Our clued-up local Concierges are the ultimate insiders. That’s why we’ve left it to them to plan the perfect 24 hours in Paris. From romantic cruises on the Seine in vintage motor yachts and afternoons spent wandering contemporary art collections to grand dinners at the award winning Le Grand Véfour, you’re bound to leave the city with the same deduction Aubrey Hepburn made in 1954 – ‘Paris is always a good idea’.
Breakfast should always come with a good view – especially in Paris where views of mansard terraces overflowing with budding roses awaits the moment you open your curtains. At the luxurious Cour des Vosges hotel, it appears this memo has been wholeheartedly received. Take your morning routine to new heights above the squares of all squares – the place des Vosges. Unarguably one of the most beautiful squares in the world, take a seat on your square-view veranda for a feast of flaky pastries and fresh fruit. And quite frankly, this swoon-worthy maison, which combines sultry 70s design with dainty pied-à-terre style, wouldn’t have it any other way.
Our clued-up local Concierges recommend spending the first few hours of your 24 hours in Paris seeing the city from a different perspective (sorry Eiffel Tower). Set sail on the Seine on a private vintage motor yacht and indulge in your temporary Parisian status. Pass under ornate bridges celebrating eccentric kings and emperors and spot the spires of the city’s myriad churches and palaces glinting in the mid-morning sun.
Lunchtime in Paris calls for one thing – Le P’tit Canon. Charming, traditional and uncharacteristically simple, this 17th arrondissement bistro is a masterclass in Parisian comfort food. Try the Breton sausage and aligot (cheesy mash) and wash it down with a lovely Crozes Hermitage before making your way to the city’s cultural district.
Pass through the crowds snaked round the Louvre to its equally modern neighbour, the Bourse de Commerce museum. Home to François Pinault’s personal and extensive art collection, it is the perfect combination of contemporary artistry and traditional and bold architecture. Catch an exhibition, performance or screening and feel the infectious passion Parisians have for their art, culture and style.
Speaking of style, you’ll be pleased to hear the city is still its slick sovereign – and sparing a few of your 24 hours in Paris to browse its boutiques is an essential rite of Parisian passage. In the spirit of sustainability, however, (which Paris and its oodles of fashion houses are now strong advocates of) our Paris Concierge Mathilde recommends heading to Centre Commercial. The brainchild of the Veja trainer brand founders, this multi-brand boutique stocks clothes and lifestyle goods exclusively from sustainable designers and transparent eco-friendly labels. Airy, bright and sheltered by a glass roof, you’ll find that their penchant for sharp colourful collections will have you struggling to resist purchasing an entire new wardrobe (while simultaneously making you an impassioned ‘slow-shopping’ supporter).
Shopping can be thirsty work. Fortunately, Serpent à Plume knows how to quench it. Order a ‘Days of Being Wild’ cocktail (mezcal, chilli cucumber juice, lime, egg white and sugar syrup) and lose yourself in its intoxicating ‘aesthetic universe’. Guy Martin knows a thing or two about intoxicating experiences too. A single whiff of his signature scallops with seared celeriac at Le Grand Véfour and you’ll be salivating before you’ve even been shown your table. Set just off the Jardin du Palais-Royal, Le Grand Véfour is the perfect location for an evening rendez-vous, particularly if neoclassical décor surrounded by excited artistic and political chatter are to your taste.
The final few hours of your 24 hours in Paris should be celebrated in style. That’s why Mathilde, our Paris expert, suggests finishing the evening at Yoyo. Once an Art Deco exhibition space underneath the Palais de Tokyo, it is now an edgy and vibrant club. Stripping its walls down to their original concrete to make room for the electronic and techno beats that vibrate off them, Yoyo is an underground utopia. Re-hydrate with a fragrant cocktail and feel your heart beat in unison with the energetic DJ’s house sound as it builds up to its dramatic drop.