Festivals to attend in Paris

Festivals to attend in Paris

Summer time is when cities around the world are most lively and Paris is no exception. A host of festivals take place in Paris, celebrating all forms of art, be it music, film or dance. The city's green spaces, banks of the Seine river and even historical sites and churches are transformed into centres of festivities. 

While most festivals in Paris take place in summer, there are festivals held throughout the year even during the colder months. Depending on which time of the year you are headed for the French capital, here are some festivals that to consider attending. 

1. Bastille Day Celebrations

July 14th marks the beginning of the French Revolution with the storming of the Bastille prison in 1789, an act which proved to be one of France's first steps towards democracy. Celebrations begin on the night of 13th July with a grand music and dance party held at Place de la Bastille. The following morning, celebrations begin with a military parade at Champs Elysees in the morning and culminates with a fireworks show which many watch from Champ de Mars. Families also enjoy a feast on Bastille Day at home and some would head out for a picnic at green spaces near the Eiffel Tower. 

2. Open Air Cinema Festival

As evening approaches, temperatures cool and there is no better way to end the day than with a film screening at Parc de la Villette. Film lovers will be in for a treat with a series of both French and international films feature on the programme every summer. A mix of well-known and lesser-known films are screened at this month-long annual festival, which has a different theme each year. Hire deckchairs or picnic mats on site to make yourself comfortable as you enjoy a free film screening at this park. If you fancy, bring along some food and wine indulge in prior to the screening. 

3. Paris Jazz Festival

The Paris Jazz Festival brings performances to the Parc Floral de Vinciennes every weekend in June and July. Featuring talented local and international musicians, as well as up-and-coming and well-known acts, this festival is as much an opportunity for jazz musicians to showcase their talents as it is for the audience to enjoy jazz tunes as they bask in the sunshine and appreciate the sights of nature. Picnics on the lawns of the park are also a common sight so if you fancy having some nibbles to accompany the performances, do remember to bring your food and mat along!

4. Le Salon du Chocolat

Chocaholics will not want to miss annual chocolate festival in Paris! Held in the later part of October, this festival is indeed solely focused on chocolate and attended by manufacturers of this delightful treat from all over the world. Given the opportunity to sample a great variety of chocolate by manufacturers from many different countries, it is little wonder why this festival is hugely popular with the chocolate-loving public. Whether you fancy chocolate drinks, confectionery, pastries or simply plain chocolate, there is plenty to indulge in at this cocoa festival. 

5. Carnaval de Paris

This annual festival in Paris occurs after the Feast of Fools and takes place either in February or March. In earlier times, this festival lasted several weeks but is now a day-long event. Nevertheless, Carnaval de Paris has much to offer with its two main events, namely the walk of masks and the processions. Beginning at Gambette metro station and ending at Hotel de Ville, this street carnival is watched by over 6,000 people who gather at different points of the route for the best views. It is completely free to watch and enjoy the parade so do not miss this opportunity! 

Not so much of a crowd person? Have you own private celebration with local Parisian hosts, where they will treat you to hand made local French delicacies, all in the comfort of their beautiful homes. 

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8 Weird and Eerie Places Around the World

8 Weird and Eerie Places Around the World

Halloween may have been and gone, but it's never too late for a scare…Be warned: Some of these might creep you out!

1. Miyake-Jima

After an eruption at Mt Oyama, there has been a constant flow of sulfuric gas from the volcano. Therefore, it is required by law that the residents of Myake-Jima carry a gas mask with them all the time. Although they are not required to wear them all the time, raid alarms to alert residents if there is a dramatic increase in sulfur levels. The masks give them a faceless, inhuman appearance … Not really my idea of a relaxing holiday.

2. Atlantic Ocean Road

The Atlantic Ocean Road is a 8.3 kilometer road over the Norwegian Sea. It looks like a sea serpent exerting it's prowess trying to shake off the vehicles driving through it. Hold onto your seatbelts kids.

3. Aokigahara

Aokigahara is a dense forest near Mt Fuji in Japan. But you may know it by the name of 'suicide forest'. Besides being a popular tourist destination, it is also a hot spot for suicides.There was a reported 57 suicides in 2010 alone. As a result, there are now caretakers going around to look for suspicious activities. This location is not for the faint of heart, you might even spot a dead body while you are there.

4. Naica Mine

Located in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, this working mine is known for it's selenite crystals. Also, it has a strong resemblence of the planet where Superman came from.

5. Whittier, Alaska

This little town in Alaska probably has the densest population in the world. And it is not because the population is huge. Boasting a population of only 177 people, the entire town lives in one building. Inside the building, there are schools, post offices, play grounds and supermarkets. You really do not need to leave your house ever… Like we needed more of an excuse!

6. Okunoshima

Japan really has a handful of weird inventions and food. You can check out our post on …unnusual …Japanese snacks. But Japan is also home to Okunoshima. Previously housing chemical plants for chemical wars in WWII, it is also known as Rabbit Island because of the presence of many furry inhabitants on the island. 

7. Spreepark Berlin

This old abandoned entertainment park in berlin was filmed in the movie Hanna. It is said to be haunted by spirits of clowns. Yes you read that right.

8. Cambridge Military Hospital

During the WWI, the now abandoned hospital served as the base for casualties from the Western Front. This is also the hospital where the first plastic surgery was performed in England. Looks like a movie set!

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10 Harry Potter Foods You Wished Existed in Real Life

10 Harry Potter Foods You Wished Existed in Real Life

Butterbeers, chocolate frogs, Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans…the yummy treats in Harry Potter's world as just as well-known as our daily fare. In fact, in an ideal world, these ten HP food should exist in real life: 

1. Dargon Tartare

Dragon Tartare first made an appearance at the exclusive Slug Club Christmas party. This hors d'oeuvre is made of a very unique ingredient (finely-chopped dragon meat), and gives its eater a charming whiff of bad breath.

Note: Consumed by Hermione Granger to avoid her date, Cormac Mclaggen

2. Steak and Kidney Pie

Pipin' hot and buttery, this treat makes a regular appearance at the welcoming feast for all newly-admitted witches and wizards at the start of the year. Chopped steak, kidney chunks and gravy fill up this yummylicious pie. 

3. Fisherman's Pie

A delectable staple from the Leaky Cauldron! A fishy delight, this pie contains fillings made from cod, salmon and shrimp. 

4. Treacle Tart

Who could say no to a golden, sticky and honeyed treat? This is Harry's personal favourite, and is reminded of this when he inhales the love potion Amortentia

5. Christmas Pudding

This flaming Christmas pudding was served during the grand Christmas feast in the year 1991. 

6. Chocolate Frogs

Aha – a treat that's fun and tasty to eat! Packets of this popular chocolate come with collectible cards featuring notable witches and wizards. You'll need nimble hands to eat this treat – those little chocolate frogs jump around fast, the moment you tear open the packaging!

7. Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans

Eating jelly beans has never been riskier – especially when the innocent-looking bag of beans contains flavours such as spinach, ear wax and vomit. 

8. Honeyduke's Mice Pops

Shaped like mice, and available in a variety of colours and flavours, these lollipops can be found at the Honeydukes' sweet shop in Hogsmeade. 

9. Sugar Quills

Need a sugary treat, but don't want to get caught snacking on sweets in class? All you need is a sugar quill – suck on the ends of the quill, frown at your parchment and try your best to look like you're hard at work. 

10. Nosebleed Nougat

This is one handy Skiving Snackbox treat we could definitely use! Perfect for days when you feel like skipping out on a class (or two). A genius invention by Fred and George Weasley. 


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Classic French Recipes

Classic French Recipes

While nothing really beats enjoying some authentic French cuisine in France, you do not have to hold out till your next holiday to savour some French food. Why not attempt some top French recipes yourself?

1. Beef Bourguignon

Pressed for time but craving a meaty meal? Check out the slow cooker recipe of this French classic and you can look forward to returning home to a hearty meal after a busy day! You can also prepare your beef bourguigon over the stovetop if you prefer. 

2. Coq Au Vin

If you love eating chicken, a meal of coq au vin will surely delight you. Like beef bourguigon, you can prepare it either using the stove or the slow cooker. 

3. Duck confit

If you miss the duck confit meal you had while on vacation, you can soon satisfy your craving with this recipe!

4. Ratatouille

Perhaps first known to many as a film, ratatouille is also a traditional French stewed veggie dish. Feed the goodness of plants to your family with this recipe! You can eat this dish as a side or serve it as a main, accompanied with rice or bread. 

5. Quiche Lorraine

One of the easiest French classics to make and a brunch favourite. You can prepare the traditional version which uses bacon or have it vegetarian if you do not take meat. 



Don't fancy cooking? Let our French hosts in Paris, Nice and Lyon do it for you!



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