Paris Va Va Voom
Eiffel Tower clinches, candlelit bistros and scantily clad showgirls – Paris was made for lovers. Time to unleash your inner va-va-voom
Cobbles and rose bushes frame the grand Musée Rodin (79 Rue de Varenne) www.musee-rodin.fr housing the sculptor’s works. The Kiss is here but La Porte de L’enfer (The Gates of Hell) is the one that will leave you breathless – the intricately carved doors feature lots of nudity and groping.
This beautiful poem titled Kiss is worth a visit on the Tate website
After shopping in the streets of Le Marais, retreat to elegant tea house Mariage Frères (35 Rue du Bourg-Tibourg; www.mariagefreres.com). Waiters in white jackets serve myriad tea varieties (try Rooibos tea flavoured with candied chestnuts) alongside plates of scallops and perfect madeleines. Feel the passion brewing.
Paris’s oldest market, Le Marché des Enfants Rouges, on Rue de Bretagne (closed Mondays), is filled with tempting treats. L’Estaminet (00 33 1 4272 3485), in what used to be the market storeroom, serves food from the producers – pop in for a platter of oysters (six oysters and a glass of wine £10).
The 18th-century Lapérouse, (00 33 1 4326 6804, www.laperouse.fr) was a former favourite of politicians and their mistresses (the little private dining rooms upstairs used to lock from the inside). Go for roasted Brittany lobster and pâté-soft steak.
Next morning, climb the steps to La Promenade Plantée. This 4.5km-long, elevated railway track is now a pretty lavender-, shrub- and bamboo-lined pathway. Start your walk at the access point near Bastille, find a bench and watch passers-by on the streets fanning off below – only the odd jogger will disturb the pleasure.
Sure it’s soppy, but you have to be photographed in front of the ‘Je t’aime’ wall in Montmartre’s Place d’Abbesses. The blue tiles are covered in ‘I Love Yous’ scrawled in more than 300 languages. With any luck, the pretty busker in the red duffle coat will be singing Edith Piaf’s Hymne à l’amour.
Getting to Paris from UK
Eurostar (0870 518 6186, www.eurostar.com) has returns from London St Pancras and many regional airports offer convenient scheduled flights to Paris for low fares if booked well in advance.
Where to Stay
A sultry colour scheme and macaroons await you at Hôtel des Académies et des Arts (00 33 1 4326 6644, www.hotel-des-academies.com) in the arty heart of the city. Or, slightly out of the way but with a fabulous cocktail bar and eccentric decor, is Mama Shelter (00 33 1 4348 4848, www.mamashelter.com).