STAY in Paris:
Once upon a time there was a princess, and if she hasn't passed with the time, then she would be probably still be here. Even to this day, in the hotel-castle behind the high wall with the lusheous garden at the end of the cobblestone alley. There are five enchanting suites, each boasting three rooms and endowed with modern art and the finest stylish furnishings. You will quickly fall in love, not particularly with the French princes or princesses, but with the hotel! Double rooms from 290 euros per night.
It doesn't get more central than this! The location of the Duo in the heart of the Marais quarter, surrounded by restaurants, bars and boutiques, is not to be beaten. As hard as it is to leave this feelgood-hotel, go out and explore the very urban and unmistakably French Marais district. Out of the once cool design hotel, renovation has turned the Duo into a stylish feelgood hotel. Modern decorations meet old frames and practical furnishings on wood-parquett floors out of the 18th century set the scene here at the Duo. The rooms are fantastic, but the most comfortable thing about this hotel is that shopaholics can drop off their shopping bags before heading off into the next boutique. Well, at least when you are in Marais to go shopping. Double rooms from ?200 a night.
Bonjour! Come in! There's a warm welcome and a familiar atmosphere here. The rooms are simple, yet lovingly furnished. This hotel is an excellent base for city explorers: just 20 minutes from the Champs Elysées and the opera, between the Sacré Coeur and hte Moulin Rouge, right in the middle of Montemartre. Nonetheless, you will be able to sleep well, as the hotel is located in a peaceful area. So recouperate in one of the 34 comfortable rooms here. For your information, none of the rooms have their own bathroom, but rooms 23, 33, 43 and 53 have their own balconies. Double rooms are available from 142 euros.
SHOPPING in Paris:
No, it's not about one designer, but about a whole collective of artists, that also brings together designers, stylists and video artists. Making something new out of something old. Second-hand clothing is completely transformed and given a new life. What results os unique, creative and entertaining. In short: there's works of art to be worn here. Andrea Crews doesn't just design fashion, but also serves as a platform for everything. Also on the program are workshops in which clothes are tinkered with, quirky performances and musical projects. Basically anything unconvential. There's always the latest funny and inspiring mini-collection on display, too. Well worth a look!
We know it all too well: Jeans are the best fashion investment you can make. When you find the right pair, you can be sure that you've got a reliable partner for every moment in life. Maybe you will find the right one at RWD? The French jeans lable attempts to support you with their wide range of quality jeans. The potential two-legged companions are presented in the neat 150m2 flagship store. But the store couldn't be any smaller, considering that every model comes in all eleven washes. A tip: Jump in your new jeans and go around the block twice. The store is in the middle of a young and trendy district near the Bastille. And stay for a coffee.
A chamber of horrors for some, a storytale wonderland for others. The items sold here are really a matter of taste, as stuffed animals are involved. The curiousities-cabinet is full off exquisite works of art. Next to the bits and pieces, such as bugs and butterflies suspended on needles, there are unmissable stuffed giraffes, tigers and zebras. Many items are sold straight out of the yard. If you're not sure if the proud horse will fit in your living room, why not take it home for the weekend? Larger items can be rented before purchase!
SIGHTS in Paris:
Fête de Ganesh
The yearly Fête de Ganesh is one of the most colourful events in Paris. Every year in August little India gets into party mode and showcases its culture in the French capital. The celebrations start after a religious ceremony at the Sri Manicka Vinayakar Alayam Temple. Parisians, commuters and tourists come from all corners of the city to witness this spectacle at the 18th Arrondissement. Active participants dance through the streets with figures of Ganesha decorated with colourful fruits and flowers and smash coconuts on the pavement. There's Indian music, dancers in traditional dress and street artists. The ceremony takes place annually in August.
Against all expectations, the Cimetière Père Lachaise is more lively than tranquil, thanks to the droves of tourists. Situated on a hill to the east of Paris, this cemetery is the home to over a million graves, including the graves of many celebrities. The most popular of them all is the grave of the Doors singer Jim Morrison. To this day, his fans are still making the pilgramage here and along with the usual flowers and candles; they leave their cigarettes, joints, beer cans and graffiti as way of paying homage to the rock god. Due to vandalism, Morrison's grave has been fenced-off and surveilled from time to time. Oscar Wilde's grave is also very interesting. His wild love life drove him to prison and then an exile in Paris. His gravestone is covered with lipstick kisses and inaccurate quotes from his body of work. He was always good for a scandal, even after his death. His grave is graced with a larger than life, angelic figure with what once once a penis. The golden piece was stolen and is yet to be replaced. A quiet tip: If you want to avoid the hustle and bustle then steer cleer of the hotspots and take a stroll through the more peaceful parts of the cemetery. Without the celebrities, of course.
You've got to make it through the mass of tourists here: a visit to Paris is nothing without having seen the Cathédrale de Notre Dame.The proudly gothic construction is on the Ile de la Cité, begun in 1163 and was completed in 1345 and is one of the first gothic cathedrals in the world. We will let you decide for yourself, whether or not the Notre Dame is the house of God. At least this was the intention of Bishop Maurice de Sully as he commissed the cathedral. Many historical events have taken place within these holy halls. Would you like to be an emperor? The Notre Dame is particularly well suited, just as Napoleon once demonstrated. Afterwards, take the opportunity to once again look out on the city: the view from the steeples is breathtaking.
EAT in Paris:
Le Tokyo Eat
What's the current favourite of the Parisian in-crowd? To dine in the city's Museumscafés. And for good reason, as there are many benefits to be had. Most are hip, stylish and serve modern cuisine and also let's one's feasting appear to be cultivated. As a tourist, you should be honest enough to visit the museum prior to grabbing a table, especially as the Palais de Tokyo will fascinate those with an interest for modern art. Once inspired, sit down and enjoy a mix of international and asian food on offer. It's also a form of art. And the dishes are as well thought through as the interior. The extravagant lighting was designed by Stéphane Maupin and is a real attraction. The crowd here is young, hip and beautiful!
You can't help but suspect that it's impossible to find a restaurant smaller than this on in Paris. More than 30 guests couldn't dine here, at least, not at the same time. It brings truth to the name and creates a very cosy atmosphere. As long as it doesn't distub you that private discussion might have to be saved for another night. We find that it's actually beneficial to be able to clearly see your neighbour's plate. That way you can get a good idea of what interesting creations are on offer, without having to order everything on the menu. How does the ocean perch in chocolate sauce look? 3 courses for ?35 is not to be missed. So put together your own set menu from a range of four entrées, four main meals and four desserts.
Austern & Co.
Eating oysters in Paris is just as important as a visit to the Eiffel tower. It doesn't get anymore authentic than this. Francis Dubourg, the owner of La Cabane à Huitres, cultivates his own oysters and puts them fresh on the table. His son travels to the Atlantic coast three times a week and returns with the fresh huitres. 13 magnificent claire oysters can be yours for just 13 euros. Those who aren't cut out for the slimy consistency of an oyster can opt for foie gras, cheese specialties or cannelles (small caramel cakes). The restauarant is very spartan and ordinary, but the level of service given by Francis and his daughter well and truly make up for it. A small story accompanies every wine and every meal, which is always told with a hearty serving of Esprit.