Saturday, March 31, 2012

Petite Paris Livre (Book)

bonsoir...the Petite Paris book is now available to download for iphone and ipads - view all the pretty Paris B&Bs in ibook anytime for some parisian holiday dreaming, planning, inspiration :)

Or purchase it as a coffee table book to enjoy with friends...

Getting around Paris in Spring

There's nothing like springtime in Paris. The flowers are in bloom, the weather is warming up and in the spirit of renewal, we recommend ditching the usual modes of transport - metro, buses or cabs - and enjoy seeing the blossoming city by Velib! Velib is a clever and virtually free self-service bicycle system, since 2007. If only Sydney had Velib bikes, they are FANTASTIC! They make getting around SO easy! and FUN! and CHEAP!

The idea is simple: grab a bike at any of the many stations dotted every 100m around the city, ride to your destination and drop off at whatever station is convenient - there are 5 Velib stations to every metro station, so there's always one nearby. Locals love these and you will see thousands of them whiz past and they all look like they're having fun.

The bikes themselves are easy to ride and have a nicely hefty, well-oiled feel, but it's the freedom that really does it. Plot your own course, drink in the sights on the way, improvise a quick stop-off en route, and drop your bike mere meters from your destination. The moment you mount that saddle, you cease to be a slave to public transportation. How can being hemmed into a smelly noisy sardine can of a metro car compete with the wind-in-the- hair romance of Vélib?

Sadly, many people refuse to try because of the nature of Paris traffic. But the truth is that Paris is surprisingly cycle-friendly, and bicycling is statistically the second-least-dangerous way to get around the city (after the bus). Most large roads have bike lanes, and since the introduction of the Velibs, many cyclists have noted that drivers have become more conscious of their presence.

Velib Insider tips and tricks:
  1. The heavily subsidized Vélib system is almost free of charge. You can get a subscription for 1 day (1€) or 7 days (5€).
  2. The system is entirely automated and operates 24/7.
  3. To sign up, you need a smart chip equipped credit card. As well as paying the small fee for your subscription (1€ / day, 5€ / 7 days) and for the little extra charge if you ride over 30 minutes in one stint, your credit card acts as a security deposit to ensure that you return the bicycle. Nothing is deducted, unless you completely fail to return the bicycle, in which case you would be deducted 150€.
  4. When you sign up at the automated stand (English language is available), you’ll be delivered a small card with your access code. This, together with the 4-figure security code that you’ll be prompted for, enables you to use the system for the duration of your subscription (1 day or 1 week).
  5. The stands to which you attach the bicycles have an indicator light. Red means inoperable, green means available. When you drop off your bicycle, the indicator will show yellow for a few seconds, before turning green (together with a confirmatory beep). As a precaution you should always wait until the indicator light turns green, as otherwise your bike isn’t properly attached and the system will think you’re still riding it, debiting you accordingly every half hour. In the very rare instances when the light fails to go green despite the bike being properly attached, you must call the Vélib hotline indicated on the central pillar.
  6. Each bike comes with a clever lock system, so that you can tie the bike to a pillar or railing which you pop into a shop on an errand. This works by taking the anti-theft cable from the front basket, looping it around the pillar you want to attach the bike to, and inserting it in the hole recessed next to the big central magnetic clasp used to attach the bike to its station. When you insert the cable into the hole, the key pops out. You then go shopping, key in pocket, and detach your bike with the key on returning.
  7. Despite being very sturdy, Velib bikes are often somewhat the worse for wear. At any given station, you’ll typically have good bikes and poor bikes. Always choose a bike number before going over to the central kiosk to enter your access code. Here’s what to check (it only takes 10 seconds once you’re used to it): give the tyres a quick kick to check them for air, give the pedal a kick to check that the chain is hooked up, check that the handlebar-mounted 3-speed shifter turns and clicks ok, check that the handlebar isn’t wobbly, and check that the saddle clamp is tight (it much easier riding a bike with the saddle mounted quite high, so your legs have room to pump up and down). These cursory checks will weed out 90% of faulty bikes.
  8. If despite your checks, the bike doesn’t work properly, you have a couple of minutes to swap it for another, at the same station, without having to wait the usual 5 minutes before taking another.
  9. We recommend that you grab a compact street map that includes all the station locations. For a handful of euros at a newsagent (or free at the Paris town hall, metro Hotel de Ville), this will take the guesswork out of your navigation.
  10.  ENJOY!!! :)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

ANOTHER NEW Paris B&B for us! et vous!

They say things happen in three's! Here's hoping :)

Welcome to B&B399! Our 80th Parisian B&B Apartment on our website - available for booking your Parisian home...away from home NOW!

Enquire for date availabilities to:

1 person: 137euro per night
2 persons: 142euro per night

On offer are 2 twin beds that can be offered separate or together for couples as a king. Guests are encouraged to feel completely relaxed at Rosemarys home and invited to spend as much time as they like relaxing in the lounge, terrace, making warm drinks to enjoy in and out of their guest room. this is a superbly looked after B&B. Rosemary is English/French and is an extremely dedicated and loyal host who will offer you much advice and tips for visiting the city and if you wish, have a cup of tea and chat with you sometimes.

Location: 9eme (15min walk to Montmartre, in other direction 15 min walk to Opera, Madelien and the Louvre

See our NEW Paris B&B Apartment

Where is it?

In a historical and central area, where you will find lots of theatres as well as many cafes and restaurants. This B&B is close to the Grands Boulevard and Department Stores (Galeries Lafayette, Printemps) and many typical covered galleries of Paris, that not many tourists have the chance to appreciate the charm and authenticity of. 10 minutes walk from the North and East stations.

Your hosts’ accommodation: Laurence and Eric’s apartment is located on the 5th and 6th floors (without elevator) of a superb building made of Paris stone in 1883. The building is from the same time as the Eiffel Tower and benefits from a bow window staircase entirely decorated with stain glasses from that time. The staircase is a historical monument by itself. All the spirit of Paris at the “Belle époque” time is there.

The staircase being classified as historical and it is not allowed to be changed with an elevator in the middle of it - but your hosts will be pleased to come and carry your bags on your arrival and departure.

Your hosts live on the 5th floor and your independent suite is on the 6th floor. You will have an access by an internal staircase or a private entry opening directly on your studio which will offer you complete privacy.

Your bedroom / studio n°400: Your room is more than a guest room, it is a studio of 24 m2 which has been totally renovated in 2012.

 Completely independent, you can have access by a private door which opens on the 6th floor, which allows you to go in and out without crossing your hosts’ apartment.

This bedroom-studio is very bright and well lit by natural daylight, and its windows open onto the roofs. You will appreciate the quietness and the absolute charm of the roofs of Paris.

Its decoration is modern, in the spirit of Paris, with a simple, comfortable and practical style.

It offers a bedroom area equipped with a double bed (140 cm x 190 cm), a relaxing armchair, an office area with shelves, a modern shower room as well as a kitchenette.

The shower room is private.
It is equipped with a washbasin, a shower and toilets.
Bath towels and bath products are at your disposal, as well as a hair dryer.

The bed linen do not have feathers. There is no carpet on the ground and the bed carpet is made of synthetic material, and cleaned after each departure. Therefore, this b&b is convenient to all people, even those suffering from allergies.

The kitchen is equipped with a table, chairs, micro wave oven, refrigerator, hot plates, a washing machine as well as the necessary kitchen utensils, and food products of first need like salt, pepper, oil, vinegar, rice, pasta.

You will also find in your bedroom a set to prepare warm drinks (coffee, tea, herbal teas, instant chocolate, milk), as well as documentation on Paris. 

As a welcome gift, your hosts will offer you a bottle of red wine for a stay of at least three nights.

On the same floor, just after the stairs and before the entry of your studio, there is a library which is also used as a TV living room, where you can stay for reading or watching TV, some channels of which are in English. From this living room, you also have a view on the roofs of Paris, and an opening on the Eiffel Tower.

As your hosts both work, they offer to serve breakfast in their living room only on the weekends. On the other mornings, they will prepare it on a tray which they will leave for you in the living room close to your bedroom. You can then have it at any time convenient to you in your bedroom while admiring the rooftops of Paris. The tray will be prepared with fresh bread and croissants, cereals and season fruits. You will find milk, butter, orange juice in your refrigerator, jams and honey in the cupboard.

During the weekend, your hosts will offer you scrambled eggs or omelette, as well as a pastry of the day and a fruit salad.
For breakfasts during the week, you will find eggs, ham and cheese in your refrigerator.

Location and tourist interests
District: 9th
Subway: Bonne Nouvelle (lines 8 and 9), Cadet or Poissonnière (line 7)
Close to: Grands Boulevards
Montmartre: 30 mn walk or 20 mn by subway
Champs-Elysées: 20 min. by subway
Louvre: 25 min. walk
Tour Eiffel, Trocadéro: 45 min. by subway
Quartier Latin / Saint-Germain des Prés: 30 min. walk
Marais / Bastille: 15 mn. by bus or subway

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Grande feedback for Petite Paris

Two really lovely emails I received today that made me smile!

 “Petite Paris is a lovely site to get lost in. The perfect charming accompaniment to my afternoon tea”

“You have made organizing accommodation in Paris so easy for us and now we have a beautiful apartment in the heart of the city. We will continue to recommend your website to all our friends. Thank you for the travel tips. It is always helpful to have this information from those who know the city. We are just so excited to see our trip come together and so appreciate all of your assistance provided in such a friendly helpful and efficient manner".

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

la seine la nuit

La seine la nuit is mysterious and amazing!...

You can spend a summer eve in Paris dancing the tango along the seine. For over 10yrs Tango dancers come to do dips and turns to music from a boom-box on a small amphitheater along the left bank! Fun for all ages, you can participate or just watch, either way what an amazing way to spend a summer night in Paris - dancing in the open air!! Starts at dusk with a tango lesson and from 8pm the tango virtuoso join in until midnight. Where? At Quai Saint-Bernard (closest metro: Jussieu)

Lunch time tip a Paris

A lunch tip at lunchtime... See the Degas' nudes exhibition at the newly renovated Orsay Musee (myfave 'large' musee) from March through July 2012 and enjoy a bite at their newly redesigned clock tower café which has views of the sacre coeur out the clock face!