Monday, September 27, 2010

No maps needed............with Eye Prefer Paris Tours

This brave man came to our informal but female-dominated blogger meet at Les Deux Magots. Well, he is a blogger and we were delighted he joined us but that wasn't the first time I had heard of Richard Nehem or his tour business and blog named Eye Prefer Paris. In fact, his name kept popping up and I usually heed those weird types of connections, especially when they come from different sources across the Atlantic. Months ago my local friend attended the Eye Prefer Paris cooking classes Richard offers in Paris with chef and caterer Charlotte Puckette, co-author of the bestseller The Ethnic Paris Cookbook......  which sounds like a tasty way to spend time in Paris but unfortunately it wasn't going to fit the time agenda this time around so the name didn't mentally imprint as well as usual. When Vicki mentioned that we were going to meet up with Richard from Eye Prefer Paris for dinner, the name began to ring a strong bell.

Richard has one of those intriguing stories that I heard countless times while meeting new friends in Paris. Pack it in, pack it up, move to another part of the world, and follow a new career path. And why not? Who doesn't want to move to Paris? After running a successful event planning business in New York for years, the ex New Yorker took his extensive Paris travel experience and in 2005 he parlayed it into the successful Eye Prefer Paris tours and blog. The sociable guide admits "I meet the most wonderful people from around the world". The lively and diverse Marais district is now Richard's "hood" and he lives in a 18th century apartment within smelling distance of that rotisserie chicken that I wrote about here.

This would have been the second time I visited Paris without having seen the Marais district had it not been for meeting Richard and because Vicki and Carla (Carla Loves Photography) kept telling me it is one of the most fascinating and "must-see" districts of Paris. And they were all more than correct. By this time I was "mapped-out", or I should say my sister-in-law Louise (pictured above) was because if I asked her which way to turn one more time I think she was going to let me head in the wrong direction alone. I seem to have lost the internal GPS that used to serve me so well and I was more than ready to let Eye Prefer Paris take over and be our guide. 

The Marais quarter is unique because it so culturally diverse in its character and style, full of ethnic neighborhoods, small artisans, galleries, boutiques, 17th century mansions, private and public gardens, churches, synagogues, and a vibrant personality of old world and modern. I am not so sure I would have appreciated the Marais district fully without the insider peeks and personality provided by Richard and it was heaven to stroll and learn without referring to a. guide book b. map.

See the bubbles?

~ Louise and Richard ~

Our tour is just one of the many guided walking tours by Eye Prefer Paris. Though the Marais district is his "new hood", Richard can accommodate guided walking tours in whatever direction you wish to head in Paris. Just email him with your request. Even in another county. Eye Prefer Paris recently added New York Tours for clients visiting his "old hood". My local friend told me that the Paris cooking class which includes fresh market shopping, hands-on meal preparation in a professional kitchen, and a comfortable and delicious three-course lunch with wine was a highlight of their trip. The class takes place in the private townhouse of chef and instructor Charlotte Puckette and is located near the Eiffel Tower. Richard................sign me up for that one next time.

No compensation was received for this company review.
Photos by Sande Chase ~ A Gift Wrapped Life


  1. Am so enjoying your trip to Paris. It's definitely on MY bucket list, altho not on the spouse's! What is wrong with him!

  2. I should of been there too.........xv

  3. Sounds wonderful, and Richard seems to be an interesting gentleman. Such a beautiful place.
    Have a great dy.

  4. Sande, this was
    a lovely moment
    in my afternoon...
    slipping away across
    the Atlantic and
    enjoying these
    beautiful Parisian
    sights with your
    tour guide along!
    xx Suzanne

  5. I will keep note of this tour guide company as I have yet to ever visit the Marais. Have you ever seen the film, Paris je t'aime? If not, you must see it!

    I hope you have a great week!

  6. Oh, and wasn't Richard sweet to pose in the ornate "window"...a native Parisian may not have been so willing:)

  7. Bonjour Sande,
    I only hear good things about Richard, and yes he was a brave man to come to the blogger meet-up. It was a pleasure to meet you there as well. Hopefully, next times we'll have more time to talk.
    Your photos are lovely!

  8. All of your photos are fantastic...the first one...priceless! It's so wonderful how people/things just happily collide from time to time!

  9. Love this post and especially as I follow Richards blog ~ in his blog photo he is wearing "le beret" and looks so.. Parisian! Your pics are fabulous ~ I feel like I've been for a roam around the unique Marais District. Thank you !

  10. Dearest Sande,

    Very informative blog for people who've never been on their own to Paris or who don't speak the native tongue well. Smart gentleman for setting all this up!

    Greetings from Georgia,


  11. Oh Sande,
    My heart is starting to race a little at the thought of being there very soon! x

  12. I love how these pictures capture the spirit of the city!

  13. What a wonderful trip and your images are stunning!!

  14. beautiful photograhs...the Marais is one of my favorite part of Paris to get lost in....and that happens often, but I alway discover something new, a great house, beautiful street, a statue....

  15. Hello Sande,
    What a wonderful way to see the Marais. One of my favorite places to catch a bite to eat. Your pictures are all just gorgeous. I could read these Paris posts everyday. You transport me to such a wonderful time in my life. Just beautiful!!

  16. Your photos are amazing...loved viewing the Marais district through your eyes!

  17. Le Marais is one of the districts i miss most of Paris! your guide sounds quite fabulous and you make me discover the Damman teashop which looks superb...
    Have a great day Sande...

    ps : i have a Parisian give away on my blog..check it out ! :-)

  18. Your lovely post transported me right back to my childhood father was in the Air Force and we lived in Germany for 4 1/2 years. We visited many places and countries at that time, being being transported back in history, thanks to many interesting and story-telling tour guides. I was especially taken with a pretty young woman who seemed to know all the secrets of Marie Antoinette and her court as she escorted us through the halls and gardens of Versailles. Unfortunately, I have not been back to France since those days long ago, but I swear I was there with you just now! Thanks for the lovely childhood memory and your stunning photos!
    --Lee Ann

  19. HI Sande, thanks for the lovely comment!! Looks like you really got to know the Marais, you took some beautiful pics and I am so pleased you liked it. So exciting you have booked for Italy and Bali.. Carlax

  20. Oh, such amazing must have had such a great time!

  21. Really enjoying your blog. I agree with Vicki, I had never thought of white aprons being sexy but those guys bring a new meaning to white aprons. :-) Richard appears to be a perfect tour guide.

    Thank you for sharing!

  22. Ahhh, the Marais. My favorite, too. What a great place to just put the map away and get lost! Love seeing your pics, Sande.
    Catherine xx

  23. Sande, I'm beginning to think that you would be a pretty fabulous tour guide yourself. I feel almost like I've been on a tour myself. Your photos and descriptions are fantastic! Love those bubbles! xo Gigi

  24. Before I closed my eyes last night, I thought about this morning. This was going to be a rare one and I knew exactly how I was going to enjoy it.
    So here i am, still in my jammies, a throw across my lap, Gracie at my feet, on my second cup, and spending the morning with you my dear.
    So I am going to start with this beautiful post and spend the next hour or so traveling with you on your beautiful journey. Your words, your photos, your background music....I am not in Lexington anymore....

  25. you are making me want to book a trip STAT......all your photos are so lovely xoxo

  26. I just wanted to tell you how perfectly serene and beautiful I find your blog. As the music was playing in the background and I was looking at the photos in this post, I just realized how perfect life is and that is when the significance of your blog's name, the gift wrapped life hit me.

    Thanks for the experience.

    Love from Toronto, Canada


Your comments are such a lovely addition to my day. Thank you.


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