The weeks surrounding the Fête de la Federation are a perfect time to revisit Paris – that’s July 14 in case you didn’t catch today’s tenuous travel connection. Perfect not only because of the summer weather that makes strolling the Seine so sublime – especially with an ice cream from Berthillon – but also ideal thanks to the summer sales, or soldes. Lest you think these are any old sales, I’m going to set you straight: the national soldes are a government controlled period of five weeks each summer and winter when shops are allowed to offer exceptional discounts. And by exceptional I mean deals up to 70% off on all the good stuff. Think Barney’s Warehouse but with better food – and the Bastille.