Brasserie Le Petit Zinc, Belle Epoque Dining in an Art Nouveau Setting

Le Petit Zinc, Belle Epoque Dining

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Taste the elegance of a by-gone era with a visit to the charming,  Parisian brasserie, Le Petit Zinc.    In the St. Germain des Pres area just minutes from the Luxembourg Gardens, you can treat your palate to delicious foie gras or the house seafood specialties.

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Although it’s tempting to sit outside and watch the hustle and bustle of the street, the interior is a “can’t miss”.   Decorated with parts of old Metro stations, a large zinc bar and even part of a former Biarritz casino, it’s difficult to focus on the delicious food amidst all that grandeur!    Sole Traveling Mama didn’t find it one bit “stuffy” or pretentious.   The clientele is a good mix of ages, including locals and tourists, children welcome.   Continual service from noon to midnight with a well-priced menu makes this brasserie a big winner.

Located at 11 rue Saint-Benoit, Paris 75006, Metro Line 4 stop St. Germain des Pres

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Le Meurice is Le Fab!!

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Recently, the Sole Traveling Mama spent a delightful, better half of the day with a few dear friends at the gorgeous Le Meurice.    It may have been something about a Jubilee birthday celebration that started it all, but whatever the pretense, it was the perfect venue for reveling in glamour and luxury.

It all probably really started a year ago with STM’s darling Irish friend, “Miss Tiny but Mighty”.   Having 10 children between the 2 of them, they would desperately try to find the time to meet for a rushed coffee after the school drop-offs at a corner cafe, every few weeks.    For the sake of convenience, they would sit at a small, cramped table in the noisy cafe with their notebooks trying to align children’s playdate schedules and weekend activities while catching up on Life in general.

It was only in another coffee meeting in the elegance of Fouquet’s one morning that it dawned on Sole Traveling Mama…”I can pay 10 euros for a cup of coffee sitting in a huge, comfortable, velvet-upholstered chair with a mini croissant included and spend a pampered hour, OR pay 5 euros for a coffee with my uncomfortable wooden chair being jostled around amidst constant chaos…..hmmmm.   Now I’m no genius but even I can figure out that we’ve been doing something wrong and need to change our ways!!”

When the next Irish coffee meeting rolled around, STM suggested the Shangri-La, and so began their  tradition of splurging on themselves for a monthly fancy coffee/children strategy session.    And as their friend Long Island Lolita is one to say, “It’s cheaper than therapy!”

Now, STM is not one to just throw money around and she is always looking for a bargain, so don’t think she is advocating this on a daily basis – although it sure would be nice!   The value-added is in the pampering and living for a bit like a princess!!

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The Le Meurice coffee at approximately 12 euros is served with 2 delicious chocolates and considering the Philippe Starck decor in which one is ensconced  – it’s a bargain!!!      And the true beauty of it, is that one can sit and enjoy for as long as time permits – noone to rush you there.

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STM adored the fanciful chair legs and design.   What do you think about these well-heeled chairs?!    The vitrine with the hanging old hand mirrors and candles was stunning and the Dali like cubic tables  gave an edgy feel to the sumptuous furnishings.

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Le Meurice has been on the Rue de Rivoli, Paris, adjacent to the Tuileries Gardens since 1835.     Rulers from countries such as Jordan, Thailand, Serbia, Russia, Belgium, Iran, England and Spain, to name a few, have all stayed there.    Salvador Dali was a frequent guest at Le Meurice and possibly one of the most eccentric, with his outrageous demands of the staff.     It wasn’t ALL about the extravagance and Society though; during WWI it was closed as a hotel and used instead, as a hospital for wounded soldiers.

So what are you waiting for??!!    Step off the Rue de Rivoli and into the divine – after all, you work hard, you DESERVE it!!!

Le Meurice, the “Hotel of Kings” is located at 228 Rue de Rivoli, Paris 75001,  Metro Line 8, Concorde or Line 1, Tuileries

http://www.dorchestercollection.com

Sculptures of the Louvre

Cherubs of the Louvre

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Sole Traveling Mama says that it can be a real treat to go to the Louvre and NOT seek out the big names art works.      While hordes of tourists mob Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo, you cana leisurely stroll through random galleries and get up close and personal with other stunning creations.    French, Italian, Ancient Greece,  Rome, and busts galore, get off  the beaten paths and discover your own favorites!

Avoid the long lines and buy your tickets online at http://www.louvre.fr/en.   Open late on Wednesdays and Fridays until 21:45 and daily except Tuesdays.    FREE admission on the first Sunday of every month EXCEPT April through September.

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Classic Car Rally, Paris to Venice

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Sunday morning, May 25 from approximately 10:00-10:45, some of the most amazing cars you will EVER see, will be on the Ellipse of the Champ de Mars, using the Eiffel Tower as a backdrop, as they begin the Classic Rally from Paris to Venice. Check out the race website and be sure to also check out and LIKE the Facebook page Chantal Hoogvliet Paris.  
Sole Traveling Mama is honored to call this Dutch knockout rally organizer and former Supermodel a friend. The “beast” that Chantal will be powering tomorrow is still being kept under wraps – can’t wait to see her pull up tomorrow! VROOM, VROOM!!!   For more information on this race and others, see the website at www.classic-rally.nl  (there is an English translation) and follow her journeys on www.instagram.com/chantaltv or www.chantal.tv
The race is Paris to Venice, beginning May 25 and lasting 6 days.   What can be better than a  great route, beautiful hotels and.. Ferrari, Porsche, Aston Martin, Mercedes SLS, Bentley, Wiesmann and McLaren!!    The cars will convene at Versailles, in case you happen to be at the Chateau or in the town of Versailles on the 25th and the actual “race”  begins from Paris.    Come and have a look!
(And remember to LIKE  and follow Sole Traveling Mama’s  own Facebook page too so you can see her daily photo posts and get even more travel ideas!)