Parisian Living

Free Online Learning From Paris

by Ali Postma

The eight weeks of lockdown in France has made local businesses, institutions, and even chefs more creative in the way they engage with the public. And that means getting online and giving people new ways to keep busy. From cooking and cocktails, to arts and culture, these free online resources are a great opportunity for you to gain more knowledge and skills (if you feel like it!).

Left: a Parisian cobblestone street with a blue facade of an atelier and a green facade of a creperie on the right. At the end of the street, along the pathway are small tables and chairs outside the creperie.
Right: two ducks on the wet cobblestone bank of the Seine river in Paris. In the distance is a bridge and Île de la Cité.
Top: Fabien Maurin. Above: Fabien Maurin / Irina Verdier

Cooking

Vogue Paris has a great YouTube channel where you can watch how to make avocado toast with French chef Cyril Lignac, pizza with fashion designer Simon Porte Jacquemus, udon noodle salad with Taku Sekine, and risotto primavera with Simone Tondo. Also featured are Michelin chefs Hélène Darroze, Thierry Marx, Mauro Colagreco, and Simone Zanoni.

Left: a bowl of chocolate mousse on a blue and white floral background, with a spoon inside, and peanuts sprinkled on top.
Right: a plate of pancakes on a wooden table with silver cutlery and a sugar shaker. The pancakes are on a white plate with maple syrup and butter on top.
Left: Vogue Paris © Big Mamma / Phaidon. Right: Vogue Paris – Jean-François Piège

On their Instagram TV, you can find French model Ophélie Guillermand’s signature banana bread recipe, which she makes for Vos Gâteaux, an initiative supplying medical professionals with homemade cakes. You can also watch how to make fried artichokes with French food stylists and photographers The Social Food (check out their Instagram for more recipes!).

Left: the making of spinach ravioli. A sheet of pasta is on a marble background, with spoonfuls of spinach filling placed along it. To the left is a tea towel with some already made raviolis. 
Right: a brunette curly-haired woman holding a chocolate chip biscuit in front of her eye. She's wearing a green, blue and yellow patterned top.
Left: Vogue Paris © Frederic Lucano / Hachette. Right: Vogue Paris © Laurianne Melierre

Cyril Lignac has been busy himself too. Not only has he been cooking on French television channel M6, but he’s been posting the recipes to his Facebook page. Learn how to make French staples like croque-monsieur, gratin dauphinois, pain perdu, soufflé au comté and chocolat et riz, crème caramel à la vanille, tiramisu au café, and more. 

Left: two chocolate soufflés in bowls sitting on a linen material. 
Right: a bowl of panacotta with strawberries on top sitting on a wooden table. There are also some strawberries scattered on the table.
Left: Cyril Lignac. Right: Vogue Paris – Yann Couvreur

Other French chefs sharing recipes on their Instagram accounts include three-star Michelin chefs Alain Passard and Anne-Sophie Pic; and two-star chefs Jean-François Piège, Stéphanie Le Quellec, and Hélène Darroze. You can also check out award-winning chef François Perret; Taku Sekine; Benoît Castel; and Pierre Hermé.

For more recipes from French restaurants, check out Le Fooding and Time Out Paris

Cocktails

Margot Lecarpentier is the woman behind popular Paris bar Combat, and was voted the most influential bartender in 2019. She has been sharing her cocktail recipes via Instagram stories (and saved to highlights) such as the Mai Tai, Piña Colada, Whiskey Sour, Martini, Bloody Mary, Michelada, and Dark and Stormy. 

Left: a cocktail with a slice of orange on top sitting on a white table next to a pot plant in a Parisian apartment. 
Right: a cocktail with two strawberries on top sitting on a table with a floral design.
Margot Lecarpentier

Grungy Paris bar Le Syndicat, which features on the World’s Best Bars directory, also reveal their concoctions on their Instagram account. Including variations of the Moscow Mule, Gin and Tonic (or Gin To’ as the French call it), Daiquiri, Boulevardier, Ti’ Punch, and more.

Left: a cocktail with a strip of cucumber inside on a wooden background. 
Right: a red cocktail with berries on top sitting on a step of a wooden staircase.
Le Syndicat

Fashion

L’Institut Français de la Mode (The French Fashion School) is offering a free fashion course, “Understanding Fashion: From Business to Culture.” The course features Simon Porte Jacquemus; Sidney Toledano, CEO of LVMH; Francesca Bellettini, CEO of Yves Saint Laurent; and Bruno Pavlovsky, President of Fashion at Chanel. Various subtitles are available.

A man in a multi-colored, woollen long sleeve top with bunches of red straws attached to the arms. There are also strips of material attached to the bottom of the garment. He has his hands on his head and a person's arms are pulling his elbow from the left of the image.
L’Institut Français de la Mode

Art & Culture

Centre Pompidou is offering a free introductory course (in French) on modern and contemporary art via MOOC. This is a self-paced course that consists of four sequences, takes eight hours, and gives you a free certification.

Left: the Philharmonie de Paris building in front of a blue sky. There is a grey tiled walkway leading up to the building. The building appears silver and shimmering in the light.
Right: a promotional image for the modern and contemporary art course at Centre Pompidou. There is a brunette girl in white standing in front of an artwork. There is French text across the image.
Left: Ali Postma. Right: Centre Pompidou

If you’re wondering how the restoration of Notre-Dame is going, head to the website of the Ministère de la Culture where you can read all about the progress. There is also a free documentary you can watch on arte.tv.

DIY

Paris concept store Make My Lemonade are providing various online tutorials on how to make masks, headbands, bucket hats, and crochet rugs. You can download the pattern and instructions from their website and DropBox, and find their instructional videos on their Instagram account.

Left: a multi-colored crochet rug on the floor. There is a pink circular cushion, a pink type writer, a pot plant, a book, and a grey long-haired cat looking up at the viewer.
Right: a roll of fabric with yellow lemons on it on a black and white speckled table with a box of scissors, some pattern boxes, and yellow 'retouche' forms.
Make My Lemonade

General Learning

Le Collège de France have over 10,000 audiovisual documents online, offering full lectures and courses in all disciplines. Its website, YouTube channel, and Apple Podcasts bring together thousands of hours of lessons and seminars, in video and audio. All of which are freely available and/or downloadable.

The Collège de France building in Paris. It is a stone symmetrical building with white window frames and an inner courtyard. At the top of the building in the centre is a clock. In the centre of the courtyard is a sculpture of a man. The sun is shining from behind the building in the top left hand corner, sending light streaks diagonally across the image.
Le Collège de France

You can now register, free of charge, to the platform Bibliothèques de la Ville de Paris, where they have nearly 20,000 books in their digital library. You can also take online trainings, view all of the collections of the Philharmonie de Paris, and watch documentary films via the online platform Les Yeux Doc.

The Collège de France building in Paris. The building is stone and the window frames are white. There is a sculpture in the centre of the courtyard of a man with his foot resting on a head, his elbow resting on his knee, and his chin resting on his hand. There is a French flag hanging from one of the windows.
Le Collège de France

Related Links

Written by Ali Postma for HiP Paris. Looking to travel? Check out Haven In for a  fabulous vacation rental in Paris, France or Italy. Looking to rent long-term or buy in France or Italy? Ask us! We can connect you to our trusted providers for amazing service and rates.

Written By

Ali Postma

Ali is from Melbourne, Australia, where she studied Art History and Art Curatorship at university and worked in various art galleries. Passionate about all things arts and culture, she loves French film, Nordic noir, photography, street art and architecture. Addicted to pain au chocolat, Ali is fulfilling her dream of living in Paris. View Ali Postma's Website

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