***Secrets of Paris Newsletter #18: November 26, 2001***
* From the Home Bureau *
I've got my list ready for my trip up to Paris next weekend. It's long. I think it's probably impossible! There are just too many new and wonderful things going on in Paris that I need more than a few days a month to really see it all. On this trip alone I've got a new gourmet chocolate shop, two restaurants, three hotel lounges, one 'doggy lounge' on the Seine, an After After soirée (5am until noon), a spa, and the Christmas displays at the "grands magasins" to check out. Hopefully I'll find some great new stuff to share with all of you! Cross your fingers the metro doesn't go on strike….my blood has thinned too much from living down in the South to handle walking around in the cold. Until next month, happy holiday shopping!
* Where did the Paris Anglo Pages go? *
I've always found the Paris Anglo website quite useful for finding information about Paris, and their forums are always full of helpful locals, but last week I noticed it hadn't been updated in a long time (the Let Them Eat Tofu article has been on the front page far too long), so I e-mailed the publisher David Applefield, author of Paris Inside Out and The Unofficial Guide to Paris to find out what the deal was. Seems there's a whole new Paris Anglo being relaunched before the end of the year, with new features, new weekly newsletter, and a revamp of the whole site. Stay tuned….
* Too Trendy to Stick Around *
If you're in Paris between now and December 15 and you're looking for a very unique kind of dining experience, reserve dinner at the temporary Ferrarelle restaurant, located in an historic mansion in the Marais. You can eat in the kitchen, the playroom or the dining room, each decorated by a different French designer, and each with a different menu. Ferrarelle makes Italian sparkling water, and has opened the restaurant as a trendy marketing ploy. So eat there while you can, and experience something you can be sure none of the gang back home has ever seen. Dinner about 300 FF or 45 euros.
Ferrarelle: Hôtel de Bondeville 4, rue des Haudriettes, 3rd arr. Tel: 01.53.70.72.71
Dinner seatings at 8:30 pm and 10:30 pm. Closed Mondays
* Degustation Champagne *
Another rare evening for the Champagne connoisseur (or those who speak French and want to learn something new), the Bottin Gourmand is hosting a special Nuit du Champagne on December 7 in the salon of an 18th century hôtel particulier in central Paris. Champagnes by Krug, Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, Louis Roederer, Ruinart, Gosset, Dom Pérignon, Deutz, Lanson, Charles Heidsieck, Mumm, Laurent Perrier, Perrier Jouet, Philipponnat, Duval Leroy, Ayala, Boizel, Bruno Paillard, De Venoge and Heidsieck Monopole are on the list, accompanied by fine wines and a buffet by chef Didier Avril. All this for only €90 (about 525ff). Call to reserve a spot before they're all gone!
Nuit du Champagne: December 7th, from 7:30pm
Cercle de l'Union Intéralliée, 33 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré Tel: 01 44 05 50 06
* Learn the Poilâne Secrets! *
For the first time ever, the famous Parisian boulanger, Lionel Poilâne, has opened his secret bread-making empire to the mere mortals of Paris. Every Thursday at 9:45am, for small groups of no more than 15 people, the master Poilâne opens up his kitchens in the suburbs of Bièvre. You get to learn about the bread-making process, make your own "boule" and enjoy a lunch made from the morning's fresh bread. Best of all, each person goes home not only with their handiwork, but also with the recipe to make the same bread at home. Poilâne addicts who live outside the regular distribution areas may find the €100 fee quite reasonable…Reserve your place now before everyone finds out about this rare opportunity!
Lionel Poilâne: 01-55-35-08-21
* Chic Hotel, Petit Price *
Well, it's not exactly a budget hotel, but if you're looking for a slick and modern boutique hotel at a reasonable price, the Pavillon de Paris has an internet booking offer of just 1000ff for a single or 1100ff for a double through the end of December (that's more than 700ff off the regular price, not bad for a four-star hotel). The Pavillon de Paris is about three years old now, and combines feng shui design with modern features like Web TV and modem connection in the 9th arrondissement. Check out their groovy website for details:
* Christmas Village *
The annual Christmas Village at Montparnasse starts this year on November 30th and goes until Christmas Eve. Some of the stuff sold is quite boring, but there's always a few gems that make the trek out there in the cold worth it. And there's always lots of decadent goodies for the kids (or yourself) if you get the munchies. Located between the Tour and Gare du Montparnasse.
* Striptease! (sans Demi) *
In the 1950's, photographer Frank Horvat snuck backstage at strip joints around Paris and took some hauntingly erotic photos, and nothing like the crass displays of everything and anything you see today. Until December 19th you can see the photos yourself at the Galerie Dina Vierny.
36, rue Jacob, 6th arr. Metro St-Germain-des-Près
Monday-Saturday from 10am-noon and 3pm-7pm.
* Open Artists Studios *
The artists of the 6th arrondissement open their studios to the public just once annually. Visits this year will be November 30 from 3-7pm and 2nd December from 1-6pm. Pick up information at the Theatre du Vieux Colombier (21 rue du Vieux Colombier, metro St-Sulpice).
* The Latest at Suite101.com *
Sadly, the Secrets of Paris website at Suite101 will be no more by the end of the year (don't worry, you'll still get the newsletter), so go and bookmark your favorite links before they go offline. Coming in the new year….the new Riviera & Provence Insider! Thanks everyone who has visited the site over the past three years!