Paris – très chic

Sometimes a regular city break lacks a little ‘je ne sais quoi?’ When you are looking to impress or in need of pampering, a luxurious break to Paris could be a revitalising experience.

Personally, I am happy at both ends of the travel spectrum, from shared hostel dorms in Krakow to 5* luxury in the Med. However, Paris is definitely a city that deserves a lavish weekend at some point. By all means, visit on a budget, take in the Louvre, wander the Marais with the students but save that for another visit. This time I am talking serious Parisian chic.

Start as you mean to go on by booking into a boutique hotel. Seeing as we are not worrying about the pennies, take a pool suite at the Murano Resort Hotel, yes; your bedroom really does come complete with swimming pool! This little gem of a hotel is all mod cons; each room bedecked with gadgetry and has a fabulous avant-garde restaurant. Alternatively, spend the weekend as a French aristocrat by renting a luxury apartment. Paris Luxury Rentals has a Louis XV apartment, situated in the coveted golden triangle of the Champs-Élysées. Here you can live like a lord in a perfect re-creation of 18th Century refinement, complete with library room, marble fireplaces and a dining table set for ten.

Evidently, when in Paris it is imperative to experience ‘la gastronomie.’ For a full-on fine dining experience, try and secure a table at Le Meurice. Here the denizen of the kitchen is Chef Yannick Alléno; he of 3 Michelin starred fame so expect tastes of France in unexpected forms. For those with a sweet tooth, Paris is a dream: pay a visit to the aptly named ‘La Pâtisserie des Rêves’ (Cake Shop of Dreams), to taste the exquisite creations of Philippe Conticini. The macaroon has started to grace the British high-street, but to see this delicacy executed to the highest standard, visit the pâtisserie of Pierre Hermé.

With your appetite sated, spend the afternoon wandering iconic streets with the well-heeled Parisians. Visit Larry Gagosian’s latest opening, La Galarie on rue de Ponthieu. Even if you can’t afford to buy, you can still enjoy admiring work by the likes of Rodin, Cy Twombly and Hiroshi Sugimoto. Browse the shops for the latest in high class fashion, visit Chloe on ave Montaigne for effortless cool prêt á porter or, for French classics, try French Trotters, where all garments are scrupulously sourced in France. If fashion is not your predilection, then perhaps visit Androuet, the premier amongst cheese shops or, for some seriously distinctive wines, go to Les Caves Augé.

Come evening, it is time to enjoy a little music. Le New Morning de Paris has a rich jazz heritage, with performances by Chet Baker, Stan Getz, Art Blakey and Dizzy Gillespie. Today, emerging talent and established acts still grace the stage. The Paris Opera at Le Palais Garnier will certainly provide an evening of glamour. The architect Charles Garnier conceived the dramatic building in 1875 and ‘la salle de spectacle’ boasts ceilings painted by Marc Chagall in 1964.

Complete the night, and see in the new morning, at an exclusive club. The White Bar and White Room at, you’ve guessed it, Maison Blanche, exude all the glamour expected from their address on the Champs-Élysées. Alternatively, join those who like to be seen at La Perle, or try and charm your way into the ultra private club, Black Calvados. (The biometric scanners leave you feeling a little like Jason Bourne!)

Vicky Pester is Head of Marketing at easyJet Holidays.

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  1. Les says:

    What would you say the best time to travel to Paris is? I’m looking for less crowds and decent weather!

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