Paris Girls Trip Questions

My sister and I are heading to Paris in 10 days. We have both been enough to see most of the stuff in guide books so this is just for fun, and of course some cultural repeats. We both have heard how aweful/awesome La Taverne du Sergent Recruteur is and have been dying to go (since we don't have any snobs with us this trip!) but it looks like it may be closed. The website is down, no answer on the phone, and I can't find anything on the internet. Anyone know anything? Also, what about Nos Ancetres Les Gaulois? Is it in the same league? Also, Rick says Disney Paris is like Disney but with wine and since the culture snobs we usually travel with are staying home, this is at the top of our list! Looking at the official web site it looks like all the 'bars' are off the park site. Do they serve beer/wine in the park at the restaurants? You can see what kind of fabulous trip this is going to be! Thanks in advance.

Posted by Carol
Atlanta, GA, USA
679 posts

When I went to Disneyland Paris several years ago they sold beer and wine at all the counter service places in the Magic Kingdom. Thank goodness as the food was basically inedible

Posted by Janet
Colorado, USA
507 posts

Check davidlebovitz.com. He just wrote a long blog post about Disney Paris.

Posted by Southam
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
912 posts

McDonalds in Paris also sells wine with the burgers. What a wonderful experience you are planning when you look for places just like home. Almost as good as staying home.

Posted by Leslie
Atlanta, Georgia
370 posts

Thanks Carol and Janet (and Southam)! I haven't checked David Lebovitz site in a while. Great insight to the park. That's a great resource for food store shopping too. Mr./Ms. Southam might want to check the snob thread :) My sis and I have either lived or worked overseas and don't find the need to regale others with how much we travel (ok 4 stamps this month just fyi, not that that is impressive on this forum). Hence the 'tourist' girls trip. Sometimes it's fun to embrace your 'inner tourist'. Sorry, but if I see the 'Greatest/Biggest/Smallest' man-made/natural....whatever animal/vegetable/mineral, I'm stopping! I do everything from la Scala to amatuer archeological digs that include a free family of chiggers. To each their own. Sorry for the rant....Really curious about my restaurant choices. Is Pat around? I think I saw it on a couple of searches from her. Thanks!

Posted by Gail
Downingtown, USA
1560 posts

Just looking on CNN about the major storm and while on there pulled up the z"travel" section and it show ten free things to do in Paris, look it up you might find something for you!

Posted by Leslie
Atlanta, Georgia
370 posts

Thanks Gail and Pat.. I just sent you (pat) a PM. I appreciate the help!

Posted by Dawn
Denver, CO
258 posts

"but if I see the 'Greatest/Biggest/Smallest' man-made/natural....whatever animal/vegetable/mineral, I'm stopping!" Leslie - you totally made me laugh out loud! I couldn't agree more. Vacations come in all shapes and sizes and they are all FUN! Have a great time with your sister.

Posted by Gail
Downingtown, USA
1560 posts

LOL, reminds me of Clark Griswald in the vacation movies, "rusty, we are going to see the biggest ball of twine!" and believe me, our family has had many of those types of vacations!!! Enjoy trip.

Posted by Terry kathryn
Ann Arbor, Mi
2608 posts

Leslie... if you find some fun non-tourist things to do / restaurants please post as I will be in Paris the first week of Dec. and will have a bit of downtime and would like some different ideas as well. Have a great time... what a fun place to have a Girls Trip.
I was there a few years ago with a friend and although I wanted to go out and take pictures she went to Disney as she had her 4 year old there, and they loved it. I think if you hate Disney in the US you would find it about the same in Paris, but if you enjoy it here... at least they will be speaking to you in French or with accents:))) sort of like Epcot! (I happen to love Disney...my daughter lives in Fl., so we go all the time..guess we are easily amused)

Posted by Leslie
Atlanta, Georgia
370 posts

My Dad thought the 'Vacation' movies were instructional videos so if everyone makes it to the departure gate without being apprehended by authorites, it's a successful vacation :) So far we have been mostly successful. Will do Terry Kathryn. Be sure to check out Le Marché des Enfants Rouges in the 3rd for lunch. I doubt it's entirely non-touristy but I grab lunch there at least a couple of times a trip. You may know it well but for some reason, most I talk to have never been. Great photo ops too if you go right before/after the lunch crowds. Disney Paris is on my sister's bucket list and since I'm sure it will be more memorable than an umpteenth trip up the Eiffel/Seine Cruise (and I like Disney too) then I'm all in. Plus she promised you can get berets w/ mouse ears! Have a good trip! Just FYI for those who search La Taverne du Sargent Recruteur, I posted this on TA (thanks Pat) and it is no longer open. It's a 'chef's table prixe fixe' type place that starts at € 95/ for dinner and appears to still be working out the kinks.

Posted by Carol
Atlanta, GA, USA
679 posts

Do the evening bike tour. When I did it they took us on the last Seine cruise and gave us a couple of bottles of wine....and then you get to pedal back to the store with a buzz. :) have fun and don't let the self assigned travel police get you down

Posted by Linda
Santa Rosa, CA, USA
281 posts

Nos Ancetres Les Gaulois was probably my worst Parisian experience (and I am not a travel snob). I was traveling with a friend who recommended it, as she had been there with a tour group and had a great time. The place is full of tour groups and is very loud with lots of singing. But our food and service were terrible. I couldn't even find our waiter to complain that my steak was inedible (I couldn't even cut it). We did not ever get the cheese and fruit plate, but the people sitting next to us at the table shared their's with us. And one of the men with that group got up to search out our waiter so we could order dessert. When he brought the bill, I told him I was unable to eat the steak and he just walked away. I really felt cheated. Other than meeting a very lovely group of Germans sitting next to us, the whole experience was aweful. My observation was that they cater to the tour groups in order to keep them coming and ignore the walk ins. The tour groups seem to be having a great experience, not so much for everyone else.

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
7827 posts

I second the recommendation of the bike tour, so fun, not hard, a friend talked me into it about 5 years ago, and I was reluctant,, but I was wrong. Fat Tire Bike tours, I have since done all of them including one in London ,, I think the Paris by Night and the one to Giverny are my favorites .No need to prebook the night tour so you can pick a nice evening weather wise.

Posted by John
Pantego, NC, USA
704 posts

My wife and I love to pack a picnic and go to the Seine and find a bench and sit and people watch as we eat or we will take the picnic to the park in the middle of Paris, where the Ferris Wheel is, close to the Louvre, and sit on a bench and eat and people watch. We do this in the evening, around 7 or so. People are out of work then and lots of people are there to watch. We also have a favorite brasserie, Jazz Y Jazz, which has live music on Friday nights. It is in the 18th on the corner of Av. de la Porte de Montmartre and rue Rene Binet.

Posted by Leslie
Atlanta, Georgia
370 posts

Thanks for everyone's response! I don't think I have been on a bike since I got my driver's license so that could be a lot of fun. The wine cruise following would probably be enough to convince my sister to do it. I've been to a handfull of jazz clubs in Paris but I don't think it was Jazz Y Jazz so I'll check it out too.
I appreciate you sharing your experience Linda. Come to think of it, the only time I was at one of these type places was at Bunratty Castle on the one and only tour I ever took over a decade ago, so I totally see what you experienced could easily happen. It makes sense. I'm working on Plan B now. Probably the brasserie at the end of the Ile. It's been quite reliable in the past. Thanks guys!

Posted by BG
Albany, CA, USA
1410 posts

I've seen the Fat Tire bike tours in Paris over the summer and they look like fun, and of course lots of people hanging out and picnicking on the banks of the Seine, but keep in mind it is chilly, rainy and not daylight savings time now in Paris, so these suggestions may not be that comfortable.
I'd spend time in some of the Xmas markets that should be starting soon, in cafes, museums, stores, checking out some good restaurants. And strolling around when the weather is nice. Even with the rain and chill, it is still pretty nice.

Posted by Leslie
Atlanta, Georgia
370 posts

Thanks BG. I was there in 2010 with my mom and sister the last week of October/1st week of November and if it wasn't raining it was freezing. It's Paris, who cares! We will be there the 7th thru the 15th. Any chance the Christmas markets may be open in that time span? If they are, where? Thanks in advance!

Posted by BG
Albany, CA, USA
1410 posts

Leslie, unfortunately I think most of the Xmas markets start in mid November or early December, so you may miss them. You can google and find out more info.
but the Xmas decoration are up in many places, and the stores are starting to show goodies -- so it should still be very nice.

Posted by Lo
Tucson
648 posts

I have two things might be memorable and fun for you. I rarely see either of them mentioned. The tomb of the unknown soldier is at the base of the Arc de Triomphe. Every evening at 6:30 the flame is "rekindled" in a formal ceremony. When we were there, all traffic in the area was stopped for people to march to the tomb and lay wreaths. Veterans walked with the banners of their units. It was both impressive and touching. We literally stumbled on it in a classic case of right place, right time. After all the people in the procession have crossed the streets, the tunnel to the Arc reopens and the traffic starts whizzing by again. The ceremony continues under the Arc and you can take the tunnel over there to get closer. Down the Champs Elysees there is a Toyota showroom. They do museum quality exhibitions of their product line. The current one is of their 75 year history. There is also a simulator upstairs for people to "drive" one of Toyota's race cars. When we were there, it wasn't a video game. You actually sat in the race car with a big screen in front of you and your input from the car showed how you were driving on the screen. Humbling but fun.