François Roland is a photographer, blogger and author of the book ‘Being French! A Frenchman’s Guide to a More Sensual Life’. A true Frenchman from Paris, his book not just a collection of essays about sensuality but a memoir as well, told from a uniquely French perspective.
Place to eat:
Let’s say Benoit. You can eat delicious French food and the decor is delightful. It dates back to 1912, so 100 years old this year, and it’s now an Alain Ducasse restaurant.
And if you want to spend less money and still eat a real honest French cuisine, I would think of the Brasserie Restaurant Le Rey. They do a quite genuine ‘cuisine Auvergnate’ and the ambience is very nice.
Place to drink:
I don’t really go to any particular ‘place to drink’. I mean, I can stop in any nice coffee bar where I will have a coffee, a beer or eventually a Kir depending on the hour of the day. But I’m still a real Frenchman and I do appreciate wines at lunch or dinner times, one of my favorite wines being a Burgundy called Vosnes Romanée. I also enjoy having tea on special occasions at places like La Galerie de Gobelins in the Plaza Athénée.
Place to shop:
Well, do we men really shop? When I really have to, I go along rue du Faubourg St Antoine or rue de Rivoli where my favorite store for clothes is C&A. They have one of the better quality/price ratios I know.
Place to play:
Except in Second Life where I’m ‘forever young’ as are most of the players of this virtual world, I quit night-clubbing long ago. Of course I enjoy the big museums of Paris like Le Louvre or Centre Pompidou, Musée d’Orsay or Musée Guimet. And I also visit the little ones, real little jewels lurking in different quarters of Paris like Musée Rodin, Musée Hébert, Musée Gustave Moreau and many others…
I always adored Les jardins du Luxembourg, but I also like the less central Parc Monsouri, the Jardins Khan, or Jardins de Bagatelle. Now I’ll always enjoy La Place des Vosges and Le Marais, a quarter where I often go to shoot some interesting photos.
Day trip location:
Among my favorite day trip locations from Paris, you have Vaux Le Vicomte, a beautiful French chateau, maybe even more fascinating than Versailles to me, and Chartres, not only interesting for the magnificent cathedral but also for that French past lurking at every street corner.
What is the most romantic place in Paris for you?
I’d say the center of Place de la Concorde at midnight. Once I was driving around place de la Concorde on our way to a restaurant with two colleagues of my company, a man and a woman who I knew had an unspoken crush on each other. Passing there I said (not innocently at all) that I saw no better place for a love declaration than this very spot where the magnificence of Paris was on display in all directions.
A few days later, she told me that he had finally shouted the words “je vous aime!” to her, in the middle of a night at this exact place!
Thank you again François for taking the time to speak to us at MaVieFrançaise™. We’ve enjoyed getting to know more about you and your work.
Image Credits: All photographs by François Roland.
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