Heidi Evans: the British expat putting the spotlight on Paris’ women
Today I’m coming at you with my third Paris Is Just Not That Into You podcast, where I am speaking to Heidi Evans, the founder of Women of Paris. It has recently struck me that I really need to rethink the name of this podcast, as regardless of my own Paris experience, the expats that I have interviewed so far are generally rockin’ it in this city. Heidi, who has founded her own tour company which focuses on the women who have contributed to the history of Paris, is no exception.
After relocating from London to Paris in 2014, Heidi was struck by the absence of women in the Paris tourism narrative, which tended to focus on the “great men” such as Napoleon, Voltaire, and Louis XIV. Heidi decided to plug this gap by creating her own tours which bring to the fore the many female figures who have played an equally formative role, such as George Sand, Gertrude Stein, Simone Veil and Josephine Baker. She even offers a spirited defence of the women that history remembers, but not so fondly, such as Marie Antoinette and Catherine de Medici.
I recently had the pleasure of attending Heidi’s Sugar and Spice tour, which follows the footsteps of the illustrious female writers of Saint Germain (punctuated by several breaks to enjoy the edible offerings of the quartier - what’s not to like!). In surfacing the voices of these women who history has sidelined, I believe that Heidi is doing an enormous service - not just for the Parisian tourism industry but also for the women of history in general, who I am sure have suffered a similar fate in cities all around the world.
During the podcast we talk about what inspired Heidi to launch her own company, as well as the the experience of being of a woman in France, in particular within the topical context of the Harvey Weinstein saga. Oh, and we also talk about hot French men met on the ski slopes, which is also fun! No topic is off limits for the Paris Is Just Not That Into You podcast ;)
The discussion with Heidi was really interesting and inspiring, and has left a lot of food for thought in my mind. I’m really interested in what you think about Heidi’s project, as well as the topics we discussed.
You can find out more information on Women of Paris tours on her website, or you can follow Heidi on Instagram. For those of you considering a trip to Paris — or even those of you who have lived here for years — I couldn’t recommend highly enough the unique and fascinating insight offered by Women of Paris tours #FanGirl.
You can either listen to the podcast directly from this page or else you can subscribe over at iTunes.