Eating Experience Great Touristy Things to do Helpful Information Trips and Tours

The best boat trip on the Seine

I am always being asked about the plethora of different boat cruises on the Seine, starting with “Is a boat trip on the Seine a good thing to do if we only have a couple of days in Paris”?  “Are they a tourist trap”?  “Should we spend the money on dining or just take a guided tour”?

My reflex answer is “yes, definitely, no matter how short your trip, make space for a boat trip”.  You have a completely different perspective of Paris from the river;  the buildings are stunning and even more beautiful when lit in the evenings. The round trip can be relatively quick and you get to rest your, often very, weary, feet.

So many of the most important buildings were either built on the river or have unhindered views from it ; the Eiffel Tower, Invalides, the Musée d’Orsay, the Louvre and everything on the 2 islands – Notre Dame, the Conciergerie and Saint Chapelle, never mind that every single other building seems to have its own individual style and story to tell so that you could travel the Seine for months and still see something else you hadn’t seen before.

Yes, it is also a tourist trap but that doesn’t mean to say you are ripped off – there is enough competition to keep prices down and service efficient. In fact, if you can, take the trip twice, once during the day in the sunshine and again in the evening at dusk.

As there are so many different types of boat trip here are my thoughts :

For starters, there is the BatoBus, the watery equivalent of the Hop-on Hop-off bus.  Batobus_ParisThere are 1 or 2 day tickets for these boats that come every 20 minutes to any of the 9 stops. This is a great option if you think you are going to sightsee along the river and want to take in as much as possible.  It’s also quite a great option for children who may get tired easily because there is so much to distract them.

Then there are the cruises :

Vedettes du Pont Neuf offer a basic cruise 12 times a day (rather than every 30 minutes pre-Covid) from the Pont Neuf with commentary in French and English from a real guide.  Bring a picnic!

Vedettes de Paris has a one way ticket and roundabout tickets 9 times a day, more on the weekend, with audioguides or guides and the starting point is right in front of the Eiffel Tower.

The famous Bateaux Mouches and Bateaux Parisiens are much larger cruise boats so cheaper for their guided (taped) tours. However you could opt for food with the lunch, brunch or dinner menus.  Bateaux Parisien boats are smaller and the Bateaux Mouches have a dress code for dinner.  Dinner is prepared fresh that day and you are accompanied by a small band on both so you can dance between the tables if you like.

I have not taken the lunch or brunch trips but have only heard good reviews from guests. I have taken the dinner trips on several occasions and the food is very good however with pricing for dinner starting at €99 per person you can also ask me to give you a couple of dinner options before taking a night cruise.

However, my total favourite is Le Calife, a wooden converted barge.  Calife barge restaurant

You have to be careful not to miss the view when chatting or eating the delicious food at lunch or dinner time (in fact le Calife is listed in the Top 20 restaurants in Paris on Trip Advisor). There is no guided commentary and no live music, it’s just an excellent meal eaten whilst floating by a gorgeous view at 2 price points €97 per head or €145.

Do tell me which one you preferred.

Please find more recommendations by reading my suggestions of the best restaurants minutes from 52 Clichy, best local restaurants in Paris or dive in with my in-depth Guide to Living Like a Local. I am sure they will make your trip to Paris very special.

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If you haven’t already considered visiting Paris and staying at 52 Clichy, take a look at my website or read some of my 150+ 5 star reviews for the B&B or the +120 5* reviews for the Apartment.

Eating Experience Helpful Information Holidays

How to choose the perfect teapot

The perfect teapot – Grosche Budapest

If you stay with me at 52 Clichy almost everyone gets to see my ‘perfect teapot’, the Grosche ‘Budapest’.

Put the tea in the centre chamber, lower it into the water and wiggle it about a bit if you want to speed up the brewing process.

The real perfection for someone like me who doesn’t like strong tea is that when the water gets to the right colour you just lift the lever which raises the tea above water level so the tea stays your perfect strength and doesn’t stew.

On first introductions, practically every guest wants one or knows someone for whom this teapot would be perfect and for a while I had supplies I could sell to guests who had enough room in their suitcase on the return journey but, oh horror, the shop closed.

To the rescue came delightful guests from Australia who found a near-perfect solution but, drumroll, gorgeous English guests found the real thing!

Grosche Barcelona

So now, never fear, you too can have the perfect teapot, my ‘Budapest’ or, am I being disloyal here, maybe one that has a sleeker design, the Grosche ‘Barcelona’. In this design the glass doesn’t touch the table surface.  At $35 each, and cheaper on other sites, I might allow myself both!  If you can’t get hold of Grosche, alternatives there are a-many.

Oggi teapot

What about this one?  Does it resemble anything? At around $20 who wouldn’t plump for the  Oggi 6577 teapot  I’m not sure it isn’t a Grosche in sheep’s clothing?

There’s also a Scandanavian teapot design by Norm Architects and this one from the HappyLuckys website looks fun too.

My lime green teapot in my 52 Clichy Paris apartment

There are choices out there! But for the moment if you stay in the apartment you have to put up with my adorable green teapot (I love lime green). Do tell me which you prefer or what you use.

Maybe I don’t have the perfect teapot – although I think I do! In any case, come and stay at 52 Clichy and test mine out by clicking on the link and checking out my Availability.

If you haven’t already considered visiting Paris and staying with me, take a look at my website or read some of my zillion 5* reviews of the B&B or the Apartment from TripAdvisor and elsewhere.

Also do take a look at my suggestions of the best restaurants minutes from 52 Clichy or find out lots more information about French food and where and how to eat it in my blog page on  where and how to eat well in Paris.

If you’re getting ready to visit Paris you might also want to dive in with my in-depth Guide to Living Like a Local.

Hope you found this informative and I look forward to your comments.

A très bientôt,

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Eating Experience Great Touristy Things to do Helpful Information

The very best view of Paris

I think the very best view of Paris is from the Arc de Triomphe and it is even better in Winter than in Summer because Paris is so beautiful when it is lit against the night sky.  Climb these 284 metal steps to get a view of the Paris rooftops and the red, white and blue side of the Eiffel Tower (the other 3 sides are white).  If you are there when it is dark stay until, on the hour, it sparkles for 5 minutes.  Also giggle at the madness which is the sight of buses, cars and scooters on 8 unmarked lanes of cobblestones swerving and screeching below.

On the way down you go through the obligatory shop, but it is one of the best museum shops and don’t miss the small but poignant exhibition on WWI to the right by the stairs. Your Paris Museum Pass works here.

The perfect way to start this evening view is to queue for one of my favourite restaurants, the Relais de Venise, at 6.45pm ready for doors to open at 7pm – the restaurant will fill up completely! There is a fixed menu of green salad with walnuts then a plate of Steak and Chips twice.  The only decision to make is how you want your steak cooked and which of the 3 choices of red wine to order.

If you have space you can order dessert without any guilt, knowing you can walk it all off up Avenue de la Grande Armée to the Arc de Triomphe, just as Napoleon planned it for his army.

Tell me if you agree is it is the best view of Paris.  Come and stay – check availability here.

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Helpful Information News

European Heritage weekend 19th – 20th September

The apartment is available from 17th – 24th September covering the European Heritage Weekend which is the weekend of 19th – 20th September.  This is when buildings that are normally closed to the public will be open only for this weekend (and free). Who is coming ?…/1…/european-heritage-days-in-paris