Tour of Paris: Lights, Camera, Paris!
Paris can’t help its cinematic nature. Just look at her—she’s gorgeous! Each picturesque corner, whether you are wandering the Latin Quarter or circling the Place Vendôme, begs the question: haven’t I seen this in a movie before? A new tour of Paris answers that very question, igniting the inner cinéphile that is in us all. Girls’ Guide to Paris had the pleasure of experiencing Set in Paris: Le Movie Tour, a fresh way to see the City of Light through the prism of Hollywood.
With instructions to meet on the grand steps of the Opéra, we quickly located the founder of Set in Paris, Abigail De Bruyne, who also doubles as a tour guide and was stationed in front of the official Set in Paris director’s chair. Her genuine enthusiasm and warmth incited us tour-goers to organically indulge in a pretour meet and greet.
Once our group was congregated, Abigail and her team led us to the nearby luxury bus that was parked on the boulevard des Capucines. We were invited to settle into one of the plush seats and were offered gift bags containing tour information, an Eiffel Tower key chain and a lock-and-key combination (for later use) as well as a guidebook to supplement the tour experience with additional visuals.
Each sight was introduced with the actual film clip on one of the small televisions that hung from the ceiling, fun facts and a bit of gossip provided by Abigail, who probably should think about her own career in Hollywood, as she kept us all entertained with these filming petits potins.
The three-hour tour offered locations from genres including action, romantic comedy, French cinema and even cartoons. We passed Coco Chanel’s apartment on the rue Cambon, which has been the location for her many biopics; the restaurant where Something’s Gotta Give was shot (guess which actor was rude on set and which bought the crew—including extras—a round of drinks); several scenes from the darling Sex and the City series finale (remember that bakery where Carrie shares her pâtisserie with the dog? You’ll be surprised where and what it is!); and locations from Paris je t’aime, The Bourne Identity, The Da Vinci Code, Julie and Julia and of course Midnight in Paris.
The bus made two stops: the first was on the Pont des Arts to sign and clip our love locks, and the second was on the steps of the famous scene in Midnight in Paris where Gil, Owen Wilson’s character, waits to be picked up by literary legends T. S. Eliot and Mr. Hemingway himself. Because it was not midnight, sadly, we did not have Gil’s luck and were not whisked away to Gertrude Stein’s home.
Abigail and her team then treated us to espresso and viennoiseries before rounding the bus back around where we crossed the beloved Pont Alexandre III while catching a view of the Eiffel Tower. Perhaps it was the spirit of Hollywood, but I found myself in my very own high-tension action scene when I became locked in the bus bathroom, as a suctioned force had sealed the door shut. Instead of using my Jason Bourne skills to maneuver myself out with effortless precision, I instead used my phone to call my husband, who opened the door from the other side.
The Set in Paris movie tour is for not only film buffs but also those who want to see rolling images of Paris, who is always ready for her close-up. And who knows—you may have better luck than we did, and Hemingway will show up.
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