Get a taste of Paris this summer with help from Mr & Mrs Smith and Le Roch Hotel & Spa in the first arrondissement. If this guide leaves you feeling inspired, then enter our competition to win a £2,000 Get a Room! gift card to spend on a summer stay at over 1,000 Mr & Mrs Smith hotels. Enter now.
Where to stay
It's hard not to fall for the charms of Paris – it's a city that knows a thing or two about seduction, after all. A stay at Le Roch Hotel & Spa, though, is enough to cement a lifelong love affair. Here, the feel is that of an inviting, artfully arranged apartment, where inspiring design books fill shelves around the library fireplace, and the sofas are custom-made for post-shopping flopping.
From top terrace to subterranean spa, it's pure Paris: treatments formulated by bespoke beauty purveyors, Codage; an inventive restaurant menu of seasonally sourced French fare (more on this later); an effortlessly cool bar soundtrack by local creatives Maison Sérieuse…
That's your A-list apartment sorted, then – how else can you live the designer dream during your Paris stay? Don your chicest shades, practise looking insouciant, and come with us on an in-the-know tour of the city of lights.
Where to eat
Croissants and coffee
Apart from the person in your bed, there's only one thing to wake up to in Paris: a good croissant. Someone once said that baking your own croissants in Paris is the equivalent of making your own lightbulbs — with so much perfection around, you'd have to be mad to try.
Underneath the grand Palais-Royal is Café Kitsuné – an offshoot of perennially cool fashion house-cum-record label, Maison Kitsuné – is the place for your morning coffee stop.
If you want to keep your pursuit of pastry old school, head to Du Pain et Des Idées on the rue Yves Toudic for one of their signature escargots (think: the bronzed curlicue of a pain aux raisins, but lined with praline or pistachio).
If you want to test out the new brigade, look no further than Yann Couvreur, patisserie's current golden boy, whose signature bakery opened a few months ago at métro Goncourt. Eat at high wooden stools in the windows, or take your haul to the Canal St Martin, a hipster paradise crowned by mint-green bridges and made famous by Amélie Poulain skipping stones across it. (If you want to prep your taste buds, be sure to check out Yann's caramel-coloured Instagram)
Lunch like a local
When it comes to lunch, a good place to start is the French capital's most storied burger. Roll up, roll up Le Camion qui Fume: Paris' first ever food truck. Back in the day, as soon as head-chef Kristen Frederick would announce the truck's location on Twitter, scores of burger disciples would be round the block within minutes. The first time we tried one? Umami bliss. It took every shred of our self-control not to re-join the queue for a second.
Alternatively, take lunch like another kind of local and follow your nose to Le Fumoir on Rue de l'Amiral de Coligny. By rights, its Louvre-side location should make it an avoidable tourist trap, yet it's quite the opposite: an elegant art-dotted restaurant, bar and tea salon favoured by the likes of Nicolas Sarkozy and geared towards long, lazy dining.
If it's something a little fruitier you're after, Les Pinces serves a lobster roll in a toasted brioche bun which is at once perfectly sweet and perfectly savoury, the closest you can get to holding happiness in your hands.
Best restaurants in Paris
As dinner rolls round however, you might be after more of a knife and fork affair. After all, affairs and Paris? Match made in heaven. Inventive, modern and deliciously French (beef tartare with candied ceps, olive-studded onglet, butternut velouté…), the menu at Le Roch's restaurant – conceived by two-Michelin-star-holding chef Arnaud Faye, and executed by the hotel's own Rémy Bererd – is a crowd-puller in its own right, with most products picked and procured in and around Paris.
No-one likes a name dropper, but if we had to point you in the direction of three more chefs worth their fleur du sel, we'd firstly say Simone Tondo: his CV reads like a fine-dining bucket list, and he opened his eponymous restaurant Tondo last year. If you get a chance to sample the panna cotta, it's his grandmother's recipe, and it's hard to forget. Next up, Tatiana Levha at Le Servan, where East meets West in her neo-bistrot under a frescoed ceiling. Finally, Edward Dwelling Williams at Le Grand Bain: small plates — tick; natural wines — tick. A little magic in every mouthful.
Equally, since you never know when the desire for exceptionally good Korean fried chicken might strike, Hero is an address which always has its cape on, ready to save the day. The lovechild of Josh, Carina and Adam, a trio of friends who arguably brought the cocktail scene to Paris, Hero's fried chicken in Gochu Jang sauce is to die for.
Where to drink
Our stamp of approval extends to more from the Hero team, namely Glass, a Pigalle dive bar with a cocktail du soir served from a slushee machine, and Candelaria, their original bar. A taquería speakeasy, it's the home of La Guêpe Vert (the green hornet), a drink that floats like a butterfly and stings like its namesake; and Le Mary Celeste, a modern Marais classic. (Devilled eggs? Really? Yes. Get them.)
Round the corner you'll find Parisian institution, Le Nemours, who's ever-tempting terrace draws the capital's creative crowd for apéritifs. The subterranean wine bar at Verjus is a lively, brick-arched hideaway made for enjoying small plates and large glasses.
Alternatively, if you're feeling up to it, stop at Le Roch's bar on the way back to your room and ask them to mix an On the Roch, their signature mash-up of vodka, rum and herbal Galliano liqueur with lime, mango, cranberry and passion fruit juices.
Sometimes though – if your legs fancy a little elevation after a stretch too long at the Louvre – it can be hard to prise yourself from your hotel room. Ely has that very first world problem covered. Her homemade cocktails can be by your bedside in under 30 minutes. We recommend The Django: Bulleit bourbon, lime, lemongrass, and a splash of Cointreau for a dash of something French. You are in Paris, after all...
Where to shop
Le Roch's interiors are a masterclass in colour and texture: rich blues and clean black serve as a backdrop for Carrara marble and walnut wood, pop-out graphic prints and accents of sage, chartreuse and milky-pink velvet. If it's got you feeling inspired, you'll find all such furnishing fantasies at Maison Sarah Lavoine on Place des Victoires, which also stocks everything from steak knives to scented candles. Its size may belie its boutique status, but cult store Colette deals in well-curated cool across its three floors – including a none-more-fashion 'water bar' in the basement. Jetsetters, be sure to stop at haute malletiers Maison Goyard: its travel-essential leather trunks, bags and document holders are a stylish must-have; a shade more subtle and sophisticated than neighbouring Hermès.
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Search Deliveroo for more great places to eat in Paris.
For more foodie inspiration in the sun, read our city guide to Sydney.