FOOD … This is a volume in itself. French food is famous everywhere and Paris has some of the best restaurants in the world. You can find anything you want to eat in Paris at almost any price you wish to pay. Lunch can be a two to three-hour affair involving several courses. The cheese is wonderful, hors d’oeuvres are usually superb, sauces are a national specialty, Pate de foie gras is different from anything you’ve had in tins. Coffee is strong but can be ordered to approximate the American taste. Try puree de marrons, chestnuts cooked with celery, spices and chicken consomme. Wonderful snails in garlic sauce and saddle of spring lamb done in white wine with chopped tarragon. There are hundreds of other magnificent dishes and regional favorites. The wines range from ordinary to superlative, depending upon price and taste. They are served with all meals. The French rarely drink water, but it is entirely potable. Pastries are famous, as are the potages, or thick soups. The French also do well by fish and salads. Milk is usually safe to drink, but make sure it’s been pasteurized and purchased in a sealed bottle.
GAMBLING … Around Paris there is horse racing at Auteuil, Chantilly, Longchamp, St. Cloud, Vincennes and other nearby spots. The National Lottery has drawings every Wednesday. Nearest gambling casino in Enghien, 10 miles from Paris. Along the Riviera, and at Deauville, of course, the casinos are famous.
LAUNDRY AND DRY CLEANING , .. Laundry is touch and go. In some hotels it’s fine, in others it’s very bad. In large hotels you can get your clothes cleaned in 48 hours.
LIQUOR , , . French wines, champagnes and brandies have no peer in the world. Liquor is now taxed in France, so drinks run higher than they used to. Whisky is rather expensive. Brandy is really the national drink, but you can name your brand only in the best restaurants. But even the “bar brandy” in other spots is better than you often get at home. Vouvray and Mousseux are similar to Champagne, but cheaper. The Champagne name, of course, is patented and is applied only to wines from a certain district, just as Cognac applies only to the Cognac district. Best try a few wines and brandies and liqueurs for yourself and make up your own mind.
MEDICAL FACILITIES … The American Hospital at Neuilly is the favorite of Americans. But there are many English-speaking doctors. Ask at your hotel.
MOTION PICTURES . , . There are many cinema houses in Paris, many of them showing the same features you have seen or will see at home. The French movie industry is going strong and many French pictures are magnificent. Most Hollywood movies have French subtitles.
MUSIC … The Opera, of course, is of great importance in Paris. Some of the world’s greatest composers and conductors are French, so there is good music to be heard all the time. Good music can also be heard in celebrated concert halls such as: Salle Gaveau, Salle Pleyel and Palais de Chaillot.
NIGHT CLUBS AND CABARETS … Like food this would take a book in itself. But in Paris take a look at the Lido on the Champs Elysees, one of the most famous anywhere. There are floor shows. At most night clubs there will be a bucket of champagne on your table whether you order it or not. It is the equivalent of our cover charge, only more expensive. Look in at Au Lapin Agile in Montmartre, a spot with atmosphere. Drop in at Schihirazade or Novy and let yourself be carried away by old Russian atmosphere, to the strains of gipsy violins. All famous, all good. For big brassiness, visit Casino de Paris. For formal elegance go to Maxim’s, where on Fridays you must dress for dinner. Maxim’s also offers piano and guitar in its informal and luxurious Midnight Room for after-dinner clientele. Monseigneur, Le Drap d’Or, Jimmy’s and l’Elephant Blanc are elegant too. The Nouvelle Eve and Moulin Rouge are extremely popular and have floor shows. If you want to get real low-down, there is always the Place Pigalle in Montmartre with its many, many clubs of varying repute. If you hanker after a glimpse of the Existentialists, your best bet is the Ca f i de Flore in St. Germain des Pres. Other spots where the prophets of this philosophy may be found are Club St. Germain, Le Vieux-Colombier. There’s a night-club tour available from hotels.