Best Clubs in Paris 2012

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Tis the season to recap the best clubs in Paris for this year, 2012. Santé!

5. Titty Twister (above): A new club for your black leather nights. Inspired by the Rodriguez/Tarantino biker bar in From Dusk Til Dawn, this is the perfect club to bust out that Hell’s Angels look.  Right in the heart of club district at the end of rue Ponthieu, its one of the few clubs in Paris to offer a pool table in the spacious fumoir. Scantily clad employées also dance on the bar, but that’s the only place you’re likely to see much dancing as there is no real dance floor just roomy tables. Viva americana.

4. VIP Club: This big club is nothing very original, but the space is huge and there is a festive ambiance with a lot of highrollers you might see again during the summer in Saint Tropez. If bling is what you are looking for, VIP and its impresario Jean Roch have that covered. You might catch a spontaneous concert by the Black Eyed Peas, Busta Rhymes, or FloRida.  Dinner in the restaurant, Gioia, is a surprisingly nice experience for kicking off a night of partying.

3. Matignon: Whether you are finished your meal or not, the restaurant at Matignon turns up the music to club levels around 11pm, and from then on, expect lots of champagne popping, sparklers, and dancing. Thursday-Saturday, this place is booked, especially during fashion week. Downstairs the club is small but hosts regular tables of fashion models and chic Parisien types.

2. Raspoutine: A club for all ages. A rare mix of the fashionable and accomplished, the ancien regime and the new. Kate Moss drops in during fashion week, and Mick Jagger parties there until 4am on a Thursday night. Raspoutine is decadent, fun, and ‘members-only.’ Once a club of ill-repute, its now the place to see and be seen in Paris.

1. Cirque de Bonheur: A little bit of Ibiza in Paris. This giant space (formerly the Man Ray) is home to guest DJ’s and elaborate parties. It attracts equal parts posh and bohemia, and is known for it’s ecclectic themed parties and sideshows featuring fireblowers and midgets. At the helm of this club is Danish impresario, Rasmus Michau, who’s creativity and enthusiasm (and Viking good looks) have helped reinvigorate Parisian nightlife.

Top 10 winter activities in Paris:

photo10. Cozy fireside dinner in Montmartre @  Hotel Particulier. (featured in photo)

9. Hot chocolate & people watching @ Café de Flore

8. A night on the town with festive dinner @ Matignon then cozy drinks around the corner @ Mathis

7. Holiday shopping @ le Bon Marché (too crowded at Printemps or Galeries Lafayette)

6. Get the ‘perfect polish’ manicure in red at Manucurist.  Lasts forever.

5. Keep culturally up-to-date with some of the fabulous exhibitions around town, especially the Fashion & Impressionism at Orsay and Hopper at Grand Palais.

4. Reserve your table early for the best winter meal ever for 45 euros @ Frenchie in the 9th.

3. Sample some full bodied reds from the comfort of big leather chairs at new wine bar, O Chateau.

2. Taste the winter flavors at Ladurée and Pierre Hermé- macaroons are gluten free!

1. Grab a bottle of champagne and rendez-vous at Place de la Concorde for a ride on the holiday Ferris Wheel (la grande roue). Magical!

PetiteBrigitte’s Best Gifts 2007

Here you have it, PetiteBrigitte’s 1st annual Paris Gift List. Of course we would all love to do like Oprah and indulge our family and friends (and readers!) with Eric Bompard cashmere sweaters (Bon Marché) and jewelry from Adelline (rue de l’Université) this holiday season, but this Paris gift guide is for the nouveau pauvre shopper– one who has overextended his/her finances on too many nights of champagne and taxi rides. The following are PetiteB’s top 10 picks for holiday gifts bought in Paris— all ranging from 9 to 75 euros!

Joyeuses Fetes! xx, PB

1. Exquisitely posh candles from new Parisian label MEMO. These fragrant boujies smell a lot more expensive than 36 euros, and come in svelte packaging with names that will remind you to plan that next vacation. Favorites are “Marrakesh Kiss” (white tea & jasmin rain), “Take me to Saint Barth” (sweet caramel milkshake), and “Mad About Gstaad” (Christmas tree & snowflake). Actually, we’ll take a set of all 3. Available exclusively at Bon Marché, and Harvey Nichols (for UK readers).

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2. Absolute Disco. Giving should be practical. So if you have party people on your list, this one will be greatly appreciated. Absolut Vodka has issued a Limited Edition vodka, covered in mirrored mosaic (hence, disco). It is a sparkling gift that requires no wrapping and probably won’t last past New Year’s! (Then it becomes a vase). 19 euros at La Grande Epicerie.

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3. No one likes flimsy cocktail glasses, so seek out a sturdy set of creative highballers at Luka Luna, where for a mere 32 euros you can give 4 “citi” tumblers– heavy blown glass with a cool cityscape of either Paris, London, NYC, or Sydney. Bottom’s up! (Luna Luka: 77 rue de la Verrerie, metro: Hotel de Ville).

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4. Whimsical, handmade, and shockingly affordable homewares from Le Petit Atelier de Paris. This adorable boutique, located in the Marais, also has a collection of one-of-a-kind jewelry. If you appreciate the chicness of white porcelain, some with handpainted French phrases, you will tomber amoureux with this gem of a store. 31 rue de Montmorency, 75003.

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5. This one is for your best amie, (or metro-ami). The SmartBox Bien-Etre is a CD that allows your friend to choose from over 100 spas, salons, and institutes around France— she can pick from a huge selection of discounted treatments, from make-overs to lasers! An ideal gift, at a very reasonable 75 euros (you get a lot of treatments). Available at FNAC and here.

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6. Habitat has some cute gifts, but nothing quite as flashy as the set of 4 flashing ice-cubes. Plop one into your next cocktail for a real attention grabber. At 9 euros, you can probably go for 2 boxes, so that no fights break out at the next housewarming party!

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7. Giving professional gifts can be tricky, but for the ultimate coworker bonding gift, opt for the Executive Practical Joke set available at the Conran Shop on Rue du Bac. This is a hysterical assortiment of fake gunshot stickers, zapping pens, invisible ink, prank memos, and bloody finger bandages. 25 euros.

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8. If you run into difficulties on what to give your guy friend, opt for a subscription to the new Playboy France. He won’t think you are a perv: it’s an artfully done publication with interesting Paris-centric articles. And OK, he’ll appreciate the photo layout with stunning model Julie Ordon sporting Agent Provocateur lingerie… and less.

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9. Mariage Freres comes to the rescue with gift sets this holiday. Yes, the famed tea-makers might be a Parisian cliché, but this gift is NOT. The Kama Sutra tea set comes in a music box that plays to the tune of Clair de Lune, and contains 4 new creations: Kama Sutra white, green, black, and red tea. (Silver tea spoon included). Tea-time never looked so seductive. All for 50 euros.

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10. For a special someone, the most personalized and practical gift on this list is as follows: Go to moo.com and order your friend personalized calling cards (14 euros for 100 cards!). You can customize as much as you want, add any graphic, and they get delivered straight to your door. You can create special stationary or stickers too. Go the extra mile and splurge on a 50 euros Montblanc card holder available in the basement of Bon Marché. An unforgettably thoughtful gift! (PS: calling cards are mandatory in Paris, especially for the single, chic woman).

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Best Spas in France

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It’s time to start thinking about Bikini Season.

OK, OK… so between the croissants and Camembert, we probably aren’t going to slim down too much here in Paris.  Which is fine because the aerobiphobic French have found the solution, and it isn’t just that Slimming cream advertised in your local pharmacie.

March is the perfect month to visit one of the many French spas. It’s just the end of low season, but look at the weather! Gorgeous! And all of these spas have special promotions and packages so you can indulge and detox without going broke. Whether for one day or one week, a spa experience may be just what you need for the added glow and boost of confidence when you hit St. Trop.

1. Four Seasons George V (shown above)

2. Ritz Paris

3. Royal Park Evian

4. Les Source de Caudalie

5. Le Mas Candille

6. Les Fermes de Marie

7. Arc House (best value)

Top 10 sexy French books

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One must study to master the seductive techniques of French women.

According to Helena Frith Powell, a Brit in Paris, not only do the frenchies have perfectly matching underwear, they are also very well read. These 10 were probably on their third grade reading lists.

1. Cheri, by Colette

2. Madame de, by Louise de Vilmorin

3. The Ravishing of Lol Stein, Marguerite Duras

4. Bonjour Tristesse, by Francoise Sagan

5. Madame Bovary, Flaubert

6. Emmanuelle, by Emmanuelle Arsan

7. Les Liasons Dangereuses, by Laclos

8. I wish someone were waiting for me somewhere, by Anna Gavalda

9. Cyrano de Bergerac, by Edmond de Rostand

10. The Delta of Venus, by Anais Lin

Make sure these get on your summer reading list… they will surely be in my beach bag, right next to the oversized sunglasses and Contrex water (all you non-french, Contrex is a special weight loss water they sell here). Ahhh, I can picture it now…

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Top 10 Destinations for Summer in Europe

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Not that I am thinking about leaving Paris anytime soon. But these are the hotspots I plan to hit this summer, so book your tickets now if you are meeting me there! (above: one of my favorites, Katikies)

1. Porto Cervo, Sardinia (Cervo Hotel, Costa Smeralda)
2. Santorini, Greece (Katikies/Kirini)
3. Positano, Italy (La Sireneuse)
4. Capri, Italy (Caesar Augustus)
5. Limerick, Ireland (Glin Castle)
6. Idrija, Slovenia (Kendov Dvoec)
7. Monte Carlo, Monaco (Hotel de Paris)
8. Mykonos, Greece (Kivotos)
9. Cote d’Azur, France (Grand Hotel Cap Ferrat)
10. Cap d’Antibes (Eden Roc)