Fantastic Belle Epoque restaurant where truly divine cuisine is served in comfortable and beautiful surroundings by friendly and knowledgable staff. Set menu @ Eur32 is very good value.
Nearest Metro - Bienvenue Montparnasse Nearest Railway - Montparnasse. Opposite the 56 storey Montparnasse Tower!
Small and reasonably-priced hotel in the Les Gobelins area close to Place d'Italie. Off the tourist trail and loads of good restaurants nearby. Rooms small but adequate, staff friendly and multilingual
8, rue Philippe de Champagne, www.hotel-la-manufacture.com, tel.: 33 (0) 145 35 45 25, nearest metro Place d'Italie
It's just a humble cafe/lunch spot and I almost feel I'm betraying the place by recommending it but it was a lucky find on the way up to Sacre Coeur. Nice staff and great sandwiches & soup.
16 rue des Trois Freres, 75018 Paris
Appealing little bistro on the Place des Carmes, a pretty little tree-lined square.
Almost impossibly French, with red checked tablecloths, candles in wine bottles and a traditional, (inexpensive) French menu.
Gets busy with locals and tourists alike, especially at weeknds, so worth booking a table.
Madame is friendly and will try out her English if translation is needed.
Place des Carmes, Avignon.
A nice city shopping centre, with lots of shops, from habitat and Fnac (a bit like a Virgin megastore, but French!) to lesser known names.
It is south of the river,behind the cinema complex Colombier. Nearest metro station: Charles de Gaulle
As far as I know, the only Indian restaurant in the city. Not the type of Indian you find in Britain, more like what it should be like! (I am biased... it is my home town). So if you're missing curry...
34, Place des Lices (02.99.30.18.37)
Very studenty, full of bars and restaurants, great place to watch people go by. Market on Saturday mornings, very good (towards Place des Lices).
Rue and Place St Michel can be accessed easily from the metro station Ste Anne.
By day, a tapas restaurant; by night, a bar/club. A lively mix of French and Spanish influences in music, food and drink. The young crowd here can be relied upon to dance with a passion and energy that is quite uplifting for a visitor from the UK.
This excitement is partly due to the live trumpet player at weekends, who, to disguise the DJ's average mixing skills, blasts out the south of France fanfare heard at rugby games and all over the region. This works the crowd into a frenzy, tempered only when the trumpeter slows things down for the Spanish national anthem. Then another fanfare, and the crowd go wild again. It's like this every weekend.
1 Rue Gabriel Peri, Toulouse. Nearest station: Gare Matabiau
One of Paris' more renowned maisons de thé and always my first point of call. Head upstairs to the café for afternoon tea and patisserie, Parisian style or a light lunch where all the dishes have a definite tea influence. Don't be overwhelmed by the intimidatingly large selection of teas on offer, both in the restaurant and the shop downstairs.
There are 3 locations in Paris, my favourite is 13 rue des Grands-Augustins, Paris 6ieme Tél. : +33(0)1 40 51 82 50 www.mariagefreres.com/
This is one of the world's best small luxury hotels, right in the heart of Paris, and blocks from the Louvre and Palace Garnier (opera house). The historic building, with a round lift, has several beautifully decorated suites. The staff are attentive and arrange anything. Special offers on the hotel website can bring the price down to a 2-for-1. So if you want a multi-room suite, this is the way to go.
An old, old tip, this. Slap bang in the centre of the city, you'll probably have passed by this huge department store on a number of occasions if you've been to Paris. If you fancy a good cheap meal with an excellent view then grab a plate in the restaurant on one of the upper floors. Admittedly the decor is somewhat drab, and you're unlikely to bump into any of Paris's chic set (most of the clientelle look like octogenarians) but if you get a table by the window then none of that matters. This is also a good spot for using the toilet if you get caught short.
BHV, 52/64 Rue de Rivoli, near Hotel de Ville metro.
I found this fantastic little shop several years ago and always make sure I return. The staff are incredibly accommodating; and the shop offers estate wines to suit any budget. They also offer tastings on Saturdays and are more than happy to pass on their knowledge of great wine.
6, rue de Bourbon le Château, 75006 Metro: Odeon, Saint Germaine des Pres Tel: 0143291162
The famous cemetery where many artists rest is worth the visit, and not just for the mandatory pilgrimage to Jim Morrison's grave. The bloated monuments, the peaceful atmosphere and the shade of the trees will appeal to art lovers as well as romantic souls in search of a serene place in the middle of busy Paris.
This is effectively a museum pass which you can buy to cover 1, 3 or 5 days. It will get you into almost every Paris attraction you may want to see from the Louvre to Notre Dame, with the possible exclusion of the Eiffel Tower, it starts at 15euros for 1 day and gets progressively cheaper for longer periods The best bit isn't the museums it gets you into though, it's the fact that for places like the Louvre and the Orsay because you don't have to queue to get tickets you can skip large sections of the queuing process and just get straight to the interesting bits. It also encourages you to try the smaller museums you wouldn't have done before as you don't have to pay more to go in. They can be bought at any metro station or any museum or even at the eurostar terminal.
www.paris.org/Musees/mmc.html any metro station
Less a bookshop than an experience, Shakespeare & Co has to be visited to be understood. A favourite of struggling authors ever since it opened more than 50 years ago, the list of novelists and poets who have grabbed a couple of nights sleep here is extraordinary. One of the most topsy-turvy and downright enjoyable browsing experiences there is.
37 rue de la Bûcherie; Nearest metro: Maubert Mutualité
Richard Linklater's sequel to Before Sunrise is gentle, honest and quite unlike anything else from a mainstream American director at the moment. It's also a love letter to Paris, and the city manages to enchant you all over again as Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy wander its streets and talk, talk, talk.
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