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Written with an eye for the unusual and containing invaluable practical details and maps, this idiosyncratic guide describes 20 destinations in the Ile de France, the fascinating yet little-known countryside around Paris. Better-known destinations include the châteaux of Chantilly and Rambouillet and Maurice Ravel's house in Montfort-l'Amaury, but the reader will also discover the Roman town of Senlis, the river-ports of Conflans-Ste Honorine and St Mammès, the Gothic church and medieval moats at Crécy-la-Chapelle, the old border-town and water-mills of Moret-sur-Loing which inspired the Impressionist painters, and the delightfully provincial atmosphere of Luzarches. Readers who are interested in discovering half-hidden châteaux and writers' country houses; walking, boating or dancing by the river; exploring old towns and country footpaths; and eating in family-run restaurants with 1950s décor and prices to match will find much here to treasure.
Revised in 2010.
|Publisher:||Pallas Athene (UK)|
|Product dimensions:||4.50(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Annabel Simms was born in England, and now lives and works in Paris.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
By Bill Marsano. Is it possible to be tired of Paris? Bored with it? Amazingly, it is, and at such times one may long for a brief escape, a short trip into the countryside. To the rescue comes Annabel, a Briton long resident in Paris who has obviously felt the same uneasy stirrings, because she has compiled a very attractive assortment of little breakaways, none of which takes more than an hour to reach, and deftly compressed them into her small but very useful pocket-sized book. She's assembled--and thoroughly researched twenty daytrips, and most of them are bound to surprise even veteran Paris habitues. There's a thrice-moated town to the east, a cathedral in an ex-chocolate factory, canalside walks, and an huddle of peaceful islands at the end of a Metro lines. (And at the end she also throws in Versailles, Giverny and the like, just for lagniappe.) Simms knows the territory very well; she writes briskly and supplies history, background and local lore as well as specifics on finding the tourist offices, restaurants and museums at each stop. There are good photos and maps, too. Being British, she also includes numerous walking tours, and being a walker myself, I liked that best of all. All of these destinations are accessible by public transport, for which Simms gives excellent details. (All too often, a concierge or tourist office in Paris will reflexively urge you to rent a car.) I stumbled upon this book while in Paris, and the daytrip I took was a hghlight of my visit. If you're planning to visit Paris, get this book before you go--you'll want to build at least one of Simms's recommendations into your itinerary.--Bill Marsano is an award-winning American travel writer.