Where to uncover romance in Paris
What makes this city our choice for a romantic Valentine’s day break? Here are six little reasons…
‘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).