If you're planning a trip to Paris this Springtime – whether as a Valentine's treat or just for the hell of it – Rosie Paterson has some fine suggestions.
Where to stay
Spread across two identical buildings in the increasingly fashionable 9th arrondissement, Hotel Adele & Jules is part of a new crop of reasonably priced Parisian boltholes that don’t scrimp on style or service.
Kit Kemp aficionados will have a hard time choosing between the 30 bedrooms – each one kitted out by designer Stéphane Poux in charmingly mismatched fabrics and gently clashing colours, sleek furniture and unique artwork.
The larger Club rooms have been blessed with generously proportioned bathrooms, including tub, and several lead out onto small balconies. Even the smallest, a Parisian Superior at 15/16 m², still has ample room in which to relax and luxurious walk-in showers.
Family owned, the hotel’s home away from home atmosphere is most evident downstairs where you will find a first class reception-cum-concierge desk and cosy breakfast room. The latter is lined with all manner of reading material and also plays host to an unmissable afternoon tea and champagne-fuelled honesty bar.
If preferred, breakfast can be ordered to your room though there is no on-site restaurant for subsequent meals – thus giving you the perfect excuse to inspect some of the quintessentially Parisian cafes, bars and small cinemas right on your doorstep.
Double rooms from €175 per night (+33 (0)1 48 24 60 70; www.hoteladelejules.com)
Where to shop
Conscious shoppers should head straight to Merci, the general wares store in the heart of the ever-popular Marais district, which donates all profit to charity.
The shop is spread over three floors, bursting with jewellery, flowers, furniture and fashion. There’s also an achingly cool literary café and a canteen, serving up organic and rustic fare.
Head to Deyrolle, a 170-year old establishment fronted by Prince Louis Albert de Broglie, for a unique range of taxidermy animals, from buffalo to the most exquisitely coloured butterflies.
The collection of mammals, birds and insects is just minutes from the Musee d’Orsay and hidden below a garden shop on the ground floor.
If macaroons and patisserie are not enough to satisfy your sweet tooth, La Maison du Miel surely will. It boasts the title of Paris’ oldest honey shop – it was founded in 1898 – and is home to over 50 varieties from around the globe.
Flavours include traditional lavender to the more avant-garde avocado.
Additional reporting by Katherine Sopwith