Sparked by raucous parties held by the 19th century bourgeoisie, Paris earned its reputation for embracing risqué entertainment.
Back then, nowhere embodied the saucy side of Belle Epoque France better than the Moulin Rouge, a theatre in arty district Montmartre, where the famous can-can dance was born amidst a flurry of high kicks and frilly skirts.
Still standing, the 133-year-old theatre and its iconic red windmill have become synonymous with a city famous for seduction and romance. But beyond the main stage, the building is as clandestine as its saucy shows were in those early days.
Although that’s all set to change.
Now, for the first time, members of the public will have an opportunity to stay overnight in a secret, never-before-seen room inside the windmill, as part of an exclusive offer from Airbnb.
What’s the room like?
Working alongside renowned 19th century French historian, Jean-Claude Yon, Airbnb have restored the cabaret-inspired boudoir to it’s 1889 origins.
Guests staying in the room can expect to find art nouveau features, including a miniature paper stage, a dressing area featuring glamorous accessories, vintage costumes, fragrant perfumes and effusive letters from admirers.
Upstairs is a private rooftop terrace with an ornate pagoda and garden furniture – ideal for a pre-show cocktail.
What else do you get?
Lucky guests will be ushered into their sexy salon by Claudine Van Den Bergh, lead dancer for the Moulin Rouge.
After a private tour, delving backstage, visiting costume makers and learning about the building’s history, there’s a chance to enjoy an aperitif on the rooftop terrace and a three-course dinner, prepared by resident chef Arnaud Demerville.
Visit the dancers in their dressing rooms before the velvet curtains raise, and take front row seats for the theatre’s flamboyant, feather-filled show, Féerie.
Plus, there’s time for a leisurely petit déjeuner the following day.
How does it work?
Three individual one-night stays are available on June 13, 20 and 27, for just for just €1 per night. Bookings will open on Tuesday, May 17 at 6pm. Visit airbnb.com/moulinrouge.