Gift Ideas

Perfume and scented candles from Guerlain (p213), L'Artisan Parfumeur (p203) or Fragonard (p203). Fine food and wine from Fauchon (p214), l'Olivier (p205), H diard (p214), La Maison du Miel (p215) or Boutique Maille (p214). Beautiful stationery from M lodies Graphiques (opposite) or L'Agenda Modern (opposite). Tea from Le Palais des Th s (p205) or Mariage Fr res(p205). A music box from Anna Joliet (p201), African blankets from CSA0 Boutique & Gallery (opposite), something for the kitchen...

Faubourg Stgermain Invalides

The 7e is a lovely arrondissement in which to stay, but apart from the northeast section -the area east of Invalides and opposite the Louvre - it's fairly quiet here. H TEL VERNEUIL Map PP128-9 Hotel H 01 42 60 82 14 www.hotelverneuii.com 8 rue de Verneuil, 7e s 140, d 170-220 St-Germain des Pr s X (D Chic and cosy, this lovely hotel is in a 17th-century building in a quiet street just off blvd St-Germain des Pr s. It has 26 individually decorated rooms (half of which have air conditioning) and...

Stgermaindn Luxembourg

St-Germain des Pr s is a delightful area to stay and offers some excellent midrange hotels. The three-star hotels in this area are around St-Germain des Pr s. Not surprisingly in this well-heeled quartier, there is a serious shortage of budget accommodation, but what you will find is competitively priced. RELAIS CHRISTINE Map pp116-17 Hotel H 01 40 51 60 80 www.relais-christine.com 3 rue Christine, 6e s & d 370-460, ste from 540 Od on (El (D Part of the Small Luxury Hotels (SLH) association,...

Walk Facts

Star Metro Cardinal Lemoine End Former Dingo Bar (Metro Vavin) Distan 7km Timi Three hours Fuel stops Les Deux Magots (p292 or Caf de Flore (p292) Moyen Age (pi 14). The caf s on place St-Michel were taken over by tourists decades ago, and Shakespeare & Company (p208) around the corner at 37 rue de la B cherie has nothing to do with the real bookshop of that name frequented by Hemingway, but that comes later in the tour. 8 Jack Kerouac's hotel Follow the Seine west along quai des Grands...

Patricia Wells Only The Best

The only American considered to have truly captured the soul of French cuisine, writer, cookery teacher and author of The Food Lover's Guide to Paris Patricia Wells (www.patriciawells.com) has lived, cooked and shopped in Pa ris since 1980. 'Only the best'is the la bel on the fresh fish, meat, cheese, breads and other market produce that guests at herSt-Germain des Pr s cooking studio use in class. So just where does she shop Nicola Williams finds out. What is it that makes Paris so wonderful...

Grave Concerns At Pere Lachaise

Camp as a row of tents and as fresh as a daisy, Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) is apparently as flamboyant in death as he was on his hotel deathbed, when he proclaimed 'My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death - one of us has gof to go.'It seems that the P re Lachaise grave of the Irish playwright and humorist, who was sentenced to two years in prison in 1895 for gross indecency stemming from his homosexual relationship with Lord Alfred 'Bosie'Douglas (1870-1945), has been attracting...

Dress For Less

When I shop secondhand in Paris I don't want to rummage through sloppy piles of someone else's has-beens. That's fine in my own village hall, but not in Paris. Firststopon my carefully researched listof designer outlet was Mistigril ( > pp166- www.mistigriff.fr 83-53 rue St-Charles, 15e St-Charles), a shop that got rave reports online. But in the flesh its neon-lit fa ade screamed 'tack', the security guard was snarling and the heaps of strings spilling onto the floor just didn't ooze the...

Renaissance

The Renaissance, which began in Italy in the early 15th century, set out to realise a 'rebirth' of classical Greek and Roman culture. It had its first impact on France at the end of the 15th century, when Charles VIII began a series of invasions of Italy, returning with some new ideas. The Early Renaissance style, in which a variety of classical components and decorative motifs (columns, tunnel vaults, round arches, domes etc) were blended with the rich decoration of Flamboyant Gothic, is best...

Internet Resources

Wi-fi is widely available at midrange and top-end hotels in Paris (sometimes for free but more usually for something like 5 per one-off connection) and occasionally in public spaces such as train stations and tourist offices. For a list of almost 100 free-access wi-fi caf s in Paris, visit www.cafes-wifi.com (in French). If you don't have a laptop or wi-fi access, don't fret Paris is awash with internet caf s with their own computers, and you'll probably find at least one in your immediate...

Clichy Gare Stlazare

These areas offer some excellent midrange and reasonably priced top-end hotels. The better deals are away from Gare St-Lazare but there are several places along rue d'Amsterdam beside the station worth checking out. Clichy offers a couple of very unusual places to stay in the budget category. H TEL FAVART Map pp82-3 Hotel 01 42 97 59 83 www.hotel-paris-favart.com 5 rue Marivaux, 2e s 100-130, d 130-160, tr 140-180, q 155-200 Richelieu Drouot X This stylish Art Nouveau hotel with 37 rooms facing...

The Islands

The smaller of the two islands in the middle of the Seine, the lie St-Louis is by far the more romantic and has a string of excellent top-end hotels. It's an easy walk from central Paris. Oddly enough, the only hotel of any sort on the Ile de la Cit is a budget one. H TEL DE LUT CE Map p105 Hotel 01 43 26 23 52 www.hotel-ile-saintlouis.com 65 rue St-Louis en l'Ile, 4e s 150, d 170-189, tr 205-225 Pont Marie (El (D An exquisite 23-room hotel, the Lut ce has an enviable spot on delightful le...

Information Organisations

France's women's movement flourished as in other countries in the late 1960s and early 1970s, but by the mid-80s had become moribund. For reasons that have more to do with French society than anything else, few women's groups function as the kind of supportive social institutions that exist in English-speaking countries. La Maison des Femmes de Paris (Map pp158 9 01 43 43 41 13 http maisondesfemmes.free.frin French 163 rue de Charenton, 12e S office 9am-7pm Mon-Fri (M) Reuilly Diderot) is a...

Boutique Hotels

H tel La Manufacture (p356) Le G n ral H tel (right) Mayet H tel (p348) H tel du Petit Moulin (below) Kube H tel (p357) Select H tel (p343) remains excellent. East of the Bastille, the relatively un touristy lie is generally made up of unpretentious working-class areas and is a good way to see the 'real' Paris up close. Two-star comfort there is less expensive than in the Marais. Map pp92-3 Boutique Hotel H 01 42 71 20 00 www.muranoresort.com 13 blvd du Temple, 3e s 360, d 440-650, ste 750-1200...

Historic Haute Couture

A stroll around the legendary Triangle d'Or (av Montaigne and av Georges V) and along rue du Faubourg St-Honor , all in the 8e, constitutes the walk of fame of top French fashion. Rubbing shoulders with the world's top international designers are Paris' most influential French fashion houses ( lap pp140 ' (M) Georges V) Chan ( ip pp140 1 01 47 23 74 12 www.chanel.com 42 av Montaigne, 8e) Box jackets and little black dresses, chic ever since their first appearance in the 1920s. Christian Dior (...

Paris Life

'the infinitely successful Paris Plage just keeps on a-growin' and is now called Paris Plages' In the build-up to the 40th anniversary of May 1968, the month and year that rocked Paris and the world, it was fitting that the French capital was once again visited by strikes, riots and protests and the slogan, Sous les pav s, la plage ' Under the cobblestones, the beach . But while your average Parisian enjoys nothing well almost nothing better than a good r le a moan or a whinge the city is a...

Le Petit Bofinger

Map p180 French, Brasserie 01 46 92 46 46 1 place du D me menu 20.50 amp 25 Hunch amp dinner until 11pm daily M La D fense Grande Arche It's easy to find this glassed-in dining room. Just head to the cinematic glass dome of a building, immediately on your left right as you walk up down the steps of the Grande Arche. The fare is typical bistro, bolstered by a good-value formule bistro 21.80 which invites its overwhelmingly business clientele to network over saucisses de Strasbourg and choucroute...

Stgermain Odon Luxembourg

Jardin du Luxembourg pi 19 Mus e National Eug ne Delacroix pi21 7th centuries, but their tombs disappeared during the Revolution. The bell tower over the western entrance has changed little since 990, although the spire dates only from the 19th century. The vaulted ceiling is a starry sky that seems to float forever upward. 01 46 33 21 78 place St-Sulpice, 6e S 7.30am-7.30pm St-Sulpice In 1646 work started on the twin-towered Church of St Sulpicius, lined inside with 21 side chapels, and took...

Le Petit Machon

01 42 60 08 06 158 rue St-Honor , 1er starters 7-12.50, mains 14-22 S lunch amp dinner to 11 pm Tue-Sun M Palais Royal-Mus e du Louvre Close to the Louvre, this upbeat bistro serves some of the best Lyons-inspired specialities in town and the welcome is always warm. It takes its name from a Burgundian variety of galette des rois kings' cake , a puff pastry filled with frangipane cream that is eaten at Epiphany Twelfth night p222 . DJAKARTA BALI Map p86 Indonesian 01 45 08 83 11...

Restaurant Bioart

01 45 85 66 88 www.restaurantbioart.fr 1 quai Fran ois Mauriac, 13e starters 8, mains 18 S lunch Mon, lunch amp dinner to 11.30pm Tue-Fri, dinnerto 11.30pm Sat M Biblioth que Split across two floors, this Seine-side eating space with neon lighting and glass windows is 100 bio. Less formal snacks, salads 10 and bowls of pasta ' n' risotto 10 make up the ground-floor caf menu, while the risotto au cognac la cr me is typical of the more formal fare served upstairs. Savouring 'un plaisir naturel'...

Le Refuge Desfondus

01 42 55 22 65 www.lerefugedesfondus.com, in French 17 rue des Trois Freres, 18e menu 17 S dinner to 2am daily M Abbesses or Anvers This odd place has been a Montmartre favourite for nigh on four decades. The single menu provides an aperitif, hors d'oeuvre, red wine or beer or soft drink in a biberon baby bottle and a good quantity of either fondue savoyarde melted cheese or fondue bourguignonne meat fondue . The last sitting is at midnight. LE MONO Map p169 African, Togolese 01 46 06 99 20 40...

Right Bank Time Passages

Stepping into the passages converts covered shopping arcades of the Right Bank is the simplest way to get a feel for what life was like in early-19th-century Paris. These arcades emerged during a period of relative peace and prosperity under the restored House of Bourbon after Napoleon's fall and the rapid growth of the new industrial classes. In a city without sewers, pavements or sheltered walkways, these arcades allowed shoppers to stroll from boutique to boutique protected from the elements...

La Grande Bleue

Map pp144-5 North African, Berber 01 42 28 04 26 4 rue Lantiez, 17e starters 4.50-7 50, mains 10-18.50, menu 10.90 lunch only S lunch Mon-Fri, dinnerto 10.30pm Mon-Sat M Brochant or Guy Moquet You'll find unusual barley couscous 11.80 to 18.50 prepared in the style of the Berbers Kabyles of eastern Algeria, as well as the usual semolina variety 10 to 17.50 , tajines 13 to 23 and savoury-sweet pastilla au poulet chicken pastilla 18.50 . The rare cr pes berb res Berber crepes 8.50 to 11.50...

Top picks

Feeling fang Flit into urban high life for a taste of Paris Harry's New York Bar opposite Closing time tends to be 2am, though some bars have later licences. See p304 for clubbing spots and p307 for live music venues - great places to drink, too. Since 1 January 2008, the Parisian drinking scene has been smoke-free - kind of. Following the blanket smoking-in-public-places ban see p220 , smokers have simply moved from inside to out, socialising on the street in front of bars instead or lighting...

Rock Pop Indie

With several venues in and around the city regularly hosting international performers, it can be easier to see big-name Anglophone acts in Paris than in their home countries. Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy Map pp158-9 g 08 92 39 01 00,01 40 02 60 60 www.berg.fr, in French 8 blvd de Berg, 12e Berg Stade de France Map p182 08927009 00 www.stadefrance.com, in French rue Francis de Pressens , ZAC du Cornillon Nord,St-Denis La Plaine M St-Denis-Porte de Paris and Le Z nith Map pp174-5 0890 71 02...

Au Pied De Cochon

Map p86 French, Brasserie 01 40 13 77 00 www.pieddecochon.com 6 rue Coquill re, 1er starters 7.90-18.50, mains 16.50-35,2- 3-course menus 19.50 24 S24hr M Les Halles This venerable establishment, which once satisfied the appetites of both market porters and theatre-goers with its onion soup and pieds de cochon pig's feet or trotters , has become more uniformly upmarket and touristy since Les Halles was moved to the suburbs, but it still opens round the clock seven days a week. Generous...

Green Paris

For a densely populated urban centre inhabited for more than two millennia, Paris is a surprisingly healthy and clean city. Thanks mainly to Baron Haussmann p27 , who radically reshaped the city in the second half of the 19th century, a small army of street sweepers brush litter into the gutters from where it is hosed into sewers, and a city ordinance requires residents to have the fa ades of their buildings cleaned every 10 years. These days, despite the city's excellent and cheap public...

Laundry

There's a laverie libre-service self-service laundrette around every corner in Paris your hotel or hostel can point you to one in the neighbourhood. Machines usually cost 3.50 to 4.50 for a small load around 6kg and 5.50 to 8 for a larger one about 10kg . Drying costs 1 for 10 to 12 minutes. Some laundrettes have self-service nettoyage sec dry-cleaning machines. You usually pay at a monnayeur central central control box - not the machine itself - and push a button that corresponds to the number...

E Arrondissement

With its dearth of food shops and twin-set of quintessential caf -cum-bars on seemingly every pair of street corners, this is one arrondissement where you know real Parisians really live. Solidly down to earth and stoically free of any trendy concept dining, the 15e cooks up fabulously simple bistro fare. Rue de la Convention, rue de Vaugirard, rue St-Charles, rue du Commerce and those south of blvd de Crenelle are key streets. Near the water, two culinary innovators add an element of surprise...

Transport versailles

Ca A13 from Porte de St-Cloud, exit 'Versailles Ch teau' Bi 171 1.40 or one metro bus ticket from the Pont de S vres 15e metro station to place d'Armes every six to nine minutes 5am to midnight RER trai Fastest way the RER line C5 2.80 from Paris' Left Bank RER stations to Versailles-Rive Gauche station is 700m southeast of the chateau trains run every 15 minutes until shortly before midnight. Less convenient RER line C8 2.80 stops at Versailles-Chantiers station, a 1.3km walk from the chateau....

Les Sans Culottes

Map pp94 5 French, Bistro 01 48 05 42 92 www.lessansculottesfr.com, in French 27 rue de Lappe, lie starters 9-15, mains 14-20, menus 18 amp 23 S lunch amp dinnerto 11pm Tue-Sun M Bastille You wouldn't cross Paris to eat at Sans Culottes - the place takes its name from the working-class 'men without breeches' who fought in the French Revolution - but in a neighbourhood that has become somewhat trendy in recent years it's a comforting reminder of the past. The interior, with frosted glass, huge...

Women Travellers

In 1923 French women obtained the right to - wait for it - open their own mail. The right to vote didn't come until 1945 during De Gaulle's short-lived postwar government, and a woman still needed her husband's permission to open a bank account or get a passport until 1964. It was in such an environment that Simone de Beauvoir wrote Le Deuxi me Sexe The Second Sex in 1949. Younger French women especially are quite outspoken and emancipated but self-confidence has yet to translate into equality...