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

November 5-8
The boutique charity organization Emmaüs (105 Boulevard Davout, 20th) is having a "Kilo Sale" where mens, womens and childrens used clothing are sold for €10/kilo (that's a lot of clothing). Daily 11am-7:45pm. 

November 8-16
The 39th annual Salon Marjolaine, the largest organic fair in Paris, takes place this week at the Parc Floral (Bois de Vincennes) with 550 stands selling everything organic you could imagine. There are also plenty of food stands for lunch onsite, a vestiaire, and a little shuttle from the metro Château de Vincennes to the entrance of the Parc Floral. Open 10:30am-7pm. Entry €9, but you can get a €3 discount voucher on the website to print out in advance. You can also see my article and video from my visit in 2010. 

November 8-11
The Château Vaux le Vicomte is hosting its annual Palais au Chocolat. The palace will be decorated with chocolate artworks created by some of the biggest names in chocolate. Tickets are €16.50 (€13.50 for kids 6-18), which includes access to the château and gardens and exhibits throughout the estate; you can reserve them in advance online. Open 10am-6pm.

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

Secrets of Paris Newsletter #147 was sent October 31st to subscribers. Sign up here to get it emailed direct to your inbox. 

Friday
Nov292013

Visit a Paris Museum December 1st, Help the Philippines

French museums, in solidarity with the Croix Rouge (French Red Cross), are hosting a Dimanche de Solidarité on December 1st to help raise urgently needed funds fordisaster relief in the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan. 

Official Croix Rouge volunteers will be in the following museums this Sunday collection donations of loose change (or loose bills, if you're feeling flush):

* Musée du Louvre
* Musée des Arts Asiatiques Guimet
* Musée du Quai Branly
* Palais de Tokyo
* Musée Rodin
* Musée d’Orsay
* Musée de l’Orangerie
* Château de Versailles
* Centre Pompidou

Don't forget that these museums are open for free the first Sunday of the month, an added incentive to help out those in urgent need of clean water, food and shelter. 

Sunday
Nov102013

Autumn Chocolate Show at Vaux-le-Vicomte

The Château Vaux-le-Vicomte is hosting a three-day chocolate show, Palais du Chocolat, featuring awesome chocolate sculptures, tastings and demos November 9-11. 

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Oct312013

Newsletter #131: October 2013

In this issue:

Graffiti Art in the 13th
Local Fall Bounty
Eating Local
A Taste of Normandy
Halloween in Paris
Parisian Malls Get a Facelift
Rive Gauche Gets Better
Cool Shops in the Louvre
Data Roaming for Americans in France
Physically Challenged Visitors
Discount Cosmetics from Italy
Cupcake Camp IV

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Sep212013

Newsletter #130: September 2013

In this issue: 
Garden Festival
Sexy Fall Museum Exhibitions 
Live Music in the Ateliers
Vide Greniers & Brocantes
SOS Helpline Recruiting Volunteers
Three Shops I Love
My New Local Bistro
Ladies’ Wine Delivery 
52 Martinis MeetUp
Experimental Pedestrian Crosswalks
Pets in Paris Update
Win a French Food Dictionary

Click to read more ...

Monday
Sep162013

Deciphering French Menus

Trying to find a decent place to eat in Paris is only half the battle. Then you have to figure out what's on the menu. Even when you're fluent in French it's not always easy to understand exactly what to expect in a dish when you order, even if you're sure it's "something with duck and potatoes" or "a white fish with vegetables". Menus translated into English by well-meaning establishments often provide some good laughs, if not appetizing or even accurate descriptions. "Burnt cream" for crème brûlée is one thing, but translating a crottin de chèvre salad as a "goat turd salad" might dissuade most diners. 

Bon Appétit is the latest English-French food dictionary from Gourmet Guides destined to help decipher French menus: "The purpose of this small volume is to aid the memory, to describe what gastronomic delight, or the opposite, is awaiting those who might order that otherwise unknown. It is also intended to help the adventurous, who seek out new or unusual dishes, to make the most of whatever is on offer. And it aims to avoid those sometimes comical translations often to be found even in the finest establishments." They sent me a copy of the pocket booklet to check out, and I've found it quite handy and easy to carry in a small purse. The print guide is currently on sale for €3.25 (usually 4.99) through the Gourmet Guides website. If you have an iPhone there's also an app in iTunes for €0.99. 

Win a Free Gourmet Guide

Share your own French menu translation mix-ups or mistranslations in the comments section below before September 23rd and we'll send a free copy of the Bon Appétit print guide to the two we like best (we ship anywhere in the world by La Poste). 

Monday
Aug192013

Candlelit Evenings at Chateau Vaux-le-Vicomte

Despite all of the wonders and delights of Paris that I've discovered in my 18 years of living here, even I have to begrudgingly admit that when it comes to "must see sights", the reality can often be a huge let down compared to the fairy tale image many visitors imagined. Crowds, lines, noise, confusing signage, no restrooms, years of scaffolding for renovations, a lack of any helpful information in English, Artful Dodgers making off with your wallet...it seems there's always something that ruins the "moment". 

But not at Château Vaux-le-Vicomte. 

Click to read more ...

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