The Organic Traveller
Monday, 06 January 2020

Paris: Organic creperies

What would a visit to Paris be without tasting a crêpe? These thin pancakes come in two varieties -- galettes with savoury toppings make a perfect lunch while sweet teeth will prefer a crêpe with sweet toppings. For the real thing head for a crêperie, a specialized small restaurant serving no other food (apart from perhaps a salad), and you should do this for lunch as the better owner-run shops will usually close early in the afternoon.

Crêpe de la Joie

My favourite place is Crêpe de la Joie, a family-friendly 100 percent organic owner-run crêperie near tube stop Censier Daubenton. The buckwheat-based galettes have savoury fillings, often with an egg on top, while the sweet crêpes are made of wheat. All crêpes and galettes (except the one of the day) are dubbed after mythological figures like elves, gnomes and fairies and all of them are vegetarian or even vegan. The friendly owner prepared food for us even though we arrived ten minutes before her closing time. This will surely not be the rule but a little broken French and a friendly smile helped us to get a perfect start for our visit. The shop also sells Hildegard of Bingen food products.

Breizh Cafe

Hip, professional Breizh Cafe within the Marais does not observe the usual French rules for opening hours but serves crepes and galettes all day. The place with its rough wooden interior does not use organic ingredients as a rule, but the flours for both, the galettes and the crepes are always organic.

More to try

The following organic creperies I found in preparation of my stay but did not have time to visit. If you come there I'd love to hear about your experience.

2020-01-06 16:15:00 [Paris, organic, lunch, creperie, restaurant, coffee, French, vegan, vegetarian] Link

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Sunday, 05 January 2020

Paris: Hotels serving (partially) organic breakfast

No carbon and nuclear power, no GMO -- the window front of the more than 20 years old budget hotel Solar Hôtel features Sea Shepherd and Greenpeace and makes very clear the convictions guests are expected to share or at minimum to tolerate. Located in the 14th district near metro station Denfert-Rochereau this welcoming, family-friendly place offers the luxury of eco-certified cleansing agents and solar-powered illumination of its facades, but not necessarily of Paris elegance.

Solar Hotel

If you have a room on the upper floors you may even have a glimpse of the top of the Eiffel tower -- unfortunately the ugly Tour Montparnasse is in the way for a beautiful view. The family rooms are marked for one to three persons, but can be easily used by a family of four as long as two children share a smaller double bed. The hotel's interior emphasizes on longevity and recycling, not necessarily on natural materials (though the towels are made from organic cotton), with headboards and tables made of recycled wood which have been there since 1992, and still do not look shabby. On the other side you may be disappointed to find (re-used) plastic cups at the bathroom and blankets made from 100 percent polyester.

Visitors are encouraged to use the narrow, blue-painted spiral staircase instead of the lift to save electricity and asked to separate their waste into the bins in the entrance area. You may also ask for bicycles.

Solar Hotel

The fully organic French-style breakfast consists of tea or coffee and delicious croissants and baguette with jams and butter. In addition you may help yourself with apple juice, yogurt and breakfast cereals.

There's a sister hotel (more precisely: an annex) dubbed Le Lionceau nearby where organic tea and coffee are promised to be available in the rooms.

Paris luxury

If you are on a romantic vacation or have the budget for ordinary Paris hotel prices there's a number of more luxurious places to spend the night and wake up to a sumptuous organic breakfast. Although I verified the existance of the hotels below I haven't stayed there (yet) and am interested in your experience.

The first ones on my list are the two Green Hotels Paris certified with the European Ecolabel: Hôtel Gavarni and Eiffel Trocadéro in the 16th district which promise 100 percent organic and/or fairly traded breakfast.

Just off the Avenue des Champs-Élysées in the 17th district, boutique Hidden Hotel is painted inside with natural pigments, offers coconut-fibre mattresses, organic toiletries and filtered water, plus organic breakfast.

In the 4th district, near Place des Vosges Hôtel Turenne does not promise 100 percent organic breakfast, but some (perhaps most) of the fresh items, pastries and cold cuts should be organic. It comes at additional 14 euros per person (7 euros when you book your room at the hotel's website) and at no extra cost for children below 12 years. Breakfast on the room is being served without an extra charge.

And finally: As you righteously may expect from a carbon-neutral luxury hotel the Eden Lodge in the 11th arrondissement is reported to offer fully organic breakfast, although the hotel website only promises organic fairtrade coffee, tea and eggs. The place is located near Bastille and the Père Lachaise graveyard.

2020-01-05 09:30:00 [Paris, organic, hotel, accommodation, breakfast, lunch, dinner, bar] Link

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Saturday, 05 October 2019

Paris: Organic ice-cream

Small-scale artisanal ice-cream parlours are by far not as omnipresent in Paris as in Italy, or even in Germany, and although organic products are easy to find by chance you have to plan carefully if you want to have an at minimum partially organic ice-cream on the go.

Glace Bachir

Fortunately you have at least two options near one of the main tourist spots, the Centre Pompidou which itself is located near the tube stop Châtelet-Les Halles: Glace Bachir treats you with fully organic, Lebanese dairy ice-cream which has a wonderfully light texture. The smallest serving are two flavours at 3.90 EUR: Define the size of your purchase and pay first at the cash desk at the right-hand side, then move over to the left part of the shop where you present your receipt and order the flavours. My favourite is the delicate rose ice-cream which was so delicious that I did not even try the pistachio coated Ashta ice-cream when I went there a second time.

Amorino 14e arrondissement

If you prefer a (vegan) sorbet head to the nearby branch of the internationally operating French Italian ice-cream franchise Amorino: They serve their all natural ice-cream shaped as a rose in a wafer cone, and while the quite heavy dairy flavours aren't organic, they always have two or three types of certified organic sorbet on offer. There are many more Amorino branches all over Paris, among others in the 14th district, Montparnasse, where they had three types of organic sorbet: cassis, lemon and blood orange. Avoid the so-called gourmet cups as well as the coffee at these places as you will produce easily avoidable extra waste (and it's not promised organic anyway).

More to try

For the sake of completeness: There are also more than a hand-full branches of the rivalling pan-European natural ice-cream chain, Unilever's Grom in town, one of them in the 6th district near Boulevard Saint-Germain, but since they do no longer promise organic ingredients you may as well stay away from it.

You'll better try to find Ümmy, an organic frozen yogurt stall on the university campus of the Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris in the 14th district. A small serving of 100% organic frozen yogurt comes at 3 EUR.

Or you are lucky enough to pass by one of the two yellow Marguerite du Pré Citroën HY vintage food trucks which not only offer natural artisanal yogurt ice-cream made from organic milk, but also organic soft drinks, juices, smoothies, iced teas and coffee. The smallest ice-cream serving comes at 2 EUR.

2019-10-05 16:30:00 [Paris, Parigi, organic, biologique, vegan, ice-cream, frozen_yogurt, Lebanese] Link

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Saturday, 28 February 2015

France: Paris

Paris is so easily accessible by a network of highly comfortable high-velocity trains, the TGV, both from within France as well as from its neighbouring countries that any other means of long distance transport is simply out of scope.

The car restaurant on bord of the TGV offers a number of organic items, all clearly marked "BIO" on the menu, among others a vegetarian salad, plain yogurt, cranberry biscuits, almond-popped rice chips, potato chips, lemonade, apple juice and tea. At the so-called bar you may also purchase single tickets for the Paris underground, but unfortunately not the "Paris Visite" day (and multiple day) flatrate tickets for the Paris public transport which I strongly recommend as the Paris metro will easily and comfortably take you here and there.

2015-02-28 23:00:05 [The_Conscious_Traveller, France, Paris, Parigi, bio, biologique] Link

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This work by trish is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. For commercial use contact the author: E-mail · Mastodon · Vero · Ello.