Based in New York since 2013, Séverine Cohen is the confounder of the Frenchy Moms NYC website with Capucine de Marliave - Lamour. Nowadays, she develops the community of Frenchy Parents and creates for them workshops around well-being and family. Séverine grew up in the French capital and she is still a real Parisian. In this new French Summer Trip, we will discover with her the very unique city of Paris. A getaway for all Paris lovers, with lots of family-friendly tips!!
French Wink: How was it to grow up in Paris?
Séverine Cohen: I grew up in Paris where I was born in the 20th district, more exactly in a very popular area called Nation. As a kid I remember that life was easy, walking from school to home with a croissant as a tea time, going to the zoo on weekends, spending Wednesdays afternoons at the grandparents’ home, going to the movie theater, hanging out with my friends safely. Life was simple and cool.
What is your favorite neighborhood of Paris?
My favorite neighborhood is Saint-Germain-des-Prés I have been living there for 8 years before I moved to New York city. Saint-Germain-des-Prés is a beautiful area of Paris, like a village lost in a big city, everybody know each other and it is super kid/baby friendly too.
What is your favorite walk in Paris, with your family or friends from abroad?
I have an American uncle and a lot of family from Canada. When they are visiting Paris, I always bring them to the Jardin du Luxembourg. I love seeing them tasting and enjoying a real ice cream or contemplating the antique carousel with wood horses in the middle of the park. We can spend hours walking there. There is a huge playground for kids too.
What are best places to go with kids in Paris?
We really love walking when we are in Paris, walking is a good way to visit a city, to get lost, to discover new things. As a family our best itinerary is: from Bastille passing by the Rue de Rivoli in direction of Concorde without forgetting to make a stop at the famous Louvre Museum.
Where should we go to entertain kids and parents in Paris?
One place that I will recommend will be the Musée en herbe. Super fun for kids and parents, you will have a wonderful and unforgettable family time there.
Parisian families love to spend their day in fairs, as well! In the Jardin d'Acclimatation, there is a big fair with beautiful carrousels, attractions, a small petting zoo that will entertain the whole family. And tduring summer, there is the Fête des Tuileries, another fair close to the Louvre Museum (it could be a good place to go after visiting the museum), with carrousels and attractions inside the Tuileries park. I recommend to do a ride in the big wheels to have a beautiful view of Paris.
What are the restaurants kids friendly you like the most?
What we love the most in Paris is that you cannot find children menu everywhere… Which is GOOD!
The best reason and experience for a kid to test food like an adult. It is a little bit “cliché” but we really love sitting for hours on the terrace of the Café de Flore. You can also try Bon Bouquet, Passager café, the Relais de Venise, Monsieur Bleu, Hugette Paris and all the restaurants from the group Big Mama.
Which pastries are great for the whole family?
There are plenty of choice but these are my favorite places. The french bastard where I really enjoy the French “pâtisseries”, they are full of creativity and super tasty. You should try the cookies and the Cruffin a mix of croissant and muffin.
For a real tea time in a beautiful hotel, I love Le Meurice. French pastries are made by the world famous pastry chef Cedric Grolet. There are croissant, chocolat croissant (pain au chocolat in french) but what I like the most are the fresh fruits on the top of the pastries… It is so delicious.
There is also Angelina, a very chic and classical place to have French pastries or their famous drink: the hot chocolate! Perfect after a long city walk. And then, we enjoy the tasting of macarons, marble cake, croissants from La Pâtisserie of Cyril Lignac. This talented chef has a one Michelin Star, by the way.
What are the best restaurants to discover the French gastronomy in Paris?
Here are the three restaurants that I Iove and really want to share with you: Joel Robuchon, Apicius, Le Chardenoux. If you got time you should try to test all of them. 3 different atmospheres... 3 different kind of food. I cannot tell you more because gastronomy is like a surprise and I do not want to spoil the surprise. So pick you own plate and enjoy!
Which are the best shops to find delicious French food and bring back home a bit of Paris with us?
La Grande Epicerie for gourmet food, a little big expansive but the perfect place to buy gifts like chocolate from Maxim’s Paris or tea from Mariages et Frères.
And I also like to go to Monoprix. This shop and I, it is very long story… You can find it everywhere in the city, it is like our local Duane Reade but you can find more there, like clothing for the whole family, tasty food, you can try to bring cheese too. It is the perfect place to buy beauty products, as well. When you are in Paris you cannot miss going to Monoprix!
Where do you go for a perfect French Breakfast?
Without hesitation Carette, where I will pick some macarons and those tasty triangle sandwiches and I will look at the Trocadero place forever.
If you need a bit of nature in Paris, where should we go?
Living in a big city can be very exhausting. We love going out of the city sometimes to enjoy big spaces, nature and landscape. Rambouillet forest is a perfect place for a quiet time far away from the city. I recommend big walks and also biking.
Or we like also to simply go to the luxurious The Palace of Versailles. You should spend the whole day there: visit and get lost in the gardens, see the Grand Trianon, The Orangery and the Queen’s Hamlet, walk along the Grand Canal and finish your visit with the palace and its famous hall of mirrors! You will feel like you are in a movie.
What Parisian love to do the weekends and when they are off?
Usually Sunday is pyjama day but they also enjoy to go to the Marais an area which is open on Sundays, designers shops but also the beautiful Place des Vosges, just seat on a bench and enjoy.
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