Coqueliquot et Paprika

There are so many things I would like to write about for Babyccino and just don’t find the time! I have been wanting to write about the great children’s clothes shop Coqueliquot et Paprika for ages and ages.

The lovely boutique is nestled between the gorgeous shops on the rue du Bac in the 7th arrondissement in Pars. It was founded by Olivia Farkas when she first had children and realised how much she enjoyed making clothes for her little ones.

Her style is contemporary and simple with a few classic touches. I love the fact that the clothes are infinitely wearable for all occasions. Apart from her own collection the shop also stocks little toys and accessories which have been chosen to fit in with the Coqueliquot et Paprika style. In French we would say this boutique is “incontournable” (no idea on how to translate that)… (more…)

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Les 400 Coups

400coups_5There has been a revolution in the Parisien café scene! Les 400 Coups, a family café, has recently opened its doors! When I heard about this phenomenon I just had to pack up my kids, jump on the metro and experience this place in person. Here in Paris, cafés with play areas are virtually nonexistent — my kids have gotten used to sitting at a table and amusing themselves with a silver spoon and a sugar packet; though after a while they do get a wee bit bored. So off we went to Les 400 Coups and it was fantastic. The food might not be haute cuisine but the coffee was great and the moment we got to the café, the kids started playing in the play area and I did not hear from them for a good hour. And for you moms who cannot be separated from your laptop there is even wifi. (more…)

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Parc de Belleville

Chez Bogato, a patisserie just for kids

gateau-fort-300x226You would think that in a city like Paris the patisserie market would be saturated. But there was one thing missing — a patisserie specializing in kid’s cakes! Now we have Chez Bogato, a fabulous kids bakery that makes the best birthday cakes ever! Castles, crowns, tigers and shoes…there is nothing they cannot make into a cake.

If your little one is such a cooking enthusiast that only a cake he has made himself will do, you can throw the birthday party at the Bogato atelier where the kids get to decorate their own cakes. Another option is to have the team come to you with all the equipment needed and throw a party in the comfort of your own home. (more…)

Firmaman

bismodeI have been trying to travel a bit further a field, leaving my usual habitat of North-Eastern Paris, to try and discover new places for Babyccino. On one of my trips I met up with Estelle from the lovely e-shop Nordinary and she took me on a whistle-stop tour of the 17th arrondissement.

One particular shop deserves its very own Babyccino post: the fabulous maternity shop Firmaman, Paris’ first concept store for pregnant ladies.

I had been looking for a place just like this during my pregnancy in Paris and never found one. It is a lovely boutique, full of great clothes — some of which are maternity clothes, some of which are not, but all of which will look great on a pregnant woman. You can find great coats, jeans and dresses. There is also a great newborn baby section, a gift section and a lingerie section with some beautiful nursing bras. (more…)

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Neuilly Swimming Pool

Bassin ludique exterieurThe summer is almost over, and we are trying to use every available ray of sunshine before the leaves start falling off the trees and the cool weather starts creeping up on us. Last weekend we headed off to the swimming pool and the aim was to go swimming outside and nothing was going to stop us! Turns out swimming outside in Paris is actually not that difficult. All we had to do is jump on the line 1 metro (the fastest metro in Paris) and jump out in the very chic Parisian suburb of Neuilly. The public pool there has an outdoor area, a sun lawn, a toddler paddling pool and, to everyone’s great excitement: a big waterslide. It is great to go with kids — enough to keep them entertained for a few hours and not too much to bring on a sensory overload. The swimming pool does tend to get a bit crowed so I would recommend going earlier rather than later in the day. (more…)

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Eating out in France

cafe-lindustrieMichela and I are often asked about family-friendly restaurants in our respective cities. Try as we might, we are hard pressed to come up with good suggestions. There is a huge North/South divide in Europe regarding the obvious signs of child friendliness in restaurants.

In Northern Europe you will more often than not be offered a highchair when you enter a restaurant with your kids. Often you find changing tables in the bathrooms and kids menus, and many places even have special toys they bring out. In Southern Europe it is rare to find this kind of service, BUT this does not mean that children are not welcome. In fact, they are almost always welcome, but are expected to fit around the adults. (more…)

Honfleur

honfleur.jpgParis in the summer can get too much; it is hot, sticky, polluted and packed with people. The metro is unbearable and the boulevards become huge blazing heat tunnels, as there is nothing to block the sun.

Luckily enough, the sea and the little harbour town of Honfleur is only about 2 hours (and what feels like another world) away.

Though it doesn’t have its own beach, the village is centered on its own picture-perfect harbour and you can while away time wandering around the lovely little cobbled stone streets. If you feel like some beach fun you can find a long, sandy beach only 10 km away in Deauville. (more…)

Paris Plage

paris plageIt is that time of year again here in Paris: the right bank of the Seine has been taken over by lounge chairs, palm trees, sun and sand.

If you happen to be in Paris for the month of August (most Parisians have left for the country and the city is spookily quiet) Paris Plage is the place to be. It has something for everyone: bars, a swimming pool and a great play area.

If you go in the mornings the “beach” is relatively quiet, even on the weekends, and it is a perfect place for kids to get rid of some excess energy. This year the place to be for kids is the area around the Pont de Sully at the eastern edge of the beach.

The other area of Paris Plage around the basin de la Villette is great too, there is even a sailboat you can rent! I loved the idea of sailing around a canal in the middle of Paris, but so apparently do a lot of people so it is completely overbooked. If you have kids from 6 years upwards, there are some fantastic little pedalos that they can peddle around in, in a supervised area of the canal. All of this has been sponsored by the Mairie of Paris so almost all the attractions are free!

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Marché des Enfants Rouge

1Courtney and her family were over in Paris visiting from London and we wandered around the North Marais, doing a bit of shopping, people watching and coffee drinking. It really reminded me about how much I love this little area. I want to write a thousand and one posts on all the lovely little places you can find around here…

I cannot believe I have not written a post about the Marché des Enfants Rouge yet. It is one of the oldest markets of Paris, founded in 1647 and has been converted into a fabulous market/food hall.

Food from all over the world is available… from Morocco, the Caribbean and Japan and it all gets consumed on big communal tables outside the food stalls. There is also a great organic fruit and vegetable stall and a beautiful flower stall. (more…)

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L’Isle-Adam

affiche-publicitaire-l-isle-adam I have always wanted to live by the beach but have actually never succeeded. I think I am destined to beach holiday destinations as opposed to being able to live close to it.

My kids seem to love the beach as much as I do, so we were all very, very excited to discover a beach about one hour away from Paris in the middle of the country!

The river beach in the picturesque little town of Ville d’Adam actually doubles up as the local community pool and is a perfect escape from a hot and sticky day in Paris. You can jump on a direct train from the gare du Nord and be in the water approx. 50 mins later, as the beach is about a 5 minute walk from the station.

The girls had a ball — there is a pretty big sandy area, and we put our towels down by a massive kid’s paddling pool. There is a huge Olympic sized swimming pool built in the ’20s for more ambitious parents, but, for my part, I was very happy building sand castles and splashing around in the shallow pool. If your kids do get bored of playing in the sand, there is a huge bouncy castle area for all ages and two big water slides. (more…)

Soeur

soeur.jpgThe concept of being chic starts early in Paris. As you can imagine even little girls have an innate sense of style, so their older sisters are off the chart!

Luckily enough there is now a shop just catering to the 10-14 bracket. Soeur was opened by two sisters, one, the co-founder of Bonton and an ex-designer for Bonpoint, the other a child psychologist. As you can imagine from two ladies with such a background, the designs are right on the mark. Tunics, skinny jeans, little skirts and shorts; they have completely managed to capture the style of the Parisian teenagers.

They have a great sale on now, if you happen to be down in St Germain….

- Emilie

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Parc de la Villette

villette.jpgIt is finally warm here in Paris and we are all loving getting out there amongst the action and not being cooped up inside. This is the first year that I have two mobile children who both want to explore the world, so I am getting to know the parks in Paris better and better.

I have just discovered the great outside play park at La Villette. La Villette is the place you can find the fantastic Science Museum for kids (I still have not been, but I need to go, so I can let you guys know my verdict on it). There are more than 10 different themed gardens at La Villette — the one my kids loved is called “Jardin des Dunes et des Vents”. (more…)

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Moi et ma fille

moietmafille.jpgReceiving packages in Paris is a nightmare! The post is notorious for losing most packages. The other option is private delivery companies, but the delivery times are often between 8 am and 6 pm. There is no way that I can stay in my flat for a full 10 hours, so I always miss the delivery and spend hours on the phone trying to rearrange redelivery.

Now, there is another option… which is to have your package delivered to a shop near your home so you can drop by and go pick it up. Normally that means turning up at some dodgy mobile phone shop! But I was very, very agreeably surprised the other day when I went to pick up my package at the most lovely little boutique just up the road from me: Moi et ma Fille.

It is so nice to discover little gems in your neighbourhood. Moi et ma Fille (Me and my Daughter) was started by the Taiwanese designer Yafei Tsai after the birth of her little girl. She has created some lovely pieces both for mothers and daughters, and sometimes you find a adult and a children’s version of the same design. The collections are fresh, quirky and affordable.

I am certainly not going to wait for another delivery to visit her boutique again!

- Emilie

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La Maison des Petits at 104

104.jpgI have received several emails from you guys asking if I know of a good indoor play area for toddlers… and I didn’t! There is a serious lack of them here in Paris. That is… until now. On Saturday I took my girls to the brand new play area called “la maison des enfants” in an amazing new arts centre in the 19th arrondissement of Paris called 104. Granted, it is a bit off the beaten track in a residential part of Paris, but it is worth visiting if you need your little one to get rid of some surplus energy on a rainy day.

All the equipment is brand new and fantastically well designed. There are drawing pods for older kids, a soft play area for smaller ones, dolls, tea sets… The centre is free, though they do limit the amount of kids coming in, so that it doesn’t turn into complete madness. The “maison des petits” is also planning to host ateliers lead by the artists in residence of 104.

On the same premises there is a great bookshop with a huge kid’s section and reading area, and out in the courtyard there is a pizza van and a café. As of yet, most of the centre is still empty and undeveloped but I reckon that in a few months it is going to be buzzing and full of life.

- Emilie

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Le Loir dans la Théière

loir.jpgI had a coffee with the lovely Kirby from Petite Alma this morning in one of my favourite cafés and I suddenly realised that I have never written a post about it! It is called Le Loir dans la Théière on 3 rue des Rosiers in the Marais (Tel : 01 42 72 90 61).

We go there with friends and family for the fabulous brunch on the weekends (get there early, or risk waiting in a huge queue), we also go for lunch and we especially go there to have a big piece of cake in the afternoons. The lemon pie has a meringue crust that is at least 10 centimetres high! I have had friends refuse to leave town before having a slice of this pie! I am also very partial to their Tarte Tatin — it’s really incredible.

The thing I like almost as much as the food is the atmosphere and decor; it hasn’t changed a bit in all the years the café has been around. You will find mismatched, big leather armchairs and old tables. Laptops are not allowed, and even when there is a huge queue snaking out of the café onto the road, every customer is allowed to take as much time as he needs.

There is no special kid-friendly equipment but the staff are really nice and try to accommodate you as much as possible, though it is best to avoid turning up with a big pushchair during the peak hours.

- Emilie

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