***Secrets of Paris Newsletter #17: November 14, 2001***
* From the Home Bureau *
Tomorrow is the 50th internationally celebrated Beaujolais Nouveau festival, which takes place every third Thursday in November. If you're not familiar with the idea behind the festival, here's the rundown: The dark gamay grapes produce the first drinkable wine early in autumn, so Beaujolais Nouveau had been the chosen wine for the old French celebration of Saint-Martin on November 11 (which is no longer celebrated since it became upstaged by Armistice Day after WWI). Since 1951 Beaujolais Nouveau gets its own special day. There are a few people out there who humbug the fun, and even those who claim the wine isn't any good. But there's a lot of fun to be had in Paris (and no doubt in Francophile places around the world) no matter what your opinion is on the young and fruity red wine. This year, according to the French wine pundits, the new wine has hints of red currant, strawberry and raspberry, and a peony color. Judge for yourself tomorrow at your favorite local watering hole. If you don't have a place picked out already, check out the short list below. Santé! -H
* Beaujolais Nouveau Celebrations *
Recommended by the Figaroscope:
Le Baratin: 3 rue Jouye-Rouve, 20th arr. Metro Belleville Tel: 01 43 49 39 70
Au Vin des Rues: 21 rue Boulard, 14th arr; metro Denfert-Rochereau Tel: 01 43 21 82 60
Le Gavroche: 19 rue Saint-Marc, 2nd arr. Metro Bourse or Richelieu-Drouot Tel: 01 42 96 89 70
Le Mauzac: 7 rue de l'Abbé-de-l'Epée, 5th arr. Metro/RER Luxembourg Tel: 01 46 33 75 22
Chez Melac: 42 rue Léon Frot, 11th arr. Metro Charonne Tel: 01 43 70 59 27
Au Tonneaux des Halles: 28 rue Montorgueil, 1st arr. Metro Les Halles Tel: 01 42 33 36 19
And some handy web sites:
Festivals in US cities: http://www.beaujolaisfestival.com/events.html
Official Beaujolais site: http://www.beaujolais.com/
* New Thai Restaurant *
My friend Claire, who has been searching for decent Thai food in Paris for ages, gives the Bali Bar her approval. Right in the heart of the Bastille neighborhood, it has a nice Balinese décor, attentive and friendly staff, and delicious Thai food from the head chef Oth Sombath, previously with the more expensive Elephant Bleu down the road. Whatever you do, leave plenty of room for dessert!
Bali Bar: 9 rue Saint-Sabin, Metro Bastille. Tel: 01-47-00-25-47
* Literary Paris *
Check out WH Smith's new website for the rue de Rivoli store for specials, recommended reads, and info on events like tomorrow's reading by the author of "Chez Vous en France: Living and Working in France":
* Dancing Horses *
And you thought the Moulin Rouge dancers were talented? The popular Theatre Equestre Zingaro show "Tryptik" returns to Paris until February 2002, featuring unbelievable choreographed horses dancing to the music of Stravinsky. Tickets 140-220ff.
Theatre Zingaro: 176 avenue Jean-Jaurès, metro Aubervilliers-Pantin. Tel: 01 48 39 18 03 or buy tickets online:
* Cold-weather Pampering *
Fans of the Clinique skin care range won't want to miss the wonderful treatments at the Institute Fustel. The most popular treatment is the "Nettoyage de Peau en Profondeur", or deep skin cleansing. Ninety minutes of cleansing, exfoliation, special high-frequency electrodes to heal the skin, ozone vapor and facial and neck massage. Just 480ff, call to reserve:
Institute Fustel, 7 rue de Ponthieu, 8me arr. Tel: 01-42-56-32-30
* For True Romantics *
When was the last time you spent a cold and rainy afternoon in a truly romantic setting? Schedule a rendez-vous at the Musée de la Vie Romantique, one of the most intimate museums in Paris and former 19th century private home of the painter Ary Scheffer. Where artists, musicians and writers like Ingres, Delacroix, Chopin, George Sand, and Lamartin used to gather socially, the museum now hosts exhibitions and collection celebrating the artistic life of the 18th century.
Musée de la Vie Romantique: 16, rue Chaptal (9th arr.) Metro Saint George, Place Blanche or Pigalle. 17.50ff. Closed Monday.
* Outlet Shopping in the 'Burbs *
Just five minutes from Disneyland Paris exists another magical place full of happiness: the "Vallée Shopping" outlet stores in Marne-la-Vallée. Yeah, it's about 45 minutes in the RER, but you get to buy the same brands found along Avenue Montaigne at a huge discount (33-70% of last season's collection). Right now there are about thirty brands on site, including BCBG, Apara, Gianfranco Ferre, Herve Léger, and Max Mara, with up to forty more scheduled to open soon. Happy shopping!
Vallée Shopping: RER A, stop at Marne-la-Vallée.
* Noteworthy Arts Exhibitions *
At the Musée des Arts d'Afrique et d'Oceanie, "Kannibals et Vahines" looks at the romanticized stereotypes of the South Seas through popular literature since the end of the 18th century-from comics, children's books, novels, and movies to Jules Verne, Betty Boop, and Tintin. Through February 18, 2002. Métro: Porte Dorée. 28-38ff. Closed Tuesdays.
A large collection of art by Raphael, one of the greatest artists of all time, is on display at the Musée du Luxembourg. Works from religious portraiture to frescoes will be exhibited until January 27, 2002. Métro: Odeon. 20-55ff.
* The Latest at Suite101.com *
The second and final article revealing everything you need to know about the Magical Kingdom in Paris: "Inside Scoop on Disneyland Paris": http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/4820/83815
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