It's Christmas in Paris and the city of lights is alive with, well, more lights!! Read about the B&Bs we discovered and visited and the new city tips and old city spots we enjoyed in between; as we board our flight back home (boo) but already plotting next years trip :)

Secret Paris TIP: 'F' is for Faubourg (Saint-Antoine) 


Around Rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine, is a bohemian district of Paris, a very lively and hip neighbourhood in the 11eme. We were tipped off by one of our B&B hosts...if you wonder around this area look for little signs (the letter 'F') hanging over grand closed doorways. This is a sign to locals and only those in-the-know, that a rare passage hides behind the door that is open to the public. Simply push the door and it will magically open. Enter and be enchanted by one of those very special secret courtyards and passages they tell you you cannot access. Normally you can't because they are indeed private, but in the Faubourg you can explore a select few. You can even find secret little shops and cafes hidden behind ivy covered facades. Eyes-peeled for the 'F' folks, Parisian secrets await :) ...

Start the walk at Place de la Bastille, and just go straight on to Rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine MAP and discover these doorways. Just one of the passages you will find Le Passage du Chantier MAP - the last witness of the old wood and furniture trades. You will find on this charming cobblestone street a lot of furniture shops.


 At Avenue Ledru-Rollin, you will find again a lot of passageways - a good way to catch a glimpse of Paris in the 19th century. The walk ends at metro station Faidherbe-Chaligny. From there, you can go to the Père-Lachaise Cemetery

This week we also visited our charming Petite apartments near here in the Faubourg in Paris (11eme):

1. Apartment Pascal: 2 bedroom private apartment with balcony views! From 150euro p/night for 1 or 2, 179euro p/n for 3 and 199euro p/n for 4

CLICK HERE to view this home on our WEBSITE


...While in the 11th arrondissement, we made a pit stop at the classic yet very hip and happening Le Chat Bossu cafe, an absolutely cosy charming atmospheric Italian run brasserie serving traditional French and Italian fare, the best coffees this side of town and with local feel and friendliness. Red checked table cloth, family-style and always bustling and cool. The chefs recommendation or plat du jour (plate of the day) is usually only 10-12euro too! MAP


 Around the corner is the Marche d'Aligre, one of the best indoor markets in Paris where the locals go and always a beautiful bustle of fresh foods, grocers, fish mongers, fromageries and more which spill out on to the street stalls outside. Best time to go is Sunday mornings 7am - 12pm MAP

  ... Next we were so LUCKY and excited to discover and land a brand new amazing B&B apartment in the heart of the city, the 2nd arrondissement, a private 1 bedroom classic home down a typical garden passage and courtyard (image above) offered by Martinn our amazing hostess who will welcome you like family, deliver fresh gourmet breakfast basket on the first morning of your stay and share her city secrets and tips with you.


 157euro per night for 1 or 2 guests and 225euro per night for 3 guests


  VIEW this classic Paris apartment on our website HERE

...after visiting our new home, it was time for an aperitif at our all-time favourite bar in Paris. Le Fumoir - an iconic dark and tres-Parisian classy bar and restaurant, old-world feel, somewhere where you can lose yourself for hours in the leather lounges, surrounded by art noveau decor and books, lamps and locals. Despite its location right near the Louvre this place remains more local than touristy. Upscale, an older crowd, yet casual and friendly. MAP


They are open for breakfasts, lunch and dinner, KILLER cocktails and they are very generous on the bar snacks which you can almost make a meal out of. Best aperitif hour hotspot we say :) MAP


...for a foodies paradise experience we hit Rue Montorgueil, a pedestrian only long delicious street lined with gourmet shops, fresh food markets, cafes, restaurants and bars, a bit of a hotspot, but so local and untouristy, indoor historic passages to explore, the oldest patisserie in Paris is here as well as some of the cities hippest eateries, cocktail bars and brunch spots. We love and recommend the following places here:

La Grappe d'Or - for its super friendly staff that make you feel like family and like making this your local spot even if you live nowhere near it. great for coffee and aperitif hour and fantastic people watching from the terrace. The food is traditional and fairly priced too. MAP


Stohrer - the oldest patisserie in Paris is worth a drop in and taste indulgence. MAP

Au Rocher du Concale - a very traditional classic and iconic cafe, a bit of an institution, so casual and friendly, fresh and fantastic french cuisine, you can wifi in here for a while too without being stared out :P MAP



Passage du Grand Cerf - one of the connecting old carraige-ways and historic passages that run through the city. Within this one are numerous enchanting tea salons, stamp and postcard collecting shops, and other artisian treasures. MAP

To end the week we secured 2 more amazing classic B&B Guesthouses for our website. One a classic family home that feels just like Nana's place with Eiffel tower views from the 2 guest bedrooms, and the other a luxury artful and chic 3 level terrace home with 5 deluxe guestrooms and garden:


B&B Berenice (above) - 2 cosy quaint bedrooms with private bathrooms, within our gorgeous hosts home, Berenice is a beautiful hospitable lady and her home is full of family heirlooms with garden and balcony and large lounge room to relax in. Guests will feel just like family here, located in a gorgeous upscale neighbourhood outside the centre, yet only 10mins via metro to the centre, and with its own village life of cafes, restaurants, bars, brasseries, boulangeries etc, and located moments from the Palais de Congress and La Defense making it ideal for business travellers looking to experience something still classic and intimate rather than another generic hotel. 108euro per night for 1 or 2 guests per room. COMING SOON TO OUR WEBSITE - for early enquiries email us:


2. B&B Christophe - our NEW LUXURY boutique B&B in the prestiguous 16th arrondissement, is a gorgeous artful home full of designer pieces, a lavish lounge with piano, 5 guest rooms spread over 2 levels some with garden views and all with ensuites. Breakfasts are gourmet and generous served daily in the dining or garden when weather permits. From 150euro per night for 2 guests - COMING SOON TO OUR WEBSITE - for early enquiries email us:

...And we couldn't leave Paris at Christmas time without a visit to the Galeries Lafayette department store and its giant tree :)...



Until the next Paris trip, au revoir...