Monday, August 09, 2021

Meet: Gabrielle/Les Potins de Paris, musee de Carnavalet


Friday I met up with Gossips of Paris/les Potins de Paris Gabrielle, Marchioness of Gossip in the middle of Pont des Arts bridge for an English walking tour. Gabrielle was easy to spot in her yellow 18th century flowered gown. Plus a gaggle of people held her captive seeking selfies. She started her French gossip tours post-confinement with an emphasis on story-telling and juicy historic gossip rather than the usual dates and architectural details.

She points out how the structure of the Vert Galant at the Pont Neuf is made of stones from destruction of the Bastille, orchestrated by entrepreneurial building contractor, Pierre-Francois Palloy in 1789. What’s more Palloy made and sold small replicas of the Bastille. 

He even sold pretty enamel buttons commemorating the event. What an influencer!

The stories go on as we wend our way outside the Louvre. Gabrielle’s 1 hour and a half tours are outside.

At Cafe Nemours we sit down for a drink.  I ask Gabrielle not to smile.

I wanted to capture her classic French ‘Marianne’ profile. “I can’t” she giggled. PB Letter subscribers should recognize this stamp/timbre…the only international self-stick stamp on offer in France ☹️ Her English teacher was from Boston so no problems communicating.

Getting around town requires a giant metal clip to keep her skirts up and her bike has a spray of gray to make it less appealing to bike thieves. 

Clever duck 🦆 Gabrielle gives her guests a map 🗺  of their various stops post-tour. You can book her English or French tours through Airbnb at her website
One hour and a half is 15€ each.

We parted ways and I went off to the Marais to the newly renovated musee Carnavaletofficial museum of Paris, to look for Bastille remnants.

Many beautiful period rooms Gabrielle is perfectly co-ordinated to waltz through.

The info plackets are well-placed and illustrated. Plus the English version is highly legible instead of yellow on yellow as some museums do.

A beautiful new outdoor cafe awaits, set among the museum’s labyrinth garden, Les jardins d'Olympe.

On the way home, always Sherlock Holmes, I can’t stop doing berry tarte comparative analysis research. Hard not to browse pastries if you live in Paris. Bonne Monday PBers 🫐🍓 🍒❤️🥂🐻🇫🇷


  1. The "gossip" tours are a brilliant idea. Thank you for sharing this information with us..

  2. What a cutie & fun tour.
    The lovely renovated Carnavalet looks like lots of money was spent on a very important space.
    Berry tarts available at the cafe in the garden oasis? 🌳

  3. What a great idea! Hope I can take one of these when we next come back!

  4. Gabrielle is going on my “Paris list”, for next trip! Genius idea for a Paris tour guide…everyone loves a good gossip. Carnaval and your tartes look scrumptious!

  5. Gabrielle Arnault-Lazard1:12 PM

    Thank you Carol for this amazing article, and thank you all for your kind comments - it means the world to me !
    I would love to sweep you all away for a fun tour of Paris next time you visit the beautiful City of Lights, feel free to email me so that I have your contact and we can stay in touch :)

    My tours "Unexpected Paris : 500 years of Gossip" and "Marie-Antoinette and the Revolution" are full of surprises, don't miss out - I've been told one of my tours was better than Disneyland and the Louvre, true story that made my day as you can imagine !

    Love from Paris,

    Gabrielle, Marchioness of Gossip

  6. The cafe in the gardens at Carnavalet look like a wonderful place for an apero. Looking forward to seeing the redone museum as everything I've sen looks so much better than before. Gabrielle has a great idea for something no one else is doing.

  7. Meredith Mullens1:55 PM

    I love your post today. Especially that there is now a café at the Carnavalet. I will become a regular I think. It looked lovely.

  8. Suki didnt we meetup in the middle of the same bridge, Pont des Arts?
    Except your guide was worried if I took notes…and so many facts, dates and figures whilst standing in the broiling sun :))

  9. What a smart and stunning girl!
    Not just another pretty face ;)
    I love that outdoor café so much!♥

  10. Sybilla6:06 PM

    Gabrielle is fantastic! What a fun thing to do, Carol.

  11. What a great sounding tour!

  12. No, Carol, not me. My sister & I met you on Ile St Louis and you took us through Les Marches du Sud-Ouest. Yu wee our tour guide.

  13. Regarding your research: I would expect no less from you!


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