Secrets of Paris 
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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
* Christmas in Paris Tours
* Monthly Secrets of Paris newsletter
* Secrets of Paris Videos

Read more about the Secrets of Paris here

Calendar of Paris Events

November 7-15
The 40th 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: produce, meats, cheeses, artisan oils, wines, essential oils, herbs, teas, cosmetics, beauty products, household cleaning products, clothing, shoes, accessories, home decor, books, gardening supplies, as well as stands for environmental tourism, different green activist groups such as Greenpeace, etc.

November 12 - Seattle
Heather will be at Seattle's Paris Eastside cooking school and French boutique for the November Sip & Meet event with copies of Naughty Paris for a special price of just $27 (cover price $39). From 6-8pm, wine and nibbles, €5/person. Come say hello if you're in the area!

November 18-22
Shopping for some supplies for your creative projects? Head down to the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles for the annual Création & Savoir Faire show. Scrapboooking, knitting, gardening, baking, sewing, crafts, and decorating ideas for the holidays. Entrance €13-15, €22 for the two-day pass, open 9:30am-6:30pm (until 9:30pm Friday).  

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

Entries in Recommended Reading (9)


Recommended Books: US(a.) and Paris Pas Cher

There are countless books written by Paris expats since Hemingway and the Lost Generation mastered the genre. But there are few that really offer an original look at how being an American affects our experience overseas. But after four years of experiencing “American privilege” while living in Paris, acclaimed slam poet and rapper Saul Williams casts a new, critical eye on both France and his home country: US(a.) Published by Simon & Schuster, the book examines what attracts many African-American expats to Paris (including, most recently, Ta-Nehisi Coates), without candy-coating any of the very real issue of racism in France. Read this excellent review from the Washington Post.

On a totally different planet, if you live in Paris I highly recommend picking up the latest edition of Paris (Vraiment) Pas Cher 2016. This book has been published by the same family since 1974. It’s not sexy or cute or trendy. It doesn’t think a €150 designer tee shirt is a “steal”. It’s simply a practical guide for finding the best deals on restaurants, hotels, clothing, beauty, entertainment, food shopping, electronics and high-tech, as well as everything for kids, the home and everyday living in Paris. Where to find parts to fix your dishwasher, the cheapest way to cater a large party, free classes at the local community center, where to rent furniture, how to get half-price theatre tickets, free legal advice, outlet shops and private sales, and much, much more. You even get a discount card to use in many of the places in the guide. Think of it as your secret weapon, or your System D manual for surviving Paris on a budget in style. There is also a blog with extra info.


Interview with a French Dining Expert

Alec Lobrano's latest book, Hungry for France (author photo by Steven Rothfeld).

The contributing editor of Saveur magazine reveals how he continues to love Paris, the Parisians, and French cuisine after almost 30 years in the City of Light.

Click to read more ...


Fun Maps of Paris

Herb Lester, a British company that makes beautifully-designed maps printed on recycled paper with a quirky retro feel, has come out with a new specialty map, Paris: Small Shops. Written by the Paris-based writer Anne Stark Ditmeyer of Prêt à Voyager. It includes 40 small boutiques, many of them dating back several hundred years or hidden in secret passages. Other Paris maps in the collection include Paris en Famille, Paris for Pleasure-Seekers, and It’s Nice to be Alone in Paris. All maps are available on the Herb Lester website for £4 each, or you can ask for them at your local bookstore.


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). 


10 Reasons Paris is still the Most Romantic City

Updated on Friday, January 16, 2015 by Registered CommenterHeather Stimmler-Hall

A cruise on the Seine, kissing on the Eiffel Tower, a show at the Moulin Rouge, dinner at the Tour d’Argent...despite the tired clichés, Paris still has all the right ingredients for an unforgettable rendez-vous that fits any couple’s definition of romance.

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The Merde Factor with Stephen Clarke

Paris expat Stephen Clarke is the author of the best-selling series of "Merde" novels such as A Year in the Merde and books about France and its people such as Talk to the Snail and -- one of my favorite history books -- 1000 Years of Annoying the French. Earlier this week I met up with Stephen at Café Le Nemours on Place Colette (outside the Palais Royal) to chat about his latest novel about the adventures of Paul West and his motley gang of Parisian friends and co-workers: The Merde Factor (available in France and the UK now, coming to the US end of October).