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for Champagne Apartment
by Marcel & Lynn Mason, United States
"Our 30th anniversary celebration tour of Europe was capped-off with a 'Perfect in Paris' ten day stay in the Champagne apartment.
The apartment was everything we saw on the website, everything we read in the description, and everything that we envisioned - and then some. And foremost in that 'some' was the view of the Eiffel Tower! No matter what time of time day, nor in what kind of weather, the view of the 'Grande Dame' from either the wrap-around balcony or settled in the armchairs within the apartment, never ceased to delight us. It was truly magnificent!
We had selected this particular apartment from the extensive 'catalog' of Paris Perfect properties because (1) of its proximity to the Eiffel Tower, (2) that the tower could be seen from inside the apartment (and being able to from four separate French doors was even better), (3) that it have central A/C, (4) a kitchen with good layout, and (5) that it be located within easy distance of the metro. All conditions were met superbly.
After a meet-n-greet by Sarah, who showed us the workings of all the appliances and controls, we decided upon dinner at one of the recommendations in the special services binder which is provided by Paris Perfect (and written by Madelyn if I am not mistaken). This binder not only lists a number of nearby restaurants, but also all the food shops, grocery stores, open-air food markets, etc. in the neighborhood, as well as interesting places to visit in other areas of Paris. Plus, for those of us likely to forget what people like Sarah tell us, detailed instruction manuals for the appliances (even so, the oven needed some close study to interpret the 'universal' signage, and we resorted to hand-washing the dishes as opposed to tackling the dishwasher!)
So, the restaurant that first night, and actually for the only night we ate out during our entire ten day stay in Paris, was Le Violon d'Ingres. What a delight! From the reception greeting by the Directeur de Salle, Alexandre Lallemode, to the warm ambience and fantastic food complemented by a recommended (and wonderful) bottle of Savigny-les-Beaune 1er Cru, everything about our dinner was first-class. Was it not that we had a lot of food in the refrigerator on our last night in Paris we would have made this restaurant the choice for that evening as well.
And contributing to the full refrigerator was almost daily trips to the nearby shops and markets. For an open-air market on a Saturday morning, President Wilson at place d'Iena (just across the Seine) is absolutely incredible. Get there before the opening hour of 8 AM for the best viewing and photo op of everyone setting-up their booths and arranging their products for sale. And certainly Rue de Cler must be visited for their fine outdoor stands and gourmet shops. Closer to the apartment - for an excellent selection of fine wines, Le Repaire de Bacchus is right across the street. Meats at Les Viandes du Champ de Mars. Flowers at the shop down on the corner. Daily fresh bread and pastries from Le Champ des Délices. And for general items, or when the specialty shops are closed, the Supermarché G20 is less than four doors down. Everything one needs is within 5 minutes' walk from the apartment. And the apartment provides a rolling shopping cart to help one bring all these goodies home!
Through Paris Perfect's concierge, Lisa Buros-Hutchins with Your Paris Experience, we connected with Diane Anthonissen with Paris Cooking Company. Diane operates a private dining, lessons and market tour company. With a few email exchanges, Diane and we decided upon a six course meal for our 30th anniversary dinner, which was prepared by Diane in the apartment on our special day. Diane and her husband Eric (they work as a team) came by two days earlier to help us select the dishes, stemware and glasses. Lisa at Paris Perfect arranged for an extra table to be delivered by Paris Perfect's handyman, Waldi, so that it could be set-up in the living room of the Champagne apartment. This gave Diane and the maitre de hotel, Charles, the full run of the kitchen and regular dining area while we enjoyed the nightly illumination of the Eiffel Tower through the window and with great excitement and anticipation, awaited the dinner which would be coming through the connecting door.
And what a FANTASTIC dinner it was! Course after wonderful course, along with wine pairing, the dishes skillfully prepared and elegantly served. It easily topped any Michelin 3, no make that 4, star restaurant in Paris! What a wonderful evening!
To us, we could not have chosen a better location, a better apartment, a better rental and concierge company, nor a better chef to help us arrange and celebrate our 30th anniversary ten day stay in Paris.
And for anyone who asked us while we were in Paris, and now that we are back home, 'What was your favorite place in Paris?' - we simply reply 'the Champagne apartment'!
Merci to everyone - Sarah, Lisa & Waldi - at Paris Perfect for all your assistance and attention, and to Lisa at Your Paris Experience for the great referral. To Diane and Eric Anthonissen, and Charles, thanks ever so much for making our anniversary dinner one that we will recall time and time again with fond memories, one we will cherish forever.
Paris is always a good idea - Audrey Hepburn (from the movie Sabrina).
[Had Audrey known, we are sure she would have said'Paris Perfect is always a good idea'!]"
Marcel & Lynn Mason, Houston, Texas, USA, United States