Welcome to a new post in my weekly blog series, Passionate About Paris. The winter chill may be taking a while to disappear, with Paris also in the grip of severe weather. Several canals have frozen over and warnings are in place strictly forbidding anyone to venture out on to the ice.
Paris will still delight whatever the weather. Popular destinations such as the Louvre are less crowded during the winter months and who needs an excuse to linger in a café with a chocolat chaud?
Valentine’s Day may be behind us for another year, but a visit to the Choco-Museum is a year-round treat. Discover the history and journey of chocolate from the Aztecs to the present day and from bean to gorgeous confectionery. 28,blvd Bonne Nouvelle, Paris 10th. Métro: Bonne Nouvelle, Strasbourg Saint-Denis. Open daily 10am-6pm; last entry at 5pm Admission: Adults 9€; kids 6-12 6€; students & over 65: 8€; kids under 6 are free http://www.museeduchocolat.fr/index_UK.htm
There’s still time to pick up some freebies which are available once you’ve got a discount card from the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau, 25, rue des Pyramides (1st arrondissement) in their ‘Paris Romantique’ promotion (from February 1st to 29th). Special gift cards can be presented at L’Occitane en Provence perfume shops between February 1 and 29 for gifts and discounts. http://www.loccitane.com/boutique-finder,29,1,2756,106329.htm?country=France&city=Paris
What’s on: Something quite different is on at the American Library, 15th February at 1930: Do you love wine, cheese, and/ or perfume? This may be the evening for you. Panellists share the challenges and rewards of transforming their knowledge and passion into writing books and being the subject of a documentary. They will talk about their favourite wines, cheeses, and perfumes and answer questions from the audience. American Library in Paris, 10 rue du Général Camou 7th arrondissement. Métro Alma-Marceau or Ecole Militaire
Also here on February 25th the Evenings with an Author series will host John Morris, who has been called “the world’s most influential photography editor”. John will talk about his legendary career.
A Parisian institution, Seine-side bookshop Shakespeare & Co welcomes author Louise Doughty on February 20th to read from her new novel ‘Whatever You Love’. http://shakespeareandcompany.com/index.php?categories=107:1
Holiday on Ice brings its show Festival, to Paris’ Zénith. Everything from pyrotechnics and acrobatics to some spectacular choreography on ice all set to music and with fabulous costumes. Zenith, 211 av Jean Jaures, Parc de Villette 19th arrondissement. Métro: Porte de Pantin http://www.zenith-paris.com/index2.php
Weather permitting, the ice skating rinks at Montparnasse and Hôtel de Ville will remain open until March 4th. Montparnasse: Place Raoul Dautry, 15th arrondissement. Hôtel de Ville: Place de l’Hôtel de Ville, 4th arrondissement. Skating is free at both venues, skate hire costs €5.
For music lovers, the Orangerie Museum is hosting a new exhibition: Debussy, la musique et les arts (Debussy: music and arts) from 21 February to 11 June
The exhibition will highlight the important meetings between the musician and the artists and poets of his time, evoked mainly through the collections of three families of friends who supported him during the difficult years which preceded the creation of Pelléas and Mélisande: those of the painter Henry Lerolle (1848-1929), the composer Ernest Chausson (1855-1899) and Arthur Fontaine (1860-1931), State Councillor. http://www.musee-orangerie.fr/documents/anglais_2012-01-03.pdf
Looking ahead, the annual Salon du Vintage takes place on March 9th 10th and 11th at Espace des Blancs Manteaux, 48 rue Vieille du Temple. It’s the place to get vintage clothes, furniture and even a 60s hairdo. More details next week!
And finally…. Don’t forget that there’s 20% discount on apartment rentals for readers of this blog travelling to Paris in February or March this year. Naomi Benamy has a selection of gorgeous centrally-located apartments offering a great opportunity to live the local life as detailed in this blog post. Just mention that you saw her details on my blog to obtain the discount. Contact Naomi via her website which has details of her apartments: http://nbenamy-apartments-in-paris.blogspot.com/