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Always a good idea: PARIS

Paris is the first city that comes to mind when talking about celebration. The capital of romance, art, and fashion, it always manages to mesmerise its visitors, whatever the season. Especially if you’re planning to start the new year with new hopes, Paris is the best city in the world for new beginnings.

Paris is a city - one which you’ll never get bored of visiting and which offers new areas of exploration and new flavours with each visit. Especially around the New Year, it’s always a good idea to make up an excuse to visit Paris to spend a lovely time following my tips below. I’ve stayed at many hotels in Paris, namely at Mandarin, Raffles, Peninsula, Plaza Athénée, Four Seasons, Park Hyatt, Bristol... And also, my favourite, Shangri-La Paris. The hotel is located right across from Palais de Tokyo. Nothing short of a palace and built by Prince Roland Bonaparte, Napoleon Bonaparte’s nephew, in 1896 in Trocadéro, one of the most beautiful districts in the city, the building has been restored by architect Richard Martinet, preserving its historical glamour, and started serving as the first European hotel by Shangri-La group. Luckily, both times I stayed at the hotel, which boasts a magnificent view of the Eiffel Tower and River Seine, I got a terrace suite with a view of the Eiffel Tower. Within walking distance to Avenue Montaigne, Champs-Élysées, it’s the most delightful hotel in Paris, also for its wonderful breakfast with tasty dim sum. It also hosts Shang Palace, one of the world’s best Chinese restaurants. I definitely recommend it if you wish to spend a night in Paris exploring Chinese cuisine. Peninsula Paris is another hotel where I feel most welcome. Housed in a historic building from 1864, the hotel’s location is superb at 19 Avenue Kléber - it’s right at the heart of the city centre and within walking distance to a number of landmarks. The hotel is famous for having the biggest rooms and suites in Paris.


Le Deux Magots, L’Avenue, and Café de Flore are among the classics where I stop to catch my breath over a cup of coffee; they’ve lost nothing of their charm. Recently, Maison Russe has become a favourite of mine with its delicious seafood. It’s straight out of a fantasy world, tucked away in a two-story building within a 1,000-square-meter garden. It’s a recent local rising star with its bar on the ground floor and restaurant on the upper floor. Situated within Palais de Chaillot, Girafe has stolen my heart with its art deco-inspired interior design, delicious menu mostly consisting of seafood and spectacular terrace over the Eiffel. I would recommend it for lunch and dinner. Another restaurant I love is LouLou, near Musée des Arts Décoratifs in the garden of the Louvre; it’s renowned for its wonderful terrace. If you prefer an indoor table, I would suggest the upper floor which is more peaceful and stylish. Thanks to Joseph Dirand’s elegant interior design and the delicious food, LouLou is packed both during the day and in the evening. Their truffles pizza is to die for. If you’re looking to have some fun over dinner, Balagan Paris would be the best choice. Their choice of music is as good as their delicacies. For lunch, the newly-opened Mun on Champs-Élysées is one of the recently popular restaurants where it’s really hard to get a reservation, both thanks to its interior décor and terrace. Offering a selection of Asian cuisine, the restaurant was opened in the summer of 2021 as the latest gem of the Paris Society group, which also owns popular restaurants such as Girafe and Monsieur Bleu. Another recent venue is Café Lapérouse, inside the renovated Hôtel de la Marine; it’s usually preferred for breakfast and lunch. One of the investors of the project is Antoine Arnault, the CEO of the LVMH group. That’s why the brunch and lunch events of Louis Vuitton were held here during Paris Fashion Week. Paris, in my opinion, is one of the best artistic hubs in the world. Fondation Louis Vuitton by Frank Gehry and Fondation Cartier by Jean Nouvel always host great exhibitions. Palais de Tokyo and Centre Pompidou are among the museums I make sure to visit. You should also check the galleries along Rue de Seine in Saint Germain. François Pinault’s private collection was exhibited at Bourse de Commerce, the historic exchange building in Paris. For the exhibition halls of the new museum, famous architect Tadao Andō designed a central cylinder, embedded in the existing structure. Regarded as a historic landmark, the structure has been restored, staying loyal to the original plan, including the dome. The circular and domed building of Bourse de Commerce welcomes you with the magnificent and impressive installation of candles by Urs Fisher in the rotund section. Other floors are filled with fascinating works by prominent artists. Right next to Bourse de Commerce stands the restored La Samaritaine department store. Originally built in 1869 to sell all kinds of products that appealed to the middle class, today the store only hosts luxury brands. I can’t say that I’ve found options abundant. When it comes to shopping, Le Bon Marché still reigns as my favourite. I also enjoy shopping from small boutiques around the streets of Saint German such as Moss, Dries Van Noten, and Golden Goose. Palais de Royal and Marais are two districts I definitely stop by for shopping. Marais is a district where you can truly feel the sweet chaos of Paris. Situated at the heart of the district, Rue des Rosiers is still the centre for the Jewish community in Paris. It hosts a bookstore that only sells books written in Hebrew, falafel shops with their ever-present lines up front, the Synagogue, and the city’s hip concept stores.

Paris cannot be described only in words. I’ve told you about “my” Paris but I’m sure every visitor has a take of their own. Hopefully, we will keep discovering new surprises on each new journey.


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