A night of classic “indulgence” conjures scenes of decadent dinners, rich foods, elegant evening strolls, red velvet, drinks and glamour with a touch of history. In other words, Paris.
The French capital has long been a beacon for pleasure-seeking travellers eager to experience the city’s historic offerings. Valentina Del Pearls knows this intimately. A performer at Le Burlesque Klub, which performs at several locations around the city, including La Nouvelle Seine theatre opposite the Notre-Dame Cathedral, Del Pearls says the city’s romantic reputation is genuine.
“Paris is obviously a beautiful city known for being really glamorous and romantic,” says Del Pearl. “It’s full of history, good food, wine and cheese. A very French stereotype but it’s true.”
In town recently to perform a one-off evening of authentic French burlesque at the L’OR Espresso Paris by Night event, Del Pearls took time out from rehearsals to give us her top tips for a day and night of indulgence in Paris.
Visit old Paris
If you’re looking for a taste of old-world Paris, Del Pearls recommends a visit to the bohemian “village” of Montmartre in the city’s right bank. It’s home to the Moulin Rouge and Sacre Coeur, and was once a haven for artists such as Monet, Degas, Renoir and Toulouse-Lautrec.
“If you’ve never been to Paris, Montmartre will give you that ‘old Paris’ experience,” says Del Pearls. “It still feels like a village where all the people know each other. You can find small restaurants and cafes that offer something truly French, right down to the white tablecloths.”
“I like to enjoy an afternoon of coffee and cake and Angelina has the best hot chocolate ever,” says Del Pearls. The tea room has been open since 1903, and its lavish fit-out and menu have made it a popular destination for French aristocracy, artists and style-makers ever since, including guests such as Marcel Proust and Coco Chanel. “It’s in front of a beautiful park so you can go for a nice walk afterwards,” says Del Pearls. “It’s a very local experience – we go there for pastries.”
After a show, Del Pearls often enjoys a drink in central Paris – somewhere quiet and atmospheric where the locals go. “I like going to a little bar near Pigalle [metro station] called Dr Lupin,” she says. “It’s small but the décor is really vintage and it does good cocktails. My favourite is the Whiskey Sour.”
A night of burlesque
A long-standing bastion of flamboyant and glamorous expression, genuine burlesque in France is about much more than being risqué.
“With a burlesque performance, we want the audience to travel, to make a journey,” says Del Pearls of Le Burlesque Klub. “We really put a lot of attention into our costumes – the fabric, sparkles, jewels, the glamour. We use a lot of vintage looks, from the ’30s, the Jazz Age, and 1940s Hollywood stars. It’s all about recreating the fantasy of those periods. We want them to dream.”
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with L’OR Espresso.