episode 5: romance

France is undoubtedly synonymous with love and romance. In episode five I investigate what it is that makes Paris so romantic, and why the French have a reputation of being a romantic people.

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In this episode I chat to three people who have an eye for romance, in three very different ways! In Part One I chat to Kim Petyt of Parisian Events, a wedding planner organising destination weddings in France. In Part Two I talk to Lindsey Kent of Pictours Paris, a photographer specialising in couples photography, and in the final part I chat to Heather Stimmler-Hall, author of Naughty Paris: a Lady’s Guide to the Sexy City and the Secrets of Paris website.

Part 1: I do

Kim Petyt in front of Molongo CaféWhat better way to find out why Paris is considered such a romantic city than to talk to a wedding planner? Someone whose job it is to help people celebrate love and romance!  I decided that I simply had to meet Kim Petyt of Parisian Events, a renowned wedding and event planner in Paris. She caters to both the expat community as well as to people coming to Paris from out of town to celebrate a wedding or special event.

Over sparkling jasmine iced tea, we chatted about why Paris is such a popular location for weddings, what people are looking for when they organise a wedding in France, and what Paris offers that other cities don’t. We discuss how she integrates that intangible “French touch” into the weddings she organises, she shares some of her favourite romantic locations for wedding celebrations and events, and we had a tiny chat about whether French men are romantic.

Where to find her: Website - Blog - Facebook - Twitter
Favourite romantic Parisian locations: Palais Royal, passages in the 9th, Île Saint-Louis, Canal Saint-Martin
Where we met: Malongo Café – 50 rue Saint-André-des-Arts, 75006

Part 2: the look of love

5-lindsey-3To get more of an insider perspective on couples and romance, I decided to chat to Lindsey Kent of Pictours Paris. A lifestyle photographer who takes people on walking tours of Paris, during which time she also takes their professional portraits, Lindsey is an exquisite photographer and truly shines in couples photography, capturing romantic, unforgettable moments in Paris.

We met up at the cosy Comptoir du Commerce in the 2nd, where we talked about what draws people to Paris, and what kind of photos they’re looking for to encapsulate their romantic moments, as well as some of her favourite spots for romantic shots.

Where to find her: WebsiteBlog - FacebookTwitter
Extra stuff: surprise engagement blog post, early morning in Paris blog post
Favourite romantic Parisian locations: the love locks bridges, banks of the Seine, Palais Royal, the Louvre, Tuileries gardens
Where we met: Le Comptoir du Commerce – 1 rue des Petits Carreaux, 75002

Part 3: reputation for romance

Heather Stimmler-HallHow did Paris get the reputation for being a romantic city? Why do the French have a world-wide reputation for being a romantic people? And is this stereotype actually true? Who better to talk about this than Heather Stimmler-Hall, an expert in all things romantic, sexy and Paris. The author of Naughty Paris: a Lady’s Guide to the Sexy City as well as the Secrets of Paris website, I figured that Heather would have a good perspective on the subject.

So I headed over to the 13th arrondissement and we sipped tea in her little garret flat, with her adorable dogs begging for attention as we talked. We discussed the historical role of Paris and France in romance, the difference between dating, romance and love, especially in terms of French men. We talked about the things we can learn from the French, and she shared some of her favourite romantic things to do and places to go in Paris.

Where to find her: Websites (Naughty Paris: a Lady’s Guide to the Sexy City, Secrets of Paris and the Paris Pastry Guide) – FacebookTwitter
Favourite romantic things to do and see: stroll quiet streets without an agenda, 4 Seasons restaurant, museums at night, tiny museums like the Musée de la chasse et de la nature, sleep in, Disney, Portes Ouvertes de Belleville (read her full list over at David Lebovitz‘s website)
Where we met: her flat

Wrapping it all up

Do check out these two exquisite short films, which capture what romance in Paris is all about:

Full picture gallery

  • Heather Stimmler-Hall
  • Heart
  • Romance
  • Fleurs
  • The pups!
  • Heather Stimmler-Hall
  • Heather Stimmler-Hall
  • Heather Stimmler-Hall
  • Kim Petyt
  • Kim Petyt
  • Delicious sparkling jasmine iced tea
  • Kim Petyt
  • Comptoir du Commerce
  • Lindsey Kent
  • Lindsey Kent
  • Lindsey Kent

Music featured in this episode


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  • Alain
    Posted November 5, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    Another great episode!

    Now that I’m in Paris and looking for love:) this episode got me thinking! I really liked Heather Stimmler-Hall’s analysis of the mistakes men make which I now won’t! That girl says it straight and I really appreciate that.

    Ohhhh I now realise how many mistakes I’ve made between dating, romance and love in the past but soon to be corrected:)!

    • katia
      Posted November 11, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

      Good luck on your search for love, Alain ;)
      Heather’s outlook is always very frank and honest and that’s exactly why I love having her on the show!

      • Leon
        Posted December 3, 2012 at 8:44 am | Permalink

        If you know a few key phrases like plaese, thank you, or even hello I think you should be fine. Don’t be discouraged if someone isn’t very nice to you or shines you on. During my Europe jaunt last year Paris was the one place where I was actually treated like the ugly American by a couple people, but for the most part the French were very nice and I appreciated their help tremendously. But above all, have fun!

  • Posted November 10, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    It’s funny how this exhibition about “mélancolie” has been such a strong experience for anyone who visited it. It was 7 years ago, and I still talk about it when it comes to name the best museum show and scenography ever. :)

    • katia
      Posted November 11, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

      It IS fascinating, isn’t it Matoo? It says something very significant about the exhibition itself that eat leaves everyone with such a strong impression. I really regret not seeing it now!

  • Fred
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    Can’t help myself but to correct two things that your guests got wrong: 1) in Funny Face, the leading man was Fred Astaire, not Frank Sinatra (although I agree with Kim that he was too old for her) and 2) Antioch College is in Ohio, not Maryland.

  • Posted December 2, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    I was in Paris for a week last summer and I do not speak French. The only two words that I used in French were Bonjour and mercy and that was enugoh. I visited major turisty Paris attractions, ordered food in restaurants without any communication problems. No one treated me as ugly american . Though, I still have a Russian accent:-) The only problem during the whole trip I encountered was finding luggage lockers in Paris Train Station before going for 2 days to Brussels. I spent 45 min asking and searching and finally gave up and locked my luggage when I came to Brussel Train station.

  • Posted January 7, 2013 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    This was one of my fav episodes so far. Kim hit on some stuff I’m in big agreement with on romance – especially on how french men can be practical (and then maybe do unexpectedly and not necessarily intentional or intentionally in your face romantic) Also, loved Heather’s interview…she’s such a breath of fresh air with her great opinions that don’t just succumb to the Paris cliches (even though they could given her subjects of writing at times) She made me laugh out loud several times. And, finally, am digging the music you have chosen and have been wondering about the rights (which you addressed in this episode) Keep up the good work…this has been a fun listen for me so far…it’s like sitting over coffee with some people I know, some people I’ve just met and hearing all kinds of interesting chat!

a podcast exploring
the je ne sais quoi
about life in France

created & produced
by Katia Grimmer-Laversanne
© 2012