Author Archives: Блог о Париже / Blog about Paris

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How the French Stay so Slim: 4 secrets

A true “Parisienne”, even the slimmest one, always wants to slim, just a bit… But Parisiennes very seldom have any overweight issues. Generally they are very slender. How they do???

Let’s start with their eating-at-home habit
As for dinner or supper, normally French people have it at home. A Parisienne can have everything she wants for dinner, with a clear conscience, taking into account that after a light lunch at 12.00 she NEVER eats anything till 8 p.m.!

Secret number 1: bio and organic trend and supporting local farmers
There is a very popular recent French trend – supporting local farmers. Small farmers associations offer a sort of yearly subscription: a customer signs a contract and is provided with a basket of fresh season fruits and vegetables once a week. That’s a costly affair, the average price of this basket in the Paris region is about 30 euros. But in this amount is included not only the price of fruits and vegetables, but also a share of costs for maintaining the farm and soil of your vegetable producer. So subscribers, at the same time, eat fresh seasonal vegetables and help agriculture. It has become a very fashionable concept among wealthy French households.

Secret number 2: NEVER having a snack
Let’s go back to french supper at home. It consists of an appetizer, a main course with a side dish and – quite often – a dessert. WHY ARE THEY SO SLENDER, eating all these “pains au chocolat” in the morning and all those “mousses à chocolat” in the evening? The secret is the very healthy french eating habits. As I said before, after a light lunch at 12.00 french generally NEVER eat anything at all till 8 p.m.! Never having a snack – that’s one of their secrets.

Secret number 3: less processed food. And less demonizing butter!
Typical French meals contain very few processed ingredients and instead feature real meat or fish. Vegan, low-fat or nonfat options are… difficult to find, and in fact, the French prefer full-fat dairy products and real butter anyway.Full-fat products are less processed and usually contain less sugar and less additives, and, on the contrary, low fat dairy products contain less vitamines.

Secret number 4: they slow down while eating
Typical French meals last several hours and is rich with conversation and debate (often about politics), and normally TV during the familly meal is off. Just taking pleasure with every single spoon!

In my next post I’ll tell you about Parisiennes favorite kinds of sports (yes, they still go in for sport, on the contrary of what you may have thought after reading this blog:).

How to be a true Parisian it-girl?

How inexplicable Parisian women are, – wrote Balzac. Maybe their charm lies in this inexplicability? How does a true Parisian woman live? What kinds of sport are the trendiest in the fashion capital at the moment? Where do Parisians meet their friends, where do they go shopping, what do they eat?

I have lived in Paris for nine years already, and I’m happy to tell you about the routine of Parisian women’s lives and the secrets of their charm.

Here are the Healthy eating habits of Parisiennes!
Let’s start with what Parisiennes eat. Somewhat surprisingly, HER breakfast wouldn’t correspond to a belief in healthy living: coffee, croissants, a sandwich of bread and butter and orange juice. (more…)

Paris pickpockets

My last post was about where in Paris it is better to choose a hotel or apartment to rent: “Good” and “bad”Paris’ districts .

Talking about good and bad districts, sights and tourists, I should also warn you about another Paris “trademark”: pickpockets.
You’ll meet pickpockets mostly near the Champs Elysées, Montmartre, Notre Dame Cathedral. But all the touristic places: Opera, Lafayette Galery or Printemps, Trocadero, etc. are concerned. For sure, tourists are their favourite victims. Paris hustlers are used to work in pairs. Their favourite tactics: a well-dressed person starts speaking English to you, for instance, asking how to get to some place. While you are answering, his partner works over your pockets or bag. Be careful. Be aware that according to French law children under 13 are not liable to criminal prosecution, so unfortunately teenagers often do this “business” practically with impunity.

Be especially careful with: using your smartphone standing near the RER or subway door, girls with “charity” clipboards to sign, ATM distractions, a Paris trademark: “lost precious ring” that a stranger supposes to be yours… and other well-known common pickpocket’s tactics.

Where in Paris is it better to choose a hotel or apartment to rent?

Paris is divided into 20 districts (arrondissements), situated like a snail with its beginning in the centre. I highly recommend choosing your hotel close to the centre and the River Seine, the most prestigious quarters are situated on its right and left banks.

On the right bank are mostly business and tourist quarters, almost all the main sights are concentrated here – the Louvre, the Champs Elysées, the Arc de Triomphe, Opéra, Montmartre, Gallérie Lafayette. And on the left bank is the “true” Paris, bohemian, student-oriented, less touristy. Here the Pantheon, the Luxembourg Gardens and the famous Latin Quartier are located. Yes, and the Eiffel Tower also. The closer you are to the River Seine (in central parts of the city) the calmer and safer the quarters are. Personnaly I can highly recommend the 6th District – with it’s unique antiquarian shops and cafés with these charmingly old-fashioned “garçons”. Here you’ll still find this slightly bohemian, this one-of-a-kind Parisian atmosphere, that makes you love this city, without really being able to explain why.

I do recommend not staying in the northern parts of Paris. Paris’ “Harlem” is situated in the 19th and especially 20th districts. How do you know in which district your hotel is located? Look at the hotel’s postcode, it’s always included in the address. All the Paris postcodes start by 75. 75001 – first district, 75002 – second district… So, if you’ve chosen the hotel in 75020 – you’ve got it, it’s best to look for another one. And what are the most prestigious Paris districts? One of the most expensive is the central business quarter, the 8th district. And the most chic is the quarter of Haussmann’s buildings and its very bourgeois public in the 16th district – chic, for sure, but, frankly speaking, a bit dull if you come to Paris to have some fun.

The brands that parisians LOVE this season. Brand discount stores in Paris

The famous French style, one and only… The style icon Ines de Fressange wrote in her book “Parisian Style”: “In the end there’s no rule. It doesn’t matter what you wear, as long as it suits you & as long as you feel pretty.” But, at the same time, in spite of their famous love of combining (sometimes incompatible things, but with what class!), Parisians have THEIR brands.
DO you know the four brands which “Parisiennes” prefer this season? Maybe to your surprise, in everyday life Parisians never wear Chanel, or Dior, or – by no means – YSL or something like this. In 2015 there are three brands, via a combination of clothes from which you’ll always recognise a French taste: Sandro, Maje, Claudie Pierlot. Needless to say, Zadig & Voltaire and Isabel Marant (well, ok Marant – it was mostly in 2014, wasn’it?). And as for the office style, French women prefer « Caroll ». Here are the addresses of stores of these and some other French brands, and, be sure, It’s worthwhile going:
– Maje : 9, rue du Cherche-Midi
– Sandro : 26, rue de Sévigné
– Zadig et Voltaire: 22, rue du Bourg Tibourg
– Kookai : 82 rue Réamur (highly recommended, the range is completed by THIS season’s collection with a shortage of some sizes three times a week !)

This is for brand discount stores. But there is also another way to buy luxury brands in Paris with up to 70% discount – and sometimes even from this season’s collection! (more…)

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