Boasting world-class food, breath-taking architecture, culture, fashion and everything in between, Paris is high on every city-break list. And whether it’s your first time or your fifth, if you want to do Paris right, a little insider knowledge is necessary. We called on Charmaine Abomnes, owner of London-based Parisian bistro Bon Vivant, to get the scoop on the hottest places to visit in the city. Here’s a Parisian's guide to the city of love…
Where To Eat:
Under the umbrella of the Big Mamma Group, you know you’re in good hands at Mamma Primmi. This Italian trattoria creates fresh, homemade pasta right before your eyes and has a fabulous cocktail list to boot.
Various venues and locations in Paris
Owned by the stylish Klay Gym, Le Klay serves all the healthy essentials you could ask for – from super salads to bowls of grainy goodness – in a tropical-themed setting that’s filled with plants. Special mention goes to their outstanding brunches.
4 bis Rue Saint Sauveur, 75002 Paris
This super-stylish Italian restaurant is set in the historical Jean Paul Gaultier building. Be sure to try the pizzas and cocktails, they’re second to none.
6 Rue Vivienne 75002 Paris
An institution in Paris, and rightly so. Hotel Costes is a bohemian den of intoxicating food, hypnotic music and red velvet armchairs – this is where to go if you’re after a theatrical, decadent dinner.
239-241 Rue Saint Honoré, 75001 Paris
Where To Drink:
Le Faust’s quaint riverside bar is the place to go for an aperitif à la française. The alfresco terrace is set along the banks of the River Seine, so you can people watch with a Negroni firmly in hand. It’s a beautiful spot for a late date night, too.
46 Rue Ampère, 75017 Paris
Le Chalet des Iles
Located in the Bois de Boulogne, you can reach this restaurant-cum-bar via a speedy two-minute boat ride across a lake. If you fancy escaping the hustle and bustle of Paris to enjoy a quiet cocktail hour, Le Chalet des Iles is the only place to do it.
14 Chemin de Ceinture du Lac Inférieur, 75016 Paris
Where To Stay:
A cool bar and design-led boutique hotel that comes with stacks of industrial style and a rooftop restaurant if you don't fancy venturing out.
109 Rue de Bagnolet, 75020 Paris
Hotel Particulier Montmartre
This 19th-century townhouse is nestled in a beautiful private garden, making it one of the most stunning places to stay in the city. Montmarte is a must for exploring, expect culture, art and a distinctly laid-back vibe.
23 Avenue Junot, Pavillon D, 75018 Paris
Stay here if only for the rooftop bar and restaurant, which boasts glorious views of the Eiffel Tower – a particularly impressive spot from which to watch the Bastille Day fireworks.
12-14 Rue Joseph de Maistre, 75018 Paris
Where To Shop:
This is one of the best neighbourhoods in Paris for shopping, eating and frivolous fun. Spend a day browsing Sandro, Maje, Iro and plenty more before enjoying a long lunch in a quaint café.
France’s first online fashion label, and one that’s loved by the style set, you’ll find plenty here to keep your bank account busy. If you’re after something specific, you’ll need to be quick off the mark – every new collection sells out in minutes.
1 Rue Saint-Fiacre, 75002 Paris
Where To Relax:
Jardin des Tuileries
On a nice day, the Jardin des Tuileries is the perfect place to sit in the sun with a picnic – French bread, delicious cheese and macarons are compulsory.
113 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris
If you like to relax in style, book into the Molitor. This Clarins spa has the only outdoor swimming pool in Paris. Insider tip? If you find the spa a bit too expensive, you can always just go there for a drink and still make full use of the pool – sneaky.
13 Rue Nungesser et Coli, 75016 Paris
What To Visit:
You're spoilt for choice when it comes to culture in Paris, but make a point of visiting this art museum, which is housed in a former Beaux-Arts railway station with stunning architecture. There’s everything from photography to sculpture and decorative arts to keep you occupied.
1 Rue de la Légion d'Honneur, 75007 Paris
Not many people make the time to visit these incredible underground ossuaries, which hold the remains of more than six million people, but it’s a fascinating experience. Take a trip across a 1.5km tunnel at the bottom of 130 steps, not for the squeamish or claustrophobic but highly recommended for an unusual tour that will stay with you long after your trip.
1 Avenue du Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy, 75014 Paris