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

Through February 19
Skate on the Eiffel Tower! This year the ice skating rink on the first level of the Eiffel Tower is back, free for those who already have a ticket for the Tower, open daily 10:30am-10:30pm. Skip the line by taking the stairs, it will help you warm up, too! Skates size 25-47 (EU), sleds and scooters for kids, gloves are required. This year's theme is Ice Hockey, though it will be less brutal than the NHL!

January 11 - February 21
The annual winter sales, aka Les Soldes. Honestly, the rules about when and how sales can take place in France since the economic crise have essentially made the sales irrelevant. There are sales all of the time now (often called "promotion" or "7 Jours BHV" or something like that). 

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


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? ;)


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).


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!


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. ;-)



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 ...


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. ;)

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

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

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