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020 7593 1899

Our office is open 9-6 Mon to Fri and 9-4 Sat

Paris - a city worth revisiting

By The Kirker Team, 06 December 2016

As the brand new Eurostar train slowed it's pace with the arrival of the Parisian suburbs, I looked out the window keenly at the city I hadn't been to for over 15 years. The brasseries, the sights, the atmosphere and the culture all awaited me, and I eagerly awaited the chance to explore.

As I reached the station concourse, I could easily identify my transfer driver at the head of the train by the familiar 'Kirker' logo peering over everyone's heads, and within minutes I was in a vehicle being whisked through the streets to my hotel. My first night was to be spent at the Castille, with it's quiet location on a side-street in the Opera district being an ideal wayto start an afternoon at leisure in the city; despite the welcoming comfort of my room, especially after an early start in London, I was soon back out on the streets. Although the atmosphere of the fans gathering for that afternoon’s Tour de France finale was enjoyable, I hastened along the Rue St. Honoré towards the Louvre; occasional glances at price-tags in the designer boutiques were enough to keep me moving along. In the warm July heat, the walk was extremely pleasant, and I joined large numbers of Parisians ambling along the Seine in the sunshine with my aim being the very heart of the city: the Île de la Cité. Arriving via the famous Pont Neuf, I initiated my Paris Museum Pass with a trip to the Sainte-Chapelle cathedral, one of many sights which are included in the pass, and was taken aback by the beauty of the afternoon sun streaming through the magnificent stained-glass windows.My next stop was the Conciergerie - not intending to stay as long as Marie Antoinette - and then down below the crowds basking in the sun outside Notre Dame cathedral to explore the crypts, giving a glimpse into the very foundations of Paris. Back above ground, I spent a further delightful hour exploring the cathedral itself. In need of a rest by this stage, I walked across the river and found the Boulevard Saint-Germain where I parked myself at a local brasserie. My French just about passing to order an early dinner, albeit with a sympathetic smile from the waiter, I watched the world go by. Then, on my way home fully refreshed, I used the first of my Metro tickets to travel directly to one of the most famous sights of all, the Eiffel Tower. After a hearty breakfast in the Castille’s peaceful courtyard, the next day was to be spent locally. A colleague joined me from London and we promptly set about inspecting the additional hotels around the Tuileries Garden and Opera areas, with the day ending in the palatial splendour of Le Meurice. Our dinner reservation booked through Kirker's concierge meant that unfortunately we didn't quite have the time to round off a busy first day with a drink at Le Meurice's extensively stocked bar, with it's inviting leather seats. However, once we had hastened to Chez George, a true classic Parisian brasserie, we enjoyed a very delicious dinner.A lively start the next morning, as we braved the Place de la Concorde by foot and crossed the Seine to the first of the hotels on the Left-bank, the contemporary Bourgogne and Montana, where the noise of the Parisian rush hour wassurprisingly absent. By mid-morning we were in need of an espresso in the smart bar of Kirker favourite Le Pont Royal, a boutique hotel located just off the Boulevard Saint-Germain, in an area that feels truly Parisian; the only thing more Parisian are the views from some of the rooms, with the Sacre Coeur and the Eiffel Tower easily being visible from the balcony in the deluxe rooms. We zigged and zagged along the streets of the Left Bank, finding a table for a tasty bite amongst the busy lunchtables at the brasseries on Rue Buci. Our last stop of the day was a little further away in the Bastille area. We were delighted to step out of the afternoon rush into the backstreets, where we found the Pavilion de la Reine, one of the Paris hotels I had most been looking forward to seeing. Walking through the gateway, the noise is gone, and you are greeted by the ivy-covered front of the hotel overlooking the peaceful courtyard – here you could easily believe you are in the French countryside.

The final day of our trip was to be spent on one of the most recognisable street names in the world: the Champs-Élysées. Renowned for the lavish shops that line either side, this street boasts hotels to match - an ideal location for someone looking to spend a day on a shopping spree would be the charming navy blues of the quiet Le Tremoille hotel, with its large rooms offering plenty of space to stow shopping bags... A highlight of the trip, however, was to be lunch at the Four Seasons George V’s new L’Orangerie restaurant. The presentation of the three courses was initially too beautiful and delicate to eat, but the flavours bursting from the first bite meant I was glad I did.

I had liaised with my colleague to make sure a trip to the Raphael was to be the last stop. The hotel’s deep leather chairs and scarlet decor in the bar make it the perfect place for a winter’s evening, but it was the view from thesummer rooftop terrace that had brought me here – with the Eiffel Tower in the distance I would have quite happily spent the evening there if we didn’t have to leave for our train back to London.

I definitely won’t be leaving it 15 years until I return to Paris again.

To make an enquiry please speak to one of our experts on 020 7593 1899, or enquire online

Our expert reservations team regularly travel to a wide range of destinations to explore new cities, visit hotels and to research museums, galleries and restaurants so that we can offer the most up-to-date advice and recommendations.

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