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The Forme’s Travel Guide to Paris

Heading to Paris this year? In a place so deeply saturated in culture and history, it is easy to feel overwhelmed with options when visiting the French capital. This is particularly the case as the city moves to become a beacon of all things French in anticipation for the Olympic Games. From best-loved restaurants and cafes to newly opened gems, read our editor’s top recommendations to make your next trip to the French capital feel captivating and unforgettable.



Château Voltaire

Nestled a couple of blocks north of the Tuileries, Château Voltaire manages to balance stunning interiors, second-to-none hospitality, and comfort, to become the epitome of Parisian elegance.

Château Voltaire

Spanning three buildings from the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries, the Château is rife with Parisian history whilst also maintaining a contemporary look-and-feel. Founder Thierry Gillier collaborated with creative director Franck Durand (Holiday Magazine, Bazaar France), to finely tune and translate a keen eye for fashion into beautifully decorated rooms that make your stay feel tastefully curated and superlative.

Cult-favourite restaurant Brasserie l’Emil in the hotel’s lobby is also a must-try.

La Fantaisie

Stylish, sophisticated, and unpretentious, La Fantaisie is guaranteed to delight and inspire all who enter its thoughtfully designed interiors.

Rescued from near abandonment, the hotel’s garden setting is used as a jumping-off point for the design of the interiors; bright, art deco inspired soft palettes blended with vivid floral prints make the hotel feel like a hidden treasure, lost in time.

La Fantaisie

Throughout the hotel’s fresh and contemporary spaces, the use of colour, texture, and print complements a cacophony of chintz, a true delight to experience, and a masterful example of fantastical interior design and styling.

Hôtel Plaza Athénée

Situated on the famed Avenue Montaigne, you will know Hôtel Plaza Athénée as soon as you see it, thanks to its bold assertion of scarlet awnings. Conveniently nestled between the Champs-Elysées and the Eiffel Tower, you will not have to travel far to experience the best views, and shopping that Paris has to offer.

Hôtel Plaza Athénée

There is something mesmerising and magical about walking into the courtyard between buildings at Hôtel Plaza Athénée–green shrubbery envelops the walls, juxtaposed by the bright red awnings on each window. This is an unmissable experience, even if you are not staying for the night; enjoy a coffee from the café in the courtyard in-between boutique hopping.


Les Éditeurs

Across the Seine in Saint-Germain-des-Prés sits Les Éditeurs; a relaxed and reliably delicious French restaurant that distinguishes itself by its quaint charm and optimal location. Like many restaurants and cafes in Paris, Les Éditeurs has al fresco seating with cane chairs that face outwards allowing you to immerse yourself in the street setting and indulge, not only its cuisine but also observe locals as they swirl around le quartier de l'Odéon.


In an ode to Saint-Germain, the literary heart of Paris, the walls are lined with over 5,000 books–gifts from local publishers–and the room is punctuated with circular red leather chairs that embrace you whilst engulfed in a wash of sophisticated dark wood detailing.

A true staple for a reliably tasty meal and convivial service.

Bistrot Des Tournelles

Located a stone’s throw from one of the city’s most picturesque parks, Place des Vosges, and the Bastille monument, Bistrot Des Tournelles offers classic French fare with a contemporary twist. Highlights include oeufs-mayo, daube à la provençale (a hearty beef stew originating from Southern France), and the classic croque monsieur (expect oodles of grated Comté and Parisian ham).

Bistrot Des Tournelles

As you enter the dining room it feels as if you have been invited to the home of a beloved friend –vintage décor, candle-lit, vases of desaturated florals–all of which compliment the home-cooked aesthetic and taste of the food served from the confident and refreshingly short menu.

Du Pain et des Idées

A seriously spectacular specimen of French baking, you will need to mentally prepare yourself to be mind-blown by the artisans boulangers at Du Pain et des Idées. Dating from 1875, the boulangerie has hardcore history baked into it, evidenced by the painted glass ceilings and bevelled mirrors that exude old-world charm.


The pin-wheel shaped chocolate-pistachio escargot is nothing short of life-changing.

Next-door, at Bonjour Jacob you’ll find the most sophisticated edit of fashion magazines and journals to peruse while enjoying a “caf” from the store’s café.


Bar Nouveau

There is something truly special about Bar Nouveau–a newly opened bar/hangout that’s been plucked and transported through time from a past decade. True to its name, the interiors are decorated in the Nouveau style of Hector Guimard, complete with vine-style mirror frames, Riviera-style walls, and hanging chanterelle lights above the intimate U-shaped bar.

Bar Nouveau à Paris

Designed to encourage friendly conversation between yourself, the bar-tender, and other patrons, the petite size only adds to the charm of this must-try bar.

While you peruse the six cocktails-length menu, you’ll likely note the noise of a blender in the background; the soundtrack to the creation of the famed ‘Ramos’ cocktail–a definite must-try.

Le Hibou

A couple of metres away from Les Éditeurs, Le Hibou is a classic French restaurant offering an extensive drinks menu with classic cocktails and contemporary gustatory delights. With outdoor seating that looks over a quiet round-about at the edge of the Latin Quarter, you are perfectly situated for a people-watching l'apéritif as twilight drapes itself over the city.


Quirky cocktails–“Paloma Anderson”, “Gin Carey”, “Peachless”–delight and refresh at the end of a long day of sightseeing. The perfect destination for drinks before a dinner out.


Marché des Enfants Rouges

Opened in 1615, the Marché des Enfants Rouges is the oldest food market in Paris. Nowadays, it is a bustling, buzzing maze of multicultural and local food vendors selling all kinds of delicious bits-and-bobs, bursting with flavour. Situated off Rue de Bretagne, the market is deceptively unimposing from the street, yet boasts a laid-back, gregarious atmosphere inside; a true delight for the senses and a not-to-be-missed cultural experience. Nearby Café du Marché des Enfants Rouges and Café Charlot are also worth adding to your list of must-try menus.

Musée de l'Orangerie

Home to Claude Monet’s waterlily paintings, Musée de l'Orangerie is situated in the south-west corner of the Tuileries. If you have not got long in Paris, this museum is a great way to view a wide offering of French impressionists and post-impressionists–think Monet, Matisse, Cézanne, Picasso, and Renoir.

Musée de l'Orangerie

The rounded, white galleries that host Monet’s ‘Water Lilies’ are flooded with diffused natural light that make viewing the masterpieces truly immersive and breathtaking.

Paul Bert Serpette

If you’re looking for décor inspiration, Paul Bert Serpette is well-worth a visit.

Paul Bert Serpette

A treasure trove of vintage furniture and trinkets from near and far, Paul Bert Serpette is a lesson in how to embrace the French ‘art de vivre.’

The market is set-up like a garage sale with roll-down doors that hide hidden gems aplenty. Don’t be misled by the rustic aesthetic of the exterior because each vendor’s space is filled to the brink with rare antiques that you are not likely to find anywhere else in the world.

With over 350 individual antique dealers, you can be sure you will leave the market feeling inspired to re-invigorate your spaces back home with a defining French elegance and ease.