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POETRY IN PERPETUAL MOTION
Every evening, the most famous of all Parisiennes slips into her sequined gown and shines forth in the City of Light: once per hour until dawn, the Eiffel Tower brightens up the night with a dazzling light show. As Balzac wrote, "Oh Paris! They who have not heard thy murmurs, between midnight and two in the morning, know nothing as yet of thy real poetry.” At daybreak, the rising sun reveals the elegant contours of the tree-lined avenues, the Pont des Arts spanning the Seine, the regal glass roof of the Grand Palais, the townhouses surrounded by flowerbeds. The markets proffer their stands brimming with the season’s produce, soon to grace the tables of the finest restaurants as well as the neighborhood bistrots where Parisians love to linger over lunch. Paris, capital of chic and glamour, cultivated, intellectual, artistic, gastronomic…
Its side streets and shady squares are abuzz with the sound of conversations drifting from the cafés, the city’s nerve centers, which can still transform into salons, breeding grounds for new philosophical or literary ideas. Paris’s secret is its capacity for rebirth. The Roman outpost called Lutetia was succeeded by the medieval city of Notre Dame, the Paris of the Revolution, and then the modern metropolis laid out by Baron Haussmann in the 19th century, with its architectural harmony and monuments built for the Universal Exposition of 1900. Today, the city continues to reinvent its districts, like the old storehouses of Bercy, La Villette and Les Halles, while retaining the sources of its charm: its canals and islands, its vineyard in the shadow of Sacré Coeur, its Roman arena, its cemeteries haunted by the famous figures who made Paris their own: Chopin, Modigliani, Molière, Jim Morrison…
Restaurant in town. The art of Jean-Pierre Vigato, Chef of Restaurant Apicius, draws its inspiration from traditional “bourgeois” cuisine, dishes left to simmer on the stove and the very best of market produce. This means that blue Brittany lobster, white truffle, John Dory and game will be accompanied by the simplest of vegetables, in dishes that showcase the creativity and love of cuisine that this self-taught Chef has inherited from his mother and grandmother. This superb 19th century private mansion on the ground floor of the former Hôtel de Talhouët-Roy boasts a welcoming atmosphere and in the summer, it opens onto a delightful garden, right in the heart of Paris. ... Learn moreless
Restaurant in town. Being the fourth generation of a family of Chefs, for Hélène Darroze, fine dining is the opportunity to give pleasure. Her cuisine is lively, strongly linked to emotions and reflects her state of mind. In the cosy atmosphere of the “Salle à Manger”, with its soft and warm colours, a choice of menus based around what’s in season and the best produce the market has to offer is served. Hélène Darroze has stories to tell: even the slightest detail of a dish reveals who she is, evokes a sensation, memories, scents. The Darroze family collection of vintage Bas Armagnacs provides the perfect end to a perfect meal. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant in town. The only château-hotel in Paris nestles in a green setting, a stone’s throw from the Arc de Triomphe and Avenue Victor Hugo: a splendid Napoleon III residence, refurbished with a touch of fantasy by Bambi Sloan. The former Thiers Foundation, which once received the most brilliant students in France, has become a select venue where you can recharge your batteries. The library bar is a place to exchange confidences. The boudoir-style spa offers treatments based on the prestigious Maison Guerlain. The chef offers fine cuisine in the dining room inherited from the Foundation. In the summer the terrace and its hot air balloon décor evoke the past of the place: it had been the first aerodrome in Paris! ... Learn moreless