Un­der a grand Can

The People - - LIFESTYLE -

GET some sun and save £534 on a week in Gran Ca­naria next month with Sovereign Lux­ury Travel. Seven nights at the new five-star Radis­son Blu Re­sort & Spa, near Puerto Mo­gan, is from £899 per per­son. In­cludes a £75 John Lewis voucher, easyJet flights from Gatwick and re­sort trans­fers. Based on de­par­tures De­cem­ber 6, 2017. Call 01293 765 003 or see sovereign.com. IT’S the time of year for cosy, cul­tural, winter city breaks – and where bet­ter than fab­u­lous Paris, one fast train ride away. You’d be in-Seine not to… There’s al­ways some­thing new in Paris, and this au­tumn the talk of the town is the mu­seum ded­i­cated to style demigod Yves Saint Lau­rent, in the hal­lowed ground of his for­mer fash­ion “house” a glo­ri­ous man­sion be­tween the Champs-Élysées and the river.

Even if you’re not in­ter­ested in the clothes he cre­ated, the artistry of the man and the whole econ­omy of a fash­ion busi­ness is fas­ci­nat­ing.

More than 200 peo­ple worked here, tak­ing his sim­ple sketches and turn­ing them into killer out­fits. Adults 7 eu­ros – museeyslparis.com/en. The south bank of the Seine, be­tween Pont de L’Alma and the Musée D’Or­say, has re­cently been pedes­tri­anised – so now there are float­ing is­lands and cafes, tem­po­rary ex­hi­bi­tions, climb­ing frames and, of course, ev­ery­one and his aun­tie out jog­ging.

It’s a bril­liant place to come with a pic­nic. And while you’re here, jump on a stan­dard one-hour boat trip that runs up past the Lou­vre and Notre Dame cathe­dral, loops around the is­lands and re­turns on the other side.

De­par­tures are fre­quent, and the boats have search­lights which pick out key build­ings after dark. Adults 15 eu­ros – bateaux­parisiens.com. The Lou­vre Mu­seum, adults 15 eu­ros, with its fa­mous glass pyra­mid in the court­yard of a for­mer royal palace, dis­plays a 35,000 ob­jects and wel­comes ten mil­lion vis­i­tors a year. It’s ex­haust­ing just think­ing about it.

But the ma­jor­ity of those vis­i­tors are here for a selfie in front of the Mona Lisa – which means many other gal­leries are prac­ti­cally empty.

If you want to see the top stuff with­out hav­ing to hunt, join the twice-daily Wel­come guided tour con­ducted in English, 12 eu­ros.

The other top mu­seum in town is the Musée D’Or­say, just across the river. This grand for­mer rail­way sta­tion is the pow­er­house of Im­pres­sion­ism, with ev­ery­thing from Monet’s lily ponds to Gau­guin’s self-por­traits. Adults 12 eu­ros, musee-or­say.fr/en. The Parisian ver­sion of Har­rods is Ga­leries Lafayette on Boule­vard Hauss­mann, ga­leries­lafayette.com, and it’s worth com­ing here for its glo­ri­ous gal­leried dome – which looks like the in­side of a Fabergé egg.

How­ever, it isn’t where the lo­cals shop. Huge quan­ti­ties of Lafayette’s cus­tomers these days are Chi­nese keen to ac­quire a bit of Parisian style, so a lot of the staff are Chi­nese too.

For an in­ti­mate, prop­erly French shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence head for trendy “SoPi” – “South of Pi­galle” – par­tic­u­larly vil­lagey Rue des Mar­tyrs, with spe­cial­ist shops for such de­lights as truf­fles, jam, tea, crepes, fish and farm veg­eta­bles. Even if you don’t buy any­thing, the pre­sen­ta­tion here is a work of art. The best, most ac­ces­si­ble night view of Paris is from ro­man­tic, vil­lagey Mont­martre, most notably from the steps of the white-domed basil­ica of Sacré Coeur.

The city is spread out below you in a car­pet of lights, and you will share the steps with a whole planet-full of lan­guages, plus un­of­fi­cial ven­dors sell­ing beers and plas­tic Eif­fel Tow­ers.

Once you’ve drunk in the view, go around the corner co to the buzzing Place du Tertre, where street st artists will of­fer to draw your por­trait, and an in­nu­mer­able pave­ment bistros (try Au Cadet C de Gascogne) have set menus for as lit­tle as 16 eu­ros for three cour­ses. It won’t be top cui­sine cu but the at­mos­phere is ir­re­sistible.

On your sec­ond night in town head for the tr trendy Marais district, par­tic­u­larly the per­fectly sy sym­met­ri­cal 17th cen­tury Place des Vos­ges, all re red brick and wrought iron. Browse along the no north side un­der the arches, mar­vel­ling at the fr free show put on in the win­dows of very ex exclusive art gal­leries. These are the sort of p places where, if you need to ask the price for an any­thing, you shouldn’t be in the shop. Two Tw es­sen­tials that are par­tic­u­larly Parisian are steak-frites st – steak and chips – and moules marinière m – mus­sels in white wine. They are best

FAB SHOP­PING: El­e­gant Lafayette YVES DROP-IN: Fol­low fash­ion icon’s threads ART OF CITY: Be sure not to miss the Louvr

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