Step 2: Our Response


This is an example request:


"Our 10 year anniversary is coming this October. I am thinking of planning a cool trip. Paris for a few days and then some part of French wine country.  I am guessing Viv won't want to be gone away from the kids more than a week or 8 days. Do you think this is enough time to do both? If so what part of Paris should we stay in and what hotel or hotels do you recommend? And where should we go as far as wine country. And what restaurants are a must knowing that Viv will want to be a food snob for this trip?"


You can do Paris and wine country in about a week. My interest is in helping you move when you need to move and relax when you want to relax. If you take into account jetlag, you've got a good six days of action. I've been to Champagne, Rhone Valley, Languedoc, Loire, Bordeaux, and Burgundy. Your best bet is Burgundy. It's not too far away, there are plenty of very good vineyards and towns, and the scenery is gorgeous. Take three days in and around Beaune.


I'd say when you're in Paris it's the big landmarks are going to make your head spin, so pick a few that you really want to go to and send me that information. Otherwise, I can show you what amounts to the Classic sites of Paris: the Eiffel Tower, Invalides, Arc de Triumph, Grand Palais, Alexandre III Bridge, Tuilleries, Louvre. If you want to relax more, the more interesting parts of Paris correspond to what level of luxury you're seeking. So let's think about the area first and the hotels second. 


If you only have three or four days, you'll want to stay central. The Marais 3rd/4th or the Latin Quarter 5th/6th are going to be chic hip and chic quiet, respectively. If you go to the 7th, it's mostly aristocratic; the 8th is chic, quiet, luxurious, and can be very hip - it's where the stars and models and moguls set up shop; the 16th is nouveau riche and quiet and near the Eiffel Tower; the 1st and 2nd are two other possibilities, so long as you stay near the Palais Royal in the 2nd. I like the 9th but it might be a little far to go on foot to some of the sites.


There are hundreds of restaurants to go to. You probably want a mix of the trendy ones, the cutting edge ones, the traditional Michelin starred top chefs, and the local favorites. We can discuss over the phone or in future emails. Please give me more of a sense of what it means to be a food snob - you'll be in a country where food snobbery is not a thing. Most people recognize good products and where they come from.


This is what we can do to set some variety of restaurants in place. We can decide on one of these three options: 


Option 1) Palais Royal to Saint Germain (6eme/7eme) could begin blazing a path of fashionable and trendy and walking like Dandies consuming the boutiques, cafes, lifestyle/concept stores, and checking out street life refreshed by hip and haute couture all the way;


Option 2) Marais-Bastille (3eme/11eme) could begin at Place des Vosges and head rue de Sevigne, Archives, Vielle Temple before making a loop through the boutiques, galleries, cocktail bars, cafes, concept stores and new food, clothing, object design, and print media that define the upper Marais. I would cross over to the Bastille which I have lived in for seven years.


Option 3) Sentier/Les Halles to South of Pigalle (2eme/9eme) could begin at Saint Eustache. Between rue Montorgueil and Sentier there are a good number of culinary boutiques, Sentier is food, technology, and cool cafes. The crossover to rue Strasbourg is a little shocking - but this is the edge in Paris right now. Head up to the base of Montmartre.


If none of these interest you entirely, please give me more information so that I know what we can do to incorporate themes and neighborhoods. You can be as inventive and offbeat as you want to be. I'll give you options.



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