Later, his son Gaston transforms the fashion house into “Chambre Syndicale of Parisien Couture” which nowadays still controls the Contemporary Haute Couture.

Chamber requires some rules particularly strict, everyone cannot use the label Haute Couture which is a legally protected appellation. Among this rules, there is an obligation to present two collections a year, 50 new and original street-wear and evening wear creations by collection, a team of minimum 20 full-time employees in the workshop home.

Yves Saint-Laurent, Chanel, Dior, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Givenchy, Lanvin, Hermès…the prestigious names in fashion display their elegant and refined showcases in Montaigne avenue, Champs Elysées avenue, Rue Saint Honoré, in Paris department store on Boulevard Haussmann, in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés…

Twice a year, the capital is in sync with “Fashion weeks“; much to the delight of people who loves to be in style and who eagerly await the new designs of these famous fashion houses.

Emblem of French luxury, Haute Couture is a Parisian icon.

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Picture from Pinterest flipzoe.fr, indulgy.com and bcr8tive.com.

The good practices in the Restaurant

Nowadays, the restaurant is a perfect place to close business.  Dinner in the restaurant became a nice place to dinner with friends in the pleasant atmosphere. In many countries, the invitation to a restaurant means a great mark of consideration. So, refuse such an invitation would be a major insult.

The one who invites must come first to the restaurant; ten minutes earlier are perfect to greet your guests which are on time. Keep in mind that the bench or the most comfortable seats are reserved for women or the most important guests.

A la carte or a Menu?

The one who invites discreetly indicates the choice to follow. If he plans “à la carte”, the host with the help of the waiter will suggest certain dishes that match the quality and budget he has planned. The choice time, remain within limits of reasonable time.

The host is on charge to tell “bon appétit”!. During the meal you must maintain a pleasant conversation avoiding political and religious subjects. It will also be careful not to ask questions too personal.

Keep in mind a few rules for using the cutlery. Let the napkin on your lap, folded in half. When you leave, it is advised to leave the napkin on the chair.

The restaurant bill must be paid as discreet as possible. Leave your credit card to the waiter at your arrival. If you are a regular client, take the habit to ask to the restaurant to send the invoice to your office. The most common method of payment is to slip away after coffee under the pretext to wash your hands and make a detour to the front desk where you will pay the bill. If the waiter bring the addition, it has to be folded and you should to verify it by a brief glance. It is advised to pay by a credit card instead of handle the money in front of your guests.

Share the restaurant bill respond to different uses in different countries: in Western countries, the bill is shared easily, including women; In Greece and Turkey, guests and foreign never pay. In Brazil, eldest or the foreign has to pay de bill. The business lunch is paid by the company.

As a general rule, you never have to leave the table before the end of the dessert. As a working meeting the telephone has to be switched off during the business lunch. If the call is urgent, consider to get up and leave the table to talk.

restaurant-affaire-300x173Photo from Pinterest

White wine

Sweet or sparkling wine … White wine is often seen as a feminine wine, particularly popular with the ladies. But it is also a wine of character, whose wealth is undeniable.

To choose a white wine, one should be interested in the area of production and type of grape wine, which give the wine its characteristics, and the dishes to accompany the white wine.

One of the first reflexes in terms of matching food – white wine is combined with fish and shell fish. It is true that this is an effective alliance which brings out the flavors of the dishes. A dry white wine is favored with raw seafood; a dry wine a little more full-bodied goes well with cooked seafood. Fish in sauce perfectly match with semi-dry white wine or sweet white wine.

White wine is also used during cocktail hour; your guests will enjoy a dry white wine, like Sauvignon or a sweet wine like Coteaux du Layon or Muscat. We can also make a cocktail with a white wine from a simple kir to sophisticated marquisette or tsarine.

If you want to keep a certain etiquette of rules of wine service; avoid white wine with strong flavors which may lull the taste buds for the rest of the meal.

Temperature of the white wine.

Dry white wine, expressive, sour, like the Gros Plant, Sancerre, or Muscat, or from the Sauvignon grape variety (white wines of northern regions, in short), support a relatively cool temperature, between 9 and 11 degrees.
You can place the wine in the refrigerator 1 hour before you serve, in order to have it at 8 degrees. Rise it in temperature slowly in case you propose to have it as an appetizer.

Bold and opulent wines such the ones from Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and Roussanne, one recommends to serve it between 11° and 14 ° degrees.

There are many varieties of vines and grapes that make up the production of white wine in France. Each of the major growing regions are characterized by the use of different varieties:

Alsace region produces excellent white wines, the grapes used are only found in that region and nowhere else in France ( These are the types of wines made: Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Sylvaner).

Loire Valley: about 75% of the Loire production is made of white wine from Chenin Blanc grapes, Sauvignon, Melon de Bourgogne.

Languedoc-Roussillon: one makes sweet and sparkling white wines from the white grapes in the region, Clairette, Roussanne, Marsanne, Ugni Blanc, Bourboulenc.

Côtes du Rhône region produces a variety of white wine grapes, Clairette, Grenache Blanc, Ugni Blanc.

Burgundy: the white grape used in this rich region is Chardonnay.

Bordeaux region of the Entre Deux Mers dry white or sweet wine Sauternes, it highlights white varieties Semillon and Sauvignon.

Pictures from Pinterest, Gimme Some Oven and jsprat.wordpress

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The Lifestyle in the French house

The art of the French lifestyle mixes the love of the family home, comfort and aesthetics. The French house must be the homestead to become the place of the term welfare home and artistic beauty. In France, everyone aspires to have his own place.

Somewhere  to  get together and to allow them to have a place to rest and to have a good chat. An ideal to build according to individual aspirations. This individuality is expressed through many levels.

The architecture of the house

The choice of the architect of the house often depends on the chosen location and numbers of occupants. To keep the art of the French Lifestyle will seek to respect a local architectural style with historical characteristics.

There is a certain attraction in France in a story that a house can have, when someone is to search for a home.  This way, they feel, they personalize their home.

The decoration

This is the aesthetic of the house where everyone expresses their personality in their room or the house.  The decoration, floors, walls, surfaces, upholstery, curtains, blinds, curtains, floor chairs, sofas, mirrors, chairs etc  will be chosen to customize every room in the house. Particular care is given to the bathroom which has become since the 90s a place of well-being at home. Nowadays, the decoration and the lights are more and more personalized.

The kitchen

The centerpiece of the family meeting room  now a days needs to be large enough and one would like it  also equipped for outdoor dining. It is often decorated with a color theme,  or a country, a region,  this according to the taste of the occupant. This is the place of the individual expression of the love of family. The attention is paid to selection of utensils to promote the success to the culinary preparations for the family.

The garden

This is not always present in a house but when present, it  gives more “life”  to  the house. It is the connection with nature that permits a certain union and one can fulfil   their artistic expression.

When the garden is not present, one procures at least to hang the plants on walls or windows. The French garden is structured and organized and obey visual rules that highlight the different shapes of plants and flowers and harmonize color. Often one has a vegetable garden and surely a corner of herbs for the kitchen.

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The Gloves

The use of gloves reaches back to  ancient times.

In the middle Ages, vassal cities were accustomed to offer a glove to the King as an act of submission. During the coronation ceremony, the Archbishop  used to bless a pair of gloves for the sovereign as a sign of crown possession and loyalty.

A gauntlet, could be a glove made of leather or some kind of metal armour,   which was a strategic part of a soldier’s defense throughout the Middle Ages. Later the advent of firearms made hand-to-hand combat. As a result, the need for gauntlets also disappeared.

In the time of chivalry,  to throw a glove was an act of defiance against an opponent and  it signified  his  intention to fight.

Later, the glove was transformed as a clothing garment – it became   a touch of sophistication. They were part of the accessories needed for the elegance of dress. Dark gloves were used in the morning and white or cream color ones in the evenings. They began to be worn by ladies as a fashion ornament. They were made of linen and silk, and sometimes reached the elbow.

Such worldly accoutrements were not for holy women. Sumptuary laws were promulgated to restrain this vanity: against samite gloves in Bologna, 1294 and against perfumed gloves in Rome, 1560.

A Paris corporation or guild of Glovers existed in the thirteenth century.

It was not until the 16th century that gloves reached their greatest elaboration.  Queen Elizabeth I set the fashion for wearing them richly embroidered.  She would for put them on and take them off during audiences to draw attention to her beautiful hands.

Society created new rules to use gloves:

- A woman puts on gloves outside, but she removes them when she is inside of a house.

- She is to  take off the gloves when she shake hands with an older women.

- The man always takes off his gloves to greet a woman.

- If two men use gloves, the youngest man will follow the example of his predecessor to shake hands.

- It is clear to never embrace a gloved hand.

-There are so many kinds of gloves, depending of the ornaments and customs:

Buckskin gloves, chamois, yarn, silk, cotton, wool, fur gloves … and other material drawn through the ages…

Photos from Pinterest: la boît en os, etsy.com, my-ear-trumpet.trumbl.com



The French garden

In contrast to the English garden, a French garden is a reflex of the art of symmetry. Nature is domesticated according to criteria of order and discipline, in order to draw perfect prospects in the extension of a prestigious house itself.

The French garden is a very ambitious garden aesthetically. Synonymous with perfection and nobility,  the  most famous author is André Le Nôtre, the creator of the park of Versailles under the command of Louis XIV.

The lines and structure of this type of development are perceived as a garden carved by an artist. In  fact, it requires great precision in the drawing. Le Nôtre found his inspiration in the genuine Italian gardens; but French gardens have gone even further in this concept: simple in form, but of increasing complexity which brought them to a new form of landscape art, highly developed.

The design complementary to all French castles from the seventeenth century, could be located in the center of the house, front and back, or  as a terrace, matched with a large park. It can be used in smaller properties but does not lend itself to contemporary architecture.

Volumes make all the originality of the French garden. The diversity of aligned symmetrically forms must however remain in harmony with the lines of the whole, which is in an architectural form codified.

The contrasting textures and colors participate in the decor. In general, the French garden is very green and is also ornamented.  After perspectives and angles are  arranged fountains, basins called “Medici” and stone statues from mythology or hunting. All these factors contribute to the development of French garden in its purest form.

The maintenance of French gardens is much more demanding than that of English gardens, they should be pruned twice a year, in May and September. In addition, it is necessary to empty the massive every fall and winter flowers in a greenhouse or glass frames or to change them.55e7d3e63019e519efa3eb73f33b3c5e

Aisles should be periodically raked to be presentable and prevent the gravel from being dispersed into the lawn or flowerbeds.0404887906c54202e5315d42c69db52079cd977d0077fc08484c9ea2d2adc80f


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