Written by: Diogo Patrício
Paris deserves its reputation as the most romantic city in the world. Its centre is small and ideal for visiting on foot, with every turn revealing a famous landmark, a cozy café, a smart boutique or a busy boulevard.There are hotels to suit every visitor, from the palatial to the contemporary, the trend setting to the classical. Paris is also the home of great food and boasts a plethora of restaurants from traditional bistros to smart, trendy restaurants and Michelin-starred establishments.
Grand Pigalle Hotel is inspired by a lifetime of friendship, Romée de Goriainoff, Pierre-Charles Cros and Olivier Bon have spent the better part of the last decade dedicated to hospitality in cocktail bars, wine bars and restaurants, seeking to create a new kind of locale, one that is rich, cultivated, comfortable, and casual.
Opening onto the villas of the avenue Frochot, the private estate where Toulouse-Lautrec once lived. The 37 rooms of the Grand Pigalle Hotel choose liveliness over nostalgia. It is the neighbourhood’s contemporary history that is referenced in the interior design of Dorothée Meilichzon.
Cosmopolitan par excellence, the Grand Pigalle Hotel is above all, a Parisian address. The ground floor, a space for reception and the wine bar, transforms throughout the day to capture the moods of the city: its desires and incomparable energy – its hedonism like no other. Here, the spirit of “Bed & Beverage” reigns.
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Italian chic and Parisian haute couture is combined at the iconic 5 star hotel Castille. Standing alongside the legendary Chanel Maison, in the heart of the 1st Arrondissement, this romantic hotel has the style of Paris. Every detail has been lovingly restored to exude the opulence of its 18th century glory days, yet still retain a charm that you may rarely find in a central luxury hotel.
Located on Rue Cambon, this 108-room property is a member of the Starhotels Collection, an independent group founded and run by the Fabri family. Castille could hardly be in a more prestigious position either, in the heart of the 1st Arrondissement, with the Rue Fauberg-Saint Honore and the Tuileries Garden a few hundred yards away. The Louvre Museum, the Opera, the Place Vendôme, the Champs Elysées and many other Paris landmarks are all within walking distance.
In the heart of the city of lights there is W Paris – Opéra, which was opened on February 14th, 2012. If museums are not risqué enough, haute couture is just a short walk away. Luxury is all along the Rue de la Paix and Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré.
Culinary perfection is at your doorstep with the restaurant. The chef prepares the menu with flair, highlighting the best ingredients each season has to offer. For those on the go, they have light bites for those needing a tête-à-tête.
Retreat from the bustle of busy outside into the serenity of their 91 guest rooms and suites. Each of the rooms offers élan and ease in every nuance.
The 115-Year Old Hotel Regina
The Hotel Regina was originally inaugurated for the World’s Fair in Paris in 1900 and has been one of the most luxurious and iconic Parisian hotels for over 100 years. So it stands to reason that it was time for a face-lift. Over the last year the hotel has been undergoing full renovations in every room while the restaurants, bars and façade received much-needed upgrades. Guests can now expect to find not only stunning views of the Eiffel Tower and a glimpse into France’s architectural history, but also all the comforts of home like air conditioning, soundproofed walls and perhaps most importantly—high-speed Wi-Fi.
When a hotel features its own private cinema, seating almost one hundred people, you know you’re somewhere special. Which is true if you’re staying at Le Royal Monceau – Raffles Paris. Opened near the end of the Roaring Twenties by Pierre Bermond and André Jugnot, Le Royal almost immediately became a virtual Who’s Who of guests with Josephine Baker, Maurice Chevalier, Walt Disney, Winston Churchill, Ernest Hemingway and Michael Jackson all enjoying a little pampering at its property.
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3-Star Michelin Chef Éric Fréchon
Do you adore drinking wine and chatting about books over gourmet cuisine prepared by a three-star Michelin chef? Who wouldn’t? Well, Hôtel Le Bristol is celebrating the creative achievements of renowned literary figures by putting on “The Wine, the Books” dinner series.
Starting from October 8, the 2015-2016 season includes eight monthly events, each one inviting a different author to chat about their book. Hosted by journalist Olivier Barrot, the dinners will star a three-course menu designed by the hotel’s Michelin-starred Chef Éric Fréchon and wine pairings from Sommelier Marco Pelletier—the winemaker of his handpicked wine will also be in attendance.
Citrus Etoile Shines at the Arc de Triomphe With Deconstructed French Cuisine
Situated on Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris, every tourist may find Citrus Etoile, almost in the shadow of the Arc de Triomphe. Owner Gilles Epié holds the record of being the youngest chef to receive a Michelin star at the tender age of 22. Having lived in Japan, US, running l’Orangerie in Los Angeles, he returned to his native Paris with his American wife and former model Elizabeth, to create this trendy California-style dining establishment.
Chef Epié also runs Frenchy’s Bistro at Charles DeGaulle Airport and was a guest chef earlier this year at the New York Dining Club.
Citrus Etoile reflects a chic, contemporary ambiance with Hermès-orange upholstery and fresh flowers. Its interior is light, with a pale gray batique design on its walls and opaque window blinds providing a semi-private atmosphere while still offering street views. Crisp white linens cover the tables, and a decorative fishbowl on each table includes a live goldfish inside; a surprising touch of creativity.
A discovery trail of French cuisine from one of the most inventive chefs around today is presented in this article. the chef often finds inspiration in painting and jazz. The pared-back dining room provides the stage for a panoply of dishes, from minuscule appetisers – a tuna meringue, a clam with diced veg – to a whirlwind of desserts, all propelled by a fleet of lithe waiters. Although Pierre Gagnaire is often associated with molecular cuisine in his collaborations with scientist Hervé. Thus, this is real food, not froths and foams, but with perfect seasoning and an extraordinary variety of flavours and textures. The lunch menu is a relatively accessible way to taste this extraordinary cuisine.
The Tour Eiffel is the symbol of Parigi and the view from its top is simply amazing. Not many know that the tower “hides” an incredible restaurant: Jules Verne, at the second floor, offers an inimitable view and starred cuisine. Great experience!
The extraordinary setting 400ft (122 metres) up the Eiffel Tower (reached by the restaurant’s own lift, south pillar) takes the stuffiness out of grand-occasion dining with a suave decor by Patrick Jouin and nonchalant waiters who don’t bat an eyelid when they get up to take photos. Since being taken into the Ducasse empire, Le Jules Verne has improved its food to match the views, with a modern take on grand classics by Pascal Féraud, right down to a chocolate bolt dessert in homage to the 2.5 million bolts that hold the tower together.
This tiny, white minimalist restaurant in a former art gallery quickly got Parisians talking when it opened at the end of 2011. It serves a stream of tiny, surprise dishes to an urbane St-Germain set, who exchange foodie opinions along the long communal table. The young chef Gaëtan Gentil puts the focus on fine produce such as sole and duck, and inventive pairings, perhaps beef with spring onions and brown ale sauce, chervil with sea urchins and chestnuts, peach with shiso, all accompanied by well-chosen natural and organic wines. It also proposes a menu with a selection of wines to go with the dishes.
A walk on the Champs-Elysée is a must, but don’t miss Colette (213 rue Saint Honoré) that is considered to be the number one concept store in town. It literally carries everything: fashion ( accessories, jewelry, clothing, furniture, books) with the most famous brands but also new and up-and-coming designers, food, water couture (yes, you read right: there’s a bar with over 30 different varieties of water!) We absolutely recommend it: stop by!
Do you love perfumes? Then you cannot miss the chance of having something unique; a fragrance created just for you! And not just for you but by you! This is possible in Paris thanks to the Perfume Studio, that will allow you to create your own custom made essence in just a few hours.
In addition to this, everyone should visit the following destinations listed below:
Celebrates Over 160 Years of Louis Vuitton: Grand Palais Parisian Exhibit
This winter, fashion is set to celebrate Louis Vuitton with an exhibition at the Grand Palais in Paris. The show, titled Volez, Voguez, Voyagez—Louis Vuitton, will open December 4 and run through February 21, 2016. Curated by Olivier Saillard, curator director at the Palais Galliera, Musée de la Mode de la Ville de Paris, the collection will follow the history and evolution of the brand from trunk and luggage maker in the 1850s to the luxury conglomerate of today.
The showcase will highlight everything from century-old trunks to the evolution of craftsmanship to the first transition into ready-to-wear. Here visitors will be able to see some of the company’s first travel accessories and modern handbags made for today’s celebrities and socialites.
The exhibition is also the perfect homecoming for the brand. At the Universal Exhibition of 1900, held at the Grand Palais, George Vuitton oversaw the traveling and leather good section. He displayed his family’s luggage and travel accessories to over 48 million visitors during the exhibition’s seven month span.
The Fondation Louis Vuitton modern art gallery was opened in the Bois de Boulogne, which is the second largest public park in Paris.
Visually stunning, the FLV is shell-shaped and made up of twelve glass sails that soar above the park’s greenery. Inside is a huge auditorium and 3,850m2 of exhibition space divided into eleven galleries; comparatively modest next to Gehry’s Guggenheim museum in Bilbao.
Skeptics see this new building as an excessive expense on the Louis Vuitton Group’s part: A trophy rather than an innovative art gallery that simply goes to show the luxury goods industry’s hold over modern art. The gallery is pointedly located in the wealthy outskirts of Paris, and you won’t find any new young talents on the program – Bernault’s philanthropy is more likely to boost his artistic investments rather than lend a hand to struggling artists.
Nonetheless, this modern art gallery will excel where it intends to: welcoming the celebrities of contemporary art to its walls. While it may not revolutionise your cultural landscape, it should enable Paris to see some of the world’s greatest works of art in a beautiful setting.
Jean Nouvel’s glass and steel building, an exhibition centre with Cartier’s offices above, is as much a work of art as the installations inside. Shows by artists and photographers often have wide-ranging themes, such as ‘Birds’ or ‘Desert’. Live events around the shows are called Nuits Nomades.
BEST STREETS TO SHOP IN PARIS
Why to go there? For the Galeries Lafayette of course! The upmarket department store is located on Boulevard Hausmann first opened its doors in 1895, and has since become a Parisian institute. The store comprises 10 floors, and boasts a beautiful glass dome and a central staircase in a stunning Art Noveau design. Throngs of locals and tourists alike descend on the store for Paris’ bi-annual sales (les soldes), where goods are marked up to 70% off.
What should you know? In December, the Galeries Lafayette Christmas decorations become a must-see attraction, with the highlight being the giant Christmas tree, located under the glass and steel dome.
Rue St Honoré
Rue St Honoré with its sophisticated extension, Rue Faubourg St Honoré, is one of the most upmarket shopping streets of Paris. Dedicated almost exclusively to luxury fashion design houses, from the likes of Hermes, Lanvin, Gucci, YSL and Michael Kors; it promises an immense concentration of ‘chic’ along its narrow passages. Just a few steps away is the famous square of Place Vendome with yet more of the top names in the fashion industry. For the über -trendy, there’s Colette; a lifestyle concept store which sells everything from clothing to gadgets. If you’re still not convinced on just how posh this street actually is, it’s worth noting that the home of the French president, the Élysée Palace, can also be found on Rue Faubourg St Honoré.
Watch out for well-dressed thieves in this area! There have been numerous incidents where well-heeled tourists, oozing the scent of money, have been robbed of their bags, cameras, or credit cards on this trip.
The Grande Dame of Parisian streets is the Avenue Montaigne. Once upon a time it was called the ‘Widows Lane’ as French widows would gather there in mourning.
From deluxe fashion labels to celebrated jewelers, the regal list includes the likes of Chanel, Valentino, Gucci, Christian Lacroix, Fendi, Harry Winston and Bulgari. The majestic Plaza Athénée hotel is also located on this street, adding to the glitz and glamour already found in spades.
The celebrity fly-trap of a restaurant, L’Avenue, is located on Avenue Montaigne. But be careful! Some reviewers swear that the beautiful waitresses are a feast on the eyes whilst the food itself, leaves much to be desired.
Avenue des Champs-Élysées
Given the unambiguous honor of being the world’s most beautiful street, the Champs Élysées is certainly one of the most famous one. Marked at its beginning by the Obelisk of Luxor (Concorde), and lined throughout by bosquets of square-trimmed trees, the avenue concludes at the Arc de Triomphe. The City of Paris tried desperately to prevent the ‘banalisation’ of the street, by attempting to prevent global chain stores from setting up shop, but nowadays the likes of Zara, H&M, Gap and Benetton can be found neighboring designer labels such as Guerlain, Hugo Boss, Lancel and Cartier.
The highlight of a shopping expedition on this famed street is a visit to the flagship Louis Vuitton store at 101 Avenue des Champs-Élysées. The shop’s window décor, which changes regularly, is often a treat to view in itself. The long line of people waiting for a chance to spend hundreds of euros; is another.
Source – CovetED Magazine