About Secrets of Paris

American-born travel journalist and guidebook author Heather Stimmler-Hall created the Secrets of Paris in 1999 to share the hidden side of the City of Light. Discover what you've been missing:

* Custom Travel Content 
* Free Paris Resource Guide
* Calendar of interesting Paris events
* Private Tours
* Monthly Secrets of Paris newsletter
* Secrets of Paris Videos

Read more about the Secrets of Paris here


Calendar of Paris Events

October 8-12
The theme for the 81st annual Fête des Vendanges, the grape harvest festival, is Montmartre Fête les Poètes. Events include a parade, grape stomping, the food & wine tasting village, cooking demos, live music, and tons of other fun stuff. Check out the entire program, the online boutique (get your commemorative bottles of wine!) and other info about the festival here.

October 12 
Stock up on fall reading material for a handful of euros and support the English-language SOS Helpline at their Autumn Book Sale today from noon-4pm at Orrick Law Offices (31 ave Pierre Ière de Serbie, 16th, M° Alma-Marceau). Paperbacks €1, hardcovers €2, all categories for adults and kids, as well as bake sale items. Those who want to donate books can drop them off during the sale.

October 16-17
Blending culture with social, Sinfonietta Paris brings you an evening of Mendelssohn and Brahms exquisitely performed by a brilliant ensemble of young professional musicians. At the Institut FInlandais (Latin Quarter, 60 rue des Ecoles, 5th) from 8-11pm. Tickets €25 (wine and hors d'oeuvres included). The address will be mailed once confirmed; the performance on the 4th December is in the 17th; on the 5th December it's in the 1st. Register on the website; places limited. 

Secrets of Paris gives 10% of all tour fees
to the French food bank, Les Restos du Coeur

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Thursday
Mar052009

Greenmarket Alternatives

by Camille Malmquist

The greenmarkets of Paris are one of the city’s best activities. I love weaving my way through the crowds, ogling the incredible diversity of produce, cheeses, bread, and meat available, and best of all, picking up something tasty for dinner. But sometimes I’d rather spend my Sunday morning in my pajamas, drinking coffee on the couch. I can’t be the only one. Enter the vegetable delivery service. Imagine, someone else doing the shopping for you, bringing you the best, locally or regionally sourced, organic foodstuffs.

One such service, Les Paniers du Val de Loire, a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) co-op of sorts, delivers freshly farmed organic fruits and vegetables to 100+ pick-up spots in Paris and Orléans. The offerings vary by the season and the week. One panier contains enough produce to serve two people for about 5 meals, and the price works out to about €14 per week. They offer a 6-week trial period, after which you can sign up for the whole year (paid all at once or in monthly installments) if you so desire. They don’t do door-to-door delivery, but there are so many pick-up locations in Paris that you probably won’t have to walk more than a couple of blocks to get yours.

If you’d rather have your seasonal vegetables arrive on your doorstep, or if you’re not sure you want to commit to even 6 weeks of deliveries, check out Le Haut du Panier. Featuring premium vegetables from Ile-de-France’s most famous farmer, Joël Thiébault, as well as cheeses from Philippe Alléosse and bread from Jean-Luc Poujauran, this is a food geek’s dream. The “panier découverte,” for €38 sounds expensive, but it is huge – (despite what the website may say) it is enough to feed two for nearly 2 weeks! And the produce is gorgeous, befitting its designer pedigree. There are options to add a basket of fruit, a loaf of bread, or a selection of cheeses to your vegetables, which are delivered on Fridays, as long as you’ve placed your order by 10 pm on Wednesday.

Not comfortable letting someone else decide your menu? No problem. Mr Fraicolo will take your shopping list to the market at Rungis (where all the sellers at the greenmarket get their stuff) and bring your selections to your home by ecologically-conscious bicycle. Choose from fruits and vegetables, dairy products, meat and charcuterie, and even some grocery items and household products like pasta, toothpaste, and dish soap. The minimum order is €39, with a €5.99 delivery charge, and they deliver Monday through Friday from 2 pm to 9 pm. Orders must be placed by 8 pm the night before – no same day deliveries.

Whether you prefer a weekly grab bag of organic goodies, name-brand local produce, or a personal food shopper, whether you’re in Paris for a few weeks or indefinitely, there’s a delivery service for you – for those times you don’t want to get out and explore the market, that is.

(All websites in French)

Les Paniers du Val de Loire

Le Haut du Panier

Mr Fraicolo

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Reader Comments (1)

Thanks Camille! Another one I've tried is Le Campanier (http://www.campanier.com).
March 5, 2009 | Registered CommenterHeather Stimmler-Hall

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