Archive for March, 2015

Get Your Caffeine Fix at These Fabulous Parisian Cafes

Posted on March 25th, 2015 by Dusty Fox in Uncategorized | No Comments »

It’s not hard to find great food in Paris. If you’re planning a vacation there, you’ve probably already spent hours online, gawking at photos of elegantly served food and drooling over menus. But have you put any thought into where you can go for a great cup of coffee? If not, don’t fret–we’ve got you covered! From American-style corner coffee shops to upscale coffee-focused cafes, here’s a list of some of Paris’s best places to enjoy a superb espresso, café au lait, or café noisette.

Double Espresso [Photo Credit: Coffeegeek, PublicDomain]

Double Espresso / Coffeegeek / Public Domain

Coutume Café – If you enjoy the science behind creating the perfect cup of coffee, you will enjoy this relatively new coffee shop where patrons can choose from a variety of brewing methods. These guys have literally won awards at major brewing competitions, so you can bet they’re serious about doing things right. You’ll also find plenty of options for a sweet treat to accompany your coffee and can enjoy a full breakfast or tasty lunchtime sandwich here as well.

KBCafeshop – This casual coffee shop is the perfect place to opt for a sweetened coffee-infused drink, settle down into a corner, and watch or chat with the locals–all while putting your French language skills to use, of course. Things really pick up on Sundays here thanks to their decadent brunch platters that offer the perfect balance of salty and sweet.

Soul Kitchen – Friendly staff, inviting decor, and a unique, vegetarian-based menu set this cafe apart from others in the area. You can get a great cup of coffee here, but those looking for a cooler refreshment are sure to enjoy the fresh fruit juices. Kids will like the bright colors and casual atmosphere, while parents can rest easy knowing the whole family is eating a healthy meal.

Le Rocketship – You may come for the coffee, but chances are you’ll leave with a few additional purchases in hand as well. The cafe/boutique has all kinds of trinkets, mugs, and home decor, in addition to a full coffee menu.

American Corner – As you can almost decipher from the name, this is the place to go if you want an American staple–the bagel. But this isn’t any plain old bagel. Opt for any of the dozen or more bagel sandwiches on the menu to accompany your cup of joe and you won’t be disappointed.

Latte Art [Photo Credit: Takeaway, CC BY-SA 3.0]

Latte Art / Takeaway / CC BY-SA 3.0

Café Verlet – Step back in time by paying a visit to this historical cafe that dates back to 1880. While the seating area may be tiny, the exquisite coffee selection–to enjoy there or to take with you in bean form–more than makes up for a lack of space. A menu of cakes and pastries and a daily quiche-and-salad lunch offering make it hard to leave without trying something of a little more substance as well.

If you’re planning a vacation to France, now’s the time to brush up on your French skills. Contact us today to sign up for language lessons and you’ll learn how to order your café and pain au chocolat with confidence in no time at all!

Fantastic French Wineries That Offer Tastings and More

Posted on March 14th, 2015 by Dusty Fox in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Anyone who is a fan of wine will want to be sure to visit a winery or two while vacationing in France. Whether you’re staying in Paris, the rolling hills of Bordeaux, or the Loire Valley–or just about anywhere else in this bountiful country–you can rest assured there is some fantastic–and fantastically affordable–wine nearby. It’s quite easy to find a superb bottle of wine for $15 or less, which means you’ll be tempted to not only drink a glass or two with dinner each evening, but you’ll certainly want to buy a few of your favorites to make the journey back home with you, or perhaps a few cases to have shipped directly. Consider these 3 lovely wineries for a tasting and tour while vacationing in France:

Chàteau Moncontour

No reservations are required at this historical winery that overlooks the famous Loire River and surrounding hills. Make a day of exploring the area and stop in at your own leisure for a tasting with your travel companion. The chàteau boasts an onsite museum with more than 3,000 items on display, which you can visit free of charge. Get information on their hours of operation at their official website.

Lynch-Bages Label / Arnauddevial / CC BY-SA 3.0

Lynch-Bages Label / Arnauddevial / CC BY-SA 3.0

Chàteau Lynch-Bages

Plan your visit well in advance–reservations are required, choosing between the standard 1-hour visit with 2 wine tastings or the enhanced “Esprit de Lynch-Bages” visit that features 5 tastings. Those who are here between May and October are in for an extra treat–each year during this time a contemporary artist is invited to display his or her artwork in the vat-house. The collections share a common inspiration in that each artist draws up on his or her experience with wine when creating the works. Admission is free for winery guests; find the details on planning a visit at their website.

Chàteau du Taillan

The most devoted wine enthusiasts would be wise to plan their trip to France based on the various activities offered by this impressive winery. Workshops focus on specific areas of wine making, such as blending and harvesting. The gourmet visit, as listed on their website, pairs wine tasting with a cheese sampling and tour of the cellars, while another option provides guests with a picnic basket filled with a baguette, camembert, paté, and other delicacies to enjoy with a glass of wine in the garden.

Burgundy France Wine Region / Megan Mallen / CC BY 2.0 via Flickr

Burgundy France Wine Region / Megan Mallen / CC BY 2.0 via Flickr

While Paris is the main attraction for many French visitors, don’t overlook the wonders of this country’s wine regions. Tastings seem to be increasingly popular, thanks to the demand presented by American travelers. And, lucky for you, a visit to these wineries, and so many more, doesn’t start and end with a tasting. Plan your visit accordingly and you may be able to tour the cellars or the vineyards themselves, take in an art show, or join a private tasting event.

For more tips on planning your wine tasting tour of France, check out this blog post that highlights 3 picturesque wine-producing regions. And if you need to learn how to say “Another glass, please!” or “I’ll take a case of the 2012 Merlot” in French, be sure to contact us at Easy French today. We would be honored to pair you with an expert instructor for private or small group lessons to teach you how to speak this beautiful language.