Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Day Trips Out of Paris


magnolia
 Share

Recommended Posts

Any suggestions for day-escapes from Paris, centering (of course) on a good meal, which can be managed by train. I'll be staying a week during the steamy time of August and will have to be in the city for at least a couple of hours, most days, for work - but might be able to get out of town overnight or for a day or so.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

By train...hmmmm.... Can you get to Eze in the South? Can you get to Cancale (Maison de Bricourt)? Can you get to Les Crayeres in Reims? Can you get to Bas Breau near Versailles?

I'm hollywood and I approve this message.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

magnolia & hollywood -- There are many day-trips, listed in order of my preference:

1) Anywhere in/around Lyon is essentially a day-trip (for lunch). For example, an excellent day trip would be Troisgros in Roanne. Take the TGV from Paris to Lyons, and switch to a local train from Lyons to Roanne. The journey would be 3.5-4.5 hours each way. That is rather long, and not a "day trip" in the usual sense. Obviously, Georges Blanc can be accessed from Lyon (although Troisgros' cuisine is much better). Paul Bocuse does not offer good cuisine in my assessment, but might offer some type of benefit with respect to historical perspective on French cuisine.

2) The easiest day trip, and my recommended day trip, for a three star restaurant is indeed Boyer Les Crayeres in Reims. There is a direct train from Paris to Reims, and a quick taxi ride will take you to Les Crayeres. Less than 2 hours, if I remember correctly.

3) Roellinger involves a longer train ride than Boyer. I have also not yet implemented the train ride, but the best way woud be to take the TGV to Rennes, and then (a) rent a car for a quick drive to Cancale), or (b) take a local train to St-Malo, followed by a taxi. Driving has the disadvantage of restricting alcohol consumption for the driving party during the meal.

4) Also attractive is a direct train ride from Paris to Joigny, followed by a 5 minute cab ride to La Cote Saint-Jacques of J-M Lorain. Less than 2 hours, if I remember correctly. This might be the second easiest day trip. Lorain only has two stars currently, but probably deserves three.

5) I have left Paris extremely early to arrive at Illhaesern's Auberge de L'Ill in time for a late lunch. Take a train from Paris to Strasbourg (go early, as there is no TGV on this portion). Then switch at Strasbourg for Selestat. Colmar is another train station close to Auberge de L'Ill. Once at Selestat, see if there are any taxis in the queue. Note I did not have a favorable experience at Auberge de L'Ill recently. A better option would be to take the regular train from Paris to Strasbourg and dine at Buerehiesel. L'Arnsbourg is 35-50 minutes by taxi from Strasbourg's train station.

6) Jardin des Sens in Montpellier (yes, in the South) is an easy 3-4 hour (?) TGV ride (no change in trains required) from Paris. This trip is fairly easy as well, involving no change in trains.

7) Pic in Valence/Pyramide in Vienne. These are all accessible by day-trip, although not three-star restaurants. :laugh:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1) Anywhere in/around Lyon is essentially a day-trip (for lunch). For example, an excellent day trip would be Troisgros in Roanne. Take the TGV from Paris to Lyons, and switch to a local train from Lyons to Roanne.  The journey would be 3.5-4.5 hours each way.  That is rather long, and not a "day trip" in the usual sense.

Cabrales, may we define our terms? There and back in less than 24 hours is not what we consider a day trip.

:biggrin:

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bux -- For Troisgros, taking tomorrow as an example and based on the SNCF website, one could be leave Paris around 7 am and be in Roanne around 10:30. Routes are (1) Paris Gare de Lyons 7:30 am --> Le Creuset Montceau Montchanin 8:49 arrival, 9:01 departure --> Roanne 10:37 am, or (2) Paris Gare de Lyons 7:00 am --> Part Dieu 8:55 am arrival, 9:08 departure --> Roanne 10:24. In either case, Troisgros is right across the street from the train station. There is time to mill about, walk towards the back where there is a vast expanse of window looking into the kitchen before lunch.

After lunch, one can leave Roanne at 3:48 pm and be in Paris by 7:00, or leave Roanne at 5:10 pm and be in Paris by 9 pm. In either case, one has time to take in another meal after resting on the train, if one wanted to. :raz:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's another example. Depart Paris for Montpellier at 8:24 am, arriving 11:39. After lunch at Jardin des Sens, depart Montepellier at 4:37 pm, arriving 8:05. Again, dinner can be had in Paris. That's 12 hours for each of Troisgros and Jardin des Sens.

I'm surprised that there isn't more travel by train to access restaurants. It's one of the best ways to take in alcohol, rest following the applicable meal on the train, and be in another town ready for the next meal. :laugh:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Magnolia, with respect to the previous suggestions, which are wonderful if you have ambition and stamina, I propose some less ambitious places that can be reached in a couple of hours. If you have the ability and means to rent a car, you could enhance your ability to see and do in the Ile de France enormously. The following places are more than meals, they offer very interesting sight seeing, very different from what you'll see in Paris.

St. Germaine en Lay, town of Maisons Laffite there is a one or two star restaurant that is wonderful. (forgot the name, but ate well there).

Moret sur Loing is a picturesque town near Barbizon that is worth a day trip. The home of Clemenceau is there and we enjoyed a fascinating tour. Bas Breau, an Inn in Barbizon, has a worthy restuarant (as was mentioned). You will be near several wonderful chateau: Fouquet's chateau masterpiece Vaux le Vicomte click for vaux tour and the private chateau called Courrances, the grounds of which are well worth a visit.

Prego to see Courances

The forests around Barbizon are known for wild boar if you are there in season.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd also check carefully the vacation schedules of the restaurant you want to go to — many are closed for a couple of weeks in August.

Also, I'd check out Rouen. It's only about an hour from Paris.

The SNCF train schedules are all accessible from the internet at their website. Also, tickets can be purchased from kiosks with a credit card. (Be sure your pin number is activated for your credit cards because it is often required in French vending machines.)

Bouland

a.k.a. Peter Hertzmann

à la carte

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Where my credit card worked in French or Spanish vending machines (and it didn't always work as some machines require the microchip found on French cards) I was never asked to enter a PIN, as far as I can remember.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have travelled in France much less extensively than Bux, but I echo his experience of credit cards working without PINs. (In fact, with a US credit card, you should only be providing your PIN if you are making a cash withdrawl. In the case of French cards, the PIN is used to validate the transaction in conjunction with the smart card, so with no smart card there is no need for the PIN.)

The SNCF machines in particular work fine with American credit cards, at least for buying new tickets. I was not able to pick up pre-sold tickets from the machines.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for all of these suggestions - I guess it was actually down to me to define my terms of a day trip: I did mean something well within a two hour train ride of Paris, including (minimal, if possible) changes of train. No access to car unfortunately, I don't even have a licence (yes, I know it's hard to believe) and my travel companion hasn't driven in years (and so far, only on the "wrong" side of the road) so I wouldn't want this to be our first car trip together.

The idea is to find a couple of easy options for escaping the heat a bit, and use Paris as the base to explore of a bit of the area within a smallish radius of Paris.

So some of the above definitely fit the bill !

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The SNCF machines in particular work fine with American credit cards, at least for buying new tickets.  I was not able to pick up pre-sold tickets from the machines.

I've never had problems with my Amex card, but I have been requested to provide a PIN number by the SNCF kiosks when I use my AT&T Visa or Mastercard. These aren't debit cards, but I have PIN numbers for them. My son has been locked out of these machines with his MasterCard, but I don't know who the issuer is.

Bouland

a.k.a. Peter Hertzmann

à la carte

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with cabrales, as we used to say in the UK 'let the train take the strain'. my view the wine is a significant part of the enjoyment , having spent 4 hours in bocuse with only half a bottle of meursault, i feel well qualified to talk! A less than enjoyable night out, i arrived at 7.45, left past midnight and had to drive to my hotel at porte de lyon. I got to my hotel at one am, got up at 5.00 am and drove back to york, england, home for 5.00 pm now that's a day trip!

ps it was quite cool whizzing through the burgundy vineyards at 7 am in the mist, and reims services provided a good opportunity to stock up on one of my favourite champagnes, gosset, only in france do they stock decent wines in their motorway services!

you don't win friends with salad

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

As members may know, Tours is a quick TGV ride from Paris (perhaps closer than Joigny). I have not yet sampled the cuisine of Bardet. Have members visited since the "description of products" fiasco? :wink:

Also, what are members' views of the two other two-stars accessible from Tours?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maggie - Reims is a mere 90 minute train ride from the Gare de l'Est. Aside from the beautiful cathedral (a virtual copy of Notre Dame in Paris,) you will find no better way to cool down than in the cellars of the Champagne producers while taking a few tours. Of course having lunch at Boyer wouldn't suck either. Less gastronomic but more outdoorsy is Fountainbleu, a 45 minute train ride from Paris. There you can tour the old palace and walk through the royal forest. You could also visit the Fountainbleu branch of the Paris cheese shop Barthelmy. Not sure where else to recommend as most other places are 2+ hours on the train.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

We enjoyed a pleasant dinner and stay at Bardet 2 years

ago. I recall w. particular fondness a cepe tartlette,

& pigeon entree---sorry, no notes. Pleasant diningroom

& nice presentation, china,etc.

Sunday's NYTimes had an article on dining [not necessarily

starred] in easy reach of Paris. Perhaps it is available on

the web. If not and you are interested, I may be able to

locate the article. The destinations appeared to range from

20-45 minutes by RER.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You have to register to read the Times online, so I don't know if this link will work for others:

Outings Near Paris for Fine Meals By JACQUELINE FRIEDRICH

She seems to be a good voice. She's been writing on France for the Times for a while on Sundays. The articles always focus on the food. This article has high praise for les Magnolias which was mentioned here on several occasions by Margaret Pilgrim. Apparently it's easily reached from Paris by the RER suburban lines. Patricia Wells gave it a poor review and noted it was not worth the trouble of finding. Apparently Ms. Wells got lost several times on her way. The review was enough to make you wonder if she knew her way around Paris at all. Everyone else seems to feel it's easy to find and get to as well as worth the journey. I believe it has one Michelin star. I've not eaten in any place after reading one of Jacueline Friedrich's reviews, so I have no comment on her credibility, but I've used her book on Loire wines with pleasure and she writes with some authority. I'd be inclined to think she's relatively trustworthy.

Paula, thanks for reminding me of the article. I meant to mention it somewhere yesterday. If belongs here.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 year later...

My wife and I will be in Paris at the end of January for 9 days. We'd like to take a break from the city in the middle of the stay and spend 2 nights somewhere out of town. We've looked at Beaune a little bit, but I'd be open to any recommendations, food should/will definately be a major focus. We'll be renting a car and don't want to drive more than 3-4 hours each way if possible

Any thoughts or recommendations? I know this is a little off topic, but food and wine will definately be a major focus.

thx

Hal

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Beaune is beautiful, but Auxerre is closer to Paris, well worth visiting, and close to the lovely Chablis wine country.

If you want to visit a larger city that's far enough out of Paris to feel different, consider Orleans. I went to no Michelin-starred restaurants in Orleans during a 2-day trip there and had nothing but good food. There's a fantastic patisserie right across the street from the Hotel Jean d'Arc, where I stayed (pleasant, economical, classy hotel, which used to be a luxury hotel in the 20s or so). Even the lunch I had in a bar was solid.

If you want to go further afield, Angers has the incredible series of Tapestries of the Apocalypse in the Chateau d'Angers. That's a kind of longish trip, though. We went via Le Mans and Chartres, which both have wonderful cathedrals. I don't remember having any especially good food in Angers, but I was travelling with people with severe dietary restrictions.

Edited by Pan (log)

Michael aka "Pan"

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We just spent three weeks in France, most of which was in Paris, but took a two day break and went to Vernon as a base for visiting Giverny. We have been to Giverny three times and never quite get over the beauty of it. Also in Giverny and often overlooked is the American musem which I rank with the Maeght Foundation in Saint Paul for architecture and interest. Try Gites France program, the hotel in Vernon servers pretty good regional food. You don't want too many meals there, though, because it is very rich.

Hope this helps,

dave

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Northern Burgundy might be your best bet indeed, beautiful region, chablis and Irancy (great little red wine, light, fruity, medium-bodied, very pleasant) AOCs nearby. And the opportunity to head a bit further down to the Cote de Nuits and its magic AOC that ring the bells : Vougeot, Gevrey-Chambertin, Chambolle-Musigny, Vosne-Romanee...

There's a strong tradition for good food and excellent wines. Hills and hills of vineyards, easily accessible from the highway...

or maybe the Loire region ? Castles and good overlooked wines...

Your choice ! :rolleyes:

Edited by edm (log)

Eddy M., Chef & Owner

Se.ed Artisan Foods, Vancouver BC

Follow Se.ed's growth at: http://spaces.msn.com/members/fromseedtofood/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Would you be going by train or by car? With the TGV, nothing is really far away-- Orleans or Tours are only 1 hour away, even a city seemingly distant on the map, Lyon, is only 2 hours away by TGV. Of course, anywhere you go in France will have wonderful food, so that shouldn't be an issue.

If you rent a car, you might consider the Loire Valley or Mont St Michel, although I have never been to these places in the wintertime, take warm clothing!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...