About Secrets of Paris

Created in 1999, the Secrets of Paris is the oldest independent and locally-owned website about Paris in English, for both visitors and residents. Discover what you've been missing:

* Free Resource Guide
* Calendar of interesting Paris events 
* Monthly Secrets of Paris newsletter
* Secrets of Paris Tours & Travel Planning

Read more about the Secrets of Paris here





Calendar of Paris Events

Marchés de Noël - Christmas Markets are well underway! 
There are lots of them, and they're in full swing.  The two largest are opening mid-month this year:

- till January 8 on the Avenue des Champs Elysées
- till December 27 at the Esplanade de La Défense

Other Christmas Markets will be opening around Paris in December, see the full list (en françaishere. Click through to our full calendar to get more details.  

December 15-early January 
All of the Manèges, aka Carrousels de Paris, in the 3rd through 20th arrondissements of Paris are free for children for the holidays (my favorite is in the Jardins du Trocadéro, but the lines are longest). See the full list here. Open daily 11am-9pm.

December 7-11
Winter is circus time in Paris! Lots of options--for example the Cirque du Soleil (Dec. 7-11) with this year's Varekai performance. At the Accorhotels arena (12e), seats from 37€ to 80€. But there are lots of others. See the complete list for other circus and circus-like spectacles. 

Click here to see the full calendar of events...

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


Can Ex-Patriots Be Trusted with the Vote?

Check out this essay by Gary Lee Kraut (published on his website, Paris Revisited). It brilliantly describes what it's like to be an expatriated patriot.


Gettysburg Pennsylvania has nothing to do with Paris

But I'm going to tell you about Gettysburg Beat anyway, because it's my mom's very first website -- go Mom! -- and I've been trying to convince her to write about her town for years. She's going to be mortified to find out I put the link here. "But it's not done yet!" LOL! My website hasn't been "done" since I put it up eight years ago! ;-) 

She's a bit shy, but if any of you are going to Gettysburg for the big Civil War battle reenactments this July, tell her I sent you and you'll get the real insider's scoop and a southern welcome!


Guided Tour of the Paris Film Sights

The new Cedric Klapisch film, Paris, just came out last week, starring two of my favorite French actors, Romain Duris (sigh...) and Juliette Binoche. Even if you have to wait for the DVD to see it with English subtitles, you can still enjoy the Parisian scenes throughout the film, and there's even a *bilingual* self-guided tour of all the best sights in the film that you can printout from the Mairie de Paris website.


Versace Fashion High Tea at Le Bristol

FashionteaBristol1.jpgLast weekend I went with my friend Sylvia to the Fashion High Tea at Le Bristol, one of the city's historic palace hotels. Every month they host a desinger fashion show in the elegant tearoom overlooking the private gardens. This time it was Versace's new spring/summer collection. You have to reserve in advance, since there's limited seating available. For €50 you get the show as well as tea, a platter of mini sandwiches and pastries. For the event, we even got a special Versace pastry and chocolates in a beautiful box to take home.

The next Fashion High Tea will be March 1 at 3:30pm, the designer Salta, and March 22 will be Elie Saab. Check the website calendar for future dates (look under "news" at the bottom of the page).



BHV Sous-Sol Gains a Map, Loses a Café

The famous Sous-Sol (basement level) at BHV (Bazaar de l'Hôtel de Ville) reopened recently, and it does indeed seem much easier to see than it was before. In fact, there are even SIGNS and a MAP!



I was almost sad thinking of how I'll never get lost again amongst the towering aisles of bolts and faucets and garden pots, with nary a salesperson in sight. But as I'm looking at the map, I quickly realized the Bricolage Café was no more...so sad. It was a cute little place decorated to look like an old tool shed, a great place to catch a bite and recover from the trauma of being lost for days in that basement!


Valentine's Day Menus

Two of my favorite restaurants have special Valentine's Day menus...how to choose?!

Ladurée (Champs Elysées and Rue Bonaparte locations) have a Menu St-Valentin for €80 per person which includes Lobster cuppucino amuse bouche, duck foie gras as a starter, sea bass (with candied violets, litchis and apples) or Pigeon Chartreuse with winter truffles, a Ladurée Heart pastry, and coffee with macarons (other drinks not included).

BC has a completely different menu (and style of restaurant) called Saint Valentin Love Attitude, €140 for two which includes his and her cocktails (hers has crème fraîche, vodka, anis et cacoa blanc, cristalized rose petals), lobster lollipop & sweet potato dumpling, scallops on a bed of veal curry and steamed apple and mango, and Tétons de Vénus for dessert (iced peach, ginger syrup, and mini glass of Champagne), finished off with a gourmet café.

 Oooh....I'm in love! Would it be bad of me to eat at both? ;)