Author: Cheryl Brooks

LE MARCHÉ BASTILLE-RICHARD LENOIR—A GUARANTEED CULINARY ADVENTURE

The Marche Bastille – Richard-Lenoir. Photo, Alamy

There are dozens of outdoor markets in Paris, at least two in each of the city’s 20 arrondissements.  Probably the largest, and many argue the best, is the fantastic Marché Richard-Lenoir—more commonly called the Marche Bastille, held Thursdays and Sundays along the grand Boulevard Richard Lenoir, just north of the Place de la Bastille.  The focus is the wonderful range of foods grown by local area farmers, quite a few of which are certified organic growers.  As though that were not enough of an attraction, there are beautiful flower stalls, and vendors with a wide range of merchandise, ranging from small kitchen gadgets to African artefacts and fashion.  Most of the crowd will be eager local shoppers with shopping trolleys and dogs in tow, rather than hordes of tourists.

Continue reading

TRAVELS WITH YOUR NAVIGO: A PERFECT DAY IN PARC DE SCEAUX – ONE OF THE BEST KEPT SECRETS NEAR PARIS

The Chateau de Sceaux.

If you’re looking for a very pleasant and interesting day trip from Paris, and you’ve already visited the big headline sites such as Versailles or Fontainebleau, the charming town of Sceaux is certainly one that offers everything you could wish for.  Known for its rich architectural heritage, its picture-perfect château, museums, 13th century church, and magnificent parks, it’s hard to believe that Sceaux is less than 10 kms south of Paris.

Continue reading

DISCOVERING THE BEAUTIFUL PARC MONCEAU AND ITS ELEGANT NEIGHBOURHOOD

The classical colonnade and pond in Parc Monceau. Photo, Alamy

In the last two posts, we have looked at two outstanding Paris museums, relatively little-known to visitors, both located in the 8th arrondissement, one just around the corner from the other.  They are both close by the Parc Monceau, one of the most interesting and beautiful parks in the city, at the junction of Bvd. de Courcelles, rue de Prony and rue Georges Berger.  The neighbourhood is a quiet, discreetly elegant, mostly residential area with impressive mansions of the Haussmann or the neo-classical styles, typical of the Second Empire of Napoleon III.  Covering about 8.20 hectares, Parc Monceau is a peaceful haven for locals, yet where comparatively few visitors visit.

Continue reading

THE CERNUSCHI MUSEUM OF ASIAN ART, PARIS

The grand staircase of the Musee Cernuschi. Photo, Alamy

The Musée Cernuschi is relatively unknown to most visitors to Paris.  Located on a quiet, leafy street that leads up to the beautiful Parc Monceau in an ultra-exclusive area of the 8th arrondissement, it’s just around the corner from the Musée Nissim de Camondo.  The Cernuschi is an Asian art museum, mostly specialising in works from China, Japan, and Korea.  These are objects collected by Henri Cernuschi, and displayed in a small mansion that used to be his home.  He was one of the first collectors in France to amass such a vast and important collection of Asian art.

Continue reading

WALKING THROUGH A WORK OF ART – MONET’S GARDENS AT GIVERNY

Front entrance to Monet’s house in Giverny. Photo, Alamy

We have often been asked about visiting Monet’s gardens at Giverny.  How difficult is it to get there independently, or is it best to take a tour from Paris?  Is it really worth it, or has it become a victim of tourist hype?  Are the hordes of visitors a turn-off?  Is it possible for those who want to experience the atmosphere and tranquility of a beautiful garden to still enjoy a visit, given its enormous popularity?  

Continue reading