top of page

Places to Go : Finally, Paris!

Bon Jour! After 4 nights in London, John, Jim and I rode the Eurostar to Paris. In just over 2 hours, we were in a whole different world. J&J had made hotel reservations at one of their favorite hotels in the Marais - a small hotel in the 4th arrondissement (district) on the Right Bank. It turns out that the Marais was a fantastic area to stay for our 7 night visit, convenient to everything. Let's take a look.

Our hotel was covered in scaffolding in preparation for July's Olympics, hence the online photo. The hotel resides in what once was a 17th Century private hotel. It's literally a few blocks from the Place des Vosges, the Picasso Museum, the Georges Pompidou Center, Hotel de Ville and from the Notre-Dame.

Hotel de la Bretonnerie has seven suites and 22 rooms. Built in the 1600s, the beams are real but the building conntinues to be updated including hardworking laminate flooring and IKEA ambient lighting.

The picturesque lobby where we met each morning before breakfast and again around 7:30 pm to go out to dinner. After touring, we were usually back in our rooms about 4 pm for a rest.

The reception area where we were asked to turn in our key when leaving the hotel.

I could use the elevator or the the stairs to go to my1st floor (which is the 2nd floor to us) room.

My small room was perfect for one person. Because there is no a/c, I would glady stay again but only in cool weather. This was J&J's third time staying here and I can see why. Did I mention it was charming and well priced?

Each room was decorated differently. In my room, the walls were decorated in gold damask print wallpaper combined with a charming yellow French toile fabric. In the French style, the fabric was applied over a light padding.

In the small closet, you'll see my new "chore jacket" in the traditional blue. This type of jacket (in this specific color) has long been worn by French workers. I couldn't resist. It was 30 Euros (USD$ 32.44) and 100% cotton..

The bathroom with marble and walls covered in toile. The floor was untreated red brick in a herringbone pattern.

Across the street from our hotel was a Levi store. Jim worked at Levi's San Francisco headquarters for many years so fun to see something familiar.  

Monoprix is a popular grocery store chain. Their stores also feature housewares and clothing. Their smaller stores are called "Monop." One was right next door to our hotel - very handy for a bottle of water or wine.

Inside, it was fun to see Bonne Maman jam and jelly. They were priced for USD$3.29 ( I usually pay $6.99 in Oakland). Prices showed electronically - so more practical than how we do - every store in the chain could update prices instantly.

We have UHT milk in our stores in the US but it hasn't caught on. It's half-skimmed milk composed of 100% fresh UHT sterilized ultra high temperature without preservatives. It doesn't need to be refrigerated. Shoppers said that if you cool it down, it tastes like the cold milk we're used to.

Here's John in our hotel's breakfast room. Breakfast was 10 Euro (USD$10.83). After our first day, we decided we'd rather go to a local bistro where we could sit inside or on the sidewalk and watch the world go by. You can see me at our favorite one morning in the top photo.

J&J eating breakfast on the sidewalk at Les Philosophes (at 28 rue Vielle du Temple), a few blocks from our hotel. In the forefront is my hot chocolate. A dark, rich, nonsweeten chocolate served in a cup, along with a pitcher of frothy hot milk. Mix and sweeten as needed. Absolutely delicious!

At our final breakfast, we took a picture with "our" sweet waiter.

The owner of Les Philosphes has another restaurant next door and this one a few doors down (30 rue Vielle du Temple). One morning, we talked to a waiter and I snapped this photo. It's called "Au Petit Fer A Cheval"("the Small Horse Shoe"). The whole darn neighborhood is so charming.

And here's Au Petit Fer A Cheval around 7 p.m. Every seat taken and jazz music floating out to the sidewalk.

The Marais has a fascinating history - from the Templar Knights in the 1200's to nobility living in still standing mansions in the 1600's to the heartbreaking story of Nazis rounding up Jews in the 1940's. Now, it's a fascinating area with 400+ restaurants, museums galore and trendy shops all packed into one square mile. Next Sunday, I'll explore the Marais. In the meantime, Happy Sunday!

Hotel de la Bretonnerie

22 Rue Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnerie


What's New
bottom of page