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Deauville beach

Nothing announces the arrival of summer like a trip to the beach!! While Paris might seem rather isolated from any swimmable bodies of water (the Seine should not be considered swimmable, and neither should the Canal St. Martin though I have seen a brave drunk soul in the latter), Paris is only a two hour train ride away from large sandy Atlantic beaches.

Deauville-Trouville,  twin coastline towns in Normandy,  are absolutely  fabulous destinations for those looking to get out of the city for the weekend or even the day.  Trains go out of Paris’s Gare St. Lazare every hour so you can easily get there early to enjoy a full day at the beach, and then come back at a reasonable hour after you have enjoyed a nice seafood dinner. (for a SNCF train schedule click here) The Deauville-Trouville train station is about a fifteen minute walk form the beach, and walk is really nice because it leads you through the charming town of Deauville where you can peek into darling little boutiques along the way.

Deauville's twin town, Trouville.

Deauville’s beach is a classic with all its multi-colored umbrellas, beach front cafés, and of course the “changing rooms” of the rich and famous. The boardwalk offers public restrooms, ice cream stands, sandwich places and the odd beach store selling hats, sunscreen, towels….and anything else you might have forgotten. Just don’t expect it to be cheap! The water temperature in summer is refreshing and warm, okay, so not Mediterranean warm, but warm enough for enjoyable swimming and splashing around.

I have made it a yearly tradition to go with friends, and I have yet to be disappointed! It is truly a mini-vacation where you’ve thoroughly escaped the hustle and bustle of Paris, and entered that “endless” summer vacation zone!

Deauville's signature umbrellas

Okay okay, so yes I am aware that McDonald’s owns Chipotle, I am aware that the blogosphere is a great community that has recently informed me that McDonald’s does NOT own Chipotle! So no damper on my excitement regarding the opening of the first Chipotle in Paris, I am ready to enjoy its deliciousness in all its glory.

As soon as it opens, I will let you know if the burritos are just as enormous and the choices of fillings are the same. Located quite close to my work, I can foresee myself frequenting Chipotle more than I’d like to…

As for the date of the grand opening, I am not sure, but it will be located on 20 Boulevard Montmartre in the ninth arrondissement, right next to a McDonald’s. Coincidence?

Outside of the Taqueria Candeleria

Longing for the taste of some creamy refried beans? Crunchy tortilla chips and guacamole? Tostadas, tacos , maybe a cold Modelo or Corona? Well, thanks to Guiri’s research and “dégustations,” you won’t have to travel all the way to Mexico (or the US) to get your share of delicious Mexican food!!

Recently, I devoured some savory Mexican at a brand new joint called Candeleria. Tucked away on a side street in the haute Marais, Candeleria has been open for about a month, and is packed every evening without fail!

Delicious imported salsa

Started by a group of friends with Mexican and American origins, it offers homemade and genuinely authentic Mexican cuisine which is prepared right in front of you (tortillas included). The menu changes daily, but the standard fare is tostadas, tacos, chips and salsa, and small salads. The salsa is spicy but addictive and so are the Modelo Negos!

Candeleria, like most places in the Marais, is on the small side. The taqueria can fit about 20 maximum, and the bar area about 25-30. In the evenings, be prepared to wait a bit, and the stand, as the table area is very limited. Despite its drawbacks, the food is truly worth, so definitely do check it out!!

Tortilla making at Candeleria



Candeleria

52 rue Saintonge

75003, Paris

http://www.candelariaparis.com/




The other place I also sampled about a week ago is place called Cactus in the 9th arrondissement. Catering mostly to the lunch crowd, it resembles a Chipotle (if you are from the States, you know what I am talking about). Cactus has a bit of a fast-food feel , with the trays etc, but the food is fresh and quite tasty. Burritos are the main thing to get there, and you are able to customize your burrito by choosing from a selection of different kinds of beans, veggies, rice, and meats. The burritos are on the larger side, so if your eyes are bigger than your stomach (like mine) you might not need to get the whole menu deal!

Cactus also has a coupon card, so if you are in the area and can get over there enough, you can get a free taco after scarfing down ten of them!

Cactus

48 rue Laffitte

75009, Paris

http://www.cactus-restaurant.fr/

Ok, so I’ve noticed that lately all I have been writing about is FOOD!! Clearly it demonstrates my priorities during my free time…but I swear that eating out is not all I do!

I also do a a lot of fashion. An equally damaging obsession that well, I just can’t help. Recently, I went to check out an expo that showcased some of Paris’s up and coming designers, and fell in love with the creations of Rose la Biche. 100% hand-sewn and designed by Lucy Baluteig-Gomes, Rose la Biche literally means ‘Rose the Doe’ and was started by Baluteig-Gomes in San Francisco in 2005.

Love the sleeves on this one!

What attracted me immediately to Baluteig-Gomes’s clothing was the playful yet structured nature of the line, demonstrated particularly in her spring jackets. Capturing the romantic yet edgy fashion of Parisian chic, her newest line is worth an online browse on her Etsy web site named after her label.

Baluteig-Gomes told me that originally her line was geared to an American public, however following her move back to Paris, she discovered that Parisians really enjoyed the American simplicity of a jacket and tee, so she abstained from deviating too far from her original designs. I found her clothing to be a great balance between casual and alternative, making them perfect for almost every occasion. When I tried on several magnificent pieces, which happen to all be too big for me, she offered right away to fit me at her studio in order to get the fit just right.

The shoulders sold me!

In her own words, “Creating this apparel line came out of my urge for elegant yet edgy basics as a refreshing alternative to trendy look-alike mass produced pieces. I design each new piece with the idea of a balance between ‘wow factor’ and everyday ‘wearable.’ Unexpected shapes plus sober colors for a clean finish to wear up or down: that’s what Rose la Biche is about.”

I couldn’t agree more, and I highly suggest checking out her line out to freshen up your wardrobe this spring!!