Spring is a time of new beginnings and blossoming ideas so I don’t think that Daisy de Plume, the ingenious founder of THATLou (Treasure Hunt at the Louvre), could have picked a better time to launch THATRue, her latest creation that perfectly merges a self-guided walking trip with the added excitement of a treasure hunt. If you’re looking for things to do in Paris that are out of the ordinary, then THATRue is definitely for you!
For the Girls’ Guide to Paris, I was lucky enough to be invited to cover the event that inaugurated the talented American expat’s newest series of hunts in the streets (or rues) of the Latin Quarter. The meeting point was in the Jardin du Luxembourg, and although I knew no one there, I soon found myself chatting with superfriendly bloggers and photographers who, like me, were eager to start the competition.
We were split into teams of 2-3 people (I had the lovely Nichole and Mary as teammates) and then divided into two groups: one that tackled the Cluny hunt and the other (mine), the Saint-Sulpice hunt (a third hunt, the Panthéon, is also available). We were given the detailed treasure map, chose team names (we decided on the Sorta Blondes, because we were all, well, sort of blonde!) and set out on our adventure.
With our list of clues in hand, we breezed by stunning plots of cheerful tulips while searching for concealed statues, craned our necks to see hidden details in a massive fountain and basically got lost in the fun and witty instructions written by Daisy.
I can’t begin to describe all the cool places that the hunt led us to (and I won’t, because you should discover them yourself), but I will mention two highlights that stood out for me.
The first was a visit to the Saint-Sulpice church, which I have passed on many occasions without ever stepping inside (I know, shame on me!). It is the second-largest church in Paris, with an absolutely gorgeous interior, and incredibly, through a hole in one of the windows and a large gnomon, it acts as an ancient sundial.
The second was a large stone wall that has a famous poem by the French writer Arthur Rimbaud written across it in full. For any lover of French poetry, this is a pure delight to stumble upon, and again, I won’t tell you where it is!
I’m going to be honest: when on a guided trip of a city that reels off dry historic facts, I usually lose interest rather quickly, but with THATRue, Daisy has selected the juiciest, most intriguing facts—you’ll want to share them with everyone and be left wanting more. Whether it’s art, history, cinema, pop culture, music or fashion, there really is something for everyone to enjoy on these treasure hunts, and learning is effortless and entertaining at the same time.
The Latin Quarter (and left bank in general) is not an area I frequent often, so I thoroughly enjoyed discovering this lively neighborhood along with the fascinating trivia that was provided. While Daisy resides on the right bank, she has definitely done her research, succeeding in unearthing the quaintest streets, the prettiest sculptures hidden above door frames and the coolest streets named after interesting historical figures—all of which are often overlooked.
As you might have predicted from our name, we weren’t the winning team, but we made it back to the end point (Fontaine Saint-Michel) in the required time (one hunt takes about 1–1.5 hours), found all but one of the treasures and had an awesome afternoon.
You can find more information about THATRue hunts and how to book one, as well as the museum treasure hunts—THATLou and THATd’Or (Treasure Hunt at the Musée d’Orsay)—on the THATLou website. Daisy is a real pleasure to talk to and is happy to organize competitive hunts for large groups. They are easy to follow and are sure to provide you, your family and friends with a bounty of priceless Parisian memories.