Breakfast: 9:00 Each morning, continental breakfast foods will be available in the penthouse apartment dining room. (included in cost of retreat)
Lunch: We will dine out at cafes and restaurants in the arrondisement we plan to explore that day. (dutch treat)
Dinner: While we are out and about during the day, we can pick up items for picnic-style dinners to enjoy later in the apartment. And the picnic will be prepared for us while we work in our journals. If anyone wants to cook, we can pitch in and split the expense. Or, we can dine out in the neighborhood. I have done some research and found countless eateries within a 10-15 minute walk of the apartment. We can decide that daily according to how we feel and how much we want to accomplish in our journals. (Dutch treat, except for the dinner on the Bateaux Mouches and the dinner prepared by the private chef).
Monday, September 26:
Bienvenue! Meet at our Paris apartment, get settled and get acquainted. Explore our neighborhood in the 14e. The apartment will be available for seven full days and six nights, beginning on Monday morning and throughout the day on Sunday. If possible, plan to arrive in the morning. But, whatever you do, don't miss the Bateaux Mouches dinner cruise in the evening!
7:30 - 10:45 pm, Bateaux Mouches Dinner Cruise / Menu Excellence, (boarding starts at 7:30 pm / cruise commences at 8:30 / returns to dock at 10:45) Departs at the Pont de l'Alma, 8th arrondissement (Metro Alma-Marceau, Line 9, or RER C Pont de l'Alma). Dress is formal. Click this link to view a video of a glittering cruise along the Seine with the illuminated monuments of Paris drifting by.
Tuesday, September 27: Explore the 18e, Montmarte, Abbesses Quarter
The Montmarte was historically the bohemian Paris, known for the Sacre Coeur and authentic street artists. Apparently, the charm was chased out by hoards of tourists and "paint-by-number artists." After reading this, I was ready to strike Montmarte off the itinerary until I discovered the brocantes Tombees du Camion (literally translated means fallen off the truck) and L'Objet qui parle (The object speaks of the past), a seven-minute walk apart, in the Abbesses quarter of the Montmarte. The Abbesses is one of the most charming and authentic neighborhoods in Paris, where a tinny little merry-go-round in the Place des Abbesses remains the neighborhood's nucleus, and surrounding lanes are lined with vegetable stands and open-air cafes. Amelie was filmed here! The Abbesses metro station is another point of interest, as it is one of only two remaining original Hector Guimard metro entrances in Paris.
(Fodor's Description of Place des Abbesses & surrounding neighborhood: This triangular square is typical of the countrified style that has made Montmartre famous. Now a hub for shopping and people-watching, the place is surrounded by hip boutiques, sidewalk cafés, and shabby-chic restaurants—a prime habitat for the young, neo-bohemian crowd and a sprinkling of expats. Trendy streets like Rue Houdon and Rue des Martyrs have attracted small designers and some shops are open on Sunday afternoons. The entrance to the Abbesses métro station, designed by the great Hector Guimard as a curving, sensuous mass of delicate iron, is one of only two original Art Nouveau métro canopies left in Paris.)
Wednesday, September 28: Explore the 2e
Ultramod (2e - Opera) - A fait-de-main (made-by-hand) treasure shop, a mercerie (dressmaker and sewing store) that has been selling buttons, ribbons, hats, silks, felt and plush fabrics since 1890. All the stock is from a bygone era. (Mon - Fri 10-6)
La Droguerie (1e - Les Halles) - The largest craft boutique in Paris, known for yarns, beads, French made ribbons, spools and spools of thread, feathers, twine, and more, displayed in labeled jars on the shop's wood-shelf lined walls. And there are dozens of little wooden drawers piled with buttons. It sounds charming, though you would never know it from their web site, but follow the link which will take you to reviews on Qype. The shop opens at 10:30 on Wednesday (2:30 on Monday).
If time permits, we may also take a walk on the rue Montorgueil, a market street near La Droguerie. Up for Escargot? We could dine at L'escargot. This is considered a bobo (bourjois / bohemian) neighborhood and one of the most authentic in Paris.
Thursday, September 29: Fashion Exhibition in the apartments of Le Grand Trianon, Chateau de Versailles
Brunch in the apartment, and after several hours of studio time, we will travel to le Chateau de Versailles for the "fashion show," Le XVIIIe au goût du jour, dedicated to the influence of the 18th century on modern fashion. We will tour the gardens and travel to the Grand Trianon via golf cart. Afterwards we will visit Le Petit Theatre de la Reine, and le domain de Marie-Antoinette as time permits.
Friday, September 30: Explore the 7e
Musee D'Orsay. The Musee D'Orsay is situated in a stunning restored train station on the left bank. There is a partial renovation currently taking place in certain galleries, scheduled to reopen in 2011. We will visit our favorite museum exhibits for an hour or so, then have lunch at the Restaurant de Musee D'Orsay. This historic restaurant is situated in one of the Grand Belle Epoque salons of the former hotel that adjoined the train station. Museum goers can comfortably sit amid crystal chandeliers, marble fireplaces, enormous mirrors, parquet flooring, and an opulently gilded frescoed ceiling.
Senellier - On the left bank of the River Seine, directly across from the Louvre Museum, lies a little shop which has provided supplies to artists for more than a hundred years.
Saturday, October 1: 14e
7:00 Marche aux Puces de Porte de Vanves (one tramway stop from our apartment). One of the best in Paris in terms of size, variety and price. There are 380 booths with different vendors each day. We should plan to arrive early and spend a couple hours here. The atmosphere is known to be pleasant and relaxed. Some vendors will speak English. Bargaining is expected and welcome. Vanves is considered to embody the essence of the flea market experience. And, though the surroundings are less than aesthetic, one never knows what wonderful and unexpected treasures will be unearthed! Here is the Vanves as seen by the Girls Guide.
Marche du Livre Ancien et d'Occasion (antiquarian and used book market - open 9 - 6)
7:30 - 10 pm Farewell dinner in the apartment prepared by a private chef. We will spend a relaxed evening reminiscing and sharing our journals.
Sunday, October 2: Au Revoir
If you have a late flight and want to visit the Vanves again in the morning (the vendors will vary) or possibly even Clignancourt, or any other venue, the apartment is ours until the end of the day.