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Bordeaux is fine, but I really enjoyed Reims/Champagne more.  Will be back there for a couple of nights in April

you can do an easy day trip to Reims — train from downtown Paris is under an hour

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Thanks all for the recommendations.  I'm a red wine drinker and can't pass up the opportunity to be in Bordeaux.  The most recent iteration of the itinerary looks like:

Arrive 8am @CDG then train straight to Bordeaux for 3x nights

Direct flight from Bordeaux to Nice for 4x nights in south eastern region with planned day trips to Provence and Monte Carlo

Either nonstop train or direct flight from Nice to Paris for 4x nights in the city before departing for AUS

We are trying to minimize the number of hotel changes while getting to experience different parts of the county.

 

That being said, I'll gladly accept any dining/activity recommendations in any of those three locations.  I have already taken note of "Frenchie" in Paris from back in this thread, but def don't want to end up eating in a bunch of places that are loaded with tourists.

I'm also learning French in preparation of the trip (apparently unnecessary as many there speak English, but I thought I'd challenge myself)

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13 minutes ago, BTW said:

Thanks all for the recommendations.  I'm a red wine drinker and can't pass up the opportunity to be in Bordeaux.  The most recent iteration of the itinerary looks like:

Arrive 8am @CDG then train straight to Bordeaux for 3x nights

Direct flight from Bordeaux to Nice for 4x nights in south eastern region with planned day trips to Provence and Monte Carlo

Either nonstop train or direct flight from Nice to Paris for 4x nights in the city before departing for AUS

We are trying to minimize the number of hotel changes while getting to experience different parts of the county.

 

That being said, I'll gladly accept any dining/activity recommendations in any of those three locations.  I have already taken note of "Frenchie" in Paris from back in this thread, but def don't want to end up eating in a bunch of places that are loaded with tourists.

I'm also learning French in preparation of the trip (apparently unnecessary as many there speak English, but I thought I'd challenge myself)

Bordeaux:

Incredible tiny bistro;  hotel recommended, and it was awesome.  Very much a locals place — Glouton, le bistrot. https://www.glouton-le-bistrot-restaurant-bordeaux.com/

El Nacional — really good local steak place —SOuth American style with tons of amazing dry-aged beef.  Was recommended to us by someone who lived in Bordeaux for many years, and it did not disappoint. https://www.elnacional.fr/

And I really do recommend taking the train to Reims for a day.  Hit Veuve, Ruinart or Taittinger.  Get lunch at Le Jardin at Les Crayeres

Edited by AustinMT

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So my wife and I are going for my 40th in May. We can only manage a week there (excluding travel days) due to small children and other commitments. We have down for 3 days in Paris and 3 in Burgundy. Looking at possibly going to Epernay/Reims for the last day/night before flying out of CDG or going back to Paris for the final night. Either way, putting us closer to the airport vs. getting up super early in Beaune and stressing about making the flight.

Sounds like the general consensus would be to hit up Reims vs. more time in Paris. Can you cover sufficient ground in 1 day in Reims? 

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3 hours ago, Dangit said:

So my wife and I are going for my 40th in May. We can only manage a week there (excluding travel days) due to small children and other commitments. We have down for 3 days in Paris and 3 in Burgundy. Looking at possibly going to Epernay/Reims for the last day/night before flying out of CDG or going back to Paris for the final night. Either way, putting us closer to the airport vs. getting up super early in Beaune and stressing about making the flight.

Sounds like the general consensus would be to hit up Reims vs. more time in Paris. Can you cover sufficient ground in 1 day in Reims? 

Yes, so long as you stay in town. Epernay is actually about a 30 minute drive. Refer to my post a couple up about Reims -- you can easily hit one of the nice champagne houses in Reims, and do a little sightseeing, and get a great dinner.  If you want to splurge, I highly recommend staying at Les Crayeres, and having dinner there at Le Parc, which is MIchelin 2*.  We stayed there 2 nights last year, and are going back in April for 2 nights.  

https://lescrayeres.com/en/hotel.html

We took the high speed train straight from Reims (Champagne-Ardenne station, which is about 5 miles outside of town) to CDG.  Train stop is at Terminal 2.  Train ride is 30 minutes.

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Wife and I have a 6 nights to spend in France in July. We are flying from DFW and can choose any arrival city, but we need to depart from Nice at the end of the trip. 

We've been to France once before and did Paris, the Loire Valley, and St. Tropez. We loved all 3 stops but don't feel a strong need to revisit the Loire Valley at this point. It was great, just not a repeat trip kinda place for us. We would like to at some point see Provence, Bordeaux, Mont-Saint-Michel and Normandy, and Reims, but those are scattered in different regions and we don't have to do all of those (or any of those) on this trip.

Our original plan was to spend 5-6 nights in Paris and just enjoy being in Paris without doing the tourist things (Louvre, Versailles, Notre-Dame) that we've already checked off. Eat good food, drink good wine, wander around without an agenda. Maybe from there we could spend a day going to Normandy and Mont-Saint-Michel or a day to Reims.

That was prior to finding out we need to depart from Nice. We could still stick to the above and just fly down to Nice at the end, or we could shift our focus down to the South of France and forget about Paris for now.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

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49 minutes ago, wild_turkey said:

Wife and I have a 6 nights to spend in France in July. We are flying from DFW and can choose any arrival city, but we need to depart from Nice at the end of the trip. 

We've been to France once before and did Paris, the Loire Valley, and St. Tropez. We loved all 3 stops but don't feel a strong need to revisit the Loire Valley at this point. It was great, just not a repeat trip kinda place for us. We would like to at some point see Provence, Bordeaux, Mont-Saint-Michel and Normandy, and Reims, but those are scattered in different regions and we don't have to do all of those (or any of those) on this trip.

Our original plan was to spend 5-6 nights in Paris and just enjoy being in Paris without doing the tourist things (Louvre, Versailles, Notre-Dame) that we've already checked off. Eat good food, drink good wine, wander around without an agenda. Maybe from there we could spend a day going to Normandy and Mont-Saint-Michel or a day to Reims.

That was prior to finding out we need to depart from Nice. We could still stick to the above and just fly down to Nice at the end, or we could shift our focus down to the South of France and forget about Paris for now.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

I would tool around the South of France.  You can fly into Paris and get a direct train to Marseille.  You can also fly into Marseille.  From there, it is relatively easy to get to Aix-en-Provence, Arles, and all manner of cool places.  July is going to be a beating though.  Be warned.

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22 hours ago, PenelopeWitherspoon said:

July is going to be a beating though.

Going into Nice will be running into the Tour de France depending on days.

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Staying the night in Nice on July 22 with a flight out July 23. If referring to July being a beating from a weather or crowds standpoint, we've done it before. Weather doesn't bother us. Crowds are something we've learned to deal with.

Currently looking at flying into Marseille, spending the first 3 nights in Aix-en-Provence, then heading to St. Tropez for 2 nights, then Nice for 1 night. Somewhat interested in Calanque d'En-Vau or the Verdon Gorge. Otherwise probably just eating, drinking wine, walking around, pool, beach, eating and drinking.

Thanks for the suggestions (and the PM).

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19 hours ago, wild_turkey said:

Staying the night in Nice on July 22 with a flight out July 23. If referring to July being a beating from a weather or crowds standpoint, we've done it before. Weather doesn't bother us. Crowds are something we've learned to deal with.

Currently looking at flying into Marseille, spending the first 3 nights in Aix-en-Provence, then heading to St. Tropez for 2 nights, then Nice for 1 night. Somewhat interested in Calanque d'En-Vau or the Verdon Gorge. Otherwise probably just eating, drinking wine, walking around, pool, beach, eating and drinking.

Thanks for the suggestions (and the PM).

Both, honestly.  

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Just booked Paris 5/6 for 8 days & Milan/Como for 5.  Staying at Airbnb in 11th.  Lots of good info in this thread.  Thanks

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Nice.  Spend as little time as possible in Milan, and as much time as possible at Como. :)

 

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Any issues renting a car in Milan? Do they require international driving permit or just Texas DL & passport? Can cops fine me and tow car if no int permit?

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4 hours ago, utee94 said:

Nice.  Spend as little time as possible in Milan, and as much time as possible at Como. :)

 

Eh, Como is basically heaven on earth, but I fucking love Milan too.

31 minutes ago, tfoolry said:

Any issues renting a car in Milan? Do they require international driving permit or just Texas DL & passport? Can cops fine me and tow car if no int permit?

You just sign a waiver at the rental place saying you don't have international drivers license if you don't have one. I've never been hassled, but that's really up to you and your comfort level. It's a couple hundred dollar fine but no towing or anything that I know of.

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54 minutes ago, G650 said:

Eh, Como is basically heaven on earth, but I fucking love Milan too.

You just sign a waiver at the rental place saying you don't have international drivers license if you don't have one. I've never been hassled, but that's really up to you and your comfort level. It's a couple hundred dollar fine but no towing or anything that I know of.

Milan sucks.  So many better places to go nearby.  Like Como.  Or, any place else in Northern Italy not named Milan. :)

 

Now back to your regularly scheduled France thread. 

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1 minute ago, utee94 said:

Milan sucks. 

This is a fucking retarded statement.

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Just now, G650 said:

This is a fucking retarded statement.

YOU'RE a retarded statement.

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Back to France.... and specifically, Paris.  We are doing 3 days in Paris at the end of March, likely staying in Le Marais.  Any tips?  I haven't been in 20 years.  I am more interested in exploring neighborhoods than revisiting the museums.  Would love to do something like a walking tour exploring Hemingway's Paris of the 20's.   We would like to do at least one blow out Michelin style meal, dinner or lunch, plus a great bistro / brasserie.  Penelope:  any update to your best restaurants list of February 2019?

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If you want a neighborhood to hang out in, St Germaine always good for just relaxing. I like the area around the Scare Coeur as well, and Montparnasse for eating casual.

 

Edit: My all time favorite blowout meal was Le Cinq.

Edited by G650

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Is it easy to get around Aix-en-Provence by car, taxi, Uber, etc? We're interested in a hotel that is 1.3 km from the center of town. Not a terribly long walk but we'll be in there in July and may not feel like doing that in the evenings when dinner time rolls around. We'll have a rental car if it's easy enough to drive into town and park. If not, need other transportation options or need to consider a different place to stay.

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58 minutes ago, G650 said:

Rental car would be my reccy

Yeah we're gonna have a car. I went ahead and booked the place we want to stay because it looks really nice and I don't think the location difference is that significant.

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28 minutes ago, wild_turkey said:

Yeah we're gonna have a car. I went ahead and booked the place we want to stay because it looks really nice and I don't think the location difference is that significant.

How long are you staying in Aix? Rental car is definitely recommended as you'll want to explore Provence and all the quaint kickass smaller towns. There's so much to do in Provence area, just depends on how much time you have.

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12 minutes ago, crash_davis said:

How long are you staying in Aix? Rental car is definitely recommended as you'll want to explore Provence and all the quaint kickass smaller towns. There's so much to do in Provence area, just depends on how much time you have.

2 nights in Aix, 3 nights Saint-Tropez, 1 night Nice. Those should be fairly easy travel days in between, so we can split time however we see fit. 

Aix is having a classical/opera music festival so we booked opera tickets one night because why the hell not. We have dinner plans one night in Saint-Tropez at L'Opera, which we've been to before and it's quite the scene. We also plan to eat dinner at Chateau Eza in Nice based on On Board's recommendation, looks incredible.

I welcome any entertainment or dining suggestions beyond that. We're good with anything from a small bistro to Michelin starred fine dining, as long as the food and atmosphere are good. Would also like to spend some time wine tasting in Provence, which based on previous France experience, is not quite as simple as just booking winery visits. Not sure the best way to approach that.

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On 2/4/2020 at 3:34 PM, DFWTexEx said:

Back to France.... and specifically, Paris.  We are doing 3 days in Paris at the end of March, likely staying in Le Marais.  Any tips?  I haven't been in 20 years.  I am more interested in exploring neighborhoods than revisiting the museums.  Would love to do something like a walking tour exploring Hemingway's Paris of the 20's.   We would like to do at least one blow out Michelin style meal, dinner or lunch, plus a great bistro / brasserie.  Penelope:  any update to your best restaurants list of February 2019?

Marais is one my favorite areas of Paris. The whole areas around Marais/Arr 4 and the 5, 6, 1 and 3 Arr are great areas to walk and explore Paris. Marais is touristy, but still not as bad as 5th & 6th Arr (the Left Bank area). Be mindful where you eat in the Left Bank. Most are tourist traps with shitty food.

Marais has great bakeries, restaurants, and shopping, especially jewelry (for the Wife and kids). I like to walk between Marais and the Left Bank. We don't do any Michelin star restaurants. We want smaller local French places. Most have GREAT food. Some of the shittier ones were tourist joints and the fusion type shit. I tried a fusion crepe place in 6th Arr that was shit. I should've known from the buckwheat crepes. Don't mess with traditional. Stick with traditional, non touristy places and you'll be happy.

Amazing bakery, Florence Kahn, in Marais. There are other bakeries in the area which I'm sure are just as wonderful. Get the pistachio pastry thing, it'll change your life.

https://goo.gl/maps/NH3V2bJ2p5xkcVHP6

My kids got ice cream this place, Glace Berthillon. They went back twice a day for 4 days on our last trip. I would kill everyone on of you assholes for their homemade pear ice cream.

https://goo.gl/maps/1QCrvaTmCQuZT7q36

Go see Saint Chapelle stained glass chapel. We went in summer where the sunset was later in the day. Toward closing time, the chapel was almost completely empty and there was still enough light to see the stained glass in their glory. Great time to see it. I've been there in the middle of the day with a shitton of people. It takes away from the ambiance. Since you'll be there in March, not sure if you'll be able to avoid the masses with the sun setting earlier.

https://goo.gl/maps/2LE4BCs3P3iJdWwV8

Spend some relaxing time in Place des Vosges. Victor Hugo lived in the square. Imagine being rich and living in that square during Louis's reign. If the weather is nice, great place just to sit, drink some coffee, and relax.

https://goo.gl/maps/uTg4ySPz2R6wtje97

 

 

Go to Monoprix, buy some pate, charcuterie, baguette, and other stuff. You can get baby octopuss in a little container and other great shit there. Lunch and spend an afternoon in Luxembourg Garden. One of my favorite memories and experience with the family.

Monoprix  https://goo.gl/maps/u2eACAxPBuohQaP57

https://goo.gl/maps/yCqnmuCUAVhuaxpf8

The areas around Luxembourg Garden are great places to just walk around and "get lost'. Getting "lost" is my favorite thing to do in Paris. Love just walking around the city, exploring and finding new shit. 

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On 2/4/2020 at 4:34 PM, DFWTexEx said:

Back to France.... and specifically, Paris.  We are doing 3 days in Paris at the end of March, likely staying in Le Marais.  Any tips?  I haven't been in 20 years.  I am more interested in exploring neighborhoods than revisiting the museums.  Would love to do something like a walking tour exploring Hemingway's Paris of the 20's.   We would like to do at least one blow out Michelin style meal, dinner or lunch, plus a great bistro / brasserie.  Penelope:  any update to your best restaurants list of February 2019?

So, lucky you, I am planning my next jaunt to Paris as we speak.  I was really hoping to be able to go to La Scene (Stephanie Le Quellec's new 2 Michelin Star restaurant), but it is closed for the week I am there.  However, it went from opening to two starts in a few months, so I imagine it is very, very good.

I have requested a reservation at Kei, which just got it's third Michelin star, so we shall see.

While we were there in November, we went to Maison (Sota Atsumi's new restaurant).  It was excellent, and I recommend it.

Two of my standbys are Le Chateaubriand and Montee, which I always enjoy a visit to, though this trip I may not have time to visit.  

The other places currently on my list (some of which have been on there for a while) include: Old school restaurants such as Laperouse, Le Grand Vefour, La Poule au Pot, and La Tour d'Argent; More modern prix fix with La Condesa, Papillon, Virtus, and Le Rigmarole; and then bistros such as Les Arlots and Le Servan.

I am there May 7-11 for a little shopping and relaxing trip before heading to Copenhagen for a week of work.  Then the weekend after, I will spend time in London with one of my best mates.

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Have any of you done a trip through the Loire Valley? I have a friend's wedding in Nantes in early August. Was thinking of staying Paris a few nights, then driving through the Loire Valley for a few days on the way to Nantes. Nothing better than Loire Valley white wine in the summer. 

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Have any of you done a trip through the Loire Valley? I have a friend's wedding in Nantes in early August. Was thinking of staying Paris a few nights, then driving through the Loire Valley for a few days on the way to Nantes. Nothing better than Loire Valley white wine in the summer. 


Yes. Stayed in Amboise for 3 nights for Bastille Day a few years ago. Nice town and easy access to some of the castles in the area if you’re interested in that.

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1 hour ago, Reynolds Woodcock said:

Have any of you done a trip through the Loire Valley? I have a friend's wedding in Nantes in early August. Was thinking of staying Paris a few nights, then driving through the Loire Valley for a few days on the way to Nantes. Nothing better than Loire Valley white wine in the summer. 

A million years ago.  The chateau at Chambord and Chenonceaux were definitely worth stops.  You should be able to book in advance now, which I would highly recommend.  Be prepared for swarms of other tourists in those places, as well as other popular destinations like Amboise.  

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15 hours ago, wild_turkey said:

 


Yes. Stayed in Amboise for 3 nights for Bastille Day a few years ago. Nice town and easy access to some of the castles in the area if you’re interested in that.

 

 

14 hours ago, Carl Spackler said:

A million years ago.  The chateau at Chambord and Chenonceaux were definitely worth stops.  You should be able to book in advance now, which I would highly recommend.  Be prepared for swarms of other tourists in those places, as well as other popular destinations like Amboise.  

Cool. Did either of you go to any vineyards while you were there? 

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7 hours ago, Reynolds Woodcock said:

 

Cool. Did either of you go to any vineyards while you were there? 

No.  Would have been nice, but we were pressed for time and made other attractions the priority.

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Cool. Did either of you go to any vineyards while you were there? 


No. From what I could tell, most vineyards were not open to the public (although I may not have searched too hard). They did have some tasting cellars/caves and we tried a couple of those. Beyond that we just ate and drank in the towns we visited.

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