Where to un­cover ro­mance in Paris

What makes this city our choice for a ro­man­tic Valen­tine’s day break? Here are six lit­tle rea­sons…

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‘Ma puce’ (lit­er­ally, ‘my flea’) is an oddly French term of en­dear­ment. Fit­tingly small-scale, Puce is a restau­rant south of Place Pi­galle and the Moulin Rouge with a short menu and a longer wine list. Plates are meant to be shared and of­ten look be­yond the bor­ders of France for in­spi­ra­tion, with Span­ish bel­lota ham and nasi goreng rice among the of­fer­ings (dishes from £6; ilovepuce.com).


Hav­ing en­tranced Paris with his Mada­gas­car vanilla mille­feuille, young pas­try chef Yann Cou­vreur now runs shops east of the Canal St-Martin in the Marais. Many of his cre­ations, such as the baba mirabelle-noisette (plum and hazel­nut, pic­tured), are only made in lim­ited quan­ti­ties (pas­tries from £1; yan­ncou­vreur.com).


On a cob­bled back­street be­tween Place d’Italie and the highly strol­lable Rue Mouf­fe­tard, Hô­tel Hen­ri­ette has 32 rooms with in­di­vid­ual fur­ni­ture and dec­o­ra­tive pieces sourced from Parisian flea mar­kets. De­tails might in­clude mid-cen­tury arm­chairs, sun­burst mir­rors or palm-frond wall­pa­per, while the plant-filled court­yard has the ar­che­typal wrought-iron ta­bles and chairs of French pave­ment cafés (from £100; hotel­hen­ri­ette.com).


Get a glimpse of the next gen­er­a­tion of lo­cal de­sign ta­lent at Sept Cinq – a sixyear-old con­cept store in Pi­galle with a newer branch in the Fo­rum des Halles. Fea­tured de­sign­ers in­clude Balzac Paris, mak­ers of bow ties and this wry T-shirt (ac­ces­sories from £14; sept-cinq.com).


There’s no bet­ter way to fit a lot of Paris into a short time than to hop on a scooter for two. Left Bank Scoot­ers rents out 50cc and 125cc mod­els, but also runs guided tours tak­ing in high­lights such as Notre Dame or less vis­ited cor­ners. If you can’t drive a scooter, try a twopas­sen­ger side­car tour in­stead (rental from £60 per day, tours from £180; left­bankscoot­ers.com).


Cur­rently at num­ber 11 on the World’s 50 Best Bars List, Lit­tle Red Door dreams up cock­tails such as the Con-Tiki: El Do­rado eight-year-old rum, charred pineap­ple syrup, ver­jus, Pernod ab­sinthe and Taras Boulba beer. The door it­self is set back off the street to the north of the Marais. It leads to a cosy space with a hand­ful of so­fas and bar stools that feel closer to arm­chairs (cock­tails from £11; lrd­paris.com).

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