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

Wednesday
Feb132008

Little India Tours

Today I went on a small tour of Little India with Poonam Chawla, an expat from India (she also lived in the US for a few years). She has spent the past few years in Paris reviewing all of the Indian restaurants, so when you want to know where to go, contact her for a special foodie tour. She also offers cooking classes and makes her own mango chutney.

After a visit to the Temple de Ganesh, we walked down to the main streets of Little India where she pointed out the best places to eat, Indian pastry shops, a beauty salon that specializes in Ayurvedique treatments and threading depilation (at amazingly low rates), a travel agency with round-trip flights to Bombay for €460 or Bangkok for €530, and her favorite Cash & Carry shop on the Rue Cail.

I love these places because they not only have all of the necessary ingredients for making a decent curry (which I learned back when I was a British in-law), but they also have a huge selection of British products like PG Tips and McVitie's digestifs, and random American products like Johnson & Johnson Baby Shampoo and Baby Oil, and Kraft Cheddar Cheese in a can (!?). And they don't charge exorbitant fees like some expat food stores which won't be named here (but you know who you are, charging €12.50 for a tiny bottle of vanilla extract, shame!)

Anyway, I digress. If you're interested in discovering these places with an expert, contact Poonam. Her tours are just €25/person (two people minimum) for a two-hour tour, and €50 per person for the cooking classes. And if you can't read her website (in French only) just give her a call: 01 45 05 34 71 (she speaks perfect English, of course).

Wednesday
Feb132008

Free Museums through June 30

Entrance fees to three of my favorite Paris museums are being waived for six months (through June 30) to increase attendance:

Musée Guimet

Musée de Cluny

Musée des Arts et Métiers

Three others are offering (like the Louvre) free admission one night a week to anyone 18-25:

Musée d'Orsay (Thursdays)

Musée National d'Art Moderne (Centre Pompidou) (Wednesdays) 

Musée du Quai Branly (Saturdays) 

 Go get cultured!

Sunday
Feb032008

Anyone flying easyJet this month?

Even though I've been writing the monthly Paris column for easyJet's inflight magazine for eight years, I don't actually get a copy (that's how they keep those fares so low! LOL). I'm trying to get a hardcopy of the February column, so if any of you are flying this month and can pick it up for me (or even rip out the Paris page), I'll buy you a drink. ;-)

 

Friday
Feb012008

Newsletter #81: January-February 2008

IN THIS ISSUE: * Heather’s News * Customer Service at Last? * Bobin’O: The City’s Newest Cabaret * Dining & Nightlife News & Reviews * Other Paris Blogs: Food & Wine & Attitude * Later Metro Hours * Hotel News * Vacation Apartment Rental Link * Live in Paris ? Plant a Tree * Strike Info Website * Organic Food Delivery * Naughty Deliveries after Midnight * Customize Your Own French Stamps * More Newsletters, Please! * Heather’s Tours and Vacation Planning...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jan272008

Look Mom! I'm on Playboy TV!

This morning I woke up at dawn to meet with the film crew on the banks of the Seine. We filmed a short segment about the Naughty Paris Guide for Playboy TV's new series, "69 Sexy Things to Do Before You Die" (beginning in March 2008). It was sunny but ice cold, so luckily I'm just a (fully clothed) talking head. ;)

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"And this is the perfect place for a bit of midnight skinnydipping...."

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Trying not to squint from the sun or shiver too obviously...

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The view from my end: "Just look into the light, Heather!"

 

Sunday
Jan272008

Delicate at Fallenfest

Last night I attended the 2nd round of the Fallenfest competition of local Indie Rock bands at La Boule Noire. Eight bands competed for the chance to make it to the semi-finals. I got there at 7:30pm in time for the first band. The small concert hall (space for 350 people) filled up quickly and those who arrived later were forced to wait on the sidewalk until there was room for more. Everyone gets five white balls to vote for their favorite band(s) of the night.

The most popular group of the night was Delicate, who played to the packed house at 10pm. After about four songs the guitarist broke his pedal and they had to cut the half hour set short. But rock fans love it when musicians break shit on stage, so they won anyway, and will be playing in the next round at Le Trabendo between now and May (stay tuned).

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Raphaël and Emmanuel Aucler of Delicate, celebrating after the show ("They just don't make guitar pedals like they used to...")

 
Another band that made the cut was Blague à Part, who were pretty damned good for a rock band singing in French. There are three more rounds in different categories before the semi-finals including French Chanson (tonight), Pop Rock (February 2), and Rock Metal (February 3). Tickets are €12 at the door, get there early to avoid waiting in line.