Postcards from Paris March 2014

Postcards from Paris March 2014


Above:  the gorgeous Arc de Triomphe, Paris

Bonjour a tous! Hello everyone!

March 2014
! I finally did it!
I’ve been talking about, dreaming about, sketching and thinking of publishing a book about Paris, and I’ve finally done it!

Yesterday I clicked the PUBLISH button on my first Kindle book about Paris, and I’m so excited! It’s only 20 pages and covers some of my favourite things to do, and even though it’s a Kindle book, anyone can read it on a smart phone or a desktop computer by downloading the software from the amazon site.  Cool!
And the best part is it’s only $US0.99! As this is my first time at publishing this type of book I’ve set it at the lowest price allowed.  If you do decide to buy – that’s fantastic – thank you in advance!
If you could also leave me a Review on Amazon that would be absolutely marvellous – many thanks in advance!

Read more here >>

Teena's Kindle book, MEMORIES OF PARIS

Looking for steak & chips in Paris?

Look no further – here’s a great restaurant I heard about and I can’t wait to check it out in August/September when I’ll be back in Paris:

Les Arts Decoratifs – Museum

Every month when I receive the newsletter from this wonderful museum, I always find something I’d love to go see.  If I lived in Paris full-time, this would be me favourite place!

There’s a great exhibition about typefaces, and others about toys, fashion and wallpaper just to name a few. I could spend days exploring les Arts Decoratifs!

Visit Les Arts Décoratifs at 107, rue de Rivoli 75001 Paris – tél. : 01 44 55 57 50
Les Arts Decoratifs

What’s on in March & April?

Paris in March

Five weeks of Jazz and Blues festival, cinema festival, Easter, art, and so much more!



Want to meet me in August/September 2014?

Teena Hughes

I’m planning my trip to gay Paree — woohoo!

I’m currently setting up the Calender of events I’ll be hosting, and I do hope to meet some of my newsletter subscribers, which will be fantastic!
Got any plans to be in Paris around then? I’d love to hear from you.
Let me know what your plans are and maybe we can connect for a coffee or a glass of wine in the late afternoon somewhere …
Contact me over here >>

Youtube videos

One of my favourite French classic songs, La Vie en Rose by Edith Piaf, here being played by Louis Armstrong (with English translation — love it!)

If you like quirky things, I watched this and thought it was fabulous!
A great French comedy routine!



Until next time! A bientot!

Ciao ciao for now – click reply if you’d like to connect, or pop over to the Facebook page.


Book: Memories of Paris

My Memories of Paris by Teena Hughes

I’ve done it! I’ve created a book  — and it’s available on Kindle first!

This does not mean that you can’t read it if you don’t have a kindle — not at all!

Here’s a snapshot of one of the pages of my new Kindle book on my iPhone:

Memories of Paris Book on iPhone by Teena Hughes

It’s a short photo book with about 20 pages (with paintings of some things I love to do when I’m there), as my first foray into Kindle, and I’m quite pleased with how it turned out.

Now, getting back to Kindle – if you don’t have a Kindle, you can download the Kindle App on your smart phone, and you can also download the Kindle Reader on either Macs or Windows PCs, so that’s easy! The quick video walks you through how to download the software.

You can read all Kindle books on your laptops and desktop computers — in fact that’s what I do as I don’t have a Kindle :-) OK — so what’s my book about? The truth of the matter is I love Paris, I used to live there, and every time I visit I take at least 1,000 photos and video clips. For my first Kindle book about Paris, I thought I might just make a small book with some of my favourite photos.

I got to thinking about that, and thought I’d like to do something slightly differently from everyone else — so I’ve made paintings from my original photos and I’m really pleased to share them with people who read my Kindle book.

Memories of Paris Book by Teena Hughes

Come walk with me through Paris, it’s about 20 pages long, I do hope you enjoy it.

Buy now at an incredibly low price – just for you!!



Le Relais de Venise Restaurant in Paris 75017

Le Relais de Venise Restaurant in Paris 75017

In the mood for a very tasty steak and fries (“chips” and the French “frites“)? Pop over to Le Relais de Venise.

I love a good steak and I really love Chateaubriand, but if you’re not looking for something so rich, you might enjoy this great resto (and the great news is they’re also in London (x 3!) and New York!)

  • head on over to Porte-Maillot metro in the 17th arrondissement
  • no reservation is necessary
  • when ordering your how your steak will be cooked, you’ll only have TWO choices — rare or well-done, so please don’t ask for anything else :-)

This restaurant has also become known by the name of L’Entrecôte and you can ask for directions and everyone will know which restaurant you mean.

Once you’re seated at your table, your waitress will ask you: “Saignant?”  (rare), or “Bien cuit?  (well done)”.

That’s it — no other choices, no “medium” or “medium rare” — so knowing that up-front will make it easier to choose. The steak is thin so it can really only be cooked in two ways. Easy, non?

When your steak arrives it will be thinly sliced and covered with an amazing sauce (and it’s a secret recipe handed down through the generations), paired with delicious “frites” (or fries, also known as “hot chips” in the UK, Australia and New Zealand).
When you’re ready for dessert you’ll have many wonderful delicacies to choose from, so go ahead and enjoy!

Your Say

If you do visit this restaurant, I’d love to hear what you think about it – just send a Comment below, or a voicemail (click the button on the right of the website) or tell me about it on my Facebook page, Twitter etc — thanks in advance!

271 Boulevard Pereire
Porte-Maillot 75017
Tel: 0145 74 27 97

Map to Le Relais de Venise Restaurant

[mappress mapid=”36″]

For other great famous French food to eat, pop over here >>

How to talk to shopkeepers in French

Knowing what to say and how to talk to shopkeepers in Paris will help you to have a wonderful experience.

Here is a great video I found which will help you — practice the pronunciation and in just a couple of minutes you’ll know enough French to get by each time you go shopping.


Examples of what to say to shopkeepers:

  • Je voudrais acheter six tomates, svp (s’il vous plait = please) = I would like six tomatoes please.
  • Je voudrais deux baguettes, svp. = I would like two baguettes (French bread sticks) please.
  • Je voudrais 500 gram de camembert, svp. = I would like 500 grams of camembert (cheese) please.
  • Je voudrais 200 gram de paté de compagne, svp (country paté). = I would like 200 grams of country paté please.

And you? Et toi?

Share your experience by leaving your comment below :

What do you normally say when you go shopping in local shops?
Can you now write down your own phrases and the French translation?
Did you notice other phrases when going to the shops and talking to shopkeepers?

New Years Day Parade in Paris France

Watch the New Year’s Day Parade!

One of the most famous New Year parades takes place in Paris, France.  La Grande Parade (New Year’s Day parade) originates from the 1400s and takes place in various venues, especially the Grands Boulevards. It proceeds through Chantilly on 31st December and reaches Trocadero under the Eiffel Tower on January 1st.

Spectators line the streets to watch thousands of performers, entertainers, singers and dancers put on a spectacular show.

Fireworks and events are mostly concentrated around the Eiffel Tower and Champs Elysees, although the more traditional fireworks have recently been replaced by a spectacular light show  – whatever and wherever, you can guarantee it’ll be fabulous!

New Year in France is also known as Jour de l’An.

La Galette des Rois

The New Year holidays in France end on January 6th with the ceremonial cutting of a cake known as la Galette des Rois (Cake of the Kings).

New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve is know as la Saint-Sylvestre. A special New Year feast is called le Reveillon de Saint-Sylvestre consisting of traditional dishes like pancakes, foie gras (flavored duck or goose pate) and of course — champagne to top it all off.

 Map of Eiffel Tower district

[mappress mapid=”38″]

Postcards from Paris December 2013

Postcards from Paris December 2013


postcards from Paris


with Teena Hughes   |  december 2013 video newsletter

Postcards from Paris Newsletter from

Bonjour and Welcome to today’s Postcards from Paris!

Hi – this is Teena Hughes, and here’s my Christmas message – click to play!

Teena's Christmas Message

“Joyeux Noel! Bonne Annee!” – Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I haven’t made a video this month, but I have some others I’d like to share with you- this is one of the last ones I made in Paris on my last trip, in my local cafe early in the morning savoring a coffee and croissant – yum!

This video shows you how to use a foreign laptop plug when staying in my favourite city :-)



I’ve found some great videos online to get you in the Christmas mood – ready to jump right in?

This is a cute little video for the kids – a popular French Christmas carol – I dare you to try not to smile :-)


This one is Christmas carols for grownups sung in French  – I do hope you like it:


If you wish you were shopping in the beautifu stores of Paris, here’s a video showing shoppers doing their Christmas shopping in the Galieries Lafayette this year – the window displays are so cool! :


This video was taken last month at an ice skating rink at the Christmas Markets — oooooooh I wish I was there :-)

The Christimas lights on the Champs Elysees look amazing – the energy saver Light Rings on the trees which line the promenade are very cool:

Did you like those videos?  I love watching different videos about Paris throughout the year to keep me in a French frame of mind.

What’s on in Paris in December & January?

There is so much to do in Paris even though it’s mid-winter, and simply walking the streets and absorbing the history is a great thing to do — and then stop and have some hot roasted chestnuts from a street stall, and explore some more until you find a Crepe stand to buy Nutella Crepes or my favourite – Lemon and Sugar – yum!

Here are some more tips of things to get up to:

And don’t forget Disneyland Paris ! Here is a recent video taken at night – now this puts me in the holiday mood :-) :

It’s been many years since I spent Christmas in Paris – about 16 or 17 I think – and it was always a magical time.

The important thing for visitors to remember is the WEATHER — wear WATERPROOF warm shoes, thermal underwear and socks, gloves, hats and scarves to keep the cold air out from your warm clothing.

The second most important thing to remember is … HAVE A FANTASTIC HOLIDAY and enjoy yourself!!

Postcards from Paris Related Links

Calendar of Events > Christmas in Paris > Christmas Lunch | December | Lights/Noel | Christmas Markets | Shopping

Where can I find coats in a hurry for winter in Paris?

Winter in Paris, drinking hot chocolate

One of my favourite pastimes in Paris – drinking hot chocolate in a cosy café on a winter’s day!

I recently received an email from a delightful lady named Kara – here is her question (“Where can I find coats in a hurry for winter in Paris?”), my answer, and her lovely response:

Hello Teena!

Lovely blog — thanks for posting so many tips! I’m writing because my husband received a rather abrupt (but happy!) job transfer to Paris and we are to move in two weeks. Since we’ve been living in the southern U.S. for a few years now, we no longer own coats and, furthermore, they’re very hard to find down here where it seldom drops below 15C or so degrees. I’ve tried ordering online, but with poor results.

With only two weeks to pull everything together, I’m getting nervous that we will just have to board the plane coatless and freeze on arrival. Which brings me to you–do you think it’s possible to find a U.S. size 14 coat somewhere in Paris? I’m just imagining department stores full of coats for skinny Parisian women without a stitch to spare for more rounded out shapes.

Merci for your help!  Peace, Kara

Teena’s Answer for winter in Paris

Kara, hello!!

First of all – have no fear!  You’re going to need thermal underwear for winter, so if you can find a place like DAMART locally or online, buy yourself leggings and a long-sleeve top to go under a shirt etc.  That will keep the winter chill away until you can find a coat.

I’ve just looked at the temps in Paris, and the highs are around 17-18 degrees Celcius for the next week, so not freezing, but getting cooler.

If you don’t have overcoats before you leave, you can definitely find them on arrival.
You no doubt have somewhere to stay as soon as you land, so if you DO find anything online, you can have it shipped to your accommodation for the day you arrive (if you don’t have time to get it delivered before you leave the USA).
You’re probably better off waiting till you get there before spending too much money, as you’ll have a wider selection and you’ll be able to try things on rather than impulse-buy online.
For plus-size coats, you’re in luck!  There are BEAUTIFUL fashions in Paris for plus-size beauties, and I host shopping tours to a lot of these stores in summer-time.
I have a list of plus size clothes on my website (it may be a year or two out of date, but it’s a start):

Have a look at Ulla Popken (one of my faves), a very reasonably priced store a block from the Galleries Lafayette, which always has a great selection of clothes:

Check out Jean-Marc Philippe with stores all over Paris:

To travel on the plane, wear a few layers with long sleeves, find yourself a large shawl or scarf you can drape around yourself, add a jaunty scarf around the neck, and you’ll be fine till you get to your accommodation and can go shopping.
OOOooohhhh what a lucky possum you are! You two will have the best fun, and I’d love to hear from you to see what you end up doing and buying.
Best of luck, keep an eye out for the word “SOLDES” which means ‘SALE!” twice a year (it is extremely regulated and all stores have sales at exactly the same time each year).

Ciao for now

Kara’s reply to winter in Paris

Hello Teena,

Thank you SO MUCH for your extraordinarily helpful email! My husband and I depart on Monday and I am still scrambling to find an overcoat, so really helped to put my mind at ease.

Upon your advice, I just bought some fleece-lined shirts and leggings (divine!), so I’ll be alright until I get to pop in to Ulla Popken or Jean-Marc Phillipe :) Your shopping tours sound like so much fun — I’ll see if I can get a few girlfriends to come visit over the summer and sign up with me!

Hope your move up the coast went well and that you love your new home. Thanks again for all your help! Take care.


I was so pleased to be able to help Kara – if you have a question, please do let me know and I’ll do my best to answer it, just like this one about winter in Paris :-)



Postcards from Paris October 2013

Postcards from Paris October 2013

postcards from Paris


with Teena Hughes   |  october 2013 video newsletter

Postcards from Paris Newsletter from

Bonjour and Welcome to today’s Postcards from Paris!

Hi – this is Teena Hughes, andI’d like to say, “Bonjour mes amies!”, which means, “Hello my friends!”

So – have you been to Paris recently, or are planning a trip? Tell me what you want to see and do, I’d love to hear about your plans!  Click the video below to play >>

Today I bring you thoughts of cooler weather in the City of Love and Light!

Autumn is kicking in, with the odd warm days appearing less and less – if you’re already in Paris, you can expect high temps of around 15 degrees Celcius and lows of around 7 degrees.

Want to read more about the weather? :

Questions & Comments from my Readers

Here are a selection of questions from people who visit my site or follow my Newsletter – maybe my answers will help you too.  If you have a quetion, get in touch and I’ll do my best to help :-)

Comment from Susan

This week Susan wrote about the Travel Packing Tips, and this prompted me to remind you that each time you land on a page on my website, you’ll be able to find similar pages shown at the bottom of the page, listed as “Related Pages”.  For example, if you land on any one of the Travel Packing Tips pages, you’ll see something like this at the bottom of the page – simply click any one of the icons to go to another page:

Travel Packing Tips clickable related pages

Question from Kara

Kara was moving to Paris with only two week’s notice, and had to find coats in a hurry!

Question from Lynne

Lynne’s daughter is having a problem with her US Visa card in Paris:

Question from Chatelle

New Postcards from Paris Adventures Deck of Cards!

Postcards from Paris Deck of Cards - 3 samplesI’ve wanted to let you know that I’ve been working on a cool little pack of cards – 50 of them – and each one has a tip for a great thing to do or a great place to see in Paris, including some of my favourites.

I’m so excited about this, the pack is small enough to fit in any pocket, handbag or backpack, and each day you’re in Paris you can shuffle the deck and pick out a new adventure for the day.

This is perfect for anyone going to Paris, or as a gift for anyone who loves the idea of Paris.

I’d love your feedback — does this sound like something you’d use?  Got any suggestions of your own? Click on the Contact form button in the Menu –  I’d love to hear from you!


What’s on in Paris in October?

The French word “fete” means “festival” and there are so many to choose from, you certainly won’t get bored in Paris!

  • check out one of my favourite place The Decorative Arts Museum – Musee les Arts Decoratifs >>   |  English site >>
  • another fave is le Musee d’Orsay (Orsay Museum)
  • the CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL! “For its 2013 edition from 30 October through 3 November, the Salon du Chocolat will increase from 12,500 to 20,000 sqm dedicated entirely to sweet treats.”
  • the TANGO FESTIVAL – Tango takes over the Paris during this festival which includes concerts, dancing, music and singing workshops, cinema and video, art exhibitions, photography, theater, debates, lectures, food and cabaret evenings
  • NUIT BLANCHE (White Night) – an amazing collection of nocturnal events and activities in and around Paris, including museums, libraries, monuments, cinemas, etc.
  • Fête Des Vendanges de Montmartre — Wine and grape Festival in Montmartre! There are some free tickets still available for the acoustic concert with Alain Chamfort on 13th October. Be quick! Read more >>
  • Check out Paris’ version of “garage sales”, which are “empty the attics” sales (vide-grenier) – check out when and where >>


Postcards from Paris - Fete des Vendanges 2013

My Postcards from Paris Facebook Page

When you have a moment, pop over to my Paris Facebook page to see all the photos I’ve posted, and join in the conversation:

Postcards from Paris facebook page with Teena Hughes

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Ciao ciao for now! I’ll be in touch again soon – send me your questions and I’ll do my best to help.


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Teena Hughes,
PO Box 424, Burleigh Heads  Qld 4220  – Australia
Telephone Australia (+61) 0408-801-808 I hope you enjoyed Postcards from Paris!

How can I fix a Visa card problem in Paris?

I have a Visa card problem and I'm in Paris

Lynne wrote to me recently asking if I had any suggestions for her daughter’s Visa card problem in Paris.

Visa card problem in Paris, what to do?Teena,

My daughter is currently studying abroad in Paris. She is having trouble with many of the merchants not accepting her American Visa credit card.

Do you know of a prepay loadable card that she can easily put money on to use? or do you have another solution than her hitting the ATM and carrying Euros everywhere?


Teena’s reply to “Visa card problem in Paris”

Hi there Lynn,

I’m sorry to hear your daughter’s had problems.  I was in Paris a year ago with my Australian Visa card and didn’t have any problems, but to avoid lots of fees I also made sure to have 100-200 euro on me in cash at all times.

I did go to my bank before I left Australia and tried a pre-paid debit card which could be used as a credit card too — that worked out well, but the fees were quite high.

Just a thought — smaller merchants might have to pay high fees to accept credit cards, so they probably only accept cash.

If your daughter doesn’t like to carry much cash, perhaps she could try Traveller’s Cheques / Travelers’ Checks, but to be honest I haven’t used those for year, and she may have the same problems trying to cash them with smaller merchants.

Has your daughter met any other girls her age living in Paris who might offer suggestions for her?

Finding out how others cope in the same situation might be helpful.

As long as your daughter is careful not to flash her open wallet around, and keeps it in her handbag in FRONT of her as she walks along the streets, she shouldn’t experience any difficulties with cash.

I’m sorry I don’t have any other solution for you, but do let me know how she gets on, if she tries one of these suggestions or comes up with a much better one.

What a wonderful adventure for her to have – wouldn’t it be lovely if we could all meet up for a latte in Paris one afternoon? Ahhhhh bliss!

Ciao for now, best of luck!

Your Say

I hope Lynne’s daughter has now solved this tricky issue when shopping in Paris.

Have you ever had a Visa card problem in Paris? I’d love to hear from you if you have any tips or suggestions. Thanks!


What is Bastille Day?

Have you ever wondered, “What is Bastille Day?”

I’ve lived in Paris so I do know, but thought I’d get a Wikipedia explanation for you:

“Bastille Day is the name given in English speaking countries to the French National Day, which is celebrated on 14 July each year. In France, it is formally called La Fête Nationale and commonly Le quatorze juillet (the fourteenth of July).

The French National Day commemorates the beginning of the French Revolution with the Storming of the Bastille on the 14 July 1789, as well as the Fête de la Fédération on the 14 July 1790.

Celebrations are held all over France. The oldest and largest regular military parade in Europe is held on the morning of 14 July, on the Champs-Élysées avenue in Paris in front of the President of the Republic, French officials and foreign guests.”

Read more on Wikipedia here:

If I’m lucky enough to be in Paris for le Quatorze Juillet (Bastille Day), I generally celebrate with friends by having a picnic or going out to dinner. There will be plenty of restaurants open for this national holiday, but a make sure you BOOK IN ADVANCE so you will have a guaranteed reservation.

How do I buy cheese in Paris?

How do I buy cheese in Paris?

Chatelle’s question:  “How do I buy cheese in Paris?”

When Chatelle wrote and asked me about buying cheese, it brought back memories of  the markets and the Fromageries (cheese shops) in Paris.

Teena, finally June 2013 has arrived and in 2 weeks I head for Paris. Cannot wait.

I do have, I suppose, a silly question: I will be wanting to purchase Baguettes and cheese.

How do I buy the cheese? do I ask for a portion, slice, or what.

Here in the USA I can order several at 1/4 to 1/2 pound. Pounds aren’t in France LOL.

Any suggestions?

Thanks for your reply! Chatelle

 Teena’s answer

Hi there Chatelle,

OOOOooohhh how exciting! You’re almost in Paris!

Excellent question – (never silly!) and as with everything, there are several ways to do this.

One pound converts to 453 grams, but I take that up to 500 grams just to make it easy when I’m trying to calculate it in my head whilst shopping.

Roughly speaking:

  • 2 pounds in weight is 907 grams, so close enough to one kilo
  • 1 pound in weight is about half a kilo (500 grams)
  • half a pound is about a quarter of a kilo (250 gm)

If you’re comfortable with trying to speak French, here are some suggestions.

Your questions could be:

Converting as you go:

  • “A pound of cheese please (approximately 500 grams).” = “Cinq cent (500) grammes de fromage, s’il vous plait.”
  • “Half a pound of cheese please (250 grams).” = “Deux cent cinquant (250) grammes de fromage, s’il vous plait.”
  • “Quarter of a pound of cheese please (125 grams).” = “Cent vingt-cinq (125) grammes de fromage, s’il vous plait.”

If you’re not too comfortable speaking French, you could create some cards for your wallet, and write in thick marker pen, the amounts in grams, e.g. 100 grams, 200 grams etc.

Show these to the shopkeeper and point to the cheese (fromage) of your choice. You can also say the name if you can read it, and if you’re ok with that – Camembert, Brie, etc – they should all have their names written on them in the window etc.

I do hope this helps!  I’m looking forward to hearing from you about all the things you love about Paris — wave to the Eiffel Tower and say hello from me, OK?

Bon voyage! Have a great trip!


Your Say

Got any tips of your own for the question, “How do I buy cheese in Paris?” Feel free to share – I’d love to hear from you :-)




Annual Sales in Paris in June

Annual Sales in Paris in June

The annual sales in Paris are held in summer and winter, and the dates are strictly controlled by the Government.

The annual sales in Paris are in June each year

If you happen to be in Paris in June, as you walk around the shops and stores you’ll notice the word “SOLDES” everywhere — which means “SALE”.

When are the summer sales in Paris?

The 2013 summer sales begin on June 26th and go to July 30th, 2013.

When are the winter sales in Paris?

The 2014 winter sales in begin in Paris on January 8th and go to February 11th, 2014.

What’s on sale in these annual sales in Paris?

You name it, you can find it:

  • fashion
  • jewellery
  • clothing
  • shoes
  • handbags and bags
  • fashion accessories
  • just about whatever your little heart desires.

Where to find the Sales / “Soldes”

Walk along the popular streets and int he arcades, you’ll find so much being offered at a discount prices inshops and stores all over Paris, in large stores and small trendy boutiques, in department stores, little designer stores in the suburbs to major designer labels and internationally known designer stores.

Make a day of it – go with friends, plan where to have lunch (off the main streets to avoid the shoppers in crowds) and enjoy yourself whilst shopping the annual sales in Paris!


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