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thewishingtable

a delicious map of Paris & more or a cultural/culinary travel-concierge

Tips & addresses for Moms to be in Paris

 

Part One
10 tips for pregnancy & delivery in Paris

  1. Do your paper work every week! (You have till the 14th week to declare pregnancy.)
  2. Register with a hospital asap! (Do your research first, figure out what you want.)
  3. Find a midwife asap. (Otherwise it will be difficult to find one for the reeducation of the perineum after the delivery.)
  4. The breathing really works! – take the workshops with your midwife or at the hospital.
  5. Get your nursery ready before the delivery to come home to a relaxing home.
  6. Get a romper bag – it makes changing diapers so much easier and is more comfortable for the baby.
  7. You have a “carte vitale” but you need a “mutuelle 100%” – an extra health insurance to cover your costs.
  8. Don´t let them scare you and bully you to do unnecessary tests-the “carte vitale” won´t cover these! And you might end up crying and worrying instead of enjoying your pregnancy.
  9. Trust yourself, trust your body. Prenatal yoga is a great support tool to help to deal with your new sized body. Big is beautiful 😉
  10. Spent your childbed IN bed (there is a reason why it´s called childBED) and have someone make you a chicken soup from scratch. Sleep when your baby sleeps.

 

 

Becoming a parent does change your life utterly! Paris is a dream city if you are into food, wine, concerts, art exhibitions and again food, wine, party, art… It´s like Disneyland for mid-twenties. And then you fall in love in the city of love and you decide to have a baby. And you start to see Paris very differently. From where to have your next apero to how to fit a stroller into the metro? Wait, do I still want to take metro with all these grumpy people pushing each other around and all these diseases floating freely? One thing is sure about rules in Parisian metro: if someone says “pardon” it´s just the warning for you that you are going to kicked by his elbow in your side or back.

Anyway the way you look at things change. One internal part of this change means that you are getting to know the French system way better than you ever expected. There are all these rules and tons of paper work per example: you have to declare your pregnancy officially till the 14th week of pregnancy. (Your doctor or your gynaecologist will give you red and blue papers to fill out to declare pregnancy.) Or did you know that here you have to apply for a hospital? Wherever you go in the beginning people will ask you with eye popping faces if you already registered to a hospital? And if you say no, they give you crazy looks and tell you to hurry up cause we are in Paris! So, yes I did that, after days of research on my options I applied and was accepted in my favourite hospital which is very well known maternity and the only winner in France of the “friend of babies” award. The Bluets is mainly influenced my the ideas of Dr. Lamaze known today as the Lamaze-method or in French literally called “giving birth without pain”. Here they will try their best to help you to have a natural birth. And they won´t separate mother and child after birth, actually the first 2h it will be allowed to rest on your chest! They also will show you how breastfeeding works. My experience was superb, everybody working there loves their jobs and I felt it good hands at all times. Even I could´t have my dream delivery as the pool was out of function, at least I was able to have a natural birth. Fair enough!

I choose to be accompanied by the midwives of the hospital but you should know that many midwifes in Paris only accept women for the reeducation after birth that they have accompanied during their pregnancy. Again, I was lucky, I found a great midwife, a very sweet woman who did a great job with the reeducation and always shared her knowledge about any other question you might have. So if you choose like me to see the midwifes of the hospital try to get a midwife before delivery who will come and visit you at home after giving birth. “Sage-femme à domicile” is what you are looking for and in France you are reimbursed for the visits during the first 7 days I think, maybe 10 days.

One thing that is different here in France is that a gynaecologist can´t do ultrasounds, you will have to go to a specialist. In France they do 3 ultrasounds during pregnancy. (Some countries have reduced to one ultrasound. Actually there are huge differences within the EU p.ex. if your water breaks but you don´t have any contractions here you get antibiotics after 12 hours and a caesarean is most likely to happen after 24h while in the UK you have 24h to take antibiotics and after 48h labour you will be induced for labour. Another example about the differences within the EU many Dutch women go for home-birthing (abt 30%) while in France the system made it kind of impossible as the insurance for midwifes is so high that none of them can afford it to offer home-birth anymore.) Anyway my point is you will see a lot of practitioners and be surprised that the doctor can´t do this and that and has to sent you to another specialist. Try to find someone who has both licences. I changed my bullying gynaecologist as she was just trying to squeeze money out of us with unnecessary tests and instead found a respectful gynaecologist who has a licence to do ultrasounds too! Saving me lots of stress and time!

About releasing stress, I did find the prenatal yoga class very helpful. It was way more sporty than expected but it was good become aware of what you can do with your body while being pregnant. Gives you certain kind of confidence. My favourite positions were the watch against lower back pain and the butterfly to stretch the pelvis. Swimming was relaxing too, I mean I loved my big round belly but it was nice to float sometimes and feel weightless. In the preparation workshops I met many women who had problems with their skin being itchy and so on… as I oiled my belly every morning with Weleda pregnancy oil I have never experienced any problems. A few other things that might ease your pregnancy: underwear by noppies and tights by mamalicious. And against the nausea, a trick from my beloved book “consultation with a midwife”, smelling peppermint oil and drinking bubbly water with lemon juice did seriously help! The herbal tea with raspberry leaves kept me chillaxed.

Now in your 2nd trimester you have your routine for blood tests, doctors, midwifes and so on it´s about time to think about getting your nursery ready. People will be a bit surprised and maybe give you starring looks but believe me once you had the baby that´s the only thing you want to take care of. And not where to put a baby bed, how many bodies to buy or whatever. It´s not French customs to do this and people might ask you: ” What if something goes wrong and you already have all these things?” Don´t get infected by their fears, it´s no way to live a life full of fears and just wait till things happen to you. Especially when you pregnant fear is not good for you, I even changed doctors who were to negative and not at all supportive to keep this negativity out of my daily life. And you will be so much more at ease if 4-6 weeks before delivery you follow your nest-building instincts and get your hospital bag and your nursery ready. Once you have had your baby and you get back home stay in bed and let your partner pamper you for the next 10 days (or more). Don´t push yourself too early to get back on the feed to clean. Stay in bed, eat your soup, drink your nursing tea and sleep whenever the baby is sleeping too! And don´t be shy to tell visitors that you need to rest. The only one you should care about right now is yourself and the baby- not them and not the laundry! 😉 Nursing tea and alcohol free malt “beer” known as Spelty or Vita Malt helped get the milk flow started. ( Available in every organic supermarket or Naturlia) Taking Arnica already a week before delivery did do wonders for my healing process, talk to your midwife or better a homeopath. The first 6 weeks, early and late childbed are truly a special time, enjoy every moment of it!

Wishing everybody a beautiful pregnancy and your dream delivery to come true!

Addresses:

Maternity: Les Bluets 4 Rue Lasson, 75012 Paris, France
Gynaecologist + ultrasounds: Dr. Jérémy Seror several locations in town
Midwives: Marceline Carpène-Retailleau 9 Villa du Bel air, 75012 Paris, France (reeducation of the perineum) (highly recommend her, next time I will see a midwife from the beginning on)
Juliane Bordeux-Monfort 80 Rue de la Roquette, 75011 Paris, France (home visits)
(for English speaking midwife check the map)
Pregnancy diabetes: Hôpital Saint-Antoine, 184 r. du Fg Saint-Antoine 75112 Paris
most comforting and educating book: Consultation with a midwife by Stadelmann
Prenatal Yoga with Delphine at L´Echappee but there are classes everywhere in town
Swimming pool at L´Espace Oberkampf, clean and quite
Shopping for maternity & nursing cloths see map yellow markers ( I will write an extra post soon)

 

Restaurants that have welcomed us during pregnancy:

Juveniles – French Scottish Restaurant and my “coup de coeur” de Paris. 100% anti-depressive and my safe bet for lunch. (16€ lunch set menu, a la carte 6-8€ starters, 15-25€ main and 9€ desserts)

Le Bistro Mericourt – won my heart by storm, they adjusted every dish to the needs of a pregnant woman- that was a real treat. The chef has children himself thus he knows what you can and can´t eat. Service was just amazing and the food was divine. 5 stars! (45 or 55 € menu without wine, no carte)

La Dispensa – great food, great service, organic, Italian, what else does one want? (10-15€ a main dish)

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One day in Paris with little children

This is a one-day-tour we have done with a 9 month baby and an almost 4 year old toddler. We had beautiful day with the kids soaking up the beauty of Paris by strolling through the Marais and taking a boat trip on the Seine. If it´s the first time you are visiting Paris this tour gives you a pretty good overview and orientation of the city.

We started 10ish at Bastille and were back home for a nap around 5pm. The walking distance were just fine for a 3 years old child. (The baby was carried or in the stroller.) We took a hot chocolate break at Le Voltigeur and lunch at Bistro Beaubourg after checking out the street artists at Centre Pompidou and the fountain by Jean Tinguely. And with the Paris St.Germain shirt we bought for the little one he was a big hit in the bistro later.

There are way too many great places and buildings to see in the Marais, same goes for shops and bars thus just stroll around, get lost in the streets and discover your own little Paris. ( Or check out https://thewishingtable.wordpress.com/2016/01/05/a-very-hungry-caterpillar-in-the-city-of-light/ )

The boat tour will take you along of pretty much all major sights : Louvre, Tulleries Garden, Grand Palais, Eifel Tower, beautiful bridges, Musee d`Orsay, Notre Dame, Concergierie etc.

For us it was a perfect day, all parents and children were happy!

Baby-friendly restaurants in Paris

This map features baby-friendly restaurants (some with changing table or high chairs) as well as some ideas what to do with children in Paris. We never had any problem dining out with our baby, the French are very baby friendly, actually a baby is the perfect icebreaker here. Also breastfeeding was never a problem, I never had any bad reactions in public or in a restaurant, quite the opposite, some people encourage you and tell you how beautiful it is that some Mums still decide to breastfeed. And even most places have no changing table or high chair people were relaxed about the baby and we always found a solution for the nappy change.

Red markers: baby friendly restaurant / bistro (no changing table/ no high chair)

Blue markers: restaurant with changing table available

Yellow markers: restaurant with high chairs available

Green markers: things to do or see with kids

Lemon green markers: playgrounds

 

 

A very thirsty caterpillar in the City of Light

And here where to raise the glasses in Paris from a decent wine bar over clubs and cafés. Enjoy what Paris is all about on the terraces and bars. Cheers to love and life!

The sundowner list by colours:
red markers- bar
raspberry markers – bar with terrace/patio
mauve markers- dancing clubs
purple markers – cosy coffee shop / café

A very hungry caterpillar in the City of Light

Here the complete map of my favourite places in Paris 2013/2014. I will do an update with new discoveries from 2015/2016 soon. For details click no the marker as usual! Happy New Year!

Around the world in Paris

Again French tonight? Nah… again Italian or Vietnamese? Japanese you just had last week? And Chinese with your colleagues? Sometimes you need something different for a change. Paris is the perfect place to try the plates from around the world. How about time travelling and going to for Armenian family cooking tonight? I love trying new favours and dishes therefore one of my rules of what to order is I take the thing I have never heard of before and if I prepare that myself at home quiet often I don´t order it in a restaurant. I go out dinning to experience something different. To be honest, sometimes I end up starring at the other one´s plate who ordered something “safe”. But sometimes I am filled with frolic joy of discovering a new palate or a vegetable I haven´t ever seen before. And it makes me happy like a little girl on Christmas. Hence I should especially mention Les balades gourmandes de Mehdi Kabboul at le Bistro Méricourt : the best dinner I have had in a very long time! A talented and kind chef who prepares a surprise dinner for you. And they were so sweet preparing everything extra for me due to my pregnancy. The service was great, very attentive with a big smile and nice fun conversation to guess what the chef had prepared for us. All 4 of us had a fun night out and decided to next time order the 5 courses menu instead of the 3 courses! Food was just divine and I was told that the wine went perfectly with it. My discovery of the evening the “fleur de capre”- very yummy. The chef and the service team won my heart by storm! We will be back!

 

Bar du Marché ♥ Metro Bastille

We had a blast! Come here on a Sunday after the market and try to get a spot on the bar with the workers from the market finishing their day of with a glass of wine. Or get a table and try one of Chef Nathalie`s great dishes with fresh ingredients from the market. The makes 2 starters, 2 main and 2 dessert on the spot, we were very pleased. The bar was packed, people were great, everybody loved our baby us she was entertained and we stayed more than 3h there. Highly recommend! Perfect lunch for a Sunday and to get a feeling why the 11th is the best!

MamaBali  Metro Saint-Maur / St.-Ambroise

This spa serves a great indonesian lunch set menu for 14€. Very friendly place with a Zen atmosphere , fresh food, balinese style. (baby-friendly lunch) They also sell a combo of massage/ spa and detox lunch if you need to pamper yourself on a rainy day in Paris… and we all know there are many rainy days here.

Bistro Méricourt ♥ Metro Saint-Ambroise / Richard Lenoir

Les balades gourmandes de Mehdi Kabboul – @ le bistro méricourt : the best dinner I have had in a very long time! Talented chef, great service & divine food. Go if you need to pamper yourself! It´s a menu de degustation for 35€ or 55€, next time I take the 55 one cause it was so worth it! Such a fun dinner, you get to guess what the chef prepared for you. And they were so sweet matching everything to my pregnancy! I´ll be back!

Dune ♥ (Mediterranean/vegan options)   Metro Bastille

Lovely restaurant , Mediterranean decor, super friendly service, really good food with a nice twist. Plus the kitchen changes things for you even during the busy lunch hours, like creating something warm and vegetarian. Lunch menu comes at 15€, perfect value deal. Dinner is a big expensive in comparison. But one of the cleanest and biggest toilets I have ever seen in Paris… Perfect to catch up with a friend for lunch. Crowded with Parisian mid twenties to mid thirties working around Bastille. 15€ lunch & abt 35€ dinner per person.

Afghanistan ♥  Metro Saint-Ambroise / Saint-Maur

Lots of cardamon, cumin and coriander. I had a delicious lamb on quince in lemon /coriander sauce. Make a reservation, this cosy place with afghan music playing gets packed and be ready that service is very, very slow. You should have at least 3h for your dinner and expect to pay 25-30€ p.p.

Maison de la culture Arménienne ♥   Metro Cadet

Hiding in a courtyard you step into another time, it´s a bit like time traveling back to Soviet Union with Stalin posters and men smoking cigars playing poker. We ate well, including 3 courses each, Armenian beer and coffee we payed 45 Euro for 3 people!

Les Délices d’Aphrodite  Metro Censier-Daubenton

Upscale greek in the 5th. For the first time I liked greek food which usually for my taste is too fat/oily or a bit boring with plain rice. Not the case here, good surprise but kind of pricy. (abt 90€ for 2 people)

El Guacamole ♥  Metro Jacques Boersergent

This Brazilian place calls it´s cooking “cuisine creative” and that´s what you get: Brazilian with a french twist, well presented. Reservations recommended and be prepared for Parisian portions.
Lunch Set menu: 15 or 20 Euro. Monday to Friday 12-14.30 Thursday and Friday: 19:30-22:30

Le Comptoir General Metro Jacques Boersergent

Restaurant, bar, museum, flea market and garden in one place. Some people say it has a Berlin vibe. Food : stuff like fried bananas and chicken wings African style. Entrance: you will be asked for a donation

The Sunken Chip  Metro Jacques Boersergent

Sometimes fish and chips is the only comfort food that will do. Of course homemade is the best but here you will be happy too. Set menu 14 Euro, for children 10 Euro.

Paris Lisboa Metro Ledru Rollin

Wine bar with a la carte menu : starters 6 Euro, mains 12 , desserts 2-8. Sun at noon to sip your coffee and relax like in Lisboa while watching this very busy and hip corner of Paris.

My Food  Metro Robespierre

South-African BBQ! Not for vegetarians. It´s all abt meat here. Carnivore galore!

Tempero Metro Chevaleret

The Brazilian place calls it´s cooking “cuisine creative” and that´s what you get: Brazilian with a french twist, well presented. Reservations recommended and be prepared for Parisian portions.
Lunch Set menu: 15 or 20 Euro. Monday to Friday 12-14.30 Thursday and Friday: 19:30-22:30

Café Smörgras  Metro République

Serving Swedish, organic lunch and cinnamon rolls. This is a cosy, clean place to take a break from busy “République”. They have a daily soup and different topped dark bread slices, apple juice, tee and filtered coffee. The coffeeshop is part of the boutique “La Trésorerie” where you find  high quality products for your home made in Europe. Take a peak! From carpets and cushions to knifes and paint. Lunch is 8-14€.  By the way in case you are now in a shopping mood or you are looking for a present just across the street you will find Jamini , a boutique offering beautiful scarfs made out of peace silk (like the Buddhist monks wear), pillows and plaids. The owner is very nice and does the designs herself.

Best Burger in town

Sometimes only a burger will do!

Biarritz

The Basque Country is just stunning beautiful. I spent my late childbed there which was great but if I would have been fitter I would have been able to explore more. And that´s what you wanna do there cause it has so much to offer. The beautiful coast with many different beaches, picturesque villages, delicious basque cherry cakes, hikes in the Pyrenees, kayaking, horse riding…

We stayed in a townhouse in Biarritz which was just perfect and 3 min walk to the main beach and a 15min walk to the market hall. You should´t miss the market hall. It´s a cute market with fresh and local products. On the right side you have fish and fruits de mer and on the left you have everything else, both halls invite you to eat at the place. Or you just go outside and grab a bite in one of the tapas bars around the market. We had a perfect delicious dinner Le Bistro des Halles next door where they set up a table for us outside thus we have enough space for the stroller. And just stones throw away is Bonheur- La maison du Hamburger where André will welcome you with a big smile and a joke on his lips at all times while serving you a truly yummy burger. And isn´t a great burger with French Fries the perfect food after a day at the beach anyway? Furthermore he helped us to carry the stroller inside. And that´s what´s best about Biarritz : the people! They are friendly, laid back and always ready to help. There is no “vous” everybody just calls you casually by “tu” and just like that you have arrived in your holidays. Pack your towel and your Espandrilles and off you go for an easy going beach holiday. What´s pretty cool is that every beach has a food truck or bar where you can get cold beverages, coffee, wine and sandwiches/burgers. The most “expensive” coffee was 1,50€. Even the almost abandoned beach Lafitenia has on the top a food truck and some deck chairs to watch the ocean and the people paragliding here. On the beach itself you will find only a ruin of a restaurant and a shower which is still working. The beach is beautiful as the forest just hits the sand and somehow you feel like you are on a beach in Asia. But if you are at the main beach of Biarritz town (Grande Plage) don´t miss the best ice cream I have ever had in France, try the chocolate and caramel at least! And not far away just behind the Orthodox Church in Rue de la Bergerie you find many great food shops if you are planning on a beach picnic. By the way the cheese with truffles from the Cremerie St Charles was superb.

Beaches

  • Cote Basque – the famous one
  • Plage du Port Vieux – the kid-friendly one
  • Plage Lafitenia – the hidden wild one
  • Promedande de la Plage (Guéthary) – the calm one
  • Plage de la Petite Chambre d Amour – the cool one

IMG_6362 Plage du Vieux Port

The California of Europe is not only a great spot for surfers and sun worth shippers. Actually you would miss out on a lot if you just hang on the beach. We had fun watching a Pelota game at Sare where we also had the most delicious cherry cake ever from Hotel Arraya. On the way there you can stop and take the train up La Rhune which is considered to be a holy mountain in Basque culture. Instead of going by train you can hike up to La Rhune, calculate about 5h to go up there. There are many beautiful villages, mythic places,hikes, rivers for kayaking, golf courses and horse classes in the region. We did´t make it to Espalette where the famous chilli comes from. But we will be back when our baby is old enough to enjoy beaches and mountains. Actually I don´t think it´s possible to get bored there even with 4 weeks holidays on your hands.

IMG_6322 View from the village Sare

All places and more are marked in the map. Click on the marker for a short description. Red markers: restaurants/ food/ market , orange marker: sightseeing , blue markers: beaches

The Italian Wishing-Table

Oh, Italian food… Italy, this place of nostalgia and estival dreams contributes the world with a truly delicious and diversified cuisine. Uncountable varieties of dishes with tomatoes and garlic haul out a yum of everybody´s mouth! I basically grew up with Italian food, till today my Mum makes a mouthwatering lasagna when we kids come home. That´s properly why Italian dishes make me feel homy. But I truly admire the variety of their cooking. Here in Paris my favourite places are Acquolina in Bocca where you should try the sardines with slow cooked onion rings and raisins. The pumpkin ricotta mushroom lasagna was also very remarkable. La Dispensa is my find of 2015. The menu changes all the time, they focus on umbrian cuisine. Both serve organic wines. Just this weekend I stumbled across a new place close to Place des Voges where I had the most delicious pizza with truffles and the best panna cotta with limoncello sauce ever in Paris. I will quickly add the place to the map.

Il Goto / Metro Dugommier

New upscale Italian, bit cold deco but nice food in a food desert area. High quality ingredients cooked with a twist, you will find dished like pasta with goat meat and mint leaves or black polenta with scampi on the menu. No pizza or lasagna 😉

Acquolina in Bocca ♥  Metro Saint-Ambroise

Delicious organic, homemade food, main courses under 15€! With terrace and boutique. Safe bet!      CLOSED!!!

La Dispensa ♥  Metro République 

Oh my god! This little joint is just awesome and in the run to become my favourite place of the year 2015. Food is delicious, made with love, wines are organic, decor is great, prices are fair and the service is kind with a big smile. What else can you ask for? (A dish comes for less than 15€.)

Café Martini ♥  Metro Bastille or Chemin Vert

After renovations a cosy place with Moroccan lamps and a typical Italian counter where I have had one of the best”creme deca” (coffee) in Paris. Nice atmosphere with people taking their espresso at the bar. If you are having lunch you can sit down on one of the tables. I tried an amazing pizza with black truffles for 8€ and the best Panna cotta with limoncello cream I have had in town. starters/tapas and desserts come for 7-13€ and main are between 18 and 25€. I was happy with 1 tapas plus 1 dessert. Absolutely would recommend this place, even the service could be bit quicker and attentive… especially when you are with kids. Not that they are not nice but you got the feeling they are still rookies in the business. 😉

Le Camion a Pizzas / 104 / Metro Riquet 

Great pizza for 10€

L`Osteria dell Anima  Metro Oberkampf

Homemade fresh pasta, great food, but moody service, does´t take reservations for more than 4.

Il Prezzemolo  Metro Filles du Calvaire

Nice for a sundowner, good antipasti, but packed with people. More a bar than a restaurant. Space for big groups.

I Cugini Metro Poissoiniere or Gare du l´Est

Cosy place and no disappointments, pasta, pizza and wine good and affordable, good for a lovely evening with friends or a date. Only drop of bitterness: the tiramisu wasn´t made with mascarpone.

La Gondula  Metro Oberkampf

Homy, cosy , rustic pizza & pasta place, good for lunch. Good with kids too. Pizza with Pistazzio was super good.

IMG_7678 IMG_7680 Pizza with truffle and Panna Cotta with Limoncello cream at Café Martini

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