April in Paris…May, even better

April in Paris…May, even better

  April is unpredictable; the weather in Paris can be lovely; cool and sunny one minute, snowing the next. While we do love the early blossoms of spring, the fact is that many of the blubs and trees are still big in bloom in early – mid May. If we had to pick our favorite time for Paris, when a likely chance of sun, cool night air, not too much rain, will bless our journey…it would be to arrive in early to mid May. The only slight challenge with May is the sheer number of French Holidays…several, and this means closers and prices go up. The French take holidays seriously and observance means that you never know what will be running, open or having a party. May 1 is Labor Day and May Day, a National holiday and some things are closed! Never fear for sightseeing the center of the tourist districts of Paris are bustling. May 5 is Ascension Day, church goers will be in services throughout Paris and many families fill the parks and museums; taking in the spring and often free entry. This is however, a wonderful time to find yourself outside the city! We like to leave the night before a holiday weekend (Wednesday or Thursday) to avoid traffic and drive to the Loire Valley. Exploring the area around le Lion d’Angers is wonderful this time of year!! Chateau des Briottieres http://www.briottieres.com is by far our favorite place to stay. This is a family owned Chateau. The Broittieres family; (all six children) are reviving the property which has been in the family for over six generations and dates back to 1485. If...
Wine with Wonder; the Bistro a Vin

Wine with Wonder; the Bistro a Vin

I think at some point walking around Paris everyone starts to day dream about a life in the City of Light. As I stroll through the familiar warmth of a special bistro a vin, my dreams turn to thoughts of sipping wine with locals. Since my first visit to France, I have known that in my fantasy I would own a bistro a vin. It would be a casual place, a second home for its habitués, with a limited menu and lots of tasty country wines served by the glass. It would be wine with wonder it would be just like, Taverne Henri IV.  Enviably situated on the Pont Neuf, a bridge connecting the le de la Cite with both the Right and Left Banks, the Taverne Henri IV sits on the edge of the Place Dauphine, an enchanting triangular square with the Palais de Justice at one end and the Quai des Orfevres not far beyond. Each time I journey to Paris, this is my first stop after dropping off my bags. A stroll through the shady square followed by lunch at Henri IV consisting of a glass or two of a cool red Chinon from the Loire and a ham sandwich (on sourdough bread) taking the edge off jet lag. Comfortable wonderful warmth, Henri IV is a no-frills room with a long bar and a dozen or so tables. The place hasn’t been redecorated since the 1970s, except for the curtains that run the entire length of a wall, just above the booth seating, appearing bright, clean and crisp. Looking at the wooden bar cluttered with memorabilia,...