Paris has always been high on my list of places to go. I’ve watched the Tour de France religiously for the last 15 years. After seeing all the sights on television and watching them charge down the Avenue des Champs-Élysées to the finish line, I’ve always thought “I’d like to go there”. Tick that bucket list box because we made it to beautiful Paris.
After a morning of exploring some of the main sights of Paris, we were all starting to get hungry. Paris has a café or restaurant just about on every corner, so deciding which one can be difficult. In the end, we made our way to Le Saint-Germain Café.
We are immediately greeted by a very friendly gentleman with a bubbly nature. Ensuring that we were staying for lunch he promptly guides us to a corner table inside next to the bar.
The café has indoor and outdoor seating. Be aware that smoking is allowed in the alfresco dining area. The inside of the restaurant has comfortable seating around the bar area and an upstairs area if it gets busy.
The Le Saint-Germain Café has a menu board outside in different languages, so you shouldn’t have any trouble understanding what they have on offer. Make sure you add a Euro to the prices as they are slightly different from the actual menu.
The menu has a decent range of dishes available. Since it was lunch, we ordered a tomato based vegetarian pasta, a ham and cheese toasted sandwich (Croque-Monsieur), some French onion soup and a small Camembert cheese plate.
All the meals were simple and well made. The Croque-Monsieur was beautifully made and the French Onion soup was full of flavour with a layer of bread and melted cheese on top. The pasta was simple richly flavoured, whilst the cheese plate was what we expected.
Overall the Le Saint-Germain is a nice, comfortable French café. The food is of decent quality and the service was also good. The price is a little higher than what we’d expect of a café, but we are in France. So, if you happen to be in France, head to the Le Saint-Germain Café for lunch and tell them Simon from Ourworldinreview sent you.
Additional Information for Le Saint Germain Café
62 Rue du Bac, 75007 Paris, France
Ph: +33 1 45 48 99 69
Main Meal Price Range $$
Le Saint-Germain Café rating: 1-10 (1=very poor, 10 = excellent)
After a three-day stay in Amsterdam we are back on a plane and travelling to Paris. Ah, Paris, the city of love! We arrive a week before the 2017 Presidential election and tensions are meant to be high. Although we haven’t noticed it as tourists. We even walked into the middle of a peaceful protest one evening, with French Police calmly directing us away from the area. Our accommodation for our time in Paris is the 2-star, B&B Hotel Paris Porte de la Villette.
Located in the 19th arrondissement the B&B Hotel Paris Port de la Villette is a short walk from the Porte de la Villette Metro Station. Now, although we were safe walking the streets, the 19th arrondissement can be a bit intimidating to first time travellers as it is more a poorer working class area. It is a mixture of cultures with small market stalls on some streets.
As we enter the hotel we notice the security guard overseeing the foyer area to ensure guests aren’t harassed. This is also done to stop unwanted visitors into the hotel. The foyer area has some tourist information, four vending machines, a microwave oven, some tables and a computer with internet access.
A lady receives us at the reception desk and we check into a four person room. As none of us are smokers we ask to ensure we are in a non smoking room. The B&B Hotel Paris Porte de la Villette allows smoking in their rooms, so you must stipulate if you need a non smoking room.
We are given the security code for the door and make our way up to our floor. The elevators are small so we made a couple of trips due to my large backpack. The floors are an olive-green colour so they are a little dark.
The four person room is quite small. It has a double bed and a bunk to accommodate us. All the beds were comfortable, so no complaints. Being a small room, bag storage is limited, so you will be climbing over your bags daily. The room has a small desk near the door and a television on the wall.
Each room has a separate bathroom which again is small. There is no ventilation and no hairdryer available, but the shower is quite good. No issues with hot water here. Rooms are serviced daily, with towels and bedding changed over.
Possibly the biggest improvement would be to make the hotel a non smoking hotel. Because even though we stipulated for a non smoking room it was evident that other rooms on our floor had smokers. Our room even had an ashtray, so I’d say smoking and non smoking rooms depends only on if you actually smoke. It does become a little overpowering for non smokers. We placed a towel on the floor across the door which helped a little.
The hotel offers a buffet breakfast for its guests at an extra cost in their dining area in the basement. Its buffet spread is very limited and you may have to wait until their small supply of bacon and eggs is ready. My recommendation would be to try it one day, and if you are happy with the range and quality then eat there. Otherwise go somewhere else.
Overall the B&B Hotel Paris Porte de la Villette, is what it is. This 2-star hotel, is clean and comfortable. It is in a rougher part of Paris and they do allow their guests to smoke in their rooms. I wouldn’t think it is appropriate for young families for this reason. It has potential to be a lot better than it is. The breakfast range and quality could be a bit better. The bacon was under cooked and rubbery, but this is all easily fixed. The staff are friendly and the security guard is a large imposing figure, so we felt safe.
If you are a seasoned traveller and are on a budget than this may be the place for you as the rates are reasonable. The hotel is close to public transport which is easy to use. There aren’t too many restaurants around the hotel area, so you may need to travel into the more frequented areas to find one.
Personally, I wouldn’t stay here again, only because of the smoking issue. If they are going to continue to allow smoking in their hotel than they need to work out a better way to accommodate this. By allowing their guests to smoke in their rooms increases the risk of a potential fire occurring within the building. My advice would be to stop smoking in the hotel, as you will then increase your customer market. If they don’t want to cease smoking in the hotel then a designated smoking area away from the rooms would be beneficial.
Additional Information for the B&B Hotel Paris Porte de la Villette
4 Rue Emile Reynaud, 75019 Paris, France
Ph: +33 892 70 75 50
To get there catch the Metro to Porte de la Villette station.
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