THE INSIDERS PARIS
EAT: My all-time favourite restaurant in Paris is, in fact, not French. Restaurant Pages, under chef Ryuji Teshima, serves some of the best Japanese food in the world; it’s located not far from the Arc de Triomphe. Another favourite spot is LouLou, in the Museum of Decorative Arts at the heart of the Louvre. Its terrace is divine in summer, the ideal spot for a long lunch with friends that can extend late into the evening. Don’t leave Paris without enjoying some famous macarons; I love the taste sensations from Pierre Herme and Laduree; facebook.com/pagesparis; loulou-paris.com; pierreherme.com; laduree.com.
EXPLORE: Paris is a place you discover by foot. The buildings and architecture are incredible; Place Vendome, laid out in 1702, is particularly mesmerising. Make time to visit the Palace of Versailles, which is an hour outside Paris. It is breathtaking and the gardens are so elaborate, I always leave feeling inspired; parisinfo.com; en.chateauversailles.fr/homepage.
ENJOY: Plan a day trip to Epernay, about 130km northeast of Paris, to visit champagne houses and tour the area where champagne was born. If you don’t have time to venture out of Paris, visit a champagne bar and sip a glass or two in style. Hotel Costes is great for people-watching; hotelcostes.com.
ADMIRE: Paris is known for its art and museums. The Louvre is the most famous and certainly worth a visit but, if you have time, explore one of the smaller museums such as Musee Nissim de Camondo, a time capsule of life in belle epoque Paris. Venture here to see rare Sevres porcelain, intricate savonniere and extraordinary craftsmanship in an elegant privatehouse setting; louvre.fr/en; lesartsdecoratifs.fr/en/ museums/musee-nissim-de-camondo.
SHOP: Galeries Lafayette is my one-stop shop. Just the building, with its art deco finishes and stunning dome, is reason enough to visit. I always pick up a wonderful gift for my wife, and it does help that the place has a fabulous champagne bar, should shopping become too tiring; galerieslafayette.com.
Herve Deschamps is Chef de Cave of Perrier-Jouet, overseeing production of the champagne house’s entire range. Based in Epernay, he is one of only seven people who have held the position in Perrier-Jouet’s 200-year history; perrier-jouet.com.
Graham Erbacher Graham.Erbacher@news.com.au