It was Audrey Hepburn who famously said “Paris is always a good idea”, a sentiment we wholeheartedly agree with, particularly in light of the upcoming Rugby World Cup. So if you’re headed to the City of Light soon, these are the places we suggest you seek out.
Paris has no shortage of iconic landmarks, the Musée du Louvre, La Tour Eiffel, and a glimpse at Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris being some of the most renowned and well-frequented. Yet it is those less-obvious, like Jardin des Tuileries’ Musée de l’Orangerie which famously holds Monet’s Water Lilies, and Fondation Louis Vuitton that exists as a museum for this esteemed brand, housing Bernard Arnault’s private art collection, that are worthy of visiting. Both Palais Garnier and Palais Royale should be regarded essential stops for anyone with a penchant for the architecture of the City, and Atelier Brancusi is an intimate gallery space that is an ode to the famed wood-sculptor. If all else falls short, the views from atop the Arc de Triomphe are second to none.
Where To Shop
With such a formative lens on the world of fashion, from the legends of Haute Couture to emerging designers and quaint boutiques, shopping in Paris is an essential activity. If this is your first trip back to Paris post Covid, Dior’s 30 Montaigne flagship is a must — offering two floors of shopping, a gallery, patisserie, restaurant, and even a guest suite designed to host the brand’s most loyal devotees. Those seeking a one-stop shop should call into La Samaritaine or Printemps, two of the largest luxury department stores in Paris, as well as Le Bon Marché, a historic shopping temple that needs little introduction. For a more bespoke, boutique experience, The Broken Arm and Leclaireur offer a curated selection of exceptional designers, Kiliwatch is a treasure trove of vintage designer wares, and Dary’s and Karry’o are both a must for exquisite vintage jewellery. Buly 1803 is an impressive, historic beauty emporium, Marin Montagut is the famed artist’s flagship for homewares, Castor Fleuriste offers divine florals in Le Marais, should you need them, and literary folk would do well to pay a visit to Shakespeare & Company, a historic beacon of excellence.
Where To Stay
More than just somewhere to rest a weary head, these Parisian hotels, both iconic and new, are earmarked for offering the kind of stay that one would expect in the City. Grand old dames like Le Bristol Paris and Hôtel Lutetia stand tall alongside new guard operators, such as the sleek and chic Bulgari Hôtel Paris, an 8th arrondissement darling on the corner of Avenue George V and Rue Pierre Charron and Saint James Paris with its smart new interiors from Laura Gonzalez and idyllic locale next to Bois de Boulogne that makes the stay so enviable. Regardless of where you find yourself, you’ll find the old world charm in destinations like Cheval Blanc and Hôtel De Crillon, and a new outlook at Cour des Vosges who’s polished, pared-back interiors stride away from Parisian classicism in the coolest way.
Where To Eat
No trip to France is worth it without indulging in some Parisian delicacies. From restaurants that offer picturesque views to some of the most delicious and chic under-the-radar spots (that are just as delicious), Paris has something for everyone. Girafe, alongside it’s fine seafood-focussed fare, offers one of the best views of the Eiffel Tower, whereas Jean-François Piège’s La Poule Au Pot serves typical French cuisine like foie gras and escargot in an unassuming little spot opposite Colonne Médicis. If it’s joie de vivre you seek, Lapérouse has been a proud host of it in the 6th arrondissement since 1766. Elsewhere, Loulou Restaurant and Le Voltaire both offer truly exceptional European cuisine, the former famed for its stunning outdoor setting within the Musée des Arts Décoratifs and the latter with views of the Louvre from its terrace. For something more casual and fun, Clown Bar can always be relied upon with an elevated bistro menu and a bar that keeps one aptly libated.
Where To Drink
From the cute cafés that promise to wet the whistle, to the hotel bars that offer something distinctly more glamorous, to the intimate bars that serve drinks late into the night, Paris has no shortage of places to imbibe. Consider Pavillon Puebla, with its lush garden surroundings in Parc des Buttes-Chaumont when the languid afternoon is calling or Les Ambassadeurs, tucked away in Hôtel De Crillon for a necessary pre-dinner drink. Bisou’s outlook is decidedly Parisian, with tables that flow out onto the footpath and a self-proclaimed ethos of ‘sexy’, and Le Très Particulier brings the outdoors in with it’s stunning greenery-filled atrium and trendy Montmartre postcode. Just steps from Les Marais is Candelaria, an intimate and effortless Mexican restaurant and bar, and from here, head to Dirty Lemon, a little cocktail bar where you can easily while away an evening.