48 Hours in… Perfect Paris
Travel writer Julia Hanley-Gordon highlights her favourite Paris picks
The City of Light, is oft associated with romance; but Paris is more than the lovey-dovey feelings.
It's cool, sophisticated and fun with so many things to see, eat and drink. Yes, there are lot of tourist crowd-pullers, but I want to share some of my favourite places to go after you have seen the sights.
51 Avenue George V, 75008 Paris
Philippe Starck and restauranteur Claude Louzon teamed-up to create this unique, pseudo futuristic Japanese restaurant. The restaurant is decorated to resemble a busy street in Chinatown and serves exceptional cocktails alongside an Asian fusion menu. It’s something a little different if you want to vary it up from French food.
27 Quai Branly, 75007 Paris (In the Musée du Quai Branly)
Les Ombres is a restaurant with a VIEW. It has a unique angle looking upon the Eiffel Tower from its open terrace as well as the glass-panelled walls and ceilings of its indoor dining room. This can be one of your special meals when in Paris that has the view and inventive international cuisine. It ticks every box.
75 Avenue Des Champs-Elysées, 75008 Paris
If you are looking for the quintessential French bakery, look no further then La Durée. This upscale bakery, with shops across Paris, is renowned for its Macarons. The Champs-Elysées boutique sells beautiful cakes to eat-in or take-away. You can also enjoy traditional French cuisine in the charming on-site restaurant, overlooking the Champs-Elysées.
239-241 Rue Saint Honoré, 75001 Paris
This might be my favourite place in Paris. Expensive, yes, but worth it. If you want to book for dinner, you can only book on the day, so be sure to call in the morning. It is always full of big characters, making for great people watching. They have a stylish bar that can get wild in the evenings (like setting the bar on fire and putting it out with Champagne kind-of-wild). And if you are very lucky, you can book to stay in one of their hotel rooms to clear your head.
Prescription Cocktail Bar
23 Rue Mazarine, 75006 Paris
Serves world-class cocktails in a trendy south of the river bar. There isn’t a sign on the outside, so make note of the address (door 23). You’ll see a door guy stood by the nondescript entrance, and while they aren’t usually that nice, don’t mind them, because the staff inside are really lovely. They make all the classic cocktails and have their own unique menu, too. Well worth the visit.
Harry's New York Bar
5 Rue Daunou, 75002 Paris
This well-known Parisian landmark is the birthplace of the Bloody Mary and was popular with Ernest Hemingway. The bar has a sophisticated old-world vibe. Harry’s has welcomed expats and locals alike since opening in 1911.
Little Red Door
60 Rue Charlot, 75003 Paris
Little Red Door, so-named after the miniature red door at the entrance, is a small and quirky bar serving inventive cocktails. The décor has exposed brick work and stylish mood lighting. This place can get VERY busy so try to arrive early.
Le Duc des Lombards
42 rue des Lombards, 75001 Paris
This legendary jazz bar is one of the most highly regarded clubs in Paris. Le Duc des Lombards has a much-loved restaurant that you can go to if you want to spend the night in one spot. Many international jazz artists perform here creating the electric atmosphere it boasts every night.
25 Rue de Buci, 75006 Paris
Next to the Germain restaurant, a secret black door gives way to the MK2 Germain Paradisio cinema, which is transformed into a bar/night club every Friday and Saturday night. Relatively new on the Parisian scene, this quirky location is drawing a lot of attention for all the right reasons.
10 rue Papillon, 75009 Paris
This intimate night club wears the crown as the place to be for the boho chic twenty-somethings of Paris. People come to party here for the Latin music, the electric atmosphere, and a night of dancing. This place has a lot of energy to keep you going all night.
Hotel Der By Alma
8 Avenue Rapp, 75007 Paris
This hotel is just an eight-minute walk from the Eiffel Tower. It has a very upscale feel but at a very good price. The rooms and views really allow you to feel Paris, even when you are relaxing in bed. It is also a short distance from the boutiques and restaurants along the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. This is a great place to stay if it’s one of your first times in the city.
Hotel de Seze
16 rue de Sèze, 75009 Paris
With only 25 rooms, the Hotel de Seze is small and intimate. This 4-star hotel offers a personalised service to each guest and they help make your trip a memorable one. The clean, modern décor adds contemporary Parisian charm to your stay.
30-32 Rue du Sentier, 75002 Paris
Just like all the other Hoxton Hotels, this one has a super cool vibe at a great price. You can choose the different sized rooms to fit your budget or how long you are visiting Paris (from shoebox to biggy). In the usual Hoxton style, there is a stylish bar when you enter, so you don’t need to go far for your first drink. It’s in a good location not too far from all the main attractions.