France in Boston, Paris in Boston, Sightseeing, Travel

Finding Boston’s Parc Monceau: Ramler Park

Paris is known for its beautiful, lush, sweeping parks, and they’re one of the many reasons I really miss Paris. While they all have the requisite benches, ponds, lakes, fountains, and lots of flowers and greenery, each park has something unique about it.

Once I moved back to Boston, I made sure to spend any free time just wandering around, much like I would do in Paris. As a result, I’ve found so many beautiful and serene spots that I never noticed before – and I lived here for 6 years!

On on particular trip, I discovered Ramler Park. This park is really well-hidden and probably only known by its residents.

What caught my attention were flashes of the most vibrant cobalt blue. Once I stepped inside and saw this charming park, I knew I found my Boston-version of Parc Monceau.

Wandering definitely pays off!

Boston Ramler Park fountain

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France in Boston, Provence in Boston, Restaurants, Review, Travel

Finding Provence in Boston: Miel Restaurant

Looking to escape this extreme winter weather and head somewhere known for its warmth? Specifically Provence and the Côte d’Azur in the south of France?

If you’re like me and can’t afford to take time off right now to jet off to Provence, you’re in luck! There’s a perfect place in Boston that captures the feeling of being the south of France and will make you feel like you booked a one-way ticket to Provence.

The Miel Brasserie Provençale is located at the luxurious InterContinental Hotel in Boston – but of course, did we expect anything less?

Boston Miel Restaurant Provence

While the lobby is very fancy, we’re not quite in Provence yet. This of this as our journey to Provence. It sure beats getting to the airport, waiting through baggage check, and flying over 6 hours in a cramped seat!

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We’re almost there!

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Since this is a hotel, we pass by another restaurant. It looks pretty good, so maybe we’ll stop by on another visit. There’s plenty of seating, which is nice if there’s a long wait at these restaurants.

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France in Boston, Paris in Boston, Restaurants, Review, Travel

The best Kouign-Amann in Boston

After eating the delicious pastries in Paris, it’s tough to go back to supermarket-quality pastries. However, finding my Parisian favorite in Boston has eluded me, until I found it at Flour Bakery!

Among the Paris-worthy croissants and brioches was kouign-amann, a delectable buttery pastry that originated in Brittany, France. While not as well-known as other French pastries, kouign-amann is quickly gaining fans. It even was the topic of a Boston Globe article a couple of years ago.

Flour Bakery interior seating beautiful wallpaper

I recently stopped by Flour bakery as I had a conference nearby, and was thrilled to find that they had many different types of pastries to choose from for breakfast.

The exterior of Flour is unassuming if you’re on the lookout for typical French pastries, but once you step inside and see their selection, you’ll know that you’re in the right place!

Flour Bakery Boston Exterior

Even at 7am there’s already a queue!

Flour Bakery Boston interior

The displays aren’t as creative and artistic as patisseries in France, but I can definitely say that the displays showcase each and every scone, croissant, and muffin!

Flour Bakery pastry selection

For a small space, they offer a lot on their menu for breakfast and lunch. They even offered pastries that weren’t listed on the menu, like that day’s kouign-amann.

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France in Boston, Paris in Boston, Style

Modern Audrey Hepburn-inspired style

A couple weeks ago someone in Massachusetts won the second-largest Powerball in history. Sometimes I think about what I would do if I won that much money and money was no longer an issue. I thought it would be fun to dream for a bit and consider how I would spend my new winnings.

Of course, I would do the responsible stuff like pay off all my loans, donate money to worthy causes and start a scholarship for students to attend college, buy a reliable car, and give money to my family and friends 😉

After all that, I would definitely buy a chateau in Paris, or at least an apartment with a balcony and a view of the Eiffel Tower!

Paris in Boston Eiffel Tower

Next, I would furnish my new Paris home with artwork, plush furniture, and cozy blankets and candles.

Finally, I would buy a dream wardrobe consisting of clothes that I think a modern day Audrey Hepburn would wear. Of course, she would dress up and wear glamorous outfits every day. And since it gets chilly in Paris (and Boston!), she would always have a trench coat handy for unpredictable weather. Here are my picks for a modern day Audrey Hepburn wardrobe if I ever won the lottery:

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France in Boston, Paris in Boston, Save Money, Style

Back to school Parisian style for under $50

It’s September, which means back to school for students! It was only a couple of years ago that I too began a new academic year for my PhD. No matter what level of school you’re in, new clothes shopping was always a highlight of the start of a new year.

Whether you buy your clothes in a fancy shopping gallery like this one in Paris, or from the comfort of your home, it’s nice to have some inspiration for your new wardrobe.

Paris in Boston Galerie Vivienne

I’ve curated some luxe basics with a bit of Parisian style, all for under $50. They can be combined for almost any school event and any season. Just include your favorite shoes, black trousers, and coat and you’re all set for the new year!

 

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France in Boston, Paris in Boston, Travel

Lately…Paris scenes from Boston

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A fountain in Boston worthy of being found in one of Paris’ gardens
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Bistro-style seating at the Boston Public Library
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Wistfully thinking this section of Newbury Street is part of a garden in Paris
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An advertisement for an exhibition while strolling by an art gallery on Newbury Street
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Beautiful architecture in Boston
Explorateur Restaurant Boston Pastries
Pastry selection at Explorateur
Explorateur Restaurant Boston Food
More delectable pastries!
France in Boston, Paris in Boston, Style

French Hygge: Chic comfort

The concept of Hygge was started in Denmark, which is consistently ranked one of the happiest countries in the world. It’s even the location of the awesome-sounding Happiness Research Institute, combining a couple of my favorite things: research and happiness! Seriously, how can I get a job there so I can be happy all the time?

Alas, I just have to settle for trying to bring the notion of hygge to where I am. The concept of hygge reflects the essence of this blog, which is to find contentment in everyday life. It’s easy to be happy when you’re on your dream vacation, but when you work tiring 9-5 days that also include long commutes, it becomes a bit tougher to find the time and energy to enjoy the little things in life.

For me, hygge includes traveling, a feeling of comfort, watching movies, discovering new cafes and restaurants, eating delicious food, appreciating nature, art, and architecture, and indulging in simple rituals like afternoon tea using beautiful tea cups and teapots. In fact, this sounds a lot like a French take on hygge!

Paris in Boston Portugal Teacups Market
So many pretty teacups to choose from!

Giving hygge a French twist, coupled with a little bit of Boston/New England sensibility, I’ve come up with a list of items that would make the perfect Paris in Boston French Hygge.

French Hygge should include:

  • Indulgent candles in scents of lavender, eucalyptus, cherry blossom, or French vanilla
  • Cozy cashmere blankets, sweaters, and lounge pants
  • Picnics with friends and family
  • Appreciating the beauty of nature
  • Sipping tea in an antique teacup and a matching teapot
  • Fresh bouquet of flowers like lavender, roses, magnolias, or hydrangeas
  • Using the best silverware and china you own for everyday meals
  • Writing letters using a fancy pen

If money was no option, I would buy lots of cashmere to wear just to lounge around my chateau by the cape 😉 Because what else encompasses French Hygge than cashmere?

Paris in Boston Fireplace French Hygge
All this needs is a cozy fire!

I’ve curated some options that would make an ideal French Hygge. What would your ideal hygge include?

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France in Boston, Paris in Boston, Restaurants, Review, Travel

A new bistro in Boston: Explorateur opens!

The new restaurant Explorateur opened this past Monday, and I couldn’t wait to see it for myself! I read a review by Boston Magazine, and it said that the owners were inspired by restaurants in Paris and London and the fact that places there serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Plus, the accompanying photos were stunning! I decided to go first thing today for breakfast since I figured it would be less busy in the morning and there would a good selection of pastries and cakes on display. Without further ado, let’s have a look around!

The restaurant is conveniently located right across from the Boylston T stop. The building itself is quite beautiful, and it has an impressive history. When this building (at least the first floor) became a restaurant, windows were added to the front, replacing colorful murals.

Explorateur-Restaurant_Boston_Exterior

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France in Boston, Paris in Boston, Restaurants, Review, Travel

The best French restaurant in Boston and learning about “Pate du Fruit”

I have eaten at Aquitaine three times now, and every time I step inside the restaurant, I feel as if I’m transported from Boston to a brasserie in Paris. Great care was taken with everything about the restaurant, from the lighting to the leather seating and table settings. Most importantly, the menu selection and food truly live up to Aquitaine’s excellent reputation!

Paris in Boston Aquitaine Boston Window

Continue reading “The best French restaurant in Boston and learning about “Pate du Fruit””

Paris in Boston Parc Monceau
France in Boston, Paris in Boston, Style

Best dresses for a French wedding

Summer wedding season is still going strong, and if you’re like me, the perfect dress to wear to a wedding eludes you. One way to help narrow down dresses is to only look for a specific type of dress, whether by length, color, or brand.

Since this is Finding Paris in Boston, I tend to look for dresses with a hint of French style. Effortlessly elegant dresses that are breezy, unique, and whimsical. These are dresses that are memorable, so wear them to events where you won’t be running into the same people!

If your goal is to find your ideal dress when you go shopping, I think it will be difficult to pinpoint just what it is you’re looking for. You’ll recognize your perfect dress when you see it, and it might not match the image you had in your mind!

There are so many styles to choose from, so here are a few examples of my favorite dresses to wear to a wedding for inspiration:

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