WHERE TO STAY
Swanky pants in the smartest location. Big baths, big menus and a big spoiling spa – don’t forget you’re actually IN PARIS though, you have to leave for a few hours at least.
Leafy, quiet and overlooking the square of Bastille. This studio will make the perfect spot to explore Paris. And worried about not having breakfast on offer? Don’t be. Paris has more breakfast haunts than you can shake un baton at.
WHERE TO EAT & DRINK | CÉ SOIR
This bistro needs no website. St Germain locals share the benches while the waiters glide around in their impeccable suits. Booking is essential. Order the Snails or House Terrine to start with and then the Coquelet or Fish of the day. Parisian watching essential. As is a glass of Ruinart on arrival.
It started here. And its best here. Go for the green sauce. Perfectly cooked steak, the crispiest chips. What more could you ever want? One snag is you cant book but frankly when you have all that to look forward to, you can hack the wait.
You can actually stay here too but we prefer it for cocktails. A resident DJ and the best mixologists around. The doormen are rather dishy too in their Velvet jackets. A dark hideaway to start or end the evening. And nothing but your highest Louboutins are acceptable.
Not only are the cocktails worth selling your mother for (don’t hold out on the price) the food is tip top here too. Named after the abandoned ship that was discovered filled with barrels of alcohol, this is not the place for anyone still dabbling with dry-January. We recommend the Koh Garden – the taste will linger with you for some time.
DÉJEUNER | Petit et grande
This is exactly as they should be. An all-rounder, all-day, stop-the-clock café. In the morning you find it full of locals quietly sitting at the bar reading Le Figaro (no kindle or iphone here people). Order the Tartine (baguette with jam and a choice of salted or unsalted butter), fresh orange juice and your coffee (we favour the Café Creme). They are bang next door to Le Grenier a Pain (best baguette winner 2015, 2010…) – you may be thinking, best baguette? Really? IT IS. Trust us. There is a queue 20 deep at the bakery from the moment it opens so skip the queue and have it brought to you by the self styled “First Mate” of Le Village.
The bees knees of Brunch Bistros. Feast on a delicious menu of French fare and then work it off with a walk along the canal St Martin. Walls of bottles line the restaurant, so don’t be a fool and order anything else. Brunch or lunch, you’ve got the pick of the bunch. And surprisingly speedy service which makes a change.
No website, just a facebook page but don’t let this put you off. Their use of fresh ingredients and innovative Euro cooking wins us over every time. Order the seafood risotto and some crisp white wine. The interior is industrial, no nonsense and you get a front row view of your food on the grill – and frankly, who doesn’t love to see that.
This art deco heaven hole has walls covered with roaring twenties photos. Salvador Dali, Ernest Hemingway, F Scott Fitzgerald and Jackie Kennedy all have something in common and its this restaurant – and if they approved, we suspect that you may too. Have the oysters and champagne – anything else would frankly, be silly.
WHAT TO DO
We have a simple policy at Auree – you will go back, so don’t get greedy. It goes without saying of course that you must say hi to Mona at The Louvre, see an exhibition at Musee D’Orsay, go up the top of the Eiffel Tower and have a pit stop for Tea at Sebastien Gaudard (oh the Éclairs, they are divine) but here are some other Auree tips to get onto that itinerary:
The Hotel Bîron, home of Rodin’s old workshop is where you will find this extensive exhibition. Featuring some of his most famous pieces: The Thinker, The Gates of Hell and The Kiss, you can get up close to appreciate his talent first hand. There are over 6,000 pieces of sculpture, 8,000 drawings (including some by Van Gogh and Renoir) and 7,000 photographs from Rodin’s extensive collections. Afterwards, take a wander through St Germain, dream the dream of a pied a terre and dabble in some antique shopping.
Montmartre | Heady Heights
It might have been scene to many a battle, but it’s also old school Paris. Filled with more boutique shops to tickle your fancy. Make sure you visit the magnificent Sacre Coeur and then explore the cobbled streets around it. There is a shop dedicated entirely to buttons, a fabulous light shop and of course, Le Moulin Rouge (maybe view from outside as tickets are now €200+)
Architectural haven with colour coded architecture featuring green pipes for plumbing, blue ducts for climate control, red for safety and yellow for circulation. Inside you have some of the best modern art exhibitions around. We love.
Not perhaps one to take the in-laws to. Situated in 12 old wine cellars this show is somewhat of an institution. And a little less run of the mill than the Moulin Rouge. It first opened in 1951 and has been a popular eye brow raiser ever since. Make sure you go for cocktails at the Hotel George V afterwards. It’s been rumoured that some people like to have a tinkle on their piano too but any more details would be telling..
Look down. Walking is perilous as it appears Parisians are too chic to scoop poop.
Eurostar is the only way to get there. Do the time saving maths. Easy.
Book your fave food haunts ahead. Otherwise you won’t get a table.
Dress to impress. They look you up and down at every opportunity.
Leave plenty of time to get wherever you are going. There are SO many distractions on route.