THE BEST WAY TO PARIS
From LAX, Air Tahiti Nui and Air France offer nonstop service to Charles De Gaulle Airport. United offers direct serice (stop, no change of planes). Delta, Continental, American, Lufthansa, British, US Airways and Swiss offer connecting service (change of planes). Restricted round-trip fares begin at $949.
To call the numbers below from the U.S., dial 011 (the international dialing code), 33 (country code for France) and the local number.
WHERE TO STAY AND EAT IN PARIS
The Hotel Thérèse, 5-7 Rue Thérèse; 1-42-96-10-01, http://www.hoteltherese.com. A small boutique hotel with stylish contemporary furnishings near the Palais Royale, where Colette lived toward the end of her life; doubles from $185.
Hotel du Louvre, Place André Malraux; 1-44-58-38-38, http://www.hoteldulouvre.com. Another choice in the Palais Royale neighborhood is this grand old dame with Napoleon III-inspired décor; doubles from $312.
Le Grand Véfour, 17 Rue de Beaujolais; 1-42-96-56-27, http://www.grand-vefour.com. A favorite with Colette, who lived upstairs in the Palais Royale. It is among the oldest, most fabled and beautiful restaurants in Paris, not to mention one of the most expensive. If you have the temerity to try it, expect a three-course dinner for two to cost $600, not including wine.
WHERE TO STAY AND EAT IN THE COUNTRY
Maison Marthe, Place Paul Doumer, Saint-Sauveur-en-Puisaye; 386-45-66-94, http://www.maisonmarthe.com. A five-room bed-and-breakfast in an 18th century house just down the street from the Colette Museum; doubles from about $70, including breakfast.
Hotel les Grands Chênes, Les Berthes Bailly, St. Fargeau; 3-86-74-04-05, http://www.hoteldepuisaye.com. Small manor house about a 20-minute drive from Saint-Sauveur-en-Puisaye with 13 charming rooms decorated in country French style; doubles from about $95.
Apart from cafes and crêperies, the restaurant pickings are slim in Colette country. The best one I found is Auberge La Demoiselle, 2-4 Place de la République, St. Fargeau, 3-86-74-10-58, http://www.auberge-lademoiselle.com, which has a prix-fixe lunch menu for about $31.
TO LEARN MORE
French Government Tourist Office, http://www.franceguide.com.
Saint-Sauveur-en-Puisaye Tourist Office, http://www.cc-stsauveur.fr.