Paris for first-timers or old hands

Lonely Planet (UK) - - Contents -

YOUR FIRST TIME

The plan to de­mol­ish the Eif­fel Tower af­ter the 1889 World Fair was, thank­fully, aban­doned and the Art Nou­veau spire is now the defin­ing fix­ture of the Paris sky­line. Come at dusk for views best en­joyed with a glass of cham­pagne from the top floor (toureif­fel.paris). Retro styling and hearty French dishes, like roasted duck breast (left), make Bistrot Paul Bert a food crit­ics’ favourite (18 Rue Paul Bert). Only a city like Paris could have its own de­signer line of sou­venirs, sold in its own con­cept store. Pick up Paris-themed cloth­ing, home­wares, ac­ces­sories – and even sig­na­ture Jardin du Lux­em­bourg Fer­mob (ren­dezvous.paris.fr). Au Sauvi­gnon is a won­der­fully au­then­tic ‘bar à vin’. Es­tab­lished in the 1950s, it has a pave­ment ter­race, orig­i­nal zinc bar, tightly packed ta­bles and hand­painted ceil­ing cel­e­brat­ing French wine cul­ture (ausauvi­gnon.com). De­signed by fash­ion roy­alty Chris­tian Lacroix and close to the the Lou­vre, the Ho­tel du Con­ti­nent is a great deal. Ex­pect themed floors and haute-cou­ture styling in the rooms (from £135; hotel­con­ti­nent com).

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT

For a truly lo­cal ex­pe­ri­ence, join Meeting the French and try... learn­ing pe­tanque, mak­ing baguettes at a boulan­gerie, head­ing (en.meet­ingth­e­french.com). At Semilla, ex­posed pipes and an open kitchen cre­ate a fac­tory-style set­ting for a mod­ern, dai­ly­chang­ing menu that might in­clude the likes of pork ribs with cin­na­mon. Leave room for the out­stand­ing desserts (semil­la­paris.com). The Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen is Europe’s largest flea mar­ket, with over 2,500 stalls each with its own spe­cial­ity, from 17th-cen­tury fur­ni­ture to vin­tage toys. Get here early for the best bar­gains (marcheaux­puces-sain­touen.com). Pale wood­work and bare-bulb lights cre­ate a pared-back set­ting for qual­ity gins and craft beer at Tiger Bar; it sits on bar-heavy rue Princesse, mak­ing it the ideal start­ing point for (tiger-paris.com). Vin­tage dé­cor and flea-mar­ket finds through­out: check. Per­sonal iPads loaded with music in the bed­rooms: check. DJs play­ing at the bar: check. As one of the lead­ing char­ac­ters in Paris’ new breed of ‘life­style ho­tels’, Le Pi­galle has all the boxes ticked (from £160; lep­i­galle.paris).

Eat Do Buy Drin k Sleep

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