La Tête dans les Olives
La Tête dans les Olives, photo: Philippe Baumann

La tête dans les olives – An Evening to Remember

I have the good fortune to get to Paris a few times a year and if it’s not August, I’m plotting to get an evening at La Tête dans les Olives (they close at the end of July and reopen in September). Located on a small winding street in the 10th Arrondisment, it’s a tiny olive shop by day and a very private restaurant by night: one table and a maximum of 6 guests on undersized folding chairs. Once everyone is seated, there’s no room to walk around the table; you’re sitting up against barrels and shelves of fabulous olive oils from Sicily. Although food allergies are a consideration, a private chef prepares ‘everything olive’ with each course: an olive oil tasting (with several baguettes) for starters, followed by samples of fish in olive oils, followed by a simple pasta dish, in olive oil –and ending with powdered ‘olive oil’ cookies. Bring your own wine.

La Philharmonie de Paris
La Philharmonie de Paris

Philharmonie de Paris – Surround Sound at its best 

Not so hidden but truly worth a visit is the new Philharmonic in the Parc de la Villette. As impressive as it is from the outside, inside it’s theater in the round with not a bad seat in the house. Even in the cheap seats way up high, the sound was impeccable and the view from behind gave us a full frontal of the conductor which was a total treat. The décor is stunning with an outdoor winding staircase and 360 views of the surrounding landscape. If you get there early, the Café des Concerts, housed in its own building on the grounds, is well worth a visit – even if only for a quick tea and pastry. NOTE: it serves classic quality food all day long.

outdoor movie at La Villette
outdoor movie at La Villette

La Villette Outdoor Movie Theater – picnicking with Parisians 

Between the last week of July and the last week in August, the weather in Paris is perfect especially in the evenings –and there’s nothing more ‘local’ than watching an outdoor movie surrounded by Parisians. Picnic in the park, rent a blanket and a couple of comfortable deck chairs and enjoy a late night movie (movie starts when it’s dark, around 10:30pm), and spend a few hours immersed in French culture. Wine is allowed. So is cheese, pate, ham and bread. Classic films, oddly many are in English (with French subtitles) – all with the stars you love to see.

earrings at Satellite
earrings at Satellite

Earrings – Not your Mother’s Studded Pearls

To us, the most beautiful trip is the one taking you to somewhere unknown. Towards this imaginary place, where everything seems possible. And to reach this destination, please follow the guide… Welcome to Satellite. Welcome Elsewhere.

Every trip I make to Paris, I always stop at Satellite, hoping to be there during their sale. No matter how much my weight fluctuates, my earrings will always fit. They help define my style as I attempt to age gracefully, offering some color and flair to a wardrobe that’s becoming more about black and other demure solid colors. Seemingly inspired by African and Asian sensibilities, I find their earrings, bracelets and necklaces fanciful and imaginative… and most importantly, reasonably priced. There are several shops in Paris – the one I prefer is in the Marais.

hot chocolate at Angelina
hot chocolate at Angelina

Hot Chocolate – It’s not just for kids.

Angelina’s may be a highlight for tourists but there’s a good reason why. The hot chocolate there is superb. Hot chocolate was invented in Paris so it’s expected to be good but at Angelina’s, it’s better than good. It’s dark, it’s rich and topped off with thick homemade whipped cream. It’s the forbidden fruit you’ve just got to have. I’ve tried a number of places in Paris searching for the ultimate and there is only one other spot I found, in the Trocadéro, that meets the high standard of excellence I experienced at Angelina’s. The atmosphere at Angelina’s is “old classic Paris”; at La Carrette at Trocadéro it’s a modern people-watching bistro. Either way, sit back, forget about the calories & enjoy the treat.

American Concierge was created to guide American tourists to Paris through the city as if they were locals, or, as we say in French: “Vivre comme un autochtone.” The American Concierge tours, activities, events and suggestions are all designed to give you an authentic Parisian holiday chock full of veritable experiences usually available to only a handful of privileged locals. Many visitors find that if they try to do everything on their itinerary, they invariably rush, rush, rush only to run out of time. American Concierge endeavors to insure that you cut to the chase, find the authentic local experience and have time to leisurely enjoy it… just like a Parisian.

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hot chocolate at Angelina
hot chocolate at Angelina

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