THE IN­SID­ERS I PARIS

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Destination Europe - REGINA FER­REIRA

STAY: Pri­vate apart­ment Petite Paris has more than 90 apart­ments, in all ar­rondisse­ments and ca­ter­ing to all bud­gets, for Aus­tralians seek­ing an au­then­tic home ex­pe­ri­ence; pe­titeparis. com.au. WALK: Prom­e­nade Plantee This el­e­vated park built on an aban­doned rail­road stretches 4.7km from the Opera Bastille to the Bois de Vin­cennes. It’s a beau­ti­ful land­scape of trees and flow­ers, of­fer­ing a roof-level view of Paris. One of the city’s best-kept se­crets; 290 ave Daumes­nil 75012. MAR­KET: Le Marche des En­fants Rouge The old­est un­der­cover food mar­ket in Paris is loved by lo­cals. Its tiny wrought-iron gate is easy to miss, but the bustling bazaar features stalls sell­ing freshly pre­pared foods, vi­brant bou­quets of flow­ers, a wide se­lec­tion of ob­scure wines and or­ganic pump­kins, to­ma­toes, cauliflow­ers and other pro­duce. There’s fresh seafood, meat, cheeses and char­cu­terie, too. Try the Cre­ole cafe and the home­made ham­burger stall; 39 rue de Bre­tagne 75003. CUL­TURE: Mu­sic recital at La Sainte-Chapelle This gothic ar­chi­tec­tural jewel on the Ile de la Cite holds clas­si­cal con­certs from March to De­cem­ber; mon­u­ments-na­tionaux.fr. SHOP: Merci A sun­lit 19th-cen­tury fab­ric fac­tory in the third ar­rondisse­ment with three floors of de­signer fash­ion, fur­ni­ture, jew­ellery, sta­tionery and haberdashery. Fer­ret through draw­ers, chests and shelves, or sip a bev­er­age on a sofa in the book cor­ner. All prof­its go to a chil­dren’s char­ity in Mada­gas­car; merci-merci.com. EAT: Le Gabin This small, fam­ily-run restau­rant in an unas­sum­ing street be­hind the Sacre Coeur Basil­ica in Mont­martre feels a world away from the sur­round­ing chaos. In­ex­pen­sive and de­li­cious French fare is on the the menu at this non-touristy haven — three­course fixed-price menu is a bargain at ($26); 25 rue Lam­bert 75018. SPA: Ham­mam at the Mosquee de Paris I love this au­then­tic Turk­ish bath ex­pe­ri­ence — an in­ex­pen­sive alternative to high-end spas. En­joy the steam room and a re­lax­ing mas­sage or, if you’re game, a full raw body scrub, fol­lowed by a 30-minute mas­sage, soft soap and mint tea ( la

mosquee.com.

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