On Location: Paris

Marie Claire's favourite Paris hotspots

WE STAY AT…

With a lively bar, lifts lined in hot pink fur and multicoloured mood lighting over the bed, Murano Urban Resort (00 33 1 42 71 20 00) is a world away from traditional Paris hotels, and the shops of the Marais and the nightlife around rue Oberkampf are only a short walk away.

Hospes Lancaster (00 33 1 4076 4076), an elegant hotel on rue de Berri that has 60 romantic rooms set around a peaceful garden. Marlene Dietrich once had an apartment here, and the mood is one of privacy and luxury. There’s a small Michelin-star restaurant, La Table du Lancaster, and the hotel is just a short walk to the fashion-filled shops of the Champs-Elysées and rue du Faubourg-St-Honoré.

The Crillon (00 33 1 44 71 1500), a magnificent palace hotel in Place de la Concorde, dating from 1758. Within easy striking distance of the city’s best shops and sights, its cosseting bedrooms and Louis XV-style suites feel intimate and welcoming. While you’re there, make sure you make time for a coupe de champagne in the Sonia Rykiel-decorated bar. Les Ambassadeurs, the Crillon’s flagship restaurant, is also worth a visit, occuping a splendid 18th-century ballroom filled with mirrors and gold, where head chef Jean-François Piège creates dishes that are both theatrical and sublime. It’s also a great venue for a lavish and leisurely breakfast.

THE BEST THINGS TO DO IN PARIS…

Go shopping. Luxury food store Fauchon recently had a revamp, while Le 66 (le66.fr) is a massive new fashion and lifestyle store on the Champs-Elysées. Shine (15 rue de Poitou) is another of our favourites. Located in an old pharmacy in the Marais, it stocks a divine selection of clothes from designer labels such as Givenchy, Marc by Marc Jacobs and See by Chloé.

Learn something. Paris Muse offers museum tours, L’Artisan Parfumeur runs perfume workshops and ‘Come to Paris‘ has cooking classes.

Sit in a cafe reading and dreaming. Paris Tales (£9.99, OUP) is a collection of short stories by writers such as Balzac and Zola, inspired by locations around the city.

Faire un pique-nique. Stock up at the gorgeous market in rue Mouffetard, then pick yourself a spot in the a href=”http://www.mnhn.fr” target=”_blank”>Jardin des Plantes.

Kiss on a bridge. One of the city’s most famous, the Pont Neuf, has just had a spring clean.

Hit the streets. Walk the full length of the 12th arrondissement (promenade-plantee.org), pick up a free bicycle (en.velib.paris.fr), get rollerblading (pari-roller.com) or take a guided tour by Citroën 2CV (4roues-sous-1parapluie.com).

Party like a femme fatale. For art nouveau splendour, dine at Julien. For more options, get a copy of Paris Eating & Drinking (£12.99, Time Out).

HOW TO GET THERE…

Eurostar (08705-186186) runs rail services from London to Paris from £59 return, or Air France (0870-142 4343) flies from ten UK airports, from £99 return including taxes.

FOR MORE INFO…

Visit parisinfo.com for ideals on days out and up-to-date theatre and museum listings.

For some great addresses, Paris Chic & Trendy (£7.99, Little Bookroom) is a new pocket-sized guide that features 54 of the city’s most stylish boutiques, designers’ studios and vintage stores.

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