Rooksana Hossenally

Correspondent

  • Paris, France, Europe

Rooksana Hossenally is a correspondent who lives in Paris and covers the city for Forbes Travel Guide. She is also a freelance writer for The New York Times and British Airways Highlife Magazine. Her adventures have led her on a 40-hour train journey across India, up a mountainside with a punctured tire in Oman and waking up at a local’s house in the middle of Monument Valley, but when she isn’t off exploring the world, she’s scouring Paris for the best it has to offer. Her work has appeared in the International Herald Tribune, Dazed, AMagazine.com.au, The Huffington Post and MSNTravel, among other publications.

  • On July 21, 2013
  • On July 19, 2013
  • On June 26, 2013
  • On June 14, 2013
  • On June 12, 2013
  • On May 23, 2013
    Marie Bobel is now following Rooksana Hossenally
  • On May 21, 2013
    Rooksana Hossenally answered the question: Rooksana Hossenally

    What is the one must-do activity when visiting Paris?

    Needless to say that there is something for everyone in Paris so choosing one activity is no easy feat. However, if you only had an hour to get the most out of the city, I would recommend heading the picturesque Montmartre neighbourhood. A fantastic place to get a concentrated dose of that iconic Parisian romance, Montmartre is one of the city’s quaintest areas. A small village charged with history dating back to 250 AD, the village built up on a hill in the north of Paris, is crowned by the Sacré Coeur Basilica and was made famous by Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s blockbuster hit film, Amélie.

    Climb up either from Pigalle or Blanche (metro line 2) or get off the metro at Abesses and get lost in the bohemian-chic ambience. Gawp at the spectacular private apartments and houses and pass by the Bateau Lavoir on Place Emile Goudeau, which is where some of the world’s most famous artists roughed it when it was still a squat – although closed to the public today, it isn’t hard to imagine life here with artists Picasso, Matisse and Braque, to name but a few who lived and worked here. As you work your way up the ‘butte’ (another word for 'hill' in French), peer inside the area’s numerous boutiques, restaurants and cafés, which get extremely lively at the weekends. For visitors who like their art, there is the Halle Saint-Pierre, a beautiful art venue located in the middle Saint-Pierre surrounded by shops selling all sorts of fabrics by the roll. Otherwise there is of course, the Dali Museum just off Place du Tertre, a very pretty but very touristy area of Montmartre. Other places to visit include the Ciné13, a small theatre located inside what looks like a private home, and the restaurant, Moulin de la Galette, which used to be a real working windmill in the seventeenth century.

    Another highlight of exploring Montmartre is getting up close to the Sacré Coeur Basilica, which is even more beautiful than from a distance. Best of all though, are the breathtaking views of Paris and the star of the show, the Eiffel Tower, as it shimmies on the skyline.
  • On May 21, 2013
    Rooksana Hossenally answered the question: Rooksana Hossenally

    What are the best indoor activities in Paris?

    Paris is without doubt one of the best cities in the world for art, so I would have to say that the best indoor activities are focused around visiting museums and galleries. However, there are so many events happening throughout the year that it’s hard to choose which one to make the trip over for. If I had to narrow it down, I would choose Monumenta, the annual art installation at the Grand Palais.

    This year the event was suspended but is set to take place in 2014. And judging by the past years’ shows, Monumenta rarely leaves viewers disappointed. Last year, French artist Daniel Buren was invited to create an installation for the impressive 13,500m2 domed glass and iron nave. He created a conceptual garden of coloured plastic shapes and although impactful, the best shows were the previous exhibitions. In 2011 Anish Kapoor with his incredible Leviathan, an enormous undistinguishable organic shape of special boating canvas that changed colour as the sun passed over the nave’s roof from east to west. Before Kapoor, in 2010, Christian Boltanski was commissioned to invest the space, and his eerie atmospheric installation was one of the best ever put on in the city. Centred around the holocaust, the show manipulated sight and sound to create an ambiance that plunged the viewer right at the heart of the cause – that of the disappeared during the Second World War. Next year, the artist to be invited hasn’t been revealed yet, but it’s bound to be worthwhile.
  • On May 21, 2013
    Rooksana Hossenally answered the question: Rooksana Hossenally

    What is the best new restaurant in Paris?

    How would you fancy giving a helping hand to those in need just by tucking into a famous French chef's recipe? At MANGER (24 rue Keller, Paris 11th), the brand new upmarket associative restaurant, when you order the prix fixe 'dîner des chefs' (chefs' dinner), 10 per cent of the price you pay goes towards training people who have been excluded from the job market.

    After three years of hard graft, Thierry Monassier, the Paris-based restaurant consultant, sees his dream become a reality. In 2010, Thierry created the association ‘Toques et Partage’, which lies at the heart of MANGER. Together with Ferdinand, his right-hand man, Thierry recruits candidates who have the potential to work in the restaurant business but who either haven’t had the opportunity to learn a trade, or who have been living on the streets. With 10 places to fill at the restaurant, Thierry gives successful candidates a two-year training contract, which will lead to a permanent position or which will give them the edge to get a job elsewhere “There are 85,000 jobs to fill in restaurants in Paris, so there is plenty of opportunity out there but very few training schemes that are accessible to people who for some reason or other can't get on the job ladder” says Thierry.

    Unlike any other associative project of the sort, MANGER doesn’t just have a worthwhile cause at heart, but the restaurant itself is a remarkable feat. Marie Deroudilhe, acclaimed for her work at Alain Ducasse’s latest restaurants, designed the space, which used to be a Franprix supermarket.
    The result should have been cold and clinical, but instead feels like a homely conservatory. The sky light above a tree planted indoors gives plenty of natural light, significantly lifting the overall mood of the place.

    The reigns in the kitchen are held by the cool, calm and collected young globetrotting chef, William, who whisks up a mean feast laced with international influences picked up on his travels across the world. He uses fresh produce sourced as close to home as possible and makes sure every dish is magnificently presented.

    The lunch menu is divided according to the way of cooking the ingredients (grilled on Tuesdays, roasted on Wednesdays, steamed on Thursdays, and so on). In the evenings, the ‘dîner des chefs’ is the highlight on the menu, with recipes created especially for MANGER and donated by some of the country’s top chefs, including Trama, Alléno and Hache. Ten per cent of the price for the prix fixe menu (55 euros) goes to the association for the rehabilitation training contracts.

    Thierry is overjoyed with the result although too humble to say so, he prefers to focus on the aspects he still wants to develop, but the glint in his eye as he watches diners revelling in the experience, is evidence enough of his satisfaction at seeing his dream finally come together.

    MANGER – 24 rue Keller, Paris 11, +33 (0)1 43 38 69 15 – www.manger-leresto.com. Open Tuesday-Saturday (12:00-2:30pm and 7:30-10:30pm). Booking in the evenings is mandatory.
  • On May 20, 2013
    Rooksana Hossenally answered the question: Rooksana Hossenally

    What are the best indoor activities in Paris?

    Paris is without doubt one of the best cities in the world for art, so I would have to say that the best indoor activities are focused around visiting museums and galleries. However, there are so many events happening throughout the year that it’s hard to choose which one to make the trip over for. If I had to narrow it down, I would choose Monumenta, the annual art installation at the Grand Palais.

    This year the event was suspended but is set to take place in 2014. And judging by the past years’ shows, Monumenta rarely leaves viewers disappointed. Last year, French artist Daniel Buren was invited to create an installation for the impressive 13,500m2 domed glass and iron nave. He created a conceptual garden of coloured plastic shapes and although impactful, the best shows were the previous exhibitions. In 2011 Anish Kapoor with his incredible Leviathan, an enormous undistinguishable organic shape of special boating canvas that changed colour as the sun passed over the nave’s roof from east to west. Before Kapoor, in 2010, Christian Boltanski was commissioned to invest the space, and his eerie atmospheric installation was one of the best ever put on in the city. Centred around the holocaust, the show manipulated sight and sound to create an ambiance that plunged the viewer right at the heart of the cause – that of the disappeared during the Second World War. Next year, the artist to be invited hasn’t been revealed yet, but it’s bound to be worthwhile.
  • On May 19, 2013
    Rooksana Hossenally answered the question: Rooksana Hossenally

    What are the best outdoor activities in Paris?

    As summer approaches (be it a little on the slow side this year), Paris prepares for al fresco living after having stayed cooped up for the long winter. I personally love to sit on the banks of the Canal St Martin in the 10th arrondissement with good friends, good food and good wine. The atmosphere in the evenings after work or on Fridays and Saturdays, late afternoon, is electric as the locals soak up the sun’s much-awaited rays.

    In the park of La Villette (19th arrondissement), an outdoor cinema, the 'Cinéma en plein air' is set up, complete with deck chairs, from the end of July through to the end of August. A mix of recent films and cult classics are shown and best of all, it’s free (save for the deck chair rental, that is). It’s worth noting that films start at nightfall, so around 10:00pm. Films are shown in English with French subtitles unless the original is in French.

    I also really love indulging in some of the city’s top home-cooked food on a terrace at the Marché des Enfants Rouges between République and the Marais. Open all year around, this open-air market is a fantastic place to spend the day trying food from around the world; you can sample anything from sushi to Moroccan and French specialities – just make sure to get there early to avoid the rush.
  • On May 19, 2013
    Rooksana Hossenally answered the question: Rooksana Hossenally

    What are the best outdoor activities in Paris?

    As summer approaches (be it a little on the slow side this year), Paris prepares for al fresco living after having stayed cooped up for the long winter. I personally love to sit on the banks of the Canal St Martin in the 10th arrondissement with good friends, good food and good wine. The atmosphere in the evenings after work or on Fridays and Saturdays, late afternoon, is electric as the locals soak up the sun’s much-awaited rays.

    In the park of La Villette (19th arrondissement), an outdoor cinema, the 'Cinéma en plein air' is set up, complete with deck chairs, from the end of July through to the end of August. A mix of recent films and cult classics are shown and best of all, it’s free (save for the deck chair rental, that is). It’s worth noting that films start at nightfall, so around 10:00pm.

    I also really love indulging in some of the city’s top home-cooked food on a terrace at the Marché des Enfants Rouges between République and the Marais. Open all year around, this open-air market is a fantastic place to spend the day trying food from around the world; you can sample anything from sushi to Moroccan and French specialities – just make sure to get there early to avoid the rush.
  • On May 19, 2013
    Rooksana Hossenally answered the question: Rooksana Hossenally

    What are the best outdoor activities in Paris?

    As summer approaches (be it a little on the slow side this year), Paris prepares for al fresco living after having stayed cooped up for the long winter. I personally love to sit on the banks of the Canal St Martin in the 10th arrondissement with good friends, good food and good wine. The atmosphere in the evenings after work or on Fridays and Saturdays, late afternoon, is electric as the locals soak up the sun’s much awaited rays.

    In the park of La Villette (19th arrondissement), an outdoor cinema, the 'Cinéma en plein air' is set up, complete with deck chairs, from the end of July through to the end of August. A mix of recent films and cult classics are shown and best of all, it’s free (save for the deck chair rental, that is). It’s worth noting that films start at nightfall, so around 10:00pm.

    I also really love indulging in some of the city’s top home-cooked food on a terrace at the Marché des Enfants Rouges between République and the Marais. Open all year around, this open-air market is a fantastic place to spend the day trying food from around the world; you can sample anything from sushi to Moroccan and French specialities – just make sure to get there early to avoid the rush.
  • On May 19, 2013
    Rooksana Hossenally answered the question: Rooksana Hossenally

    What are the five best things to do with kids in Paris?

    While Paris' charms will probably appeal more to adults, there are several activities that will make it a fun trip for the little ones too.

    1. Exploring Egyptian tombs and mummies at the Louvre. The iconic museum has an impressive collection of artefacts from civilisations that developed in the Nile Valley from the late prehistoric era (c. 4000 BC) to the fourth century AD. The main draw is the funerary art room, which contains a rich collection of mummy portraits, which is bound to keep you as well as the kids in complete awe!

    2. La Géode 3D cinéma is a large mirror-finished sphere in the park of La Villette in north-eastern Paris. Located inside the impressive modular Cité des Sciences (the science museum), the Géode is halfway between sculpture and monument; the enormous silver sphere looks like it belongs in a sci-fi movie rather than in picturesque Paris. Worth seeing at the moment are wildlife films Under the Sea, Born to be Wild and Arctic. (Note: some of the films are in English with French subtitles and some are in French).

    3. The Foire du Trône is a lively funfair that takes place every year from March to May in the scenic Bois de Vincennes; a park southeast of the city. The star fair rides include the Star Flyer and the Power Max, but for something a little less gut wrenching, there is also a Ferris wheel and the usual fair ground games. This year the fair will run through 26 May.

    4. An evening at the Cirque d'Hiver (which translates as 'winter circus' although it runs all year around) is a surreal experience taking you right back to a time before videogames and the internet filled most of the kids’ days. And not only is the show an experience to remember but the oversized circus tent setting is also spectacular. A show lasts about two and a half hours and includes some of the most talented acrobats, trapeze artists, tigers, dogs, horses and clowns presented by the ringmaster Monsieur Loyal.

    5. If the term ‘Greennovation’ arouses your curiosity, then this festival’s for you. We Love Green is one of the most wholesome events in the city, with music from some of the biggest names, a beautiful setting in the Parc de Bagatelle (one of the city's many gardens), and, as its name suggests, 100 per cent green values. This year the festival will run from 14-16 September and the line up includes C2C, Norah Jones and James Blake. There are also lots of workshops and activities centred on the environment for kids of all ages.
  • On May 19, 2013
    Rooksana Hossenally answered the question: Rooksana Hossenally

    What are the five best things to do with kids in Paris?

    While Paris' charms will probably appeal more to adults, there are several activities that will make it a fun trip for the little ones too.

    1. Exploring Egyptian tombs and mummies at the Louvre. The iconic museum has an impressive collection of artefacts from civilisations that developed in the Nile Valley from the late prehistoric era (c. 4000 BC) to the fourth century AD. The main draw is the funerary art room, which contains a rich collection of mummy portraits, which is bound to keep you as well as the kids in complete awe!

    2. La Géode 3D cinéma is a large mirror-finished sphere in the park of La Villette in north-eastern Paris. Located inside the impressive modular Cité des Sciences (the science museum), the Géode is halfway between sculpture and monument; the enormous silver sphere looks like it belongs in a sci-fi movie rather than in picturesque Paris. Worth seeing at the moment are wildlife films Under the Sea, Born to be Wild and Arctic. (Note: some of the films are in English with French subtitles and some are in French).

    3. The Foire du Trône is a lively funfair that takes place every year from March to May in the scenic Bois de Vincennes; a park southeast of the city. The star fair rides include the Star Flyer and the Power Max, but for something a little less adrenaline wrenching, there is also a Ferris wheel and the usual fair ground games. This year the fair will run through 26 May.

    4. An evening at the Cirque d'Hiver (which translates as 'winter circus' although it runs all year around) is a surreal experience taking you right back to a time before videogames and the internet filled most of the kids’ days. And not only is the show an experience to remember but the oversized circus tent setting is also spectacular. A show lasts about two and a half hours and includes some of the most talented acrobats, trapeze artists, tigers, dogs, horses and clowns presented by the ringmaster Monsieur Loyal.

    5. If the term ‘Greennovation’ arouses your curiosity, then this festival’s for you. We Love Green is one of the most wholesome events in the city, with music from some of the biggest names, a beautiful setting in the Parc de Bagatelle (one of the city's many gardens), and, as its name suggests, 100 per cent green values. This year the festival will run from 14-16 September and the line up includes C2C, Norah Jones and James Blake. There are also lots of workshops and activities centred on the environment for kids of all ages.