The following changes or additions to the information in the second edition have been kindly contributed by readers or are things I have noticed myself.
The biggest change was introduced on 1 September 2015: if you buy a weekly Navigo Découverte pass for Paris (zones 1-2) it will now allow you unlimited travel on all forms of public transport, except Orlyval, in all 5 zones, for the same price as the old pass for Paris. It costs 5€ to buy the pass, which is designed to last for 10 years, and you will need a photo. You then load it with the Forfait Navigo Semaine which runs from Monday morning to Sunday evening and currently costs 22.15€. Go to www.vianavigo.com for full details, in English.
With the exception of the journey to Provins, which now takes longer, half of the journeys described in the book are shorter than they were before and the frequency of trains is generally much greater. The trains themselves are steadily being replaced by sleek new models, incorporating constantly updated electronic information. There are new bus services to some destinations and a vastly improved SNCF website, available in English.
Champs, p. 55
The château reopened in June 2013 and has been carefully restored. It is proving very popular with French visitors, so go on a weekday or at lunchtime at weekends to avoid the crowds. The Bar des Sports near the château now serves simple but good food, 7 days a week.
NB: The course of the stream running through the park has changed slightly and there is no longer a bridge near the hexagonal hut. Go behind the hut to the left, skirting the water’s edge, to find the path going uphill, with the stream on your right. You will soon pass another little hut on your left. Continue, keeping the stream to your right, until the path forks. Take the left-hand fork, away from the stream, and continue on this uphill path for a good 10 minutes until you come to a ruined lodge next to a gateway, from where you turn right into the Rue de Paris.
Conflans-Ste Honorine, p. 65
Yesterday we went to Conflans-Ste Honorine and saw that the address of the tourist office had changed, it is now at 23 rue Rene Albert, which is luckily just a hundred meters down the road. It’s closed Monday but opened Tuesday-Friday 10-12 and 3-5 and Saturday 10-1pm and 3-7. We had a surprisingly good meal at the brasserie at Place Fouillère, quail fillets in a calvados sauce for just 15 euros. Look forward to going back in the warm weather.
Scott Magalich and Paul Stephenson
NB: the SNCF platforms at Conflans Fin d’Oise are located above the RER platform. Go to the end of the RER platform furthest away from the entrance to find the stairs leading to the SNCF platform.
The Musée de la Batellerie is now open at the following times: 10 am-noon Tuesdays, Thursdays and weekends, 2-5.30 pm Tuesday-Sunday. Admission 5€, 3€ concessions, 1.50€ if under 18.
Les Gourman’Dises has re-opened.
Crécy la Chapelle, p. 77
There is a wonderful bookshop called La Librairie Cafe (4 Place du Marché) in Crecy-la-Chapelle that also serves as a tea room with conservatory and small patio both overlooking the canal. We were surprised to find that it was open on a Sunday and was a great place to browse.
Scott Magalich and Paul Stephenson
Trains now run 7 days a week, including Sundays.
At Esbly cross to the platform on the other side of the station (Voie C) for the little connecting train to Crécy, around 7 minutes later. Returning from Esbly, just turn round for the Paris train which comes in on the platform facing you.
Créteil, p. 85
From the Métro station at Créteil-Université take the left exit for the Rue des Mèches, then the right-hand path marked by a red and white GR sign (see p. 239) and a sign for the Conservatoire National Marcel Dadi. Stay on the right-hand side of the road, past a pretty little park surrounding an old mansion, once the home of a doctor who made his fortune from inventing digestive tablets. Further up the road, opposite the church, you will pass the pedestrianised Rue du Général Leclerc. There is a market here on Thursday and Sunday mornings and it is a good street in which to buy picnic supplies. Bill Marsano and Michael Bernstein
Ecouen, p. 92
Ecouen now has a tourist office with a tea-room. It is next to the church, with access to the Château from its garden. Manoir des Tourelles, 1 Place de l’Eglise, 95440 Ecouen, tel 01 39 90 85 32. Open daily 2-6 pm except Tuesdays.
Sadly, the free concerts on Saturdays have been discontinued.
Luzarches, p. 109
The Avenue de la Gare has changed its name to the Rue Erik Satie.
The best day to visit is Friday, when there is a market and a weekday lunchtime menu at 15.50€ at the Cottage Trianon, now the only decent restaurant in Luzarches. It is no longer open on Sunday although they hope it will be in the future.
p. 115 and p. 184
The Auberge de la Gare at Viarmes station has closed down.
Moret-sur-Loing, p. 141
The Auberge du Soleil d’Or, Auberge de l’Ecluse and the Renoir boat trip have all closed down. La Porte de Bourgogne restaurant, 66 Rue Grande, Moret sur Loing, tel 09 51 54 07 63, to the right of the Porte de Bourgogne, is the best bet for food. Open daily, menu 18.90€ or à la carte, 25 cl pichet of wine 4.50€.
Poissy, p. 146
L’Esturgeon is recommended. La Goujonnette opposite has closed down.
Villennes sur Vins has been replaced by a Chinese restaurant.
Zola’s house at Médan is closed to the public until 2017 while it is being renovated.
There is now a crêperie called Le Moulin Rouge overlooking the river next to Plaisirs d’Eté, selling excellent cider.
Rambouillet, p. 172
The château closed for restoration work in March 2016 and is not likely to re-open before March 2018. The grounds, including the Laiterie and the Chaumière aux Coquillages, remain open.
Sceaux, p. 193
Sceaux is pronounced ‘SO’.
A la Porte de Compiègne and La Closerie have closed down. You could try Bistro’Nomik, centrally located in a building with an inner courtyard which has been an inn since 1588. 8 Rue du Long Filet, near the Hotel de Ville, tel 03 44 60 95 50, www.le-bistro-nomik.webnode.fr Closed Tuesdays and Sunday evening. The restaurant has recently changed hands so I cannot comment on the food. However, the traditional menu, with prices ranging from 10€ for a main course, a two-course formule at 16€ and a three-course set menu at 21€ sounds promising.
Bookshops (maps) p. 243
The IGN bookshop is now at Le Monde des Cartes, 50 rue de la Verrerie, 75004 Paris, tel 01 43 98 85 10, Métro Hotel de Ville. Monday-Saturday 11 am-7 pm.