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An Insider’s Guide to Paris

In a monthly column produced for the Australian Financial Review’s Boss Magazine, we highlight the best of a city for biz visitors and sophisticated travellers alike. This month LUXE Paris resident curator and writer Sylvia Sabes shares her fave places in the perennially stylish City of Light.

Cosmopolitan is not just a drink served at a fashionable bar; it’s the epitome of Paris. And there is nothing more Parisian than taking in the show over a flute of champagne at a sidewalk cafe; one of the city’s favourites is historic Café de Flore, a landmark in the bohemian St Germain des Prés neighbourhood that I call home. My work often sends me to the crowded Champs Elysées, while after hours I can be found strolling through diverse quartiers – an art gallery, gourmet adventure or one of the city’s 100-plus museums on my itinerary.

The City In A Nutshell

Paris lives up to her reputation as a city bathed in light and luxury. Even jaded locals catch their breath when the Eiffel Tower sparkles (every hour, on the hour) or upon seeing the Palais Garnier opera house lit up at night. From sumptuous pastries to haute couture fashion, there is a delicacy for every taste.

Paris For A Day

Many visitors come with a long shopping list, so after the obligatory stop by Louis Vuitton for friends and family, flâner (stroll) like a Parisian through the Tuileries gardens to the Louvre Museum for a peek at the world’s most famous smile.

Escape the crowds to sip coffee at Le Nemours in the Palais Royal and maybe pick up a souvenir next door at Drapeaux de France.

Cross the Seine and explore the Rive Gauche before having cocktails at the Closeries des Lilas. When it’s time, honour your reservations at Monsieur Bleu for dinner with a trendy crowd and an Eiffel Tower view, before ending your evening at the Palais de Tokyo, Europe’s largest contemporary art space.

Where The Business Crowd Meets

Mix the advantages of an expense account with Paris’ addiction to haute cuisine, and dine at any number of starry restaurants. Chef Mathieu Pacaud’s Hexagone serves Michelin one-star meals in a modern dining room, while Yannick Alléno cooks up three-star cuisine in the more sedate, 19th-century Pavillon Ledoyen. Dine under the Eiffel Tower at Les Ombres in the Quai Branly museum, or invite your guests to Maison Blanche on the très chic Avenue Montaigne to seal the deal.

The view gets better as the evening winds down over drinks at Raphael Hotel’s rooftop bar. Prolong the evening with a show at the Lido cabaret on the Champs Elysées.

Sleep, Eat, Play

Hotel Le Bellechasse: You can’t forget you’re in Paris when staying at this Christian Lacroix-designed boutique beauty, set in a residential neighbourhood close to everywhere you’ll need to be. Rue de Bellechasse, 7th.

Saint James Paris: Once the city’s first hot air balloon field, this hotel honours its past with design that inspires dreams of adventure. Enjoy the extensive garden and plush library at the end of a long day. 43 avenue Bugeaud, 16th.

Les Climats: Art Nouveau decor sets the scene for fine French cuisine with a dash of international flavours, paired with wines from the extensive Burgundy cellar. 41 rue du Lille, 7th.

Le Pantruche: Soak up old-world charm in this néo-bistrot, where a blackboard lists the daily selection of market-fresh dishes that seduce everyone from foodie tourists to celebrities including Julianne Moore. 3 rue Victor Masse, 9th.

Explore the Seine: Take a private river tour on an elegant Venetian taxi with Seine Avenue, then stroll the Berges de Seine open space under the iconic bridges of Paris. There are cafes and restaurants to keep you going as far as the Eiffel Tower. Quai des St Pères, 7th.

Musée d’Orsay: Occupying an abandoned train station, this museum is dedicated to art from 1848 to 1914 and displays an important collection of Impressionist paintings. Visits can be paired with a trip to the nearby Rodin Museum. 1 rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 7th.

This article originally appeared on the Australian Financial Review Boss Magazine, 21 November 2016.

Photo credit: S.Borisov/

For more fab Paris recommendations, snap up the LUXE Paris guide.

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