Mar 1, 2013

Paris travel guide: Lifestyle tips & trends

By: Elle Canada

Author: Elle Canada

Mar 1, 2013

Paris travel guide: Lifestyle tips & trends

By: Elle Canada

ELLE France editors know a thing or two about Paris culture. Take these tips from the pros on how to say hello, behave and dress on your next trip to Paris.

• Valérie Toranian – Editor in Chief of ELLE France

• Erin Doherty – Fashion & Beauty Editor of ELLE France

• Elisabeth Martorell – Deputy Editor of ELLE France

• Catherine Roig – Lifestyle Deputy Editor of ELLE France

• Lauren Bastide – Editor of ELLE France & Deputy Editor of


Typical words, phrases or attitudes when entering a restaurant/shop

VT: “’Bonjour j'ai une réservation au nom de..’ ("Hello, I booked a table under the name…") Because you always have to book a table to be able to eat in the best Parisian restaurants (…expect Robuchon!)”

EM: “A smile, a "bonjour" and a little detachment (no staring at people). Politeness is never out of fashion, but being moody is.”

“Vous avez une connexion Wi-Fi? » ("Do you have a Wi-Fi connection?"). So that you can connect your iPad or iPhone to the Wi-Fi and text, tweet or Instagram people the outfits you try on or dishes you order.”

“Book a table and only give your first name.”

Typical words, phrases or attitudes when leaving a restaurant/shop

EM: “"Merci, au revoir" ("Thanks, goodbye")”

LB: "Mes compliments au chef ! ("My compliments to the chef"). When you have dinner in a restaurant, you are really supposed to know the chef's name or at least pretend you do now that cuisine is so trendy.”

CR: “À demain! ("See you tomorrow!")”

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Typical words, phrases or attitudes when saying hello to someone you know

EM: “Say "hello ma belle" with two kisses on the cheeks. It's cool but friendly.”

LB: “Tu as très bonne mine ("You look very good"). It's like telling someone he looks great, even if his carnation is grey from Paris's stress and cold weather. He probably spent a week end in the countryside sometime last month, and will be grateful for you to have noticed it.”

Typical words, phrases or attitudes when greeting someone

“2 kisses.”

“"Bravo" (congratulations) or "formidable" with two hands touching shoulders. Physical contact is typically French.”

“Qu'est-ce que je te sers ? ("What do you want to drink?") The first thing to do when someone arrives at your place or at a cafe, is to get something to drink, then you can talk.”

Trendy words/expressions

EM: ""Coooool", "énoooorme", c'est drôôôle" (respectively "Cool", "Awesome", "That's funny"). The question is: why?”

LB: “"Bref". There is this TV program called Bref, which means "in short". It has become very trendy to end a conversation with a sentence starting with “Bref” like "Bref, je travaille trop" (In short, I work too much) or "Bref, j'ai un enfant" (In short, I have a kid) to sum up a situation. It's a very private French joke.”

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The biggest don’ts

VT: “4 kisses: too much!”

EM: “3 or 4 kisses on the cheeks and speak very loudly. Too "Provincial" for the first and hysterical for the second.”

LB: “"Trop" ("Too"). Lately, young people have a tendency to use "trop" (too) instead of "très" (very). It's getting tiring.”

Click through to the next page for travel tips and trends when you're in Paris.

paris-lifestyle-tips-00134694603.jpgTRAVELLING TIPS & TRENDS

How to pack and what luggage to use

“A Rimnowa or Mandarina Duck suitcase and I pack my clothes in Muji pouches. These suitcases are lightweight and since they are quite colorful they are easy to spot on the airport conveyor belt!”

ED: “A pink Samsonite suitcase.”

EM: “A pink carry-on suitcase, to spot it easily in airports.”

“Whether I go on a two-week or a week-end trip, I try to fit everything in a single small Lancel suitcase that I can keep with me on the plane. I hate waiting for my suitcase after I have landed. And it's been lost so often.”

CR: “A violet Rimowa suitcase because it is light and its colour enables me to distinguish it from all the other suitcases on the conveyor belt.”

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The best travel outfit

VT: “A flexible pair of trousers, a cashmere jumper and a Céline big handbag. Always navy blue for me!”

ED: “An American Apparel sweatshirt and a pair of Genetic denim stretch jeans.”

EM: “A short dark blue American Apparel sweatshirt and a dress with leggings. Comfortable but sexy.”

LB: “Black opaque stockings, a sweater-dress, soft flat boots and a big shawl I can wrap myself in, sleep on, hide under. Jeans are so uncomfortable when you have to remain seated for a long time!”

“A black pair of stretch or fleece trousers, a black shirt and a cashmere sweater with a pashmina scarf to be used as a blanket.”

The must-have items on the plane

VT: “My Ipad to play Brushes (an App). I learned how to draw thanks to this App!”

“Eye drops”

“A pair of special socks, a huge shawl, a sleeping mask and earplugs. It is very important to sleep well and quickly.”

LB: “Hand moiturizers, another one for the face and a lip balm. Your skin gets so dry on a plane.”

CR: “All the lifestyle magazines from the country I just left!”

Beauty tips to look fresh upon arrival

VT: “Moisturizing lotion, blush and lipstick.”

“Put your sunglasses on!”

“Fresh's Fly Serum, Yves Saint-Laurent Top Secrets cream and lip balm, brushes (one for teeth, one for hair) and Clinque's Chunky Cherry Chubby Stick. Scientists say: after two hours on a plane, the skin is like in the Sahara desert. So: moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.”

“Drink a lot of water during the flight (and no alcohol of course) and eat as little as possible. I've always had the feeling that plane food was too processed to be healthy.”

"Moisturizer, beige lip gloss, Vitadrop eye drops, Green Tea Roger & Gallet cologne.”

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How to beat jetlag

“Drink plenty of water and take a nap.”

ED: “I don’t!”

“Take some melatonin tablets at the beginning of the flight and the first night of jetlag.”

LB: “Lose your watch. Never try to find out what time it is "back home". As a journalist, you often travel for a very short period. When you have 2 days to visit Rio, you try not to lose one "beating jet lag.”

CR: "Wait for the night to fall asleep in the country where you have arrived.”

What to drink & eat on the plane

“Tea, tea, tea!”

“Drink lots of water!”

EM: “Do not eat pastries and drink only water. The easier the digestion, the better your body shape will be.”

LB: “I always ask for the vegetarian meal, it's lighter and usually healthier.”

“Eat a little, don't drink alcohol, drink plenty of flat water and a glass of orange juice before landing.”

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Paris travel guide: Lifestyle tips & trends