Paris being the city of love, what better time to visit than with a loved one over a long weekend?
Whilst the city revelled in l’amour, I avoided the throngs of rose sellers by indulging in that other Parisian speciality – la mode and la cuisine.
First on our list was a much anticipated dinner at Anahi, premier Argentinian restaurant and something of a shrine to gold with it’s luminous interior.
The restaurant, owned by three sisters, is a must visit. The food is as sumptuous as the decor – marble finishes with an art deco delicatessen twist, paying homage to the restaurant’s previous incarnation as the local meat vendor. The private room in the rear of the restaurant provides a cosy space to drink champagne with your loved one whilst observing the stylish staff bounce to South American beats.
Staying at the Paris’ La Tremoille proved a worthy decision. Built in 1883 as a private residence, La Tremoille was transformed into a hotel in 1923. The four-star, upscale hotel, is famed for its connections to the jazz world. A photo of Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington waving from the hotel balconies in the late 30’s hangs in the lobby, a snapshot in history.
Today La Tremoille hotel pays tribute to this past by inviting Jazz musicians to perform to guests in their lounge areas. Contemporary touches are intricately weaved into the hotel décor without losing that sense of it’s grand past. The staff are extremely friendly in a respectful, sincere way – no snobbery here. They’re always available for anything you need and happy to help with directions and extra room requirements. Porters patiently await your return to the hotel each night, ready to open the grand double doors of the lobby on your arrival and assist you with your shopping. It really is a home away from home.
The gorgeous Juliette balconies that run along the top of the hotel give views to the street below –reminiscent of a classic film – and I could just make out the tip of the Eiffel from our balcony. Close to the Champs Elysee and other major Parisian landmarks, the central location means you can easily navigate your way around the city via Metro and Taxi.
A trip to Paris is not complete without a visit to the Pompiediu centre and we were lucky to arrive just in time to see the final weeks of the Jeff Koons retrospective. The museum is home to many notable works of modern art, from Dadaism to Expressionism. Perfect for art lovers with more unconventional tastes and conveniently located next to the Marais, it’s an area brimming with boutiques and cafes.
Following shopping trips to my absolute fashion musts, the boutiques Merci Merci and Broken Arm – think chic French interiors and cool European designers – I headed east on the suggestion of my good friend @ACJournal to pay a visit to the Rem Koolhaas & Clement Blanchet designed restaurant, Le Dauphin. Encased within a marble and silver room wrapped around a central rectangular bar, the restaurant serves delicious sharing plates – contemporary cuisine with a French twist. We tried the lemon sole on our waitresses’ advice and I can honestly say it was the best I’ve ever tried. Combined with French organic sparkling wine it was pure gastronomic bliss. There was sartorial satisfaction to be had too – a very fashionable clientele provide background entertainment. I’m sure I saw Dita Von Tess at the bar.
After all that eating and shopping, it was only right that we stop into the Le Royal Monceau to visit the Phillip Starke designed Spa, the first Spa My Blend by Clarins, for a bit of R&R. The spa features a mix of high tech facilities and combined with it’s modern, clinical interior will leave you feeling like you’ve been on a spaceship voyaging to a planet of water and steam.
For fitness buffs the spa gym features latest equipment by technogym. My favourite touch being classical music broadcast underwater in the pool. This truly is the spa of the future.
Once you’ve had your cosmic cleanse pop upstairs for a bit of gluttony and experience the hotels Bar Chocolat by Pierre Hermé – known as “the Picasso of pastry”. The tasting experience will see you indulging in drinks from Viennese Hot Chocolate with fresh cream to spiced chocolate shakes, all whilst munching on a selection of chocolate truffles and milk chocolate profiteroles. I’ve never experienced anything like it. For a chocolate fan this is your paradise! I couldn’t look at a piece of chocolate for a month after.
Paris roads are cobbled and bendy and there is so much beauty to take in from street level. I’d recommend leaving the stilettos at home and take low-heeled boots and kitten heels instead. I debuted my new Chrissie Morris pumps which I absolutely adore; short heels, mesh fabrics, quirky design – perfect! If you’re wondering about my sunnies, they’re by a very cool Australian company called Pared, the creation of design duo Samantha Stevenson and her partner Edward Baker. Definitely ones to watch.
French fashion brands are definitely having a moment. Shunning loud trends, these labels embody chic, refined style and create wardrobe staples that last throughout the seasons. I strongly suggest whilst near the Champs Elysee to pay a visit to MAJE, Sandro, Vanessa Bruno and Isabel Marant Etoile. You wont leave disappointed.
It’s true, Parisians really do appreciate if you try to speak a little French. It always helps having a basic knowledge, a “Bonjour” and a “Merci” can go further than you think. I brushed up my French at Le Institut Francais before I went. They offer weekly classes at very affordable rates and have a French library and cinema to really get you in the mood for your French adventure. Classes are available internationally.
Paris is always a good idea. What are you waiting for? Bon voyage!
Rates for a double standard room at La Tremoille start from €360 (£283) per room per night including a continental breakfast and wi-fi. For further information or to book visit www.hotel-tremoille.com or call +33 156521400.
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