Haute Culture

I’ve just had to cancel my next two Paris trips. And that’s disappointing, sure, but also more than fine, given the dystopian circumstances we’ve suddenly found ourselves living in. Because, of course, we all need to hunker down at home for the sake of humanity (has there ever been an ask that’s so grand and yet so very simple?). But also, those of us who love Paris, even those of us dwelling on the other side of the world, never truly leave it. We might not be lucky enough to physically live there, but we live it with our hearts, and go there in our dreams.

Many of us feel we know Paris like the back of our hands, and I think that’s because Paris is more photographed, painted and written about than any other city. To the extent that, even before we’ve set foot on Parisian soil, we can feel as though we get Paris. And once we start to actually visit the city in real life, we soon experience the sensation of having a second home, a spirit city. Somewhere we feel so, well, us, that every time we leave, we leave a little of ourselves there. And while parting might be un peu painful, we know it’s au revoir not adieu — that we’ll find our way back to our happy place soon enough.

But now, who knows when travel will be the same again, if at all. Everything is so up in the air, so topsy-turvy. For those not on the frontlines of this daunting fight (and so much gratitude to them), we can only sit tight, and hope and pray, and look after ourselves and our loved ones. Paris will always be Paris, and our heartstrings will eventually spool us back there, and it will be more special than ever (as will so many of life’s joys that we took for granted until only recently).

In the meantime, it’s fortunate that there are so many of those virtual visits on offer, balms for the soul whenever we’re feeling (second)homesick, Or, face it, any time we need an escape from our current crazy reality. Read on for a list of online tours and shows, as well as movies and books, that will help ease those Paris withdrawal pains …

Virtual Visits & Concerts

Vintage & Costume Movies

  • Midnight in Paris (2011)
  • Funny Face (1957)
  • Charade (1963)
  • How to Steal a Million (1966)
  • Gigi (1958)
  • Chéri (2009)
  • Marie Antoinette (2006)
  • La Vie en Rose (2007)
  • Breathless (1960)
  • Irma La Douce (1963)

Contemporary Movies

  • Amélie (2001)
  • Before Sunset (2004)
  • Lost in Paris (2016)
  • Paris, Je t’Aime (2006)
  • My Old Lady (2014)
  • Le Divorce (2003)
  • Haute Cuisine (2012)
  • 2 Days in Paris (2007)
  • Intouchables (2011)
  • The Hedgehog (2009)

Family Movies

  • Hugo (2011)
  • Ratatouille (2007)
  • Ballerina (2016)
  • A Monster in Paris (2011)
  • Madeline (1998)
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
  • The AristoCats (1970)
  • The Red Balloon (1956)
  • A Cat in Paris (2010)
  • Dilili in Paris (2018)

Television Series

  • Call My Agent (2015-)
  • The Bureau (2015-)
  • Bonfire of Destiny (2019)
  • The Hook Up Plan (2018)
  • Little Paris Kitchen (2012)
  • Maison Close (2010-13)
  • A Very Secret Service (2015-18)
  • Baron Noir (2016-)
  • Versailles (2015-18)
  • La Mante (2017)

Memoirs/Travelogues

  • The Flâneur by Edmund White
  • A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
  • Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik
  • Almost French by Sarah Turnbull
  • Paris, Paris by David Downie
  • A Letter from Paris by Louisa Deasey
  • Lunch in Paris: A Love Story with Recipes by Elizabeth Bard
  • Bonjour Kale by Kristen Beddard
  • L’Appart: The Delights and Disasters of Making my Paris Home by David Lebovitz
  • Paris Dreaming: What the City of Light Taught Me About Life, Love & Lipstick by Katrina Lawrence

Novels & Historical Fiction

  • Paris by Edward Rutherfurd
  • The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
  • Le Divorce by Diane Johnson
  • The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George
  • The Piano Shop on the Left Bank by T. E. Carhart
  • The Paris Seamstress by Natasha Lester
  • All the Flowers in Paris by Sarah Jio
  • The Mistress of the Ritz by Melanie Benjamin
  • The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro
  • The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier

Like the perfect pas de deux, ballet and opera have been in sync in Paris since 1669, when the Sun King Louis XIV — who fancied himself as a gifted dancer as much as a benevolent patron of the arts — founded the Académie d’Opéra. Ballet was originally performed as an entr’acte during an operatic […]

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If your body resides in America or Canada, but your heart and head seem to prefer living in Paris, I might just have the perfect book recommendation for you! I wrote Paris Dreaming a while back, originally for the Australian market. Like so many women here, I swoon over all things Parisian, and French, too, […]

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After a relatively tranquil beginning, the past Parisian decade turned out to be one of the most tumultuous of recent times. Here, some of the highs and the lows of the twenty-tens in the City of Light … 2010 The world’s most famous avenue went green for a two-day festival called Nature Capitale, designed to […]

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