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Updated: Nov 10, 2022

Now that temperatures are dropping and stores are beginning to put up their holiday lights, Paris is feeling more festive by the day. These colder days (and nights) are the perfect excuse to indulge in a luxurious sweet-treat: hot chocolate, or, as the French call it "chocolat chaud".


When did the Chocolat Chaud become a trend in France?


This South American delicacy became famous in Spain first. In France it was totally unknown until 1615, when the Spanish Infanta Anne of Austria married our King Louis XIII. Little by little, the wealthy French are starting their day the Spanish way: hot chocolate in hand!


When chocolate entered the habits of the court of the Palace of Versailles it became the most fashionable beverage and gradually dethroned coffee and tea!


Until the 18th century, chocolate was reserved for the bourgeoisie, but thanks to the industrial revolution chocolate was democratized. Over time, chocolate is mass produced and becomes an affordable consumer good.

Over the years, cocoa has taken on many forms: tablets, powders, bars, mousses, spreads, ice creams, etc. and the many brands have multiplied!


Although its consumption has changed a lot since its sacred origins, today, chocolate is accessible to all of us for our greatest pleasure!




Find our favourite 5 places to warm up and get a sugar rush with a Chocolat Chaud (and more)



Angelina

The parisian classic

Angelina has 5 locations in Paris, and the most famous one is at 226 Rue de Rivoli, which is where this tea-house has stood for over a century!

If you want to make sure to try their Angelina's Chocolat Chaud in their famous salon make sure to make reservations in advance on their official website HERE


In order to fully profit from the experience, make sure to get the Mont-Blanc, a chocolate pastry which means ‘white mountain’ in French. The Mont Blanc is Angelina's signature pastry.

The recipe was created at the beginning of the 20th century and has remained unchanged since.

Crispy and dry French meringue under a smooth creamy dome of light whipped cream, covered by chestnut vermicelli. Its shape was apparently inspired by the tranding women hairstyle at the time: the sleek short square bob.


Carette

Instagrammable and mouthwateringly beautiful!


Almost as old as Angelina, Carette is another parisian institution that you cannot miss. Jean Carette and his wife Madeleine installed their first shop in 1927 at the famous Place du Trocadéro, just steps away from one of the best places to admire the iconic Eiffel Tower.


There is another small Carette shop at the Place de Tertre in Montmartre, but our favourite is the one at the Place des Vosges! The elegant interior is pure Louis XVI style and it makes us think of the time when the square was still called Place Royale. (Royal square) 25 Pl. des Vosges, 75003 Paris


Appart of the chic decor and the delicious chocolat chaud Carette offers beautiful (and tasty) pastries, brunch, ice-cream, macarons, delicious finger sandwiches and more!


If you wish to discover Le Marais remember you can book your private Marais stroll with us HERE and please don't forget to remind us your wish to stop at Carette, we will be more than happy to show you the way!




Ara Chocolat

For chocolate connaisseurs that go off the beaten path


Ara Chocolat was founded by Andrés and Sabrina, a Venezuelan couple. It is a micro batch Parisian chocolate shop and one of the few bean-to-bar chocolate makers in France! They make chocolates from carefully choosen beans buyed directly to small cocoa growers and cooperatives in Latin America.

They make you travel "through chocolate" with the differences among cacao varieties!


Their intense, rich, smooth and scrumptious Chocolat Chaud is water based and is made with different cacao varieties every week... You will taste fruity, floral, nutty or even woody notes!!


This award winning chocolaterie is nestled in a tiny storefront in the north of Paris (54, Rue de Dunkerque, 75009), just steps away from the charming area of Montmartre and the metro station Anvers.






Hoct & Loca

To go into a chocolate coma…


Martin, as a former executive in the mining industry was taken to travel the world. This allowed him to discover the breadth and richness of chocolate.


Originally from Quebec and Parisian by adoption Martin has decided to listen to his heart to make you fall “in love with chocolate”! This is how Hoct & Loca was born and this shop will not let you down!


From chocolate strawberries 🍓 to hot chocolate 🍫 you can get anything your heart desires in this place!

If you want a Chocolate Brunch, you can find it in their shop every day of the week or you can even get it delivered to your parisian address!


Hoct&Loca is located in the heart of Paris at 99 Rue de la Verrerie, 75004. It is steps away from metro station Châtelet and the Seine river.

If you take our private Paris tour by Bike don't hesitate to request that we make a stop at this sweet shop for you to get some energy to bike around!




BKNK

For the book lovers


This Coffee shop + Publishing house: BKNK, aka Book Nook, has teamed up with publishing house Beta Publisher to create a friendly and original place bringing together a coffee shop, but also the premises of this young Parisian publishing house.


Morgane & Camille, two friends, travelled to NYC where they discovered a Starbucks Roastery. This made them think of creating their own personal concept in Paris and give books an important place too. A retro style wallpaper, leather couches, every detail is thought out and every corner of Book Nook tells a piece of the story of the creation of this unique place.


Located 8 min. away walking from the Moulin Rouge, Book Nook is a perfect place to start your day at and get a boost of energy before climbing the hill of Montmartre. (11 rue Blanche 75009)


Along with your Hot Chocolate and book we recommend you to taste the vegan and gluten-free banana bread with chocolate!

Here, everything is homemade and prepared with love. What could be better than a hot beverage, a small pastry and an excellent book?



We hope you can take advantage of our selection of places to have a good Hot Chocolate during your next visit to Paris. Remember that if you book any of our private strolls your guide will be happy to show you the best places around if you wish a gourmet break.


We wish you a sweet visit with a chocolaty boost of energy!


Written by Julia Orr & Pamela Breit


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Updated: Nov 10, 2022

The holiday has its roots in Celtic tradition associated with a festival called Samhain. This festival would be celebrated by people dressing up and gathering around a bonfire to celebrate the end of autumn and start of winter, who were believed to manifest on that day.


If you want to know more about this interesting story we invite you to check our last Instagram post HERE.


Halloween is not something that was celebrated in France until recent years. A much more important date for us is November 1st, that we call la Toussaint (All Saints' Day)


In France we clean graves and leave Chrysanthemums on top of the graves of our loved ones.


The effort to bring flowers into the cemetery extends to those who may not have people who visit their grave or take care of it during the rest of the year.


Why Chrysanthemums? Find the story here.



Halloween , or as we would say "Olaween" ,has recently started to become more popular in France in the last decade, seeing a rise in decorations in storefronts to special events put on by everything from Disneyland Paris to dance clubs!


If you find yourself in Paris during this spooky season

here is our selection of 7 ideas on how to celebrate the season!



1 Get involved in a mysterious murder

in a Parisian mansion! A spooky performance put on by Murder Mystery Paris.


3 floors, 8 actors, and 1 night you are sure not to forget! This interactive experience allows you to wander and witness the actors in various states of the drama set in 1948 in an attempt to solve the case.




2 Dancing the night away

Pachamama, a major Parisian club, is putting on a ball for 1,500 people in an old private mansion and the theme is… vampire ball!


Check the wonderful photo below (from Pachamama website) that shows the space in all its glory and vintage charm.

Plus, if you want to experience the electric atmosphere without partying all night, they have 2 different floors dedicated to fine dining in which you can enjoy gourmet meals and leave before the clock strikes midnight.




3 Discover the Pere Lachaise Cemetery

Do it at your pace with an automated guide or

follow our special live streaming on Facebook!




4 Visit the Cemetery du Calvaire (Montmartre)

(only open on Nov. 1st)


This small cemetery only opens on November 1, mainly hosts the representatives of the great aristocratic families of Montmartre from below (the current 9th arrondissement), returning from emigration, it also hosts some tombs of the inhabitants of “Montmartre from above”. Currently, only the descendants of those buried there can still be buried there.

Visits to the cemetery can only be made as part of the free guided tours organized by the City of Paris. the groups making up these visits cannot exceed 10 people.




5 The Magic of Disney

(ideal for kids or for those kids at heart)

Disneyland Paris offers Disney Halloween Festival from October 1 to November 6! Finishing the night of activities and performances in a massive fireworks show, Disney is not to be underrated for kids or adults with seasonal decorations and festive fun!




6 Même pas peur !

(Not even afraid!)


For the All Saints holidays (from Oct 26th to Nov. 6th 2022) the Menagerie honors its most disturbing residents, those who can repel you, scare you and even terrify you! Snakes, spiders, insects, rats and vultures! Take part in their various activities and discover these animals perceived by some as frightening.


Click HERE and find out more about the origin of our fears and the disturbing characteristics of certain species! (From 6 years old - Animations included in the entrance ticket.)

Spider

...and to finish our list of spooky activities for this festivity filled with fake terror and real excitement - we suggest you a classic:


7 Stroll the Catacombs!


Sure, you could go another day, but isn’t it more exciting to goo when the spirits are rumored to be at their most active?

Book your times tickets here and go straight in!




🎃 Wherever you are in the world and however you choose to celebrate this day, we send you lots of treats but no tricks from StrollsParis! 🎃


Written by Julia Orr, edited by Pamela Breit

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Want to come to the 2024 Summer Olympics? Here’s what you need to do:


Paris is the host city for the 2024 Olympic Games which

will take place from July 26 to August 11, 2024.


To have tickets to the events, you need to take part in a lottery. There are two ways to do this:


- Official Ticket Office « Billetterie Officielle » tickets.paris2024.org


- Official Hospitality « Hospitalité Officielle » (include tickets, lodging, transport to events, gastronomy, and city tours) olympics.onlocationexp.com/paris2024



Now that you have decided to buy tickets, can you do so immediately?

Not quite. Here are the important dates:


- Dec. 1, 2022 to Jan. 31, 2023: Time period in which you can enroll in the ticket lottery

- Feb. 15, 2023 : Start of ticket sales




If your name is drawn in the lottery, you will receive an email message.

You will have 48 hours in which to purchase your tickets.


Another possibility is to apply to be a volunteer at the Olympics.

This provides free admission, but you do not get to choose the events you go to.



If you are in a low budget this could be an option to be part of this great event. But your volunteering assignment may be at an airport, greeting visitors to the Olympics and helping them find transportation to the city and not exactly seeing any of the games.




Being able to speak French and/or English is essential and an additional foreign language makes for a stronger application.



The dates for applying to volunteer are the following:

  • Feb. 2023: Volunteer application window opens

  • Mar. 2023: Volunteer application window closes

  • Apr. 2023: Applications review

  • Sept. 2023: Accepted volunteers notified

Learn more about his alternative HERE




Did you know that...?


As the host country, France has the right to add four sports to the Olympics that are either totally new or were played in past years and then dropped from Olympic competition.





This year’s new events will be skateboarding, karate, baseball, and climbing.







The marathon will be run on the 42 km (26 mi) course from Paris to Versailles.

In French history, this commemorates the women’s march from Paris to Versailles on October 5th and 6th 1789 when the women of Paris marched to Versailles to demand that the king and the royal family return to Paris because there was widespread famine in the city.


In addition to the official marathon, there will be a public marathon event on either a 10 km (6,2mi) course in the city of Paris or the 42km (26mi) course from Paris to Versailles.


You can sign up for the marathon(s) HERE.


Paris is the host city for the Olympics and the majority of events will take place here. But there will also be events in other cities in France:


Equestrian events will be at the Château de Versailles. Soccer matches will be held in Lille, Nantes, Lyon, Bordeaux, Saint Etienne, Nice, and Marseille too.


Sailing events will take place in Marseille and surfboarding will be in Tahiti, a French overseas province! This will be the event that is the furthest away from Paris, but still part of the Olympics. Much more tropical than the Seine, lucky surfers!


Even while the Olympics are here in Paris, there will always be a lot more to see. We suggest booking one of our private tours or maybe gift one of our strolls to someone that will be coming to the Olympic games.


We will be happy to share our city with you and provide you with additional once-in-a-lifetime memories that you can treasure long after the Olympic games have ended.


Written by Eliot & Julia, edited by Pamela

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