Top 5 Paris (city guide)
As Ella Fitzgerald sang: I love Paris in the springtime … I love Paris in the fall. Let’s face it, it’s a pretty easy city to love – and I find it grows on me a little more with each visit. Here are five of the things I love most about the city of love.
Stay Hôtel Relais Saint Germain
This boutique hotel, with each room dedicated to a literary figure who lived in Paris, is an easy walk to so many of my favourite haunts. I love the mix of ancient, uneven exposed beams with luxurious fabrics and antiques, views out over the rooftops, and breakfasting in the beautiful art deco dining room.
Bistro Aux Lyonnais
If I only had one night in Paris, this ornate dining room is where I’d eat. From the generous bowl of herbed cheese and little sack of dark bread on arrival, to the excellent desserts, this is typical Alain Ducasse: wonderful service, setting and food. I love the charcuterie plate with pickles jar and wooden tongs, crisp fried frogs’ legs, and famous seafood quenelles with Nantua (shellfish) sauce … and the €35 3-course dinner menu!
Shop Covered Passages
Paris’ ornate galeries and passages are glass-ceilinged alleys full of interesting shops and cafés. Stroll from Passage Verdeau (antique books and comics) through P. Jouffroy (walking canes) and P. des Panoramas (philatelist shop), to Galerie Vivienne with its magnificent mosaic floor and gorgeous lifestyle shops.
Art Musee Rodin Sculpture Gallery
Skip the crowded Louvre and take a peaceful stroll among Auguste Rodin’s larger than life sculptures, such as The Thinker and The Burghers of Calais, in his beautiful rose garden. Inside are his smaller pieces and the Roman, Greek and Egyptian faces, hands, feet and torsos that inspired his work.
The Zumbo-esque shops of this Michelin-starred pastry chef are filled with pretty mille-feuille, extravagant religieuse (salted butter caramel!) and jars of layered mousse (tart yuzu citron, lime jelly and meringue). Thong-shaped chocolates with nut-studded soles seem a natural for the Aussie market!