For those who are heading to Paris soon and planning their itinerary, here are a few ideas and suggestions for memorable places to visit. I'm currently working on the next Paris guide and have included these in the 24-hours-in-Paris section. They're a little different from the usual Seine-to-St.Germain-to-Eiffel Tower stroll. I don't know about you but I like getting off the beaten (Parisian) track and seeing the city from new perspectives. These places will show you the City of Light in, well, a new light!
Finally, thank you all for your kind emails about the book offer. I've received more than 60 requests so far and have now run out of books! It was really a gesture of thanks to those who have kindly left comments on the blog or emailed me directly to say hello. However, I'll see what I can do to accommodate those more-private souls who prefer not to leave comments but would like a book anyway.
Thank you, too, for those wonderful stories. I wish I could post them but they're clearly private. I'm now emailing individual thank-you notes to everyone.
THE BEST ROOFTOP TERRACE RESTAURANT
FOR A SPECTACULAR PARISIAN VIEW
La Terrasse at the Hotel Raphael
A lovely place for a special meal, this rooftop restaurant has spectacular views over Paris, including the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe, plus all the charming rooftops in between.
17 avenue Kleber, 75016 (16th), Paris.
THE BEST PLACE TO PHOTOGRAPH THE EIFFEL TOWER
(PARTICULARLY AT DAWN OR DUSK)
From high atop the top level of the Trocadéro gardens. If you head for the City of Architecture and Heritage (Cité de l'architecture et du patrimoine), you'll see a parallel line of gold statues. It's here, particularly at sunrise or sunset, where the best photos of the Eiffel Tower can often be taken.
THE BEST HOTEL BAR FOR A CLASSIC FRENCH CHAMPAGNE
The Radisson Blu Le Dokhan's Hotel
A former 18th-century residence, this charming boutique hotel is beloved by fashion designers (Armani books it out each Fashion Week), and the Louis Vuitton trunk-lined lift will make your ascent to the top-floor suites even more magical. The suites themselves are sublime (ask for the Eiffel Suite, with some of the best views in Paris), but if you can't afford to splurge, go to the exquisite Champagne Bar for a little bubbly instead. It's one of the prettiest bars in Paris.
117 rue Lauriston, 75116 (16th), Paris.
A GORGEOUS HOTEL FOR DISCERNING DESIGN LOVERS
It's sometimes difficult to find style at an affordable price in Paris, but this cutie delivers. The foyer is fabulous, the rooms are elegant without being frou-fou or over-the-top, and the other spaces, such as the sitting room (above) are dignified, quite and completely welcoming after an exhausting day traipsing around town.
6 rue Chauveau-Lagarde, 75008 (8th), Paris
A WONDERFUL PLACE FOR A POSH LUNCH
The Hotel Meurice
Most people wander straight past this place without realising the architectural riches that are inside. It's one of the most beautiful hotels in Paris, and the best way to see it (if you're on a budget) is to book a table for lunch. There's a fancy restaurant or the (slightly more casual) bistro. Alain Ducasse heads the kitchens so you can be sure the food is top-notch. But it's the people watching you should be going for. That, and the interior design.
228 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 (1st), Paris.
A SECRET PARIS MUSUEM FOR GARDEN LOVERS
I'd never heard of this place until recently, and I imagine others will be just as surprised to learn of it. It's a lovely place for a sunny day; a whimsical, slightly quirky museum that's an homage to gardens around the world.
Albert Kahn Musee et Jardins
14, rue du Port, 92100, Boulogne-Billancourt, Paris.