Monday, January 19, 2009

Suggestions Please

I am planning our next trip to France in March.   It is never for as long as I would wish due to school/work commitments but this time we have actually promised ourselves some time in Paris and I don't mean overnight in the hotel at Charles de Gaulle airport. 

We want to be in the thick of things, say Montmartre / Left Bank, so I am looking for hotel suggestions from all you who have been lucky enough to have the occasional weekend in Paris. Obviously budget is a big factor, rather not be in a chain hotel but if that's the most reasonable. I am hoping that Paris in Spring will be nice enough to sit in street cafes and soak up the atmosphere. To wander streets just like this one would be my idea of heaven.

I would say suggestions on a postcard but probably in the comment box would be more appropriate.

Other than that the plan is to get stuff done. Don't we say that every time?! Anyway this is the current wish list:
  • meet up with potential electricians/plumbers
  • purchase a wood burning stove
  • purchase a shower stall
  • purchase vanity unit and toilet
  • purchase a kitchen unit (as in photo) this will be our stop gap kitchen (funny thing isn't it - I have only ever seen these in Europe - but just what we need)

    The idea is that we achieve hot water, some usable electricity and heat so that on our summer visit we can stay in the house and not waste money on gites.  Keep your fingers crossed for us and send in those suggestions. 


    Maggie May said...

    Sorry I can't help about suggesting accommodation in Paris.
    All the other things look real good. I should think that the woodstove and the cooker are essential and the other things too. it will still be chilly in March.
    It is exciting isn't it?

    dND said...

    Hi SITH, I bet you can't wait for March!

    Re purchases, it's worth bearing in mind that if they go wrong you can usually only return them to the shop you purchased them from, and not any other in the chain as most of the chains here are franchises. So don't buy in Paris if you think you might have to return it :-D

    Secondly I think there is only a short time during which you can return goods that are faulty (I may be wrong on this but I'm sure others will correct me), so unless you can install/test the item within this time it might be better to leave purchase until you are.

    Wood-burning stoves, It's very dependant on what you want. I know of people who've spent 5000€ on a stove and having it installed and it's not heated the room above 14°C while others have purchased 200€ stoves and installed them for themselves and had no problems.

    Also, the recession is hitting in France too with firms going out of business so that is worth bearing in mind if for instance you have a stove put in but can't test it until next year. I don't want to worry you but wouldn't want you to find out the hard way.

    All the best,

    travelling, but not in love said...

    My suggestions for hotels would be alla round le Marais, pruely because of the lovely shops, the great places to eat and the accessibility for everywhere else. the Marais streets are narrow, old, proper Paris too...and it's closed to traffic on a Sunday.

    Hotels would be:

    la compostelle le marais - cheap, clean and run by a mad woman

    hotel duo - truly lovely

    hotel sevigne - run of mill, good location near St Paul and the Métro.

    Also, try the Campanile Bastille - booked in advance it's cheap, it is a chain hotel, but in a great location.

    Alternatively, there's always my spare room!

    And don't get me started on restaurants....


    softinthehead said...

    Maggie - yep we really want to get settled in

    dnd - great advice, I will bear it in mind.

    TBNIL wonderful stuff, I will check out those hotels, I will get you started on restaurants closer to the time, thanks so much :)

    menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

    Oh you lucky thing - have a great time and just remember that you don't have to pay big to get great hotels in Paris - even the lower end of the market is a bargain and great quality.

    I LOVE FRANCE said...

    I hope you get all those things sorted out, lucky you going in march.
    We always stayed in hotels just on the outskirts of paris ad just used the metro to get in and out.

    Mean Mom said...

    Sorry I can't be of any help with the accommodation, but you seem to have had some helpful suggestions, already, luckily!

    Hope you have a good time and manage to get everything on your wish list. I like the look of that kitchen unit!

    Milla said...

    I have nothing useful to say, but having read down (including your comments blog!) I can't not say nothing! Love the pics you incorporate and, if I didn't have by extreme luck, the very loveliest kitchen in Europe, sigh, then I would be argy barging you for that mini kitchen thing. Enjoy Paris. My bro lives there. Dead smart bit, but with 2 young children that;s actually a bit of a drag for him and the sauntering through the cafe areas are sort of a thing of the past.

    aims said...

    Here I was going to suggest you talk to Travelling - but I see he's been and left his mark already.

    Sigh....follow your dream girl. The road might me long, narrow and full of ruts - but I bet there's a rainbow at the end.

    softinthehead said...

    MOB - thanks I will bear that in mind.

    Andrea - we thought about that but as we are only going to be there for two days we thought it was worth paying a little bit extra for the convenience.

    Mean Mom and Milla - I think those kitchen units are strange with their stove top, fridge and sink all in one, but very convenient as you can basically just plug it in like a washing machine. It will certainly get us started.

    aims - thanks I fully intend to, any more thoughts on New Orleans? :)

    amy said...

    I just wanted to make sure you saw this (I wrote it in response to your comment on my Paris post but then I thought now how will you see it there?!:

    ms. soft, I'm not sure which hotel it was - but the one I just went back to for the 2nd time I would recommend. It is Hotel Studia on Blvd St Germain - definitely unglamorous but cheap, clean and with some 50's charm still intact. I mean you can get a room for under 50 euros (but that's without shower, for that Henry Miller or George Orwell feeling..there is even a bidet) I think for just under 70 you can get with shower etc. But there is no TV. Don't bother with their 5 euro breakfast because one of the best bakeries in Paris, the Kayser, is right around the corner.

    Another decent cheap one we've tried, and it is very popular so you really have to book ahead is Jeanne D'Arc in the Marais. lovely neighborhood and less frenetic but I think Studia could work better for being right in the middle of things.

    Here, There, Elsewhere... and more said...

    Try the Hôtel Britannique (no joke!) at Châtelet - great rates and so well located..:)

    Anonymous said...

    Hotel Derby Alma is nice - good location (5 mins walk from the Eiffel Tower) although the staff weren't the most friendly in the world.

    Oh, and there is the nicest Pizzeria I've ever been to right next door!

    Sally's Chateau said...

    Hotel de Suede is a small hotel with rooms overlooking the presidential gardens (ask for a back room), reasonably priced and central. Have you thought of buying a 'stop gap' stove at Emmaus ? thus reducing your carbon footprint further and helping a very worthy charitable cause.

    softinthehead said...

    HTEAM, Chapati and Sally - thanks for the suggestions, I will check them out.

    Sally - great idea - I will check that out as well. Always looking for suggestions, polite ones of course !! :)

    Non Je Ne Regrette Rien said...

    I would suggest the Marais district in Paris; also I have a friend who manages several flats throughout Paris and this is a lovely alternative to hotels ... you can get to know your neighborhood a bit more and have the option of eating 'in'. there is a link on my blog under int'l dreaming (my charming friend sylvain ...) you can check it out further there and if you contact him for info, tell him your American friend Kimberlee sent you. as far as hotels in the Marais, I would suggest the Jeanne d'arc or Hotel Place des Vosges - both 2 star (stars in France relate only to the size of the room) and decent hotels in a fabulous location. If your pocketbook is spendier, you might not like these.

    As far as renovation goes, Brico Depot has lots of what you are looking for, but at basic levels-not a lot of fancy stuff but can get you up and functioning. if you contact me via my blog and let me know where in the Limousin you are, I can ask my friend and builder JY if he has any recommendations. Also if you want more Paris stuff or any other questions, just holler! (And I love Paris in April!)