Monthly Archive for November, 2011

top 5 places to propose in paris

© www.ashleightaylorphotography.com via hostess blog

© www.ashleightaylorphotography.com via hostess blog

In case you didn’t realize it, engagement season has just begun. Did you know that nearly 1/3 of all American engagements for the entire year take place between now (Thanksgiving week-end)  through the end of the holiday season?  Which is why I thought this would be the perfect time to share one of the more popular parisian party posts from the way-back machine:

As a wedding planner in Paris, I can’t tell you how many requests I get from panicky grooms-to-be looking for help on proposing to their bride-to-be at the top of the Eiffel Tower. One thing that I like to advise these guys is that a proposal, like amour, isn’t just about the payoff. 1 Pretty Spot + 4 Little Words + 2 Months Salary may = “yes”, but if in the end all she remembers is the bling, you’ve wasted a lot of time and energy!  No, a truly unforgettable proposal requires a little foreplay. If you’ve decided to propose in Paris, you need to set the scene and completely immerse your future epouse in the sights, sounds and sentiments of Paris. Sure, the top of the Eiffel Tower is amazingly impressive, but wading through the endless lines of tourists and panhandlers to get there? #notsomuch.

With this in mind, I’ve compiled: The American Wedding Planner in Paris’ Top 5 Best Romantic Places to Propose in Paris

photo © lee reforma for http://with--this--ring.blogspot.com

photo © lee reforma for http://with--this--ring.blogspot.com

1. Ile de la Cité – The first spot on my list is the Ile de la Cité – the cradle of Parisian civilization – where the ancient Parisii tribe lived before they were conquered by the Romans in 57 AD. If you’re bringing your sweetie all the way to Paris to propose, what could be more romantically symbolic than proposing at the very epicenter of Paris? With beautiful monuments like Notre Dame Cathedral, the Pont Neuf, the Conciergerie and Sainte-Chapelle, sprinkled with little parks, squares and markets, it’s one of the most romantic spots in Paris- with perfect “proposal ops” for both day and night.

photo © arihunterphotoblog.com

photo © arihunterphotoblog.com

2. Jardin du Palais Royal - This one is a more personal favorite- My French Husband wooed me oh-so-many years ago with romantic walks through the Palais Royal. All of the elements of the perfect proposal are here - Mystery and Intrigue: The gardens are hidden from the street on all sides by almost identical buildings. You’ll need a good map (or a little know-how) to find one of the doorways that enter onto the place. Peace and Quiet: The same walls keep the noise of the Parisian traffic out. If you’re lucky, there may be a cellist or opera singer performing beneath the tall arcades, but usually the loudest sound you’ll hear will be coming from the beautiful fountain in the center of the garden. Romantic Ambiance: The arcades of the Palais Royal house cute little shops, restaurants and cafes- a perfect place to wander through soaking up Parisian atmosphere before you stroll over to one of the benches that dot the park and ask for your honey’s hand in marriage…

photo © emilie gerard amypunkyphotography.com

photo © emilie gerard amypunkyphotography.com

3. Pont des Arts - How could she say no to a proposal on one of the most enchanting bridges in Paris? The Pont des Arts is a wooden pedestrian bridge which leads to the Louvre and has the most amazing views of Paris (with the Eiffel Tower in the distance) and the Ile de la Cité. A little wine, a little baguette et fromage, the sun setting on the Seine…and she’s yours for the asking! And while you’re there, don’t forget to leave a Love Lock as a memento of your Parisian adventure.

photo © ian holmes www.ianholmes.net

photo © ian holmes www.ianholmes.net

4. Canal St Martin - This charming, tree-lined waterway in the 10th Arrondissement is still pretty much overlooked by tourists, especially in off-peak months. Built by Napoleon III in 1825 to transport materials from quarries in the north to the Seine, the waterway’s charming iron footbridges and locks are still standing, and set a romantic tone for a different type of wedding proposal. After checking out the “bohemian chic” shops and waterfront cafés along the Quais de Valmy and de Jenmapes, stroll on over to the Parc de la Villette and board a canal cruise- a tranquil 2 hour ride down the canal and out onto the Seine, where you’ll have plenty of opportunities to pop the question.

photo © jeanjean911 www.fotocommunity.fr

photo © jeanjean911 www.fotocommunity.fr

5. Maison Blanche - Located on the top of an old Art Deco theater off of the Champs Elysées, Maison Blanche is a hip and trendy romantic restaurant where you go to see and be seen. Reserve a table near the windows if you want to impress her with a breathtaking panoramic view of Paris and the Eiffel Tower, or book one of the cozy booths if you want something a bit more intime for the big moment.

photo © www.maison-blanche.fr

photo © www.maison-blanche.fr

- © parisian party, december 2007

thanksgiving pie giveaway - we have a winner!

vintage-pie-eating-contest-2

With less than a week to go before Thanksgiving, it’s about time that I announce the winner of the parisian party Thanksgiving Pie Giveaway!  Both Alisa from Sweat Pea Baking and I were so thrilled with all of the comments and positive feedback that we received on this.  A HUGE thank you to everyone who took the time to post on this blog, as well as share and retweet about the giveaway on Facebook and Twitter. So, without further ado, the winner is ….Linds, who also happens to write a sweet blog called  “Greetings From the American Girl“.  Linds will receive a mixed box of a dozen holiday mini-pies, baked fresh from Sweet Pea Baking.

Thanks again for playing along, everyone. And I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving- wherever you happen to be celebrating!

parisian party giveaway: thanksgiving pies

thanksgiving-in-paris

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and with it comes the love/hate relationship that I, along with several other of my American expat friends it seems, have with celebrating Thanksgiving in Paris. We, of course, love the nostalgic flavors of the dinner buffet, the chance to spend a nice, pressure-free time with our immediate family and/or friends, and the very un-French opportunity to don maternity pants and eat ourselves into a coma. What we all agree that we HATE, though, is the hunting and gathering (and trial and error) involved in trying to prepare a culturally traditional feast in a foreign country. Things like figuring out where to buy a “Butterball” turkey (and how to say “please remove ALL the feathers as well as the head, feet, AND giblets” in French), how to pay less than 8 euros for a can of pumpkin, where to find pecans in Paris, or the key  to making your grandma’s sweet potato pie recipe out of the pink African patates douces that you find at the market. That’s where my good friend Alisa comes to the rescue. First, she told me about the épicerie G. Dutou in the 2nd  arrondissement where you can find “home grown” spices and fixings from around the world- including things like pecans and dark molasses for pecan pie. Then she agreed to take it one step further and team up with me on a Parisian Party Thanksgiving Pie Giveaway!

Alisa, who is the owner of Sweet Pea Baking in Paris as well as a cookbook author, has literally written the book on Meringues, sweet-pea-paris-piesCupcakes and Birthday Cakes in France.  Together, we’re going to make your Thanksgiving in Paris that much easier, AND your dessert buffet that much sweeter-  by giving away a (figurative) cornucopia of holiday pies!

Sweet Pea Baking is putting together a mixed box of a dozen classic American mini pies – pecan, pumpkin and lemon meringue- made especially for one lucky parisian party reader.

To win this down-home, holiday goodness, all you have to do to is:

1. Leave a comment below telling me what your favorite Thanksgiving pie or dessert is (mandatory).

And for extra chances to win:

2. “Follow” parisian party on Twitter (then leave another comment here telling me you did so).

3. “Like” parisian party on Facebook (then leave another comment here telling me you did so).

4. “Like” Sweet Pea Baking on Facebook (then leave another comment here telling me you did so).

The contest is open until Friday, November 18, 2011 at 8:00PM Paris time. One winner will be chosen and contacted on Saturday, November 19th, 2011. The winner must be able to pick up the dessert box from Sweet Pea Baking in the 15th arrondissement in Paris on either November 22nd,  23rd or at a later, predetermined date.  For any technical questions about the pies (i.e. can they be kosher/gluten free/vegan, etc.), please email Alisa at sweetpeaparis@gmail.com.

Bon chance à tous!