Celia's blog

Musings on life in Lodeve, Languedoc

Posts Tagged ‘Paris’

Paris perspectives

Posted by celiahukins on 30/12/2011


We like to stop off in Paris on our journeys from Birmingham to Lodeve if we get the chance, and there are always new places to go. On a fresh Sunday monrning in December we climbed to the top of the hill in the Parc de Buttes Chaumont, which gives some diffent views over Paris. The Parc is popular with joggers; there are many paths and you can avoid the hils if you like.

After lunch we headed towards the Grands Magasins to see their window displays (covered in last year’s blog!), and later followed the signs in Galeries Lafayette to the roof top where we had yet more views of Paris.

In the evening we enjoyed an excellent meal at Chez Francoise, a restaurant hidden away under the Air France terminal at the Invalides. On Sunday evenings they have unlimited oysters as a starter. We managed 18 each. The next morning it was time to take the train to the South.

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Passing though Paris

Posted by celiahukins on 02/11/2011


I passed through Paris the other weekend, to see my son run the Marathon in Reims. 8.25 bus from Lodève, 10.20 train from Montpellier and I was in Paris by 1.50. It doesn’t take too long to walk from the Gare de Lyon to Gare de l’Est to catch the train to Reims. You head first towards Place de la Bastille, then on to Place de la République. This is where I found a café for a green tea. Parisians were enjoying the afternoon sun, which it has to be said was nothing like the Mediterranean sun. It’s another 10 minutes walk after that to Gare de l’Est.
Whenever I have been at République over the years there always seem to have been demonstrations; on this occasion it was something to do with Syria. I couldn’t see any demonstrators – maybe they would arrive later – but the police were out in force.
On my return journey I had champagne in my rucksack, so I took the metro. I had time for a pastis at the Big Ben Bar at the Train Bleu before catching the train to Montpellier and the sun.

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Train Bleu again

Posted by celiahukins on 25/01/2011


Here is Mr Bean eating oysters at Le Train Bleu. We didn’t have the seafood platter although it looked impressive.

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New Year in Paris

Posted by celiahukins on 07/01/2011


January; time to return to the UK. The weather had been dull all over Christmas but of course on the day we left the sun was shining. Our neighbours called to us from their balcony across the valley as we stood on the terrace about to leave. From the bus to Montpellier, we looked out at the sunshine and then had a drink in the sun at the Lizard Bar at the station, before taking the train back to the north and the cold.

When we arrived at the Gare de Lyon it was only a 3 minute walk to our hotel which was right opposite the station, so we had time to wander round afterwards. We walked up to Place de la Bastille and then on to the Marais and round the Place des Vosges, the streets busy with Sunday shoppers, the cafés offering vin chaud and hot chocolate which many appreciated on a cold afternoon.
And then – a return visit to Le Train Bleu. This restaurant, originally called the le Buffet du Gare de Lyon but now in fact much more than that, was renamed in 1963 after the Blue Train which went from Calais, via the Gare du Nord, round the outskirts of Paris to the Gare de Lyon, then overnight to Marseille and on to the Cote d’Azur; it was called that because the sleeping cars were painted blue, and was the setting for several books and films.

In the restaurant you can sit and admire the wonderful belle époque decoration and the paintings of the midi – and the food and the service are excellent. We chose the Menu Régane which at 54 eroos including a half botle of wine each was an excellent treat.

On Monday morning we just had time for a walk along the Promenade Plantée, which follows a former railway track along the Viaduc des Arts, before catching the RER to Charles de Gaulle airport.

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Christmas cheer

Posted by celiahukins on 18/12/2010


Rather a gap on the blog I’m afraid was I was back in the UK. Fortunately I made it back to France, unlike others who are stuck in the snow in the UK today. I missed the local Christmas fairs and other events, but I was able to catch up with Christmas again in Paris. My reason for a stop over in Paris was to see the Monet at the Grand Palais – and what a wonderful exhibition it was, with over 170 paintings from all stages of his work. (Sorry about the website though)

When I finally felt I couldn’t take any more Monet I was glad of some fresh air, even though it was still nippy. I walked along the Christmas village in the Champs Elysees and then through the Tuileries to the Pyramide du Louvre. After I’d had lunch in the shopping centre there, I continued my journey to Boulevard Hausmann and the grands magasins.

Grandmothers, mothers and children were out in force to see the Christmas window displays.


Sad though that another generation is being introduced to Abba – and not a nativity scene in sight!

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Passing though Paris

Posted by celiahukins on 06/09/2010


On our way to Lodève we spent a night in Paris. There are always new angles to familiar sights. We stayed near the Gare du Nord and walked to the Sacré Coeur (which we had of course been to before) and then on to the Cimetiere de Montparnasse which was new for us.



Then it was time for a beer at a nearby café, before heading off towards Chez Toinette for our evening meal.

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