Le 404 Restaurant

Le 404 Restaurant Paris by www.carlosmeliablog.comLe 404 Restaurant  |  Paris, France  |  One of my favorite activities when I travel, is to discover new restaurants, regardless the destination and type of cuisine. During my last trip to Paris, invited by La Compagnie Boutique Airline, I spent four days trying all new options I have never tried before. Some where over the top like L’Oiseau Blanc at the new Peninsula Hotel Paris, and some where very casual but yet AMAZING. Le 404 Restaurant, located in the neighborhood of Le Marais, was without a doubt one of them. Le 404 offers a great selection of dishes and delights from Morocco, in a very intimate atmosphere. Do not judge the book by the cover, from outside the restaurant doesn’t say much, but once inside you will discover scents and flavors, typical dishes, lots of Couscous, Tagine, Keftas and Berber specialties. Note that the restaurant offers communal seating, so be aware of this. If you are like me, not a big fun of communal tables, then plan to visit with a group of approx. 6 people to secure your own private table. Despite of this, food and wine, made up for my phobia to communal seating, and I truly had a fantastic Moroccan Cuisine high. The way to go, is ordering for the table and sharing. Average menu price per person including beverages EUR 45. And trust me, we eat till we were FULL. After that we took a lovely walk along Le Marais to around Champ de Mars. Some of the dishes I tried by traditional recipes, along local Moroccan Rose Wine were: Seven Vegetables CousCous +  Moroccan Lentil Salad + Zaalouk Salad with roast aubergine, tomatoes and garlic + Chicken preserved lemon and olive Tagine. To end, of course, a selection of Oriental Pastries with Moroccan Tea. Rather small place, so I would suggest booking in advance, over walking in. Carlos Melia Luxury Travel Curator – www.carlosmelia.com Continue reading Le 404 Restaurant

Our lovely apartment at Le Marais Paris

Our lovely apartment in Le Marais Paris  | Paris, France  |  This is the lovely apartment we have rented for a week in Paris at the Le Marais district, right in the heart of everything. Steps away from Rue des Archives, three blocks from the Centre Pompidou and only a few blocks away from Rambuteau and Hotel de Ville Metro Stations. We are beyond happy with our choice, and although we truly enjoy hotels, this has been an excellent option to overpriced hotels. We have our own charming room with comfortable private bathroom, kitchen with refrigerator and a washer/dryer. The owner of this townhouse, which by the way is 400 years old fully refurbished and in top conditions, is great and welcoming. The room has semi fireplace and features the original classic Parisian wood beams on the ceilings. Breakfasts in the morning at many of the Boulangeries around the hotel, and lunch and dinners at nice restaurants with the money we managed to save. Private access 24hs and completely safe. If you would like to consider this apartments, do not hesitate to contact me. CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends
(*) To book this property, do not hesitate to contact me either by email carlos@carlosmelia.com or phone # 917.754.5515. I am an experienced Travel Agent with over 25 years of experience, member of IGLTA, First in Service Travel, TZELL Travel Network.

(**) Follow me around the world by subscribing to my Facebook Profile, linking my Facebook Page, following me on Twitter. and/or pining me on Pinterest. Also check out my new page Carlos Melia Recommends.

VELIB Bikes affordable and fun way to explore Paris

VELIB Bikes to explore Paris • VELIB Bikes – the name is a contraction of velo (cycle) and liberte (freedom).  A popular bicycle rental scheme in Paris that has transformed travel in the city, by the private company JCDecaux, the second largest outdoor advertising corporation in the world, and championed by Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe, part of an attempt to “green” the capital.

A great way to explore Paris at a very affordable price. Paris has a very functional metro network, but you miss most of the sights while underground. VELIB Bikes is the best option to explore Paris at its best. Plus you get to put off all that extra calories you’ve taken into your system while enjoying some of the best cheese, bread, chocolates and wine in the world. ( hey I am talking from experience ).

Ten thousand bicycles were introduced to the city with 750 automated rental stations each with fifteen or more bikes/spaces. This number has since grown to 20,000 bicycles and 1,639 stations, roughly one station every 300 metres throughout the city centre, making Vélib’ the largest system of its kind in the world.
Each VELIB service point/station is equipped with an automatic rental terminal and stands for dozens of bicycles. Maps showing the station locations are available at all kiosks. If a user arrives with a rented bicycle at a station without open spots, the terminal grants another fifteen minutes of free rental time. The rental terminals also display information about neighbouring VELIB stations, including location, number of available bicycles and open stands. A fleet of 23 bicycle-transporting vehicles are used 24/7 to redistribute bicycles between empty and full stations.

In order to use the system, users need to take out a subscription, which allows the subscriber an unlimited number of rentals. Subscriptions can be purchased at EURO 1 per day, EUROS 5 per week or EUROS 29 per year. With a subscription bike rental is free for the first half hour of every individual trip; an unlimited number of such free trips can be made per day. A trip that lasts longer than 30 minutes incurs a charge of EURO 1 to EURO 4 for each subsequent 30-minute period. The increasing price scale is intended to keep the bikes in circulation. TIP: so my recommendation if you want your expense to come to ZERO. Jump from one bike to the other every 25 minutes. There are VELIB Statioin all over the city of Paris.

Some stations located above 60m altitude are called V+. They give to any user returning a bike coming from a non-V+ station 15 free minutes of rental : if the rental lasted more than 30 minutes, 15 minutes will be deducted to calculate the amount the user has to pay, meaning a 45 minutes trip to a V+ station is free for example ; if the rental lasted 30 minutes or less, the 15 minutes are added to a bonus V+ account, and can be used for future rentals that would exceed 30 minutes.

A credit card or Maestro debit card with PIN is required to sign up for the programme and to rent the bikes. The credit/debit card will be charged EUROS 150 if a rented bike is not returned. The credit card is required to contain an EMV-chip in most cases[

It is also being copied overseas with London, San Francisco and Singapore all intending to set up similar schemes.

LUXURY Short Term Rental at Le Marais Paris

LUXURY Short Term Rentals at Le Marais Paris • A fifteenth century townhouse in Le Marais, Maison 1400 is a designated landmark that has been carefully restored and decorated in 2006 by a well-known New York interior designer and his Paris-based partner. One of the oldest standing houses in the city, it is a robust structure of thick stone walls, many fine fireplaces, ancient wood-beamed ceilings and well-worn floors of terra cotta tile, oak plank and rustic limestone.
The house features several living areas, four bedrooms, four and a half baths, two kitchens and two kitchenettes. It functions as either a large townhouse that can sleep up to 10, or as four private apartments. It is decorated with antique, period-style, and contemporary furnishings and fine art which complement the faithfully restored medieval architecture, all of which reflect the designer’s signature high-style, understated luxury and sense of comfort.

The house occupies a central, yet peaceful corner of this fabled quarter of Le Marais. With “classe historique” status, and the energy of at least 500 years of habitation, more than 20 generations of life’s rituals have filled this house. The stone walls exceed one meter in depth in certain places, and evoke the “built-to-last” architecture of the day, while the medieval limestone arches in the basement enclose its very own well. The ancient circular stairway is one of last standing examples of a wooden & tile escargot staircase, built around one solid oak tree carved-down (with handrail) its entire 3.5 story-length.The famous proprietor in the 15h century was a certain Jean de la Haye, called “Le Picquet,” then a stellar chef in the Marais, credited with his puff pastry innovations. Now this house stands as a testament to the importance of historical restoration and preservation of the Patrimoine Parsien.
The house counts, as mentioned before with 4 units that are fully functional as individual apartments. You may also choose to book the whole house for your own group, holding up to a maximum of 10 people. Minimum rental time is 01 week. The apartments are…
MAITRE SUITE ( up to 02 people ) This apartment, with its fully-equipped stainless-steel kitchen, is eminently suited for entertaining. High ceilings, massive oak beams, limestone tiles and wide-plank flooring are hallmarks of the largest apartment. The dramatic foyer with tall windows, unique armoire and large Flemish-style chandelier opens through double-doors to the bedroom with its three-meter-high tester bed and limestone hearth. A vaulted passage leads down five steps from the foyer to the Salon with its Renaissance wood-burning fireplace, deep velvet sofa and high-backed chairs. A second sofa, in Louis XIII-style, forms a cozy corner and fronts a dining table suitable for up to 8 people.
AVIARI STUDIO SUITE ( up to 02 people ) This charming suite features red and white “toile de Jouey” wall covering and a large collection of shorebird lithographs by an 18th century naturalist. A woodburning fireplace with facing chairs make a charming sitting area for two. Wide plank flooring and ancient beams further enhance the traditional and thoroughly romantic atmosphere. In addition to the main room there is a kitchenette and a windowed, fully marbled bath. This apartment makes a most convenient “extra bedroom” to the Maitre apartment.
ATELIER DUPLEX SUTIE ( up to 4 people ) A windowed entry with a limestone arched kitchenette gives out to a light flooded double height “studio”  living room. A stair and catwalk lead to the mezzanine bedroom with a “mansard” window and also view over the lower level. The living room is arranged with two deep daybed/sofas flanking a wood burning fireplace and a round table with Louis XIII style dining chairs at the window. The soaring white walls, the ancient beams and antique terracotta tile flooring give this suite rustic simplicity and drama.
GARCONNERIE STUDIO ( up to 2 people ) The top floor apartment has “tented” striped walls and ceiling and a mirrored alcove bed in a traditional “campaign” style. There is mahogany furniture, a dormer window-seat and cafe table as well as an upholstered Louis XIII-style armchair. A separate beamed and skylit entry area and kitchenette lead to a windowed bath with a large stall shower. Though fully equipped and self contained the Garconniere might also make a most suitable “extra bedroom” to the Atelier suite.

Rates per Week: (week = 7 nights )

Garconiere Room – Euros 1100 x week
Aviary Room – Euros 1500 x week
Atelier Room – Euros 1900 x week
Maitre Room – Euros 2200 x week
Maison 1400 – Euros 6500 x week

Garconiere Room – Euros 1200 x week
Aviary Room – Euros 1640 x week
Atelier Room – Euros 2080 x week
Maitre Room – Euros 2410 x week
Maison 1400 – Euros 7030 x week

(*) Seasons. (all rates are subject to modifications)
Low Season:  Jan 3rd – Mar 11th. // Aug 1st. – Sep. 7th
Hight Season: Mar 12th. – Jul 31st. // Sep 8th. – Jan 2nd.

(**) For Bookings of Quotations, please do not hesitate to contact me @ carlos@carlosmelia.com

Mariage Freres Tea House

Mariage Freres Tea House & Store ( Le Marais, Paris ) • If you happen to we around the district of Le Marais around 4 or 5 PM a must do and see stop would be this traditional, iconic and chic Tea House. Here Tea and Gastronomy mix to form an exquisite combination. Learn about the basic steps of brewing successfully, and about the multiple selection of blends brought from all over the world.
Just across the street you will find the Tea Store where you will find thousand of tea blends from all over the world, Tea Pots, Tea Cups, Tea Parfum, Tea Delight and everything else that comes along with the word Tea. A true TEA EXPERIENCE.
Although Mariage Freres has multiple locations in Paris ( Louvre / Etoile / Rive Gauche ) my favorite is the one over Le Marais, that goes perfectly with the bohemian atmosphere of this district and the Tea scents.
(*) Marriage Freres www.mariagefreres.com • 35 rue du Bourg-Tibourg, Paris, Le Marais

Le Bouledogue Brasserie

Le Bouledogue Brasserie ( Le Marais, Paris ) • if you want to experience amazing french cuisine while you remain local and away from the touristic cliches, then Le Bouledogue is one of my top recommendations. Right at the beginning of Le Marais and only meters away from the Centre Pompidou.
Highly recommended by two local friends (Jean-Pierre and Jack) and joined our group, and to be full credit to them they were totally right. We had a very nice table, and we tried some wonderful french wines, dishes, fromages (cheese) and desserts. I am not sure what do they do with the food in this country, that they serve any dish you would try elsewhere, BUT they make it taste 100 times better.
My main dish was TUNA Tatar and believe me, this is one of my favorite dishes ever… and usually I wait till I get the picture to jump over it…. but this one look so delicious and tasteful that I was not able to keep my hands out of it. The dessert was a platter of Troi Fromages, again so creamy and unbelievable.
Now the whole story behind the name of this Brasserie is that the two owners – Didier and Jean Pierre – of this restaurant ADORE french bouledogues. Make sure that before you end your dinner experience to ask them to meet the star of the Brasserie – Virgil. He is the most handsome french Bouledogue and is the image of the brasserie. You will see it walking free around the place.

(*) Cafe Le Bouledogue Brasserie ( Le Marais ) 20, rue Rambuteau. Metro (11) Rambuteau. Tel. • www.lebouledogue.fr