Where to rest your head in Paris:
Le Royal Monceau
An historic gem in a prestigious location, just a stone’s throw from the Champs-Elysées, this glamorous hotel offers a luxurious experience and contemporary Philippe Starck design. Deservedly favoured by the stylish and well-heeled, it provides an impeccable base from which to explore the city.
The former home of Napoleon Bonaparte’s grandnephew, Prince Roland Bonaparte, has lost none of its elegance in the transition to hotel. Guests can be sure of royal treatment from check-in to check-out. When not admiring the impressive views across the Seine to the Eiffel Tower, be sure to pay a visit to Shang Palace, the Michelin-starred Cantonese restaurant, for a memorable meal.
Part of the Dorchester Collection, this classic hotel and favourite for many visitors to Paris is superbly located the heart of the city not far from the Louvre and opposite the Tuileries Gardens. Featuring seven floors of elegantly decorated rooms and suites, this hotel is Parisian luxury at its finest.
Where to eat and drink in Paris:
With an intimate setting in an elegantly decorated townhouse on place des Vosges, L’Ambroisie – which translates as ‘ambrosia’, the food of the gods – more than lives up to its name. The perfectly executed and truly inspired dishes that have helped to earn it three Michelin stars will delight even the most demanding of gourmets.
Widely regarded as the most beautiful brasserie in Paris, Bofinger should be on every visitor’s must-see list. A stone’s throw from place des Vosges, Bofinger’s striking Belle Epoque interior décor makes the perfect backdrop for the menu of classic French dishes and specialities from Alsace.
La Tour d’Argent
The family-owned Tour d’Argent is known and loved for several reasons: a superb riverside location that offers breathtaking views of Notre-Dame cathedral; an accomplished menu, including several dishes featuring duck – the house speciality; and an excellent wine list.
What to explore while in Paris:
Notre-Dame de Paris
Paris’s imposing gothic cathedral, begun in the 12th century, is one of the city’s most visited sights and one of its most iconic buildings. Visitors come to enjoy everything from the riverside location to the gargoyles and the stained-glass windows, as well as the association with Victor Hugo’s fictional bell ringer, Quasimodo. Put off by the crowds? Lit up as night falls, Notre-Dame is the perfect location for a romantic evening stroll.
Musée du Louvre
No trip to Paris is complete without an excursion to this magnificent gallery and museum. Although most visitors crowd around the Mona Lisa, there are many other works of art and precious artefacts besides Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece, from 12th- century sculptures to the ultra-modern Louvre Pyramids.
Montmartre and Sacré-Cœur
The climb up to the top of Montmartre – the city’s highest point – is well worth the effort for the fabulous views. Added to that, the area has long been a magnet for artists, and visitors will find plenty of works in progress set up on easels along the cobbled streets. Perched above it all is the breathtaking Sacré-Cœur basilica, built in the late 19th century in Romano-Byzantine style.
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