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Trip Report: Apartment, Cheap/Good Food, Rue Montorgueil

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Singapore, Singapore
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Trip Report: Apartment, Cheap/Good Food, Rue Montorgueil

Hi all,

First of all, I would like to say a big thanks to everyone in the Paris forum. I've asked a couple of questions during the past several months, and have been browsing the threads like crazy prior to my trip. TA has been very helpful indeed.

I just came back from my trip to Paris a couple of days ago, just towards the tail-end of the cold spell. The last time I was in Paris was as a student, when I stayed there for quite some time, but revisiting the place is just as exciting as the first visit.

Apartment:

After months of researching and worrying and researching again, decided to go with Centreparis Bellan apartment. The agency was easy to deal with, the pricing was fair, and the location was fantastic. The apartment is in the 4th floor, furnishings are very basic, and all the equipments that you would expect (laundry, iron, etc) are there. What I appreciated the most was the location - just about 20-30 steps away from Rue Montorgueil and 1 minute walk to the Sentier station. I had initial uneasiness about the whole key situation - but it turned out to be not too much of a hassle.

Rue Montorgueil:

This is such a fantastic street - and now my favorite part of Paris. I always woke up at 7am, and for 5 days, always the first customer of the boulangeries in the area. I made sure to try most of the shops in the street - Stohrer, Eric Kayser, Boulangerie Les Petits Carreaux, the boucheries, La Boulanger de Monge, Pains Paul Gateaux, the formageries, and the cafes. I probably spent half my time in the area - but it was worth it. I'll post individual reviews in the next few weeks. I just love the energy in the street.

Food:

I asked a couple of weeks ago for restaurant recommendations in the 25-35euro budget range. I planned to eat out for dinner everyday, but my friends had to go back home on the 3rd day because of an emergency, so we only had time for 2 dinners and 1 lunch. I was able to get reservations at Le Relais de I'isle, Les Papilles, and Au Bougnat. All three have been highly recommended by TA members - and I'm so glad that I heeded the advise. For the first 2 restaurants, we luckily managed to get a table for dinner, although both were very full. Our group ordered the duck, foie gras, veal, pork, cucumber soup, cheeses, and a variety of fantastic desserts. I tried in Les Papilles the most tender and flavourful beef I've eaten in my whole life! I'm in constant search of places within this price range, because it is very possible to have a fantastic meal without spending a small fortune. Will also post reviews for each of these restaurants.

As a tourist:

I decided to revisit Louvre. Despite going there midweek and during winter, it was still quite crowded. Did not have to queue long for the tickets though. I spent 7 hours there! Mostly in the French paintings area in the 2nd floor. I also visited Les Catacombes for the first time. Winter for me is the best time to be in the city (or Europe in general), because it is relatively less crowded, and I enjoy walking around despite the cold, then constantly stopping for coffee or vin chaud.

Paris is a fantastic city, and my favorite place in the world! I've never had bad service during my stay, and all the people I've encountered have been patient with my serviceable by broken French. (Curiously and just an observation, the most impatient ones are those in the tourist ticket booths - would just ignore my French and speak to me in English - understandable though because they are busy)

I'm already planning a return trip - perhaps stay in a different area or try different restaurants (there's still La Cordonnerie, Chez Dumonet, etc), and go to different places.

Thanks again, everyone, for all the great tips here in the Paris forum!

Cheers,

bluegreentravel

Edited: 04 February 2012, 08:51
Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: Trip Report: Apartment, Cheap/Good Food, Rue Montorgueil

Sounds like a lovely trip.

On a previous visit I stayed in an apartment on Rue Montmartre and like you, spent a lot of time on Rue Montorgueil. It's a fabulous street.

7 hours in the Louvre is a great achievement. I can do about 4hours max before having to give up and come back another day.

I hope your next trip to Paris is not too far away.

Toronto, Canada
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2. Re: Trip Report: Apartment, Cheap/Good Food, Rue Montorgueil

Great tease for the rest of the details. Looking forward to reading more. Any immediate thoughts on the bakeries; did you have a preference?

United Kingdom
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3. Re: Trip Report: Apartment, Cheap/Good Food, Rue Montorgueil

Sounds like you have a great trip, I love Rue Montorgueil, too :-)

Singapore, Singapore
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4. Re: Trip Report: Apartment, Cheap/Good Food, Rue Montorgueil

Mez3000, Riostar,

Rue Montorgueil is definitely the perfect place to walk around, relax, and people watch. I spotted a couple of other tourists, but the street remains to be very local. And the food options are just amazing - one great place after another.

piratepirate,

I want to include so many tips and details in my report, but I'm afraid I might flood this thread with my endless stories/rants.

As for the bakeries - I really made my mission to try all in the area! Though choice because all are great (and that's an honest assessment), but here goes:

Stohrer - I managed to try at least 8-10 pastries here (oh yes! and now I think I'm a couple of kilos heavier), I should say that the best one is their tarte framboise. A close second is the eclair au chocolat. Honorable mention: croissant aux amandes. I read that the place ranks as having the best eclair in Paris. I may not have tried all eclairs in the city, but that one is very very very good! Actually, all the pastries there are just so good - I kept coming back twice a day.

Boulangerie Les Petits Carreaux - I've tried the pain au chocolat in at least four bakeries, and this one is definitely the best. You have to get it fresh, wish is why I'm always up very early. Early enough to watch the breads being taken out from the ovens!

La Boulanger de Monge - Best croissant and baguette (also tried a few places). I also enjoyed some of their sweet pastries.

The other pastry shops/bakeries are also good! I hate to play favorites, because I've never tried something that I didn't enjoy.

Specialty shops - Le Palais du Fruit - how can one resist those delicious looking things? I also love La Fermette where I grabbed a couple of cheeses that I'm now slowly consuming here in Singapore!

Cafe/Bistro - I really didn't order anything other than coffee, since I had lunches and dinners in other areas. Just as long as it's not the Starbucks that's quietly situated at the end of the street.

One confession though - I was so saturated with food and sweets and coffee, that on the last night, I just decided to grab some wine in Nicholas (the friendly man in the store had good recommendations), then, I just headed to the grocery store and bought a microwaveable frozen dinner! You know what they say about too much of good stuff...

(Sorry for another long one... I got carried away)

Edited: 04 February 2012, 15:05
Sydney, Australia
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5. Re: Trip Report: Apartment, Cheap/Good Food, Rue Montorgueil

8-10 pastries a day???

Now that's impressive. I only wish I could fit that many in. :-)

Singapore, Singapore
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6. Re: Trip Report: Apartment, Cheap/Good Food, Rue Montorgueil

Hi Mez3000,

I also wish I could eat that much! But just to clarify - I meant that I tried about 8-10 pastries in the Stohrer bakery, in my 5 nights/6 days stay. (I forgot to mention that their baba au rhum is fantastic!)

Early in the morning, I would get up to get myself and my friends some breads for breakfast in about two boulangeries (on purpose, so we can compare). As for the delicious pastries, we would pass by a couple of shops before doing our whole day walks, and put that pain au chocolat etc in our bags - which we would gradually consume and share while exploring the city. Usually, would come back in the late afternoon to the Rue Montorgueil area to have coffee and rest the feet for a couple of hours. This is why I got to try so many things! My pants feel a little tighter already...

Edited: 04 February 2012, 17:14
Toronto, Canada
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7. Re: Trip Report: Apartment, Cheap/Good Food, Rue Montorgueil

Lovely, and thanks for the responses. The only way I can justify the breads and pastries I'll consume over the time I'll be there is to NOT buy metro tickets and to walk everywhere. But if it stays cold I may change my mind.

Little Rock
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8. Re: Trip Report: Apartment, Cheap/Good Food, Rue Montorgueil

Great trip report. I'm staying in the Rue Montorgueil area and it's on my itinerary for the very first day in Paris. But it sounds like I might be visiting more than just one day. I'm excited.

Again you again for the trip report. Your report is not a bore ... please continue.

Sydney
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9. Re: Trip Report: Apartment, Cheap/Good Food, Rue Montorgueil

Just loved your report. Good for you sampling all those pastries - plenty of time to diet when you get home. I also enjoy reading the little details - it really helps create a more vivid picture of your stay.

Singapore, Singapore
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10. Re: Trip Report: Apartment, Cheap/Good Food, Rue Montorgueil

ngozi23, hope you enjoy Rue Montorgueil too. Don't forget to try all through pastries. Stohrer is also famous for their mille feuille, by the way; and, there's a good chocolate store just nearby. It's best to park yourself at a cafe there during the weekend, when the locals go there to shop around. But most of the stores closed down on Sunday afternoon. The area is just one of the many great areas in Paris. I would want to explore another part of the city on my next visit.

Nibbles55,there's always a reason to skip the diet.

piratepirate, do skip the metro. The cold is the perfect excuse to go for yet another coffee and pastry break!